Gatehouse estates

Where does the time go?

People are talking of Christmas already!

It looks like there are going to be lots of properties bought and sold this festive period as one of the top selling games this Christmas is predicted to be Monopoly. It’s a new version of the old classic they are calling Monopoly Revolution, paper money has been replaced by a debit card machine, the board is circular and all the everything has been adjusted to reflect crazy London property prices. You get £2 million just for passing GO and Mayfair will set you back a cool £4 million, a huge capital gain on the £400 it cost when the game first came to the UK in 1935.

Lego is also expected to be as popular as ever but it appears kids & their dads will be building a city airport during the Queen’s speech, not houses. There are lots of toys in the top ten that I’ve never heard of but I’m sure Pumpaloons and Nurf will mean something to some of you. What did interest me is that the average price of the top toys has increased by 50 per cent from £26.16 to £39.41. Is this a sign the recession’s over?

In terms of property 2010 has been an interesting year. We had a new government who immediately scrapped Home Information Packs which lead to an increase in the amount of property on the market. We have seen a large increase in the number of houses sold in the last 12 months. The interest rate has been held at a record low. There has been a steady decline in the number of repossessions. All regions in England have experienced increases in their average property values in the last year and according to Land Registry, Cambridgeshire has seen an increase on the average home of nearly £15,000.

There will continue to be lots of speculation about house prices throughout 2011, my prediction for what it’s worth, is that prices won’t change very much one way or the other. What I am sure about is that plenty of people in Godmanchester will want to move home and seasonally the new year is a busy time. I thought this would be a good time to give you my guide on how best to prepare your property for the market. First impressions count!

You may have heard the term curb appeal on one of the many home, house, location or design programs on Channel 4. It’s become an important word in the vocabulary of Estate Agents and it is true that the first thing your buyer will see of your home is the front of it.

So, how does it look? It’s is often simple things like cutting the lawn, tidying the borders, trimming trees or hedges, staining the fence or weeding the path. Stand on the curb and have a look at your property, do the windows, facias or garage doors need re-painting? Would something as simple as a hanging basket make a difference?

Everything you can do before your Estate Agent takes that all important main photograph of your house will help attract buyers to your home.

Once through the front door we still need to be thinking of the first impressions so a viewing should never start by with your downstairs toilet!

Here comes another famous term, de-cluttering. Now I don’t subscribe to the view that you should throw away all of your possessions just to sell your house but I think it’s fair to say that some people just seem to have too much stuff. Living in your home and selling your house are two different things. Be objective because the more you can take out of a room the bigger it will look.

Take a good look at the first things you see as you come through your front door. Is it shoes, coats, or a dirty mat to wipe your feet on? Are the stairs used as a dumping ground? Is your hall clean, bright and in good decorative order, would a mirror or simply a brighter light bulb help?

In the kitchen clear as much worktop as possible by storing away the blender and the Foreman Grill and make sure your sitting room looks spacious but warm.

If you are unsure about how best to present your property for sale, just ask. All Estate Agents should be more than happy to offer advice because it will only make their job of achieving you the best price easier.

Spending a weekend preparing your home might not increase the value to that of Monopoly’s Mayfair but it could still make thousands of pounds difference.

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