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how coronavirus has changed london homebuyers' priorities

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Published: 16/06/2020   Last Updated: 16/06/2020 14:53:36   Tags: Property, London Property, Estate Agent, For Sale, To Rent

Life has a funny way of showing us what’s important, and the coronavirus pandemic and recent research has shown that homebuyers’ priorities have certainly shifted in London. Your home will have been a crucial factor in determining your experience of this crisis; it’s not only been your home, but possibly your place of work, and your playground.  You may have fallen completely in love with your home all over again and decided to give it a makeover whilst you’ve been in confined.  Or its flaws may have grown so big in your eyes that they can no longer be ignored and you are screaming inside to find a new home.  But just how has coronavirus changed homebuyers’ priorities?


Change in the top 5

According to Rightmove, the top five types of property searched for by buyers has changed over the last few months, with houses and bungalows becoming the most sought after.   As early as January, two and three-bedroom flats were included in this list but, when analysed in May, this had changed. The top five most searched for property types has now shifted, with flats being replaced by four and six-bedroom houses.  At Harding Green we anticipated that a lack of outdoor space could be turn off for buyers, after gardens have become a sanctuary for many over the last few months.

Space has always been something that most buyers crave, especially if they have a growing family, so it’s no surprise that searches for homes with gardens had increased by 42% in May from last years’ figures.  We expect the weather has also played a part in increasing our desire for a garden; whether you are looking for a space that is maintenance-free or a landscaped paradise, being able to enjoy the sunshine and relax has been a blessing for our mental wellbeing.

The new workplace

Not everyone has been able to work from home, but for those who have, many are wishing to make this more permanent, whether it’s a couple of days a week or full-time.  We have already seen the requests for space for a home office in London increase dramatically, and we expect this to continue to rise in the coming months.  Employers have found that people have been more productive working from home, even with the pressures of home schooling and self-isolation.  As such, businesses are rethinking how they operate in the long run, Twitter recently announced that should an employee wish to continue working from home, they can do so forever!


To meet this most essential need, buyers will be looking for homes that have superfast broadband and strong mobile signal to ensure communications can continue without issue.   Those buyers wanting a home with a home office will be seeking a property with a designated space, whether this is a spare room or a purpose-built or transformed garden building.  Offices in the garden are highly desirable as they give distinct separation from work and home life; not only that, being able to look out over the garden can make you more productive.

If you’re looking to sell your home in London, it’s worth seeing where you can create a private workspace before placing it on the market.  Maybe you have a box room that could be easily presented as a tranquil place to work, or you could already have an office but a quick lick of paint might transform it into the kind of home office a buyer cannot resist.  


Yet to come

At Harding Green we have been frantically busy with people looking to move into and around London.  You can be assured that the buyers out there are serious, so it’s in your interests to do everything you can to attract to today’s buyers, from enhancing your outside space to offering them a place to work.   If you would like advice on how you could increase the appeal of your home before you place it on the market, please contact a member of our team on 0203 375 1970.

Four accidental ways you could be turning off buyers in London

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Published: 29/05/2020   Last Updated: 29/05/2020 18:02:18   Tags: Property, London Property, Estate Agent, For Sale, To Rent

It’s only been a matter of days since the government released guidance to enable the property industry to reopen; since then, we have seen a surge in people wishing to sell or buy a property within London.  If you’re selling a property we’re sure you want to do everything you can to attract potential buyers, from staging your home for sale, to choosing the right estate agent who can put a powerful marketing strategy together to attract buyers and offers. Yet it could be something very simple and small that you may not have even considered that is having a negative effect, so we hope you will avoid these four accidental ways you could be turning off buyers.

1. Buyer’s vision

In today’s market buyers are looking for a home they can walk into; they are savvy and know what they want and need, but also what to look out for.  When selling your home, never assume that a potential buyer will be able to see past your clutter – a disorganised room can feel smaller than it really is, but chaos doesn’t translate to a comfortable environment and buyers may find it difficult to connect with your home.


Not all buyers have the vision that will enable them to see the potential your home has, which is why preparing your home for sale is so important.  We often hear sellers state that ‘buyers will see past it’, whether referring to the presentation of the home or garden, or rooms that have no purpose.   Buyers may talk about changes they wish to make, but more often than not these will be long-term aspirations rather than immediate plans.

Your property may have flaws that have blended into the background in your eyes, but be warned, buyers will be like hawks and any blemish will be screaming at them, leaving them unimpressed.  Small issues can start a case of Chinese whispers, and instead of the minor repairs needed potential buyers can leave believing that major works and a great financial investment will be required to make your house their home.

2. Smellavision

When someone is viewing your property you don’t want them pondering what you had for dinner last night due to a particular aroma in the air.  Smells can have a ‘Marmite effect’ – some scents, such as freshly baked bread, can have them wondering when they can move in, whereas others are so distracting that buyers may not be able to focus when viewing your home.


Food is not the only smell that can trigger a negative reaction, the same is often true for artificial scents such as plugins.  These can be very strong and distinctive, when what you need are subtle aromas from nature, such as lavender, lemons and fresh flowers – these will also add a spot of colour to each room.

3. Ignore the whole picture

When selling your property in London you may focus your attention on ensuring the interior is looking the best it can, but have you considered every inch of your home?  From your garden, to the front exterior of your property, to the garage and shed, when a buyer is looking to purchase your home they are evaluating every aspect of it.  A shoddy shed signals to buyers that work or repairs are required; a messy garage doesn’t spark excitement, and a tired garden will not help them to visualise their summer BBQs.



4. Emotional pull

You may have decided, pre-lockdown, that it was time to move, but after spending so much time at home you have remembered why you fell in love with your property and are having second thoughts.  Lockdown could have been the reason you decided to list your property, or there could be a million reasons to move but you’re finding it an emotional experience.  

If you are finding that you’re having trouble saying goodbye to your home, it may be time to pause for a while until you are ready.  When you try and sell with an emotional attachment you can make decisions that are not in the best interests of the sale – in fact, without knowing it, you can sabotage any potential offers and put off buyers.

How kerb appeal could aid a post-lockdown sale in London

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Published: 11/05/2020   Last Updated: 11/05/2020 16:21:14   Tags: Home, For Sale, Estate Agents, Property, London Property

The restrictions are starting to lift and although it will take a long time before things resemble what they were, there are trickling signs of life returning.  Not everyone has had the desire to continue with their plans to move, and others’ decision to find a new home in London could be a recent one.  But before you race to get your home up there on the big wide web, take some time to consider if it’s ready for sale, and how your home looks from the street should never be neglected. How can your home’s kerb appeal aid a post-lockdown sale?

Make an impression

We all know first impressions count – you want buyers longing to see what your home has to offer, from the outside in.  With many of us taking to the streets on our daily walks, we may be noticing more about what surrounds us than ever before, as we are not distracted by the hustle and bustle of life.  Architecture is adored, colours and planting are admired, and presentation envied.   Not all future buyers are actively looking, but that doesn’t mean that if your home makes an impression it won’t be desired and remembered.  Your home will no longer be just one on the street in London, one that potential buyers pass by without a glance, the right kerb appeal will ensure it stands out and is never ignored again.


Present to sell

Since you made the decision to sell your home you will have no doubt been working hard to declutter, clean and organise your property’s interior.  Just as you have devoted your attention to the inside you must now put in the same work sprucing up the outside.  Begin with undertaking any repairs that you have been neglecting and tidy up your plants, shrubs and any lawn areas, so they are looking well cared for.   It’s only natural for paving to start to look tired over time, so grab that power-washer or call in the professionals, as this can make a massive difference.  It may seem obvious but clean all your windows and, if needed, give window sills a fresh coat of paint, as well as touching up any other paint work.  

 

Focus on the point

The focal point to any home is the front door; from its condition, to its colour, to whether it’s well lit, no detail will go unnoticed.  Colour psychology can also play a part in how buyers perceive the property, so what does your front door say about you and your home?  According to the Pantone Colour Institute, a black front door signifies elegance, power and prestige, whereas white is often chosen by those who prefer a minimalist look due to it being crisp and pristine.   Grey is timeless and less likely to go out of fashion, while a red door commands attention and is more likely to be chosen by individuals who are engaging and dynamic.  Whatever colour you choose, ensure it complements the architectural style of your property.

The devil is in the detail

One frustration for buyers is when a house number is not clearly visible, so if you don’t have one or it’s seen better days, an effective and subtle way to update the front of your home is to add bold numbers that can be clearly seen from the street.  At Harding Green we would also advise that these and any hardware, such as the letter box, handles and knockers, should mirror the style of your home’s interior, as this will give your buyers a taste of what to expect.



Power in planting

Colour creates impact, adds warmth and a bright welcome, whether that’s through flowers bursting from flower beds and window boxes or evergreen shrubs in planters.  No matter what space you have at the front of your property, you can easily transform it with an injection of blooms. You can create a touch of elegance using symmetrical planters on either side of your front door, and aromatic herbs such as lavender and rosemary will provide beautiful scents that will add to your buyers’ viewing experience.  


Time is of the essence

Whilst the pace of life is slower, and before the majority of us return to work, don’t miss the opportunity to ensure that your home’s kerb appeal makes a lasting first impression.   Serious buyers are already out there, enquiries have started to rise and we expect this to continue as restrictions are lifted.  Time is of the essence, as your kerb appeal could aid a post-lockdown sale.  If you’d like advice on how to maximise your London home’s potential, call our team at Harding Green on 0203 375 1970.

7 home resolutions to follow if selling in Kensington in 2020

Published: 20/12/2019   Last Updated: 20/02/2020 11:49:17   Tags: For Sale, Estate Agents, Kensington, London, London Property


As we face the last days of the ‘teens’ and look forward to what the ‘20s may bring, you may start making some big decisions about your future.  You may have aspirations for a new job, a desire to tick off some destinations from your travel wish list, or your thoughts may have drifted to a new home.   With Rightmove recently predicting a rise in property prices over the months ahead, due to a new degree of certainty brought by the election of a majority government, could it be the perfect time to find a new home?  

At Harding Green, we know the local property market inside out, and we know how to make your home outshine the rest.  There are many ways you can aid the sale of your home that go beyond a deep clean and tidy.  If you’re thinking of selling in Kensington in 2020, here are 7 home resolutions to follow.

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1. Focus on first impressions

There are many ways that a potential buyer can discover your home is for sale, but no matter whether they have seen it online, when passing, or through word of mouth, first impressions count.  How your home looks from the pavement can have a big bearing on decisions with regards to viewings.  You want buyers to fall for your property from the outside in; improving your home’s kerb appeal will make buyers eager to open that door and see what awaits them inside.  

2. Don’t be blinkered

One of the biggest and easiest mistakes people make when selling their home is to be blinkered over the condition.  It’s natural for homes to become tired over time, and it’s nothing that a lick of paint can’t sort out.  But make sure you freshen up the walls with a neutral shade – at Harding Green we would advise that you tone down any bold or distinctive décor, to allow potential buyers to visualise how they can make your property their home.

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3. Make it light

Nothing makes a home feel welcoming like light, so throughout your home think about creating a balanced environment of warmth and light.  Ensure that the curtains and blinds in every room or hallway are open and the spaces are well lit. Natural light is preferred to artificial, so use clever positioning of mirrors and open doors to let it flood in.  Think about the temperature outside so that you can adjust the temperature inside – you want it to be comfortable, so your prospective buyers don’t feel rushed on the viewing as they feel too cold.

4. It’s all about the senses

When preparing a home for sale, most people forget that selling is a sensory experience. You should be tempting potential buyers not just through sight, but also with smell, sound, taste and touch.   Natural smells are subtle and less off-putting – lavender plants, citrus fruits and other aromas will be a welcome addition.  Watch out for odours, especially if you have pets or smoke, as they can be extremely off-putting for many. Tactile accessories, such as throws and cushions, also add a luxurious feel.

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5. Be organised

A disorganised home is not an attractive one, and don’t presume buyers will be able to see past your clutter to discover the beauty beneath.  Clutter makes a room feel smaller, and when selling your home you want rooms to feel as big as possible. Space allows buyers to start to think about where they would place their furniture – the more they start to visualise, the more they are mentally making your property their home.  It isn’t just rooms that need to be organised; potential buyers will naturally open doors and cupboards during a viewing, and even fridges and dishwashers, what they find will leave an impression and inform how your home is perceived.

6. Get it fixed

If we’re honest, we all have little repairs that we may have been putting off, but remember that buyers notice every little detail.  Seeing a home that looks well loved and cared for is extremely reassuring for potential buyers and could even be the deciding factor on whether to make an offer.  So make DIY a priority and take a look around each room with a critical eye to check that you’ve not missed anything.

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7. Keep the focus on them

One of the main ways buyers can decide if your house is for them is when they start to see themselves in your home.  If your property is filled with family photographs and personal items, buyers can find this tricky, which is why we would always recommend you look to depersonalise your home in some way for viewings.

Should moving home be part of your 2020 plans, then you need to make sure that these seven resolutions are the top of your New Year’s to-do list.  What resolutions will you be making this year?  If you would like more advice on buying or selling in Kensington, please call our team on 0203 957 4137.

6 reasons why you should keep your property on the market this winter

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Published: 25/11/2019   Last Updated: 20/02/2020 11:18:21   Tags: Property, London Property, Kensington, RBKC, Property Market

Christmas is hitting us at warp speed, and with all the wonderful festivities filling your diary you might start to ponder whether now is a good time to sell your home.  You could be thinking of withdrawing it from the market or holding off listing it until the new year when things are a little calmer.  After all, we are all up to our eyes with shopping, cooking and decorating, who needs buyers viewing your home to add to the mix?  But this time of year is actually ideal for selling – here are six reasons why you should keep your property on the market this winter.

1. Less competition

Just as you have been pondering whether to sell, so have many others, but the number of properties on the market in Kensington can reduce this time of year.  This means that your home has less competition and potential buyers are more likely to come across your home and decide to view.   As New Year hits, many people decide to sell and the market becomes busy and your home could be lost in the crowd.   At Harding Green we believe your home was born to stand out, and our marketing will make sure that your house is the perfect present.

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2. Most magical time of the year

Let’s face it, your house will look and smell magical at this time of year.  The trees and festive greenery, the smell of cinnamon and other seasonal scents filling the air, the fire roaring and the exterior lights give your home the most amazing welcome to all those who visit.  This is the season where we get nostalgic about family and memories, and our homes are where many of those memories we hold close can be found.   If a buyer gets that sense of ‘family’ and togetherness as they walk from room to room, they will also know that they are home.

3. They are serious

For buyers to give up their precious time during the busy weeks ahead, you know that they have to be serious.  People looking for a property at this time of year could have been looking for a while and just not found the one.  Time may not be on their side and they need a new home due to a change in circumstances.   Whatever the reason they’re looking to buy, one thing is certain: these buyers will not mess about. They’re committed to buying, and we just have to show them that your Kensington home is the one they’ve been waiting for.

4. Family time

We often find families who are looking to relocate to the area prefer to have viewings during the school holidays.  Term times can be frantic with clubs and activities, and many families believe that when buying their next home, it’s a family decision.  Undertaking their search in school holidays takes some of the stress away, but also ensures that the home they choose is one that the whole family have fallen in love with.

5. You want to move


People often forget that the main reason people put their home on the market is because they want to move.  You may be looking for a larger home, one in a different location, or simply fancy something different, but unless things have changed, what you ultimately want is a new home and adventure.  Taking your home off the market is only delaying things – just remember why you decided to sell in the first place.

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6. Stop the niggles

In life, when we love something, we care for and nurture it. When our feelings start to fade, so too can our commitment.  When you made the decision to sell you may have done all those jobs that needed doing to get it in the best shape for the market.  Should you take it off now and other maintenance things arise, would you love and nurture your home back to health, or simply ignore the flaws because you’re leaving anyway?  These flaws can cause niggles in the minds of a buyer, continuing to drive forward will stop those niggles because you will be committed to doing everything you can to get your home sold.

This is a great time of year to sell your home in Kensington, so if you’re thinking of moving in 2020, come and talk to our sales team on 0203 375 1970.

Upstaging the Joneses

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Published: 07/10/2019   Last Updated: 07/10/2019 10:12:29   Tags: Home, Selling, For Sale, Estate Agents, London Property

How to sell your home at the same time as your neighbours

You’ve been thinking about selling your home for some time and, just as you’re about to call the estate agent, you notice a ‘For Sale’ sign appear next door.  You knew there would be competition locally with similar properties in the area, but your neighbours!  Before you start to re-think your decision to sell, let us give you some handy tips on how to upstage the Joneses and make your property the star of the street in Kensington.

Preparation is key

Many people think about selling their home and get an estate agent in without putting in the work first.  An estate agent will give you a valuation based on the current condition of your property, and although a quick clean and tidy will help, you could be missing a big trick.  When you’re selling your home you have to try and emotionally detach yourself from your personal feelings about your property, and start to see it as a house for sale.


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When you’re in love with something you can forgive a flaw or two, but flaws don’t attract buyers and they certainly don’t attract strong offers.  You need to be able to see the flaws so you can correct them.   It takes time and energy and, yes, a few pennies to prepare your home for sale, but when you put the work in the results will speak for themselves. Fresh décor makes a home look loved and cared for. Well-maintained fencing and thoughtful planting can turn even the smallest of outside spaces into a haven to relax.  No matter how you have lived in your home, you have to think about what buyers will be looking for and transform your home to win them over.

Instagrammable

Image counts. We all make assumptions on first appearances, whether we intend to or not.  As a buyer is swiping through the properties on Rightmove or Zoopla, what will make them click on yours?  What will make a buyer passing by your house stop and do a double take when they see the sign outside your door?  Regardless of what your home offers, you need to make it Instagrammable to grab their attention and make them want to see more.

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Recent research by Aspect found that the Instagram appeal even extends to the type of work we are seeking to have undertaken on our home.  Although people have always wanted to keep up with the Joneses, it seems our inspiration is now found online and on social media. As we know, tricks can be used online to enhance the appearance of a property, but you can’t hide the reality when it comes to a viewing.  This is why it’s important to take inspiration from Instagram, should you wish, but ensure that your home stands out for the important reasons.

Attention to detail

You must sweat the small stuff when selling your home, as it can often be those wonderful little details that give buyers butterflies.  Fixing, painting, decluttering, tidying and deep-cleaning inside and out is the least you should be doing; where many sellers go wrong is that they create a space that is sterile and without personality.

A house is just a house; it’s a family that makes it a home, and although you need to downplay your personal touches, you should never take away the warmth.  How can this be achieved? Think about when you go around a show home or see celebrity homes in magazines; they are clean, tidy and clutter-free, but on the whole,  they have a welcoming and ‘homely’ feel about them.  There are vases of fresh flowers, a cafetière or tea pot and cups carefully placed in the kitchen, a throw beautifully placed on the bed, and a creative eye when it comes to adding accessories.  

Create a home

No matter how you prepare your property for sale, always remember to keep the heart of it on show.  If you put in the work, make it stand out as Instagrammable and always have a keen eye for detail. Then, when your home is placed on the market in Kensington you will have created a home that outshines the rest.

If you’re struggling to see how to upstage your home, contact our sales team today on 0203 375 1970.
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