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Behind the Scenes on a Drone Shoot, with Allen Williams

November 2018 Blog Media Services

Here at PFK, we’re proud to have our very own in-house UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) pilot, Allen Williams, who provides us and others in Cumbria with fabulous media…

Behind the Scenes on a Drone Shoot, with Allen Williams
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Behind the Scenes on a Drone Shoot, with Allen Williams

November 2018 Media Services

Here at PFK, we’re proud to have our very own in-house UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) pilot, Allen Williams, who provides us and others in Cumbria with fabulous media services. We sat down with him the other day and quizzed him on the ins and outs of a drone shoot, and all the other bits in between.

What things do you have to have in place before a drone shoot?

When a job comes in, the first thing to do is online research on the area to make sure it is legal and safe to fly. This involves a lot of searches on Google Images and Google Earth. I then check with the local ATC (Air Traffic Control) and also check if there have been any NOTAMS (Notice To Air Men) issued. These alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.

How do you set up the drone shoot?

The first thing I do is a visual inspection of the drone to make sure there has been no damage in transit. I pay close attention to the delicate parts such as propellers, gimbal (which keeps the camera steady and level) and of course the camera.

Then I power up the drone to make sure all the vitals are working, such as the GPS lock, the IMU (inertial measurement unit) calibration and all the other sensors that aid the drone.

Once everything is fine, my spotter will have one final look around to make sure flight is safe. My spotter is usually the client, but sometimes a colleague will accompany me to a shoot and act as my spotter.

Then I will take off at low level to check all the controls are working as they should. You always remember your first commercial shoot, checking everything three times as the clients watches your every move!

How do you fly the drone?

The main flight controls, which are the yaw (which turns the drone on the spot), left-right, up-down and forward-backwards, are done via a handheld controller. All the other settings are done via an iPad, such as drone camera settings, gimbal settings and flight characteristics.

Sometimes the drone is flying one way and filming in another, so I have two live feeds on my iPad screen. One shows what the recording camera sees, and the other shows which way the drone is flying.

Do you have more than one drone?

Yes, I have two drones – which I have named Harry and Steve! I need two as they are used for different things. Harry, the main one, is better for general aerial photography and videography. Steve is a smaller drone, used for roof surveys as he can get into tight spaces.

How long does a typical drone shoot take?

I spend one to two hours in the office researching the area first. Then I will usually be on site for an hour if the client is just wanting still images, but video footage takes considerably longer. I then spend around one hour editing the images back in the office.

What type of drone shoots do you do?

As a licenced drone pilot, I do all sorts, from property photography, property film, aerial photography. I work alongside an award-winning wedding videographer and also conduct roof surveys for charted surveyors. There are a number of applications that drones can be used for! There is never a common drone shoot, as it can be different from day to day.

What is your favourite thing to shoot?

Weddings are my favourite shoots, as they are usually in stunning locations with breathtaking views, and these really add to the final wedding video I create. I love getting the opportunity to create an aerial film of someone’s special day.

Where is your favourite place to fly the drone?

Definitely anywhere with a view of the lakes! The Lake District is a beautiful place and I love photographing it from the sky.

How did you get into drone work?

From the age of 12 I was building and flying model aircrafts, and as technology evolved and cameras got smaller, I started attaching them to the undercarriage. Then I moved on to building multirotors (drones) which were able to carry larger payloads and were a lot more stable in flight than a traditional model helicopter.

I then started making drone film YouTube videos as a hobby, and started working commercially in 2013.

Do you have any advice for would be drone pilots?

It is an exciting profession to get into. If you enjoy photography and videography then being a UAV pilot is excellent. However, there are a lot of restrictions that the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) impose if you plan on using a drone commercially, which includes a flight exam and a written exam, and there is also a detailed operations manual that each commercial flight has to adhere to. But it’s well worth it!

Are drones safe?

The short answer is yes! If you’re following your operations manual there should be very little that can go wrong. Even in the unlikely event that the drone drops out of the sky, the damage is always limited as we never fly over built-up areas, roads, train lines or large groups of people.

Also, today’s drones are very sophisticated and have lots of built-in failsafes. These include sensors that can detect objects to prevent collisions, dual batteries just in case one fails, a return-to-home feature where, in the event of signal loss, the drone will fly back and land exactly where it took off from!

Check out the Allen Williams Media Services Instagram account @pfkmedia for stunning aerial photography and aerial videography of Cumbria and the Lake District, and exclusive behind the scenes clips.

Meet Ice

November 2018 News Estate Agency

Eden Animal Rescue are based in Newbiggin, near Temple Sowerby, and have been caring for animals since 1995. Each year the number of animals they take in gets higher, and…

Meet Ice
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Meet Ice

November 2018 Estate Agency

Eden Animal Rescue are based in Newbiggin, near Temple Sowerby, and have been caring for animals since 1995. Each year the number of animals they take in gets higher, and their animals need you to help them be able to care for them, and find them new homes. PFK are supporting Eden Animal Rescue in the great work that they do, by funding an animal’s care until they find their new forever home. Nicola Hadfield and Harriet Simpson from PFK have been along to Eden Animal Rescue to catch up with Vicki and Jon who kindly showed them around, and we can introduce to you….

This is Ice, a most gorgeous Saluki Lurcher. He is a ten-month-old male, and has a super nature with people and other dogs.

Ice needs a new home……can you help? Whether renting or buying, PFK can help you find your new home too. Do get in touch for a friendly chat.
Eden Animal Rescue – 01931 716 114 PFK – 01768 862135

First Photo Credit: Jeff Ashton

New Graduate Planner appointed at PFK

October 2018 News Planning

Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s PLC are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Graduate Planner. Naomi Howard joined the company at the beginning of September. Born in Cockermouth,…

New Graduate Planner appointed at PFK
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New Graduate Planner appointed at PFK

October 2018 Planning

Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s PLC are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Graduate Planner. Naomi Howard joined the company at the beginning of September.

Born in Cockermouth, Naomi grew up in Carlisle and studied at the Richard Rose Central Academy. She studied for her BA (Hons) degree in geography at Edge Hill University before going on to the University of Liverpool to do her MCD (Master of Civic Design) degree in Town and Regional Planning. Naomi studied for her Masters part-time, whilst working full-time at Lancashire County Council as a Graduate Planner in both the City Deal Delivery team and the Planning Policy team.

Her interest in planning first started with her Geography degree. She found that she preferred the modules which looked at the human aspects of Geography, and her dissertation involved looking at issues to do with sustainable communities and second homes in the Lake District National Park. This included evaluating the success of local planning policies.

Naomi enjoys travelling to new places and understanding what it is that contributes to the character of a place, and she believes planning is all about creating better and more sustainable environments.

Naomi said, “Joining the Planning team at PFK was a really exciting opportunity for me to gain invaluable experience from two professional planners who have extensive knowledge and experience of both local government and private practice. After finishing my Town and Regional Planning degree, I was ready for a new challenge and to find out which part of the planning profession I am most suited to.”

Outside of work, Naomi loves walking and hiking, particularly in the Lake District and North Pennines. She also really likes to attend dance classes, go to concerts, eat out and spend time with her friends.

PFK Director and Head of Planning, Rachel Lightfoot, commented, “We were really pleased to be able to give a graduate from the local area their first step on the career ladder, especially as Naomi is so eager to learn and start making planning applications as soon as possible. This gives us a great way to expand our successful team and we are very excited to support Naomi in her professional progression”.

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Fortnightly auctions

PFK Auctioneers hold an auction every fortnight, so if you’re a collector, investor or after a bargain, come along and see what’s for sale.

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Fortnightly auctions

Land Auction - Land at Matterdale & Ulcat Row

October 2018 News Land agency

On the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd October 2018, PFK Land Agency were pleased to offer for sale two lots of land: one extending to 31.22 acres of upland grazing…

Land Auction - Land at Matterdale & Ulcat Row
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Land Auction - Land at Matterdale & Ulcat Row

October 2018 Land agency

On the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd October 2018, PFK Land Agency were pleased to offer for sale two lots of land: one extending to 31.22 acres of upland grazing land at Ulcat Row and the other being 19.37 acres of land at Matterdale together with an agricultural building.

The land attracted a pleasing amount of interest from mainly local purchasers and when PFK Auctioneer, Richard Morris, offered the land at Old Parks, after some fairly rapid bidding the land settled at a sale price of £98,000 (£3,139.01/acre).

He then turned his attention to the land at Matterdale and after a slightly hesitant start the land sold for a price of £120,000 (£6,198.35/acre).

The interest in both lots of land lay with local farmers and PFK Land Agency were extremely pleased to see a well attended auction with good results for both vendors in this uncertain agricultural climate we find ourselves in.

PFK currently have a broad range of agricultural properties on the market and would be very pleased to help anyone looking to either buy or sell a property.

 

If you wish to discuss any of the above please speak to Jo Edwards at PFK Land Agency on 01768 866611.

How to get the best from your Estate Agent

July 2018 Blog Estate Agency

It pays to know how to get the best out of your estate agent to maximise your chances of a quick and effective sale, as well as how to choose…

How to get the best from your Estate Agent
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How to get the best from your Estate Agent

July 2018 Estate Agency

It pays to know how to get the best out of your estate agent to maximise your chances of a quick and effective sale, as well as how to choose the right estate agent in the first place. Have a look at our handy tips to make sure you choose the right agent and then get the best from them.

1. Get a few valuations

You will probably have a number of estate agents in your locality, so ask at least three estate agents to come and give you a valuation. The values might be very different and although it is tempting to go with the agent offering the highest valuation, it’s worth double checking that their figures are realistic, as well as taking other aspects into account. You may want to view sold property prices in the area to get an understanding of what prices similar homes have been achieving in your area. There is no point having a property for sale at a price which deters buyers.

2. Choose local

Choose a tried, trusted, long established agency selling property in your area. They know their market inside out; they are aware of the types of properties in an area, the situations of buyers looking for them, the typical values and they have their finger on the pulse of local market conditions which may be completely different to the national picture. They also have an immediate, live register of interested buyers seeking property in the area and they know how to pick up and exploit buying signals. PFK’s seven branches cover an area that stretches along the west coast of Cumbria, covers the Lake District National Park and reaches across to Kirkby Stephen, up to Carlisle and even just across the border into Scotland, and we can share our lists across our branches to find the right buyer for your property.

3. Choose quality

If the agent has been established for a great many years, it is a sure sign that they have been doing something consistently right over that time. PFK has been established since 1876 so we have over 140 years of experience under our belts! It is no good selecting an agent with little experience just because they charge a much lower fee. As with all things, quality often comes at a price and a real estate agent is worth their weight in gold.

4. Test the agent

Before engaging their services, act as a prospective buyer. Assess the mood before you walk in – see if the office looks well organised and professional and each negotiator looks busy and happy, not just leaning back in their chairs looking at their watches! Subtly or mentally make notes of how promptly and enthusiastically you are welcomed, how professionally are you treated and how thorough the questioning is of your requirements and needs. If you leave with a positive list, you can be sure that if you instruct that agent, your buyers will be similarly treated when introduced to your property.

5. Look at their online presence

Aside from the agent’s own website, agents who are listed on Rightmove enjoy two million visitors a month searching for properties, giving sellers the broadest possible buyer base. Since mass use of the internet has come about, there has been a growth in the number of people selling their homes via alternative means to the high street estate agent. Despite this trend, the vast majority of property sales are still handled by professional estate agents – and they make good use of the web as a vital marketing tool.

6. Do they advertise in the local paper?

Rightmove have undertaken some research about their users, and discovered that 70% of people now start their search online – but what about the 30% who don’t? Quality, frequent newspaper advertising is still a key tool when selling a property, as is a physical office with a window to advertise properties alongside a friendly, professional team who can really talk to people and find out their needs.

7. Check your property details and photos

Once you’ve chosen your estate agent and agreed terms, they will draw up property particulars and have photographs taken. They should ask you to check the details and provide a signature to say that they are accurate. Ask to see the photos to check their quality and agree which ones should be used before the agent includes them in the property details.

8. Be ready for viewings

There is much more to selling a property than merely taking a photograph, placing an advertisement in the paper and erecting a ‘For Sale’ board outside. Look for an agent who provides a viewing service and offers you professional, personal advice every step of the way, from the initial valuation all the way through to completion.

Most estate agents will already have potential buyers up their sleeves, so expect viewings pretty quickly. It saves you a lot of hassle if you can let the estate agent have a set of keys so that they can access the property easily, particularly if you’re away from the property most days. It should go without saying that you must leave the house tidy and clean to maximise the chances of a quick and successful sale. Check out our top tips for viewings here http://www.pfk.co.uk/top-tips-for-viewings/

9. Keep an eye on the selling process

Once you have chosen an agent, keep an eye on how they operate to sell your property after being instructed. If things are not right, and get no better when you speak to them about it, you will be able to change agents. A good estate agent should possess all of the following attributes:

  • Communication skills – exceptional English when letter writing, marketing and selling.
  • Tenacity – the ability to deal with sometimes difficult solicitors, surveyors and other professionals.
  • Diplomacy – the ability to tell people bad news but have a solution in place wherever possible.
  • Organisational skills – keeping appointments, making time for clients, corresponding with you effectively.

Good memory to remember all of the above, as well as important titbits of information to help match buyers to properties as quick as possible.

Hopefully, the relationship with your estate agent will be pleasant, professional and friendly. Don’t forget, the estate agent is working for you. You are the client and it’s up to them to fulfil your instructions and help you sell your property.

10. Stay in touch with your agent

Once an offer is made, keep in close contact with your estate agent and make sure that the process is being well managed. Some buyers will ask that the property is taken off the market on acceptance of the offer. PFK will give you advice along the way and check that the purchasers are serious before committing.

11. Get the whole package

There is not just work to be done to find a buyer for your property, but work to be done once a sale has been agreed: keeping all parties informed, progress chasing and managing often tenuous chains. This is often where a truly professional agent comes out on top – and where the online agents often fall down. Look at what an agent offers after a sale has been agreed to distinguish between a quality agent and someone who is merely good at matching buyers to properties.

At PFK, our sales progression service is included in our fee as standard, so you don’t have to chase for updates. Our team will keep both you and the buyer updated on the progress, from the moment the offer is accepted through to exchange of contracts. We as an agent are the pin who holds everything in place for you, so will coordinate mortgage valuations, surveyors, solicitors and so on. If there are any problems, we will liaise with both sides and seek a satisfactory conclusion.

If you are looking to sell or for some advice on any aspect of the selling or buying process, you can contact your local PFK office for a free, no-obligation valuation and expert advice. Get in touch at hello@pfk.co.uk , call your local office or pop in and see us – we’re always happy to meet clients and have a chat about your needs.

Top tips for viewings

July 2018 Blog Estate Agency

It’s an exciting (and often nerve-wracking!) time – someone has booked a viewing on your house and you’re full of hope that they will be the ones to…

Top tips for viewings
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Top tips for viewings

July 2018 Estate Agency

It’s an exciting (and often nerve-wracking!) time – someone has booked a viewing on your house and you’re full of hope that they will be the ones to buy it. It’s completely up to you whether you conduct your own viewings or ask your estate agent to do them. The jury is out on which is the best and if you’re confident enough to do your own it can be great, after all you know your property best and should be able to answer any questions the viewer may have.

On the other hand, estate agents should be well-versed in carrying out viewings and potential buyers may feel more comfortable revealing their thoughts about the property. However, just choose what suits you best. At PFK, we include accompanied viewings in our fee rather than charging extra like so many agents do, just let us know what you prefer and we’ll go from there. If you do decide to do your own viewings, here are our top tips for making sure they go well.

  • Be positive!

Tell your viewers all the great points about your property. Think about what first attracted you to the property when you bought it – chances are it will appeal to your viewers too. Let them know what you enjoy about living there and tell them something about the neighbourhood; are there any outstanding schools, good restaurants or excellent transport links?

  • Be clean and tidy

Make sure your home has been decluttered, the beds are made and your home smells fresh. Have a look at our top ten tips for staging your home to help you out. http://www.pfk.co.uk/top-ten-tips-for-staging-your-home-2/

  • Be prepared

Think about what sort of questions the viewers might ask. Things like how old the boiler is, whether you have you had any work done and which way the garden faces are all common questions, so it’s great to be prepared with the answers.

  • Be pet-free

Ask someone (or bribe a teenager) to take the dogs out and temporarily shut the cats out – there’s no guarantee your viewer will be a pet person. Don’t have bowls of pet food sitting around and make sure the litter tray is clean and put away; there’s nothing more off putting to a buyer than a pet smell. Make sure you also retrieve any dog mess in the garden, your viewers will most likely want to look around the outside of the house and you definitely don’t want them stepping in anything!

  • Be friendly – but not overbearing

Have a chat with your viewers by all means, but try not to hover over them as they walk round. It’s a great opportunity to try and find out a bit more about them and let them know why the house might suit them; if they have school age children let them know about the local schools and if they’re keen gardeners (or the opposite!) let them know more about the garden and why you enjoy it. Don’t worry about finding out what they think, your agent should get detailed feedback the day after the viewing.

  • Be alone

Agree who is going to show the viewers round and then try to get everyone else out of the house. It’s obviously difficult if you have small children but it can be less distracting for viewers if they can look round unimpeded. It’s possible your viewers might feel a bit awkward looking round a teenager’s bedroom if the teenager is in situ, so at the very least make sure everyone is downstairs and corralled into one room.

  • (Don’t) be conscious of the time

Try to let the viewers look round at their own pace. You want them to come away feeling excited at the prospect of living in your house, not with the feeling they have been bundled out of the door in record time and haven’t had a chance to look round. If they’re still round the kitchen table talking to you an hour later then that’s usually a good sign, although at this point you would be forgiven for trying to edge them towards the door at this point!

  • Be on the market with PFK

At PFK we know how important viewings are, which is why they are only ever carried out by knowledgeable sales staff who are well-trained to spot signs that the viewer might be interested in making an offer. We’re happy to work round you – some of our clients like us to do the first viewing and then carry out the second themselves, which can be a great way of approaching it. You might only want us to do viewings if you’re at work, or at the weekend, or on a Friday during changeover on your holiday let. We offer viewings six days a week with totally flexible timings, so we really can offer whatever suits you best.

If you are looking to sell, or want some more information on our accompanied viewings service, you can contact your local PFK office for a free, no-obligation valuation and expert advice. Get in touch at hello@pfk.co.uk, call your local office or pop in and see us – we’re always happy to meet clients and have a chat about your needs.

A guide to quick sale packs

July 2018 Blog Estate Agency

Quick Sale Packs are a fantastic resource for vendors, as it contains the Law Society property information questionnaire which all solicitors should accept, as well as a title plan and…

A guide to quick sale packs
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A guide to quick sale packs

July 2018 Estate Agency

Quick Sale Packs are a fantastic resource for vendors, as it contains the Law Society property information questionnaire which all solicitors should accept, as well as a title plan and lease information if applicable. The advantage to the vendor is that it can take up to two weeks off the conveyancing process and also highlights any potential time-consuming issues such as unregistered land, meaning this can be sorted before a sale is agreed and held up for weeks.

It is always beneficial to get some of the initial paperwork done before the offers come in. Your solicitor can then start tackling some of the administration and things will move faster when you do accept an offer, and it will be one less thing you have to do. Your property will also be more appealing to buyers if they know that you have already prepared your documents for the sale – they can also get a quick purchase.

You will need to fill in initial forms for your solicitor and provide identification for everyone who owns the property. At PFK we offer a quick sale pack for a small additional fee. It’s a great addition to your sales particulars and shows buyers you are committed to a speedy sale, as well as providing them with information about the boundary and any lease information. It includes:

  • Property information form
  • Fixtures and fittings form
  • Title deed from Land Registry
  • Plan from Land Registry
  • Lease and leasehold supplement form (for leasehold properties)

You will need to bring together other paperwork too, such as planning consents and certificates for structural building work completed, so get these ready as soon as you can.

It can also be cost effective to get your quick sale pack from us. When selling your home, it is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property. An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs and recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money. The EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.

If you do not have an existing EPC, you must order one before you market your property – you can be fined if you don’t get an EPC when you need one. You can order one through us and you can also order a floor plan which will be done at the same time – these are invaluable when selling your home. Check out our previous blog post: http://www.pfk.co.uk/why-have-a-floorplan/

If you order a quick sale pack at the same time as your EPC and floor plan, we can offer you a significant saving on the three together.

If you are looking to sell, or want some more information on our Quick Sale packs, you can contact your local PFK office for a free, no-obligation valuation and expert advice. Get in touch at hello@pfk.co.uk, call your local office or pop in and see us – we’re always happy to meet clients and have a chat about your needs.

Why have a floorplan?

July 2018 Blog Estate Agency

Floorplans are a relatively new addition to property details, but they have proved to be invaluable when selling a property. Rightmove research suggests that floorplans are one of the most…

Why have a floorplan?
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Why have a floorplan?

July 2018 Estate Agency

Floorplans are a relatively new addition to property details, but they have proved to be invaluable when selling a property. Rightmove research suggests that floorplans are one of the most important aspects of property presentation to buyers and the absence of a floor plan is a barrier. Buyers want to see the room layout, to see where rooms fit in relation to other rooms and to understand the flow of the property. A floorplan is undoubtedly the best way to gather this information.

  • Over a third of buyers said that they were less likely to enquire about a property without a floorplan.
  • 1 in 5 buyers said they would ignore a property listing completely if there is no floorplan, and they would only re-visit it if there was nothing else that caught their eye.
  • 1 in 10 buyers said that they would never arrange view a property if they had not seen a floorplan first, and many more said that they would be less likely to arrange a viewing if there is no floorplan.

The survey also showed that other than the number of images a property has, a floorplan is most important when looking for property. Photos can be deceptive; a floorplan is more definitive. At PFK we are able to arrange a floor plan of your property to be drawn up when we start marketing.

There are three important elements to a floorplan:

  • Too many floorplans often have the measurements missing, or they are only included in the written description where they lack context. The right place for room dimensions is in the floorplan, so that a buyer can see all the relevant information in the same place.
  • Compass marker. This is essential so a buyer can tell which way the front of the house and more importantly, the garden, faces.
  • Overall square footage. This allows the house to be compared with other properties, so that a buyer can instantly see how much house they’re getting for their money.

There are three main reasons why a floor plan is so important:

  • It helps a buyer see how the house works, and therefore whether it is worth a viewing. A buyer, especially family buyers, won’t want to waste time by viewing properties which just aren’t suitable for their needs.
  • A floorplan can help a buyer to visualise the property after the viewing. This can become useful when they may be considering making layout changes, perhaps knocking down a wall or installing an en-suite, and a floorplan is vital for this kind of thought processing.
  • Floorplans can make a house seem larger. It’s very easy when you’ve viewed a house to forget rooms or overlook a part of the house altogether. This is especially true of box rooms or areas that aren’t being fully utilised, like storage rooms. By showing the house in its entirety on a floorplan, it can even add perceived value.

Make sure you have a floorplan on your brochure, and preferably available as a separate image on the online property portals. Ensure it is clear and informative, and that it includes the total floor area. Your buyer will thank you for it.

If you are looking to sell or for some more advice on the floor plans we can arrange for you, you can contact your local PFK office for a free, no-obligation valuation and expert advice. Get in touch at hello@pfk.co.uk, call your local office or pop in and see us – we’re always happy to meet clients and have a chat about your needs.

How to quickly sell your home

June 2018 Blog Estate Agency

Selling your house can often seem an overwhelming prospect, let alone selling it quickly. At PFK we deal with a lot of clients who need to move quickly, however we…

How to quickly sell your home
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How to quickly sell your home

June 2018 Estate Agency

Selling your house can often seem an overwhelming prospect, let alone selling it quickly. At PFK we deal with a lot of clients who need to move quickly, however we do understand not everyone is in a hurry – that’s why we take the time to build a bespoke marketing package that’s right for your property and your budget. We’ve shared our top tips for a quick sale below.

  • Choose the best time to sell

Look at what is happening in your local housing market. Ideally, you want to sell while buyer demand is high, as this generally means there are lots of motivated purchasers in the marketplace. It’s a good idea to be informed of what is happening in your local area – is there anything planned which might boost your chances of selling? New transport links, outstanding schools and super-fast broadband can all improve selling prospects and possibly increase your asking price.

  • Agree an accurate house price

One of the most important things when it comes to selling quickly is to price your home accurately. You need to agree an asking price that will appeal to buyers in the current housing market and this is where local estate agents really provide value for money. Local agents will know the market inside out and be able to tell you where to pitch your price. The best agents don’t just give you a price and walk away. They work with you throughout the whole sale, giving you the advice you need to make informed decisions.

  • Find a good estate agent

A good estate agent will be invaluable in securing you a swift sale. At PFK, we know that selling a property takes effort, knowledge of the neighbourhood and negotiating skills, and our teams put this into practise in everything we do.

We will showcase your home as widely as possible by listing it on property portals like Rightmove as well as our own website, and we also advertise in newspapers and on the high street to capture the 30% of buyers who do not use the internet to look for properties. However, also remember that word of mouth can be very powerful so tell your friends, family and neighbours that your home is up for sale and share the online listing on your social media pages.

  • Instruct a solicitor early

We advise that you choose a solicitor and get started on your initial paperwork as soon as you can – you don’t want to delay things once an offer has been accepted. Your property will also be more appealing to buyers if they know that you have already prepared your documents for the sale – they can also get a quick purchase. You’ll need guarantees for things like double glazing and details of any work you have carried out. At PFK, we offer a quick sale pack which can shave up to two weeks off the conveyancing process, a valuable amount of time if you’re wanting to move quickly.

  • Prepare your house for sale

First impressions really do count so make sure you take the time to prepare your home for sale. Look at our previous blog post http://www.pfk.co.uk/ten-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-selling/

  • Make the most of viewings

At PFK we will conduct your viewings for you if you would like us to – we don’t charge any additional fees for accompanied viewings, they come as standard with all our packages. Our sales teams have years of knowledge and are well practised in showing potential buyers around, and we can also deal with any awkward questions!

Before one of our team does a viewing for you, you can do a final sweep of the house.

  • If you have a parking space, try to leave it free for the buyer. You want to make your property as welcoming as possible.
  • Put the heating on if it’s cold or open up the windows if it’s a warm, sunny day.
  • Empty bins and air the rooms of any unpleasant odours. Try adding fresh flowers or plants throughout the house. 
  • Choose a swift buyer

When you receive an offer, find out about the buyer. This is essential information if you want to move quickly – if your buyer is in a long chain or hasn’t got their finances in place it is unlikely they will be able to progress quickly to exchange of contracts.

  • Accept the best offer

Once you have accepted the best offer on the table, you are close to securing a sale. You do not want your potential buyer to be distracted by other opportunities so keep in regular contact with your solicitor and estate agent to ensure the buyer is still committed to the deal. At PFK, we offer a sales progression service that is included in our fee as standard, so you don’t have to chase for updates. Our team will keep both you and the buyer updated on the progress, from the moment the offer is accepted through to exchange of contracts.

If you are looking to sell (whether you need to sell quickly or not!) you can contact your local PFK office for a free, no-obligation valuation and expert advice. Get in touch at hello@pfk.co.uk , call your local office or pop in and see us – we’re always happy to meet clients and have a chat about your needs.

Ten ways to prepare your house for a summer sale

May 2018 Blog Estate Agency

Summer is the perfect time to sell – gardens are in bloom, buyers are more motivated and the sun is more likely to be shining down on your property. Check out…

Ten ways to prepare your house for a summer sale
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Ten ways to prepare your house for a summer sale

May 2018 Estate Agency

Summer is the perfect time to sell – gardens are in bloom, buyers are more motivated and the sun is more likely to be shining down on your property. Check out our handy tips for making sure your house is ready to sell this summer.

1. Stand outside your home and compare it to your neighbours’ properties. If you do this and it makes you feel slightly embarrassed, it’s likely that you’ve already failed to impress your potential buyers. Your home needs to have kerb appeal as first impressions really do count.

2. Ensure the lawn is cut regularly and free of weeds, and keep any hedges trimmed neatly.

3. Check borders and flowerbeds for any weeds. It could also be worth a trip to the local garden centre for some brightly coloured flowers to plant in beds, pots or hanging baskets to catch a buyer’s eye, but don’t overdo it!

4. Clean any paved or decked areas. Even if they look alright, it is amazing how much better they will look after being cleaned. If you don’t have a pressure washer, it is worth borrowing one from a friend or hiring one, as they are perfect for this job. Also fix any paving slabs that are uneven or wobbly and remove any weeds that are growing through the cracks.

5. Make sure the gutters are clean and look in good condition.

6. Ensure window frames are also in good condition. Windows are a tell for the condition of the house in general and buyers often pay close attention to window frames for this reason. Don’t forget to clean the windows inside and out and polish them to give them an extra shine.

7. Get rid of any unnecessary clutter outside such as children’s toys, your dog’s favourite ball, bikes, gardening tools and supplies and empty plant pots. Also make sure things like bins, compost containers and pet food bowls are stored where they cannot be seen or, more importantly, smelled!

8. If any woodwork such as fences, benches, sheds or summer houses are looking a bit tired, give them a new lease of life with a coat of wood treatment.

9. Prune any trees or vines that are casting shadows inside the house to make the inside look as bright as possible.

10. Lastly, ensure the house name or number is clearly visible and is in good condition so potential buyers can find your house easily.

If you’re thinking of selling this summer, PFK are happy to help. For a free, no-obligation market appraisal, call your local office, email or drop in and see us. Don’t forget, if you instruct us to sell your property before the end of May you will be entered into our ‘Sell Your Home for Free’ competition (for terms and conditions please see: http://www.pfk.co.uk/sell-home-free/)

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