Choosing an estate agent to sell our home was a tough one! We had 3 market appraisals with estate agents. I recently wrote about my fears for selling our home which you can read about here.
I'm in Bromley (BR1) which seems to have an abundance of estate agents!
The first one was with a Bromley (Market Square) based agent who I'd been speaking to on and off for about a year because we almost put our house on the market a year ago and started looking to see what was around. I'd felt the agent had always advised me honestly and that she'd kept notes on things we had spoken about.
I also liked their sales style, there would be an open day on a Saturday where there would be one viewing at a time but all would take place on the same day - there wouldn't be more than one viewing in the house at the same time. People who were interested would then be invited to submit their very best offer on the following Monday. This would mean people would have had time to consider their offer, everyone would have had a chance to offer, there wouldn't be any biding wars and as the sellers - we would be able to consider all offers at the same time.
I liked this as it's how I'd like to be treated as a buyer - I personally don't like aggressive, high pressure and bidding wars situations!
The second agent was one which is predominant in our current area (Grove Park, Downham/Bromley border, Sundridge park) and I was keen to see what they would suggest seen as they have a firm grip on our local area.
They valued higher than the first agent but seemed to go for the more aggressive route - there would be two viewings done at the same time on an open day and there would be a queue outside of several viewings booked tight together to create a "buzz" - offers would be encouraged straight away and bidding wars would be an ideal situation for us to achieve a high price. The fees for this agent were really high.
Whilst that's great for a seller, I wouldn't want to be treated like that as a buyer.
The third estate agent was a Bromley South one which has a strong presence in the area we want to move to. They were similar to the first, in respect of open days being managed in a similar way but also a bit like the second one, they have a reputation for being aggressive. I liked the agent who came out to see me and she also vaulued the property higher than the first agent. The fees were similar to the first agent.
All three agents commented on how lovely our home was, that the hard work we've put in was great and it was beautifully presented.
I had a preference for the first agent, purely based on having spoken with that agent for so long already but I also liked the third agent too - the second one was too aggressive for my taste but husband thought this could work better to our advantage as sellers but the choice really came down to me this time as hubby works long hours it would be me talking with the agent most. The fees didn't come into the decision because I'd already ruled out the most expensive agent and the difference between the other two was small.
There was really only one thing for it, I had trust with the first agent so I would have a face to face chat with her and then make my final decision - I had my husband sign both contracts and headed out the door with a bag full of paperwork and passports!
The first agent had been expecting my call that morning anyway so I built myself up for the moment, I considered what I wanted to say, gage and gain and steadied my nerves - I'm not good in these sort of situations and I've never sold a house before! - to think, back when I had a different career - I used to present to boardrooms!
I walked into the office, only for the agent to be out! I hadn't prepared for that scenario ha ha - so off I went for a coffee (any excuse for a Starbucks! Bromley has 3 of them!) and waited! I didn't have to wait long for the estate agent to return so I went in and had a chat. Apart from just feeling comfortable with the agent and believing in her confidence and ability - she did point out something I hasn't considered - the other agent tied you in to a 12 week contract and any agent with any confidence in selling your property shouldn't need 3 months to do it should they?
That was that, decision made, papers signed - my agent filled in a 0 week period because she's confident in what she's doing.
The next day we had photos taken and we were supposed to go online on the Friday but there was a computer glitch which delayed the online listing slightly - enough to make me panic (only because my background is online marketing!) but the agent reasured me and pointed out that they had already started contacting their database and had interest and viewings booked in.
The opening day was 10 days after signing the paperwork which is about the norm!
My tips for choosing an Estate Agent are:
• Get at least 3 valuations.
• Check your fees - although if your talking small differences, this shouldn't be your deciding factor.
• If you actually like the agent, you're going to be speaking regularly and they are going to be representing your home to buyers.
• If they seem confident and honest.
• If you personally like the way they treat both sellers and buyers.
• How long you are tied into the contract for. The more confident the agent, the shorter this will be.
• If the agent fees are on the valuation price or the final selling price.Between 1 and 1.5% of the final selling fee seems to be the norm.
• You shouldn't be paying extra for marketing, it's in the agents interest to market and sell your property for their fee. Make sure you will be listed on zoopla and rightmove etc
• It's worth considering if the agent is dominant in the area you want to move to aswell as your current location, They might be able to help you find your new home!
Did I make the right choice? That remains to be seen! Selling your home - especially in a London Borough like Bromley can be hard - it's an emotional rollercoaster!
I'll be writing about the open day and the next stages very soon!
I was very excited to recieve the Joules Parade tweed blazer to review - it's become my most favourite item of clothing - I love it! see more of the tweed jacket collection from Joules
The wool tweed is perfect for our current spring weather - particularly on the morning school walk!
I've never had an item of clothing attract as many compliments from strangers as this one does!
I love the colours in the tweed - I love the green and brown hues with the brighter pink hint and it's so soft and warm!
The smooth satin lining is a wonderful touch with its horse print.
I absolutely love the curve hem line and the cord collar, the jacket is a lovely fit with it's vented back and fitted waist.
But I especially love the delicate touch of miss match buttons on the cuffs! One has a mounted horse and one has a fox head.
I love Joules, there are always lovely little details to be found and quality is always paramount, I'm a fan of the equestrian detailing and love the current tweed collection - perfect for our spring weather!
RLSB is to launch its fifth Parent and Toddler group this spring, allowing even more families in London to access the service.
Opening in Penge, in the London Borough of Bromley, this is the latest step in our expansion of the Early Years services, which provide specialised support for parents and vision impaired toddlers based in London and the South East.
Sue Rivett RLSB’s service development manager said: “We aim wherever possible to make our services available to families, in or near their own communities.”
The group offers informal sessions that allow parents and families to meet and share personal experiences, while toddlers enjoy structured play sessions.
The sessions are designed to increase:
• Knowledge and understanding of the world
• Communication and social skills
• Ease of movement and mobility
• Confidence and creativity
The Penge Parent and Toddler Group will be held every Wednesday from 12:30 at Community Vision, Woodbine Grove, Penge, SE20 8UX.
“The location we’ve chosen is a popular, well-equipped Children’s Centre with good transport links and parking nearby, as well as giving great access for families in the boroughs of Bromley, Croydon and Lambeth,” Sue added.
On Monday, across Rwanda, thousands gathered in stadiums, churches and community centers to take part in Kwibuka - Remembrance. 20 years ago marked the start of 100 of the darkest days in human history. 1 million people were killed in the Rwandan Genocide. Show that you stand with the survivors and will not let the million lost be forgotten by sharing this candle on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog.
This week we ask that you join us in simply standing with the people of Rwanda and hearing their voices. You can learn more and see video and photos from the event at http://kwibuka.rw/
Upon having a lovely Sunday afternoon stroll in Bromley with my 2.5 year old daughter, Maegan - we found something very very exciting ...
According to Maegan, she had found a baby hedgehog - a lost and cold baby hedgehog! We had to bring him home and look after him.
Very carefully Meg picked him up and noticed that he was tickly and still curled up in a ball, she carefully carried "him" all the way home and was excited to show her big brother Blake, Daddy, Grandma and Grandad her find!
It was incredibly sweet and lovely and for a while Blake (age 4) also believed it to be a real baby hedgehog.
I wanted to share a bit of their discussion with you because the magic of believing is wonderful :)
This season, Marks & Spenceris unveiling anew line up of Leading Ladies to front itsSpring/Summeradvertising campaign.
An eclecticgroup of influential British women take centre stage to define the spirit of thecampaign. An international supermodel, a music icon, a campaigner,a BAFTA recipient for Best Actressand an acclaimed engineer are just a few of the women that will showcase the M&SSpring/Summer’14 collection,shot by the iconic fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Launched nationwide on 31st March 2014 and featuring M&S ’Spring/Summer collection,the latest Leading Ladies campaign celebrates British women from diverse backgrounds and professions – united by their strong sense of personal style and inspirational achievements. Whether it is through a selfless dedication to a cause, entrepreneurial and creative flair orpushing the boundaries of design, each woman is truly inspiring and unique in her own way.
The Leading Ladies:
Emma ThompsonActress, Screenwriter and Author, Annie Lennox OBESinger/Songwriter and Human Rights Campaigner,Rita OraSinger/Songwriter,Alek WekSupermodel, Activist and; Artist,Baroness Lawrence of ClarendonOBECampaigner and Life Peer,Lulu KennedyDesigner and Fashion Guru,Rachel KhooChef, Writer and Broadcaster, Roma AgrawalStructural Engineer and Advocate for Technical Careers.
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne. M&S Executive Director Marketing and Business Development comments:
‘Our Spring/Summer campaign is a celebration of style and accomplishment. These dynamic Leading Ladies represent the unique and diverse women of a modern Britain. They are united in their extraordinary achievements but confident in their differences.
Marks & Spencer is a democratic brand which is relevant to women of all ages and strands of life;it is therefore natural forM&S to celebrate women in this way.
M&S is extremely proud to have convened such an extraordinarygroup of exceptional women; this campaign is the embodiment of true British style, quality, diversity and success’.
The Leading Ladies are presented in four stunning tableaux images across quintessentially British settings from a coastalscene to the idylliccountryside.Locations include Camber Sands and the Cotswolds.
The Spring/Summer ‘14 campaign sees a considered edit and interpretation of the season’s strongest trends.A graphic monochromatic palette and abstract prints are dramatically positioned alongside feminine pastels and shimmering metallicsto depict a fresh aesthetic.
The campaign launcheson31stMarch2014 as a continuation of Marks & Spencer’s commitment to British style, outstanding quality and inspired innovation.The campaign will appear in print, online, mobile and on outdoor sites across the UK. Selected shots from the campaign will also feature in Marks & Spencer’s international flagship stores in France, theNetherlands, Greece, Hong Kong,China, India, Hungary, Russia,Turkey and Singapore.
All items featured in the campaign are available to buy in selected Marks and Spencer stores and online at www.marksandspencer.comfrom31stMarch 2014
A true individual with her own sense of style, the award-winning actress and writer has appeared in some of the world’s favourite films as well as worked forActionAid, the Helen Bamber Foundation and the Teaching Awards.
The iconic singer-songwriter, advocate and campaignerhas a unique style. In 2011 she was awarded an OBE for her work with HIV/ Aids among women and children in Africa.
The singer-songwriter has a fun and fearless sense of style. Her first album reached number one in the UK and she was nominated for three awards at the 2013 BRIT Awards.
An internationally recognised beauty, Alek Wek was the first African supermodel to appear on the cover of American Elle in 1997. She has been actively supporting the United Nations for over a decade was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR in 2013
BARONESS LAWRENCE OF CLARENDON OBE:
The well-known campaigner, mother of murdered British teenager Stephen Lawrence, was awarded the OBE for services to community relations in 2003 and made a life peer in 2013.
This designer and fashion guru epitomises London cool and is credited for her work in the evolution of London Fashion Week, making it a must-see event.
A Saint Martin’s graduate and former fashion PR, chefRachel has a unique, vintage-inspired style. She has four successful books to her name as well as cookery show The Little Paris Kitchen and has just finished filming two new shows for the BBC.
A young professional with a real sense of style, structural engineer and advocate for technical careers, Roma’s work designing iconic landmark ‘The Shard’ has won her numerous awards including 'Young Structural Engineer of the Year’.
As a Parragon Book Buddy, we recieved a copy of Hold That Thought, Milton! Written by Linda RavinLodding and illustrated by Ross Collins.
It's about a little boy full of questions when everyone is super busy preparing for a family wedding ... Slowly Milton's held thoughts start to change him into his thoughts ... A frog! Until his thoughts burst out! My four year old, Blake absolutely loves this book - it's a brilliant book full of humour for little ones and always raises a giggle - even after the 6th read of the evening!
I had Blake talk about the book because he's just lovely :)
Written by award winning author Linda RavinLodding, Hold That Thought, Milton!is a brilliantly comical tale, perfect for the whole family to enjoy reading together.The story follows a young boy,Milton, who has a lot on his mind. As hard as he tries, he struggles to get anyone to listen to him – and he has something very important to say! So when Milton loses his beloved frog, Burp, Milton takes matters into his own hands… Hilarity ensues as Milton desperately races to find Burp. Ross Collins’ richly hued, quirky illustrations make the story explode off the page!