Reeds Rains Property Blog

Property News from Reeds Rains

6 Top Tips to Selling


First, remember first impressions do count

Presentation of your home both inside and out can make all the difference. Add a fresh coat of paint. Tidy the front garden and clean your front door. The inside of your house should be as clutter-free as possible. The kitchen is a key selling room, so make sure it's tidy. Check all the light bulbs are working and fix squeaky doors. List all the non-obvious things that make the property attractive, like a particularly sunny spot in the garden, friendly neighbours, good local shops. It's small things like these can really help create the best impression.

Second, access matters

It's important that we can let people view your property at a time that's convenient for them. Give us a set of keys so we can organise accompanied viewings, leaving you free to get on with other commitments. Rest assured, we will sell the best features of your house on your behalf - it's in our interests as much as yours.

Third, be patient.

Don't worry if the first few positive viewings don't lead to a sale. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your home or the way it is presented. However, do be open to any feedback from viewings and be prepared to listen to ideas to make your property more appealing.

Fourth, be open-minded

You don't have to accept the first offer and it is worth discussing with us whether we think more could be achieved by waiting. On the other hand, do think about what criteria might prompt you to consider offers below your asking price, such as cash buyers or chain-free buyers; a swift sale may save you money in the long run.

Fifth, be prepared to negotiate

For example, if you are trading up and your house is perfect for first-time buyers, be aware of how you can help them. Offer to leave some furniture or soft furnishings like curtains. Also, a survey may reveal repairs that are needed which could affect the price a buyer is willing to pay. If you are concerned about such potential issues, we can help arrange an independent survey, through our sister company E.Surv, for your peace of mind.

And finally, be prepared to actually move!

The excitement of accepting an offer is the start of the process of transferring the property from your ownership to your buyer. This takes several weeks. Our top tip for this stage is to be prepared. Make sure you have legal representation (we can organise this), so that you can move to the stage of exchanging contracts and setting a completion date, so you are ready to go.

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Buy-to-let index December 2013


Rents rise 3% over course of 2014 

  • Annual rent rises of 3.0% over twelve months to December defy slowdown in general rate of inflation 
  • Rents fall between November and December, down 0.1% month-on-month across England and Wales 
  • East of England, Yorkshire & Humber, East Midlands and London see no seasonal fall and new records 
  • Tenants feel the festive squeeze – with 8.9% of rent in arrears, the highest since previous December 
  • Landlord total returns drop to 11.1% over twelve months to December, on back of cooling property prices

Rents have risen by 3.0% over the course of 2014, despite falling on a monthly basis between November and December, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains.

The average residential rent across England and Wales now stands at £767. This compares to £745 in December 2013.

Strong annual growth comes despite falls on a monthly basis, with average rents 0.1% lower than seen in November 2014.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, comments: “There appears to be a new fire in the rental market as we enter 2015. Demand for homes to let is hotter than we would normally expect at this time of year.

“Recent months have shown a divergence from usual seasonal norms. Historically, there is a tendency for rents to ease in the winter, particularly December. With fewer tenants willing to relocate in the festive period, landlords usually compete to fill empty properties and agreed rents tend to dip as a result. Last month that happened – and rents fell compared to November – but by much less than the usual extent.

“In particular a jobs boom across the eastern regions of England has seen a larger than usual number of people relocating in the winter months. This has pushed up rental prices in these regions even further.”

Read full details of the Buy-to-let index here

Tenant Arrears Tracker January


Tenant finances see short-term setback

  • In Q4 2014 there were 7.2% more tenants severely behind on rental payments compared to Q4 2013 – the first annual rise since 2012 
  • Despite setback, 48,500 fewer tenants face severe rent arrears compared to worst of 2012 record peak 
  • Evictions fall in the face of recent rent arrears, with latest evictions orders down 6% on a quarterly basis 
  • Landlords pay off buy-to-let mortgage arrears to the healthiest levels seen since the start of 2008  

Tenants have felt a financial setback, with the number falling into serious rental arrears rising on an annual basis for the first time since 2012, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains, part of LSL Property Services PLC.

In Q4 2014 there were 68,100 tenants in severe rent arrears of more than two months. This represents an increase of 4,600 such tenancies compared to the same quarter one year ago, or a 7.2% annual increase. On a quarterly basis the setback is less severe, with 1,700 more cases of severe arrears in Q4 2014 than in Q3, or a quarterly increase of 2.6%.

Despite this recent deterioration, the longer term trend for tenant arrears remains positive, as improvements seen in 2013 and at the start of 2014 remain overwhelmingly large in comparison. As a result, since reaching a peak of 116,600 tenancies in Q3 2012 the number in severe arrears has dropped by 48,500 as of Q4 2014, an improvement of 42%.

In terms of the proportion of all tenants now in severe arrears, there was no significant setback in the last quarter. As a percentage of all tenants, 1.4% owed rent arrears of more than two months in Q4 2014, the same as in Q3 2014 and in Q4 2013. This leaves a remaining 98.6% of tenants who have consistently avoided serious rental arrears.

A slight deterioration in the most serious rental arrears is consistent with figures for overall levels of late rent including shorter lapses on payments. According to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains, overall tenant arrears of any duration stand at 7.5% as of November, up from 6.6% of rent late in November 2013. However, as with severe arrears, even after November’s slight deterioration, rent arrears remain considerably lower than in previous years, since peaking at 14.6% in February 2010.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, comments: “Escaping the worst deprivations of the financial crisis has taken half a decade. And even now, for so many households every month is still a difficult month.

“Stretching to include even a little festivity often makes December particularly hard. But just as the occasional setback is inevitable, the long-term trend is increasingly clear. Since the sharpest pinnacle of tenant difficulties in 2010 the number in serious rent arrears has practically halved.

“As rising wages start to combine with much lower levels of unemployment, the fundamentals of the economy have started to turn in favour of tenants. If that can continue, then so can the trend away from arrears, as renting becomes more affordable.”

Read the full Tenant Arrears Tracker here


Five years on, Reeds Rains Whistable continue to grow from strength to strength


  Its party time at the Whistable branch 

There are celebrations at estate agents Reeds Rains as the local team celebrate their fifth anniversary in Whistable and, at the same time, reflect on the success and development of the agency over that period.

To mark this anniversary, glasses of champagne and keepsake key rings were handed out at Reeds Rains as it opened its doors to past and present customers to mark the special day.

Since the launch of its Whistable office in January 2010, Reeds Rains has continued to grow from strength to strength and remains resilient and strong within the property market. 

Customers past and present are welcomed to the party

Lavinia and Malcolm Trueman, franchise owners of Reeds Rains in Whitstable commented:  “We’ve had a Reeds Rains office for five years and we’ve been able to help hundreds of customers during that time in selling, buying and renting houses.

We strongly believe that the way we have responded to the market has influenced our on-going success – we’ve had to think proactively, respond to situations quickly and remain positive at all times – it’s clearly helped us and, of course, our customers who, as a result, remain loyal to us.


 Customers enjoying the newly refurbished office

Reeds Rains has been established since 1868 and in that time, it has grown to become one of the UK’s largest estate agencies, with an expanding network of branches covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We’ve never lost sight of the need for local expertise or moved away from our principles that building great relationships, being genuinely interested in our customers and getting the job done is the way to achieve success. And it’s this that we think puts us in the perfect place to respond to the local market activity.

The size of Reeds Rains has also meant they have been able to invest heavily in developing a range of award winning products and services. Only recently Reeds Rains has been successful at the Estate Agency of the Year awards 2014 where it won the Silver award for Best Estate Agency National and the Bronze award for their Financial Services.

Reeds Rains Whistable

From the feedback we’ve received we have exceeded many of our client’s expectations over the last five years and would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for the custom and support they have given us. We always endeavour to ‘go the extra mile’ for our customers and we believe that this is one of the core reasons for our success. We now hope that we can build on our success and our growing reputation for quality service during 2015 and beyond.”

For more information about Reeds Rains in Whistable– simply contact the local team at Reeds Rains Whitstable, 98 High Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AZ or telephone them on 01227 770717(*)


Reeds Rains Whistable

(*)Calls maybe recorded for training and/or monitoring purposes.


It’s a double win for Reeds Rains


From the left: Entrepreneur Michelle Mone, Reeds Rains Managing Director Oliver Blake, and Zoopla Commercial Director Jon Notley

Reeds Rains  have been successful at the Estate Agency of the Year Awards 2014 where it won the Silver award for Best Estate Agency National  and the Bronze award for their Financial Services despite tough competition from some of the leading names in the market. The awards, sponsored by The Sunday Times and The Times, are some of the most sought after in the estate agency industry and to be acknowledged as a winner is seen as a major triumph and reflects the professional services available for customers from Reeds Rains.

Now in its twelfth year as a dedicated competition, these awards have become widely recognised as the most prestigious and difficult to win. With more entrants than ever before, over 5,000 offices were represented this year, but only the very best of the best were crowned as winners.

The awards were presented by Michelle Mone, one of the UKs leading entrepreneurs who is the co-owner of Ultimo Brands International and founder of Ultimo, one of the UKs leading lingerie brands.

 Left to right: Entrepreneur Michelle Mone, Reeds Rains Financial Services Director John Hargreaves, and Mid West Displays Michelle Farnsworth

The Judges report on Best Large Estate Agency recognised Reeds Rains’ long history of trust and reliability along with their culture of continuous development and acknowledged that the entire team are property industry experts. They highlighted the great passion within Financial Services and their dedication within the organisation to ensure that transactions are progressed as professionally and ethically as possible for each client. They acknowledged Reeds Rains’ high level of customer service which has resulted in a satisfaction ratio of 97% of clients serviced and a feedback score of 98% who would recommend the services across the board.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director at Reeds Rains says: “It is a great achievement to win both awards and they are a real testament to all the hard work and dedication from the staff at Reeds Rains. Well done everyone!”

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