The last blog of the year is here!

We have only got 7 working days left until Christmas, and keys are flying out the door to people wanting to make sure they are settled in their new homes in time for Christmas Day. This time of the year is normally quiet with viewings, but sales progression and communication with solicitors is keeping us extremely busy!!

Later this week, we will be enjoying dinner and drinks with the conveyancing team from our preferred solicitors Quality Solicitors Chambers Fletcher. It’s always great fun and an excellent end to a year of speaking with each other weekly (and sometimes daily) on the phone during sales progression. Following this, it will also be the annual J Lord & Co Christmas party, this year in Chester! We are really excited to go out as a team and celebrate the success of 2016. Follow us on Facebook if you want to see any photos of the fun!

December has seen the Davenham Christmas light switch on, a really fun event which saw the whole local community come together and enjoy a fabulous evening (the rain even stayed off!) which we all came along to. We also joined in by having our office Christmas tree and lights up too!

At this time of year we always like to take advantage of the slightly quieter market by doing something for a good cause. Last year, instead of sending Christmas cards to all our clients and suppliers, we made a donation to the local charity The Joshua Tree.

This year we have turned our attention to an activity which we hoped would bring the whole community together for a good cause. The office has been running a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’, which basically means we are donating an item of food to a box every day during December, which we will put together to form one large donation at the end of the month, to take to our local food bank. Our story was featured in the local newspaper, The Northwich Guardian, who also ran the article online. We also publicised it ourselves, and we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response! We still have a week left, and the amount we have gathered so far has surpassed our expectations. It has been lovely to meet all the different people who have been into the office with their donations, and we can’t wait to take it all along to the food bank on Friday 23rd December.

The best Christmas present that the J Lord and Co team could receive, is good news about our hard work paying off. This has come early, in the form of statistics released by this week, confirming that for the whole of 2016, we held the market share for sales agreed in CW9 8! We led the way with a 28% share of overall sales, with our next competitor having only 14%.

A further bonus came in the form of rightmove tweeting about one of our very own properties, ‘The Lodge’ on London Road in Davenham. The property was selected by rightmove out of all the properties currently on the market in the UK! We were so happy that they singled it out for its individuality and we hope that it has helped to raise awareness of this fantastic home to potential buyers.

Finally, our monthly top tip will obviously centre around Christmas, as its December! It’s a short and simple tip – if you are on the market and your Christmas tree is up in your photographs, make sure your agent comes back to re-photograph when the tree is down! It will ‘time stamp’ your photos which may have an impact if your house is still for sale later in the year.

We will be back in January 2017, raring to go, and eager to help anyone looking to buy or sell their home. In the meantime, thank you for reading our blog throughout 2016, and on behalf of the whole team, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! x

History, fireworks and circular floorplans!

Hello from J Lord and Co! We can’t believe that it’s nearly the end of 2016, and we only have 4 weeks left until we close for the Christmas break. It’s been a fantastic year, with loads of exciting developments, including our new website and our lovely new team member, Jenny.

This month’s news kicks off with more positive feedback from rightmove. Following our quarterly review, we can reveal that in our CW9 8 patch, we had 48% market share for sales agreed during October. We also had 32% market share for new instructions, with 9 new properties coming to the market – our nearest competitor listed 4. Finally, we were informed that our properties are viewed, on average, 68.7 times a day on rightmove. The average number of daily views for our patch is 29.1 – so we are delighted with this news! Particularly for our clients, whose properties are getting maximum exposure to potential buyers.

As lovers of all sorts of data, we have also been looking at the office statistics from the past month. It has been really interesting to monitor all of our office activity, in particular that we accompanied 128 viewings and agreed 14 sales!

We are pleased that the November mini blogs that we have been running over on our Facebook page have been really well received, along with our ‘moving day’ related top tips! Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter throughout December, when we will be running campaigns relating to preparing your home for selling in 2017.

This month we have also all been delving into the history of our much loved village. We were inspired to do so, after being instructed to sell a distinctive property with much historical significance in Davenham. The new property, The Lodge, which is on London Road in Davenham, is the former gate house to Davenham Hall. It is an extremely unusual property, with a unique, curved exterior walls – the floorplan was an interesting challenge! Reading up on the history of Davenham Hall, and the residents of Davenham during the early 19th Century, was extremely interesting and is well worth a google if you get the chance.

For Bonfire Night, we attended the brilliant firework display held at The Oddfellows Arms in Davenham. It was great to see the pub so busy with lots of local families, and the food and fireworks were fantastic. We are now looking forward to the Christmas events taking place around the village during December.

It is well worth keeping Thursday 1st December free in your diaries for the annual Davenham Christmas light switch on. There will be food stalls, a choir, a lantern parade, and mulled wine and mince pies on sale at both pubs. Our office Christmas tree and lights will be up ready for the occasion, and we’d love to see as many of our friends, neighbours and clients as possible at this excellent community event.

Finally, we will take a look at our monthly top tip! Many people are now focusing on having their homes valued in readiness for selling in the New Year. Each year this happens, as people like to be prepared for when the market traditionally picks up once again after Christmas. This month, we would like to share advice that we have found to be valuable when selling our own homes. When you are deciding which estate agents to invite to value your home, give them a call first to register as a buyer. Alternatively, request some details via their own website, or rightmove. The way in which your enquiry is dealt with will give you a more accurate reflection of their service than you will obtain on a pre-arranged market appraisal appointment. It will also reveal to you how they will respond to enquiries from potential buyers if they were selling your home.

Next month will be our last post of 2016, so check back in December for our final blog of the year!

Top of the class!

October is drawing to a close, and with half term out of the way, the countdown to Christmas will be on for many people. At J Lord & Co, we have not had much time to spare, as the market is still extremely busy with buyers hoping to be settled into new homes before the festivities begin!

This month we have felt like celebrating here at J Lord & Co, thanks to statistics just released by concerning sales in our area. The celebrations are on hold until our Christmas party however, as we are just so busy! We are really happy that our hard work and determination to provide excellent service are paying off. We are proud to be outperforming the local competition in all areas, and in October so far we have 50% of the market share for sales in CW9 8!

During October, we have trialled a month of weekly ‘top property tips’ on our Facebook page, called ‘Tips from the team’. They have been really well received by our followers, with great feedback, and some clients even implementing some of our ideas! We are even considering putting together a collection of top tips and selling advice in time for people hoping to sell in 2017, so watch this space!

We have also been delighted to support another local fundraising event this month, in the shape of the St Wilfrid’s Church autumn fair. We donated a bottle of J Lord & Co wine, and we were pleased to hear that they had a good response to the event.

As the seasons change, those local to Davenham will have noticed the landscape around the village changing too. The new Stewart Milne Homes site at Hilltop Grange is coming together swiftly, and several properties are now legally exchanged, with completion dates set. The new homes have proved extremely popular, and it will be interesting to see how the development progresses.

In the news recently there has been daily talk of Brexit and the impact it is having on public confidence. Jacqui recently attended a local conference held by ZPG, which amongst other topics, covered data relating to the attitudes of Cheshire residents in the aftermath of the EU referendum. The figures make interesting reading, and show that in our region optimism is fairly high, with 27% of people feeling positive about the economy. There is also positivity from Cheshire residents regarding property pricing, with our area showing fewer signs of uncertainty than others.

With around 10 weeks left until we head into 2017, Jacqui’s thoughts on the market, are that ‘it has been a memorable year, with the decision now made to leave the EU, but in line with the data provided from ZPG we have not seen any lack of confidence in our area, and we hope that this will continue and we will have another successful year next year.’

To conclude the October blog, we’d like to share that have revealed to us, via their new ‘performance rankings’ system, that J Lord & Co properties get a significantly higher proportion of online views than other agents in the same patch. We think this is because we take the time to advise our clients on their presentation, and then we focus on excellent quality photos and marketing materials. With that in mind, this month’s advice is all about getting your home ‘photo-ready’.

The basic principles are as follows; clean – make sure the whole house is spotless, vacuum carpets and rugs, clean windows inside and out (and mirrors), and dust everywhere. Tidy – try to remove as much as possible that makes the house look ‘lived in’ or cluttered, especially under beds as this can often show on photographs. Fix the lights – make sure all bulbs are in working order. Cables – make sure they are all hidden totally. Pets – bowls, beds all have to be cleared away, we more than anyone LOVE pets, but potential buyers may not. We can then take an array of high quality photos, to make sure we are reflecting your home at its absolute best. These photos, coupled with a thoughtfully written brochure, will give us the best possible marketing materials to circulate to our database, and to help to sell your home.

See you in November – but if you can’t wait, check out our facebook page for a series of weekly November ‘mini blogs’!

Coffee, cake and celebrating

Autumn has arrived, the children are back at school and the darker evenings are on their way. We love this time of year at J Lord and Co, because the market is still nice and busy with people keen to be settled into their new homes for Christmas. Including our very own team member Rebecca, who is excited to have recently purchased a new family home in Davenham! Once the renovations are out of the way, Rebecca is hoping to be residing in the village just in time for Christmas Day drinks in the local.

This month’s blog is a little later than planned, due to a big event that took place in our office on the last day of September. We hosted a World’s Biggest Coffee morning in aid of Macmillan on Friday 30th September, and we were all absolutely delighted and overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm showed by everyone who attended.  It was fantastic to see so many members of the local community come down to our office, many of them with armfuls of cakes, to help raise money for this worthy cause. We were proud to raise a total of £557.57 which will be heading over to Macmillan this week. As promised last month, we are also pleased to report that Jacqui’s husband successfully completed his challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro. Along with his brother and a friend, they raised a massive £10,000 for their chosen charities, which is an amazing achievement!

We have been doing plenty of celebrating in the office this September, especially when it comes to selling houses that have previously been unsuccessful in selling with other agents. J Lord and Co are always keen to demonstrate the elements of our service that set us apart from other agents, but in September we have been pleased that our service has really spoken for itself. In particular, we have taken on two properties, one in Davenham and one on Kingsmead, both of which were on the market for 6 months with other agents. We were delighted to sell both within 2 weeks of winning the instructions!

Finally, it makes sense to turn our attention to some top tips for selling when the weather turns colder and the nights start getting darker. We never shy away from accompanying viewings at any time of day, but even when you have a viewing during the day it is important to get the lighting right. Main lights can be harsh, so try side lights and table lamps to create a cosy atmosphere.  ‘Hygge’, the Danish word for ‘cosiness’, is everywhere this year. As a decorating trend it’s great for combating dark and rainy days. Turn your home into a sanctuary by draping blankets on your couch, and lighting scented candles. Emotion plays a huge role in buying behaviour, if your viewers feel relaxed and warm they’ll feel more positive towards your home.

Here’s to another successful few weeks until our next entry! See you in October…

A month of firsts

Welcome back to the J Lord and Co Blog. August has been a month of firsts, with the first interest rate drop since 2009, and the first ever South American city hosting the Olympics!

In true J Lord and Co style, we have not been left behind, and we have also enjoyed an August filled with firsts.

Congratulations are in order for our sales negotiator Jenny, who achieved her first exchange since joining the company! The whole team celebrated with a meal and drinks at local restaurant Chime in Hartford. We were all really impressed by the food and can see why lots of buyers are looking to move to the village. It’s great to have somewhere stylish with a good atmosphere on the doorstep.

The first handful of exchanges have also taken place at the new Hilltop Grange development by Stewart Milne. Following the installation of the new road system and traffic lights, construction of the new build properties are moving ahead. Keep a look out for the new development taking shape!

There was change in the village this month, as the head of Davenham primary school retired after 21 years. We are sure that Mr Hilditch will be missed, but it is great to see our much loved village school move forwards under a new head. No doubt the school will still remain one of the main attractions for homebuyers to Davenham!

We are excited to announce that more change is on the way for J Lord and Co, in the form of a new referral system we are soon to be implementing. Using ‘Vebra MoveIT’ software, we will be able to provide quotes from handpicked solicitors, quickly and easily, to our sellers and buyers. We are excited to be able to further improve our service levels for every client we deal with. Contact us if you would like to find out more.

August started off as an extremely busy month, and has now quietened down in line with the usual summer holiday lull. However with September just around the corner, we are poised and ready for the busy autumn market to return. With children heading back to school, people now turn their attention to moving house before, dare we say it…Christmas.

This month’s advice is handy if you are moving with little people in tow! Firstly, visit the new house with the children, so they are prepared for the move and familiar with the new house. Get them involved with the packing so they understand where all their things are, then on moving day, try and get their room set up first to help them feel secure. Some people often do a ‘tour’ of the old, empty house, to say goodbye to it. Finally, try and make it fun! Moving house is an adventure and can mark an exciting new chapter for everyone.

Last but not least, it is this week that Jacqui’s husband Stuart travels to Africa, to take on the immense challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro for some extremely worthy causes. He has raised a fantastic amount so far, and we are all behind him wishing him huge amounts of luck!

We will report back with how he gets on in next month’s blog. See you in September!

The first of many…

Well this is it, welcome to the first J Lord & Co blog.

Firstly, thanks for stopping by to read our thoughts and opinions. They will mostly be property related, but we’ll also be blogging about the local area, news, events, dog walks, pubs, schools and everything in between!

We are in the middle of a mini heat wave here in Davenham this week! Although it’s set to cool down by the weekend, there is no sign of our local property market following suit. The sunshine and blue skies are bringing out the ‘hot’ buyers – meaning that viewings are coming thick and fast! There is still something of a shortage of new property supply though, so if you are considering selling, it’s a great time to try.

We’ve had a fantastic few weeks in the office, with several special deliveries of champagne, flowers and chocolates from some lovely clients. The positive feedback we have been getting has really encouraged the entire team, and we are really grateful for all the kind words we receive.

In June, you might have seen us getting involved with the Davenham village carnival. We donated some J Lord & Co wine to the raffle, decorated our windows with balloons and bunting, and all got involved on the day handing out sweets to the passing children. It was great to see the local community come together as part of this brilliant event.

In more exciting news, we have just launched our new J Lord and Co website! We are really proud of the finished result, and especially liked working with local photographer Louise Jacob Photography to produce our own images for the entire site. You’ll find some of the recent feedback we have received on the ‘Reviews’ section, so please take a look.

This week we have also been experimenting with some excellent new tools which demonstrate our sales statistics. We loved plotting all of the properties we have sold in the last 12 months onto a local map, and the new Rightmove Intel tool allows us to see how we are performing against other local agents. We’re so proud to have been the first for sales in our area in the last 6 months – definitely a great motivator for the team!

Each month, we would like to share some insider advice about selling, and offer tips and help if you are considering moving any time soon. Summer seems to be in full swing at the moment, and if this continues, it’s really important to keep your property ready for viewings by following some simple steps. Create curb appeal with colourful pots or hanging baskets, and make sure the first impression is a good one by having a clean front door and windows. It’s important to make sure any grass is mown regularly, and if you have outside furniture, make sure it is set up to show potential buyers the lifestyle that is on offer to them. Inside, keep the house cool and uncluttered, and consider introducing some summer accents, such as fresh flowers.
Here’s to some more sunny days before our next blog – see you in August!