PROPERTY SEARCH: FOR SALE + TO RENT +

SELLING

Why use Collinson Hall to sell your property

It must be the people.

The systems, the advertising, the website are all tools to be used by the people who work at Collinson Hall - the tools are good, we aim to use the best. But with an unrivalled breadth of knowledge, exceptional experience and (when required) a sense of humour, the team really are very good at what they do. These are people who have made a career from selling property and enjoy an excellent personal reputation as well as being part of the successful Collinson Hall team.....


......This translates into a better experience for our clients where we can draw on that experience to pitch our marketing strategy to your timing and financial needs and ultimately deliver the results that you want. We have placed a number of testimonials on the website as examples of how people, who have employed Collinson Hall, have found us.

It is never too early to start a conversation about moving. Some of our clients have spent years in formulating their plans and we are pleased to keep in touch along the way with updates on the market and values. It really is not a problem.

We can also help with ideas around how to make a property more saleable. It can be difficult to be objective about your own property and we can give some guidance on how a purchaser might view the property and how that perception can be improved/enhanced.

Our terms of business are clear and based on the best practice principles provided by the National Association of Estate Agents. We believe in being fair and our fees are set at a competitive rate.

Should there ever be a dispute we are member of The Property Ombudsman scheme to whom any issue can be referred should we not be able to resolve it ourselves. Not all agents are a member of this scheme or members of the National Association of Estate Agents. Consequently there is no dispute resolution of redress mechanism for these agents. This is not a great situation and not something that people understand fully until such time as they have need to seek redress. To back this up we hold professional indemnity insurance to the value of £1m. 

Despite the emergence of propoerty portals as a major factor in property sales we do still recognise a significant place for traditional print media.  For a purchaser to see a property on the internet they will need to be registered with a portal such as Rightmove. It follows that if someone is not registered they will not know about properties coming to the market. The paper on the other hand comes through the door weekly and is something that people will browse even if they are not thinking of moving or registered for property searches. To be sure of complete coverage we believe it to still be importnant to advertise in the paper.

Be assured that Collinson Hall works to the highest standards in providing 21st Century Estate Agency to St Albans, Chiswell Green and the surrounding villages and constantly work towards being the best at everything we do. We are confident that we are the best choice for selling your property.

How much does a valuation cost ?

The good news is that we are more than happy to offer our opinion on the value of your property free of any charge or obligation.....


..... We (or any valuer) will need to visit the property to properly assess its value. There are too many variables for there to be any real accuracy with an online valuation and we often find that owners are keen to hear about our tailored marketing proposals and how to get the most from the property.

If you would like to speak to someone about a visit please call us on 01727 843222

What can I expect from a valuation?

When asked to give a "valuation" we will offer you our opinion of the likely figure you should expect to achieve should the property be put to the market.We will also discuss with you our recommended approach to marketing your property. This being tailored to your personal circumstances & timescale.
Although commonly referred to as "valuations", the term is misleading. More accurately they should be termed "market appraisals" - but maybe this is a bit too "agent-speak".


A true "valuation" would be provided by a chartered surveyor or similar and is chargeable.  We can do this but it would not, however, take into account current levels of demand or the  variation caused by the "good day/bad day" factor that can considerably alter the figures that can be achieved.
Although we would take account of the general condition of the property, an agents valuation does not include a survey and does not take into account factors that might be revealed in the legal paperwork - both of which could influence the ultimate price that is achieved.

We will explain our thinking behind the figures we give. This is primarily drawn from many years of experience and comparable information but will also be influenced by matters affecting the market, demand and trends.

At the end of the valuation/market appraisal we would hope that you have received sufficient information to make an informed decision about the manner in which you wish to proceed.

We do not charge for this advice and you will be under no obligation to use our services.

The legal process for selling explained

This article is reproduced from the Home Owners Alliance website hoa.org.uk. We think it is excellent and hopefully a useful guide.

Conveyancing process explained

Conveyancing is the process of legally transferring home ownership from you, the seller, to the buyer. It starts from making an offer and finishes when you hand over the keys to the buyer. Understanding it will help ensure you don’t suffer any nasty surprises.....


Who does the conveyancing?

A solicitor or conveyancer usually conducts the conveyancing process.

Before the exchange of contracts

1. Engage an estate agent, negotiate and accept an offer on the sale price

2. Instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to do the conveyancing. To reduce delays, it is probably best to have chosen which solicitor or conveyancer you want to use around the time youchoose the estate agent, tell them you want to sell, and agree fees. However, you only instruct them to start work after you have a formal offer. For guidance on choosing a solicitor and conveyancer, see Finding the right solicitor or conveyancer?

3. Complete a number of detailed questionnaires about the property and what you intend to include with the sale, which will be provided to you by your solicitor/conveyancer:

  • The (TA 6) is a general questionnaire and includes information on boundaries, disputes and complaints (like reported noisy neighbour complaints or boundary disputes), known proposed developments (like motorways or railways), building works, council tax, utilities, sewerage, contact details.
  • If you do not own the freehold you should give more information on either the leasehold (TA 7) or the commonhold (TA9)
  • The (TA 10) provides details of which fittings and fixtures you would like to include with the property
  • The (TA 13) is more technical, but also includes finalisation details including arrangements to hand over the keys, how and where you will complete, and ensuring that the house is free of all mortgages and liability claims
  • You must fill these forms out truthfully and to the best of your knowledge; if it later transpires that you have not been fully truthful you could be sued for compensation. Or, if they find out before exchange of contracts, it might make the buyers nervous that you are misleading them about other things and they may pull out.

4. Your solicitor/conveyancer uses the questionnaire information to draw up a draft contract. This is sent to the buyer for approval.

5. Negotiations over the draft contract. Things to agree include:

  • date of completion (usually 7-28 days after the exchange of contracts)
  • what fixtures and fittings will be included in the sale price
  • how much they pay for other fixtures and fitting
  • The buyer would often also have had a survey conducted on your property. If the survey flags up anything major – for example, the need for significant roof repairs – you may have to negotiate over who will fix this or even renegotiate over the sale price.

6. You must plan to pay off your mortgage, by requesting a redemption figure from your mortgage company. This is how much you pay upon completion of the sale

Exchanging contracts

  • You and the buyer will have agreed on a date and time to exchange contracts. At that time your solicitor or conveyancer will exchange contracts for you
  • This is usually done by both solicitors/conveyancers making sure the contracts are identical, and then immediately sending them to one another in the post
  • If you or the buyers are in a chain the solicitors/conveyancers will do the same thing, but will only release it if the other people in the chain are all happy to go ahead. This means if one person pulls out or delays, then everyone in the chain gets held up. For more, see How can I break the housing chain?
  • Once you have exchanged contracts you will be in a legally binding contract to sell the property.
  • This means:If the buyer does not complete the purchase, you will probably keep their deposit; you can also sue them
  • If you pull out, they can sue you
  • You can no longer accept another offer
  • For more information, see How do I exchange contracts?

Between exchange and completion

  • Immediately after exchange you should receive the buyer’s deposit – usually 10% of the property price
  • You own the property until completion, and so there is no need to move out before then. However, it will be a lot less stressful if you can move out some days before, rather than leaving it to the last minutes
  • You should go around the property before you complete ensuring that everything that was on the fixtures and fittings inventory list is still in the property

On completion day

  • You hand over the keys. In practice, the buyer normally gets the keys from the estate agent, and you leave any spare sets you have in the property
  • You or your conveyancer/solicitor will receive the outstanding balance of sale price
  • You – or your solicitor/conveyancer – will hand over the legal documents that prove ownership
  • Any outstanding mortgage on the property can now be paid off from the proceeds of the sale. The solicitor/conveyancer will normally do this
  • For more information, see Completion – what to expect?

After completion

  • You will have to pay your solicitor/conveyancer
  • You will have to pay the estate agent

Why is being a member of the National Association of Estate Agents important?

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is the largest of the industry bodies that regulate the activities of member agents. It is hard to believe that it is not compulsory for an agent to be qualified or regulated in some way but that is the way the law stands at the moment and it is important to understand what that means.....


 ..... Being a member of the NAEA is about working to a strict code of practice that reflect both the few legal obligations of an agent in parallel to the best practice procedures identified by The Property Ombudsman. For example putting forward offers in writing, declaring a conflict of interest, the way in which a deposit is held.

The NAEA is a memebr of the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP) which also has ARLA as a member. ARLA is the equivalent organisation to the NAEA in the lettings world and we are also members of this as well. This brings consistent procedures and protocols to our activities.

The NAEA also provides ongoin education to its members to address the shifting landscape of property sales. It also gathers statistical information that is used to report on housing trends.

Being a member carries costs and obligations on the member companies but should also give re-assurance to a client consider employing an agent that an NAEA member agent is best placed to act.

For further information please take a look at the NAEA website

Are traditional agents better than internet only - ask Which ?

Fewer than four in ten home movers end up buying a property they found on a portal.
Consumer organisation Which? said that in research among 2,000 recent home movers, just 37% had discovered their new home by searching a property portal.
However, a further 6% did so via an automated email from a portal and 2% found their new home via a smartphone app notification......


 ....Even so, just 45% found their new home via a modern method, compared with 55% who used traditional methods such as looking in an estate agent’s window or local paper, or spotting a For Sale board.

First-time buyers, despite their younger age group, were even more unlikely to find a home on a portal, with 60% using traditional methods rather than portals or apps.

According to Which? this is how the figures break down:

Estate agent’s window 11%

Searching a property portal 37%

Phone call or email from estate agent 11%

Email from a property portal 6%

‘For Sale’ sign outside property 10%

Other electronic alert, eg app notification 2%

Word of mouth 9%

Local newspaper 6%

Other traditional method 4%

I approached the property owner directly (eg by leafleting) 3%

Property auction 1%

Which? is now advising property hunters to put their laptops away.

The organisation says: “In parts of the UK where markets are fast-moving, with demand outstripping supply, the best properties are often snapped up before the agent has had the chance to list them online.

“That’s why it’s advisable to put your laptop away and get out and about.

“Take a walk down the high street and register with all the estate agents selling the types of properties you’re after.

“Spend time talking to them, explaining your situation and what you’re looking for.”

The same Which? research also revealed the importance of getting a portal listing right.

Around seven in ten respondents said they decided not to view a property after browsing its online listing, with the main reasons being that the location wasn’t right (35%) and/or that it was too expensive (35%).

However, 9% of home buyers in London and the south-east discounted a property before viewing it because they did not want to deal with the agent it was marketed with. The figure was 7% nationally.

Around one in five (19%) said they did not view a property either because no photos were made available or there were not enough photos.

For first-time buyers, this figure rose to 22%.

One in six (16%) did not view a property because no floor plan was provided

Article from Property Industry Eye

The wonderful world of 360 degree virtual viewings

The idea of virtual tours has been around for a while. In practice we found that the demo in the office was often the only time that the quality was of an acceptable standard... until now.... the people we use now for our virtual tours are photographic experts who have refined their skills to deliver an excellent product that enhances the subject property and gives a real added value to our marketing. You can see an .....


..... example here.

There is a real skill to making these look this good and consistently work as well as they do. For instance on an tablet the software links into a motion sensor and will move the image as you move the tablet. It really is very effective.

We are happy to provide these free of charge to our vendors as we know they help in the selling process.

Let us know if you would like a demonstration.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING

  • P
    Elaine - Just wanted to buy you a drink to say a huge THANK YOU for all you did for me to get my house sold. I have huge respect for your skills and diplomacy and was grateful for the humour! You were brilliant !
  • M
    We are extremely pleased we chose Rod and the team at Collinson Hall to sell our house. From start to finish they went out of their way to make sure everything went smoothly and were always available to give updates and answer our questions. Unlike other local estate agents, they were at all times very professional, yet also friendly and approachable - we knew we could trust them to get the best possible outcome for us. Not only did they make the whole process very straightforward, they helped to secure a great deal with our perfect buyers – all in all we can’t recommend them enough. M, St Albans
  • Mr & Mrs V, St Albans
    Dear Steven, We have exchanged on our house today and wanted to make it top priority to get in contact with you personally and let you know how delighted we have been with the level of service and expertise from your team in St Albans, with a special Thank You going to David Chadwick. We had initially marketed our house last May with another St Albans agent, however, after numerous second and third viewings the deal was never actually clinched, so we withdrew our house from the market a few months later, feeling very disillusioned by the whole process. We then got in contact with Collinson Hall after friend had recommended your agency. We met with David and he suggested an appropriate marketing plan. He also recommended some very clever updates to make to our home, in order that it be seen in the best light. We immediately felt very confident with our decision to appoint Collinson Hall and David quickly demonstrated that he was knowledgeable, professional and had a great understanding of the market place. Whilst we appreciate this probably comes across as a smooth and swift transaction, we feel that this is purely down to the incredible service delivery and sales strategy at Collinson Hall. David has remained in constant contact with us throughout this whole process and has always returned calls, been contactable at any hour and responded to emails sent out of hours and at weekends. We were promised a weekly update after we accepted the offer in early January and that is exactly what has been delivered, right up until the last few days where there have been last minute legal issues causing everyone concern. David took the bull by the horns today and ensured that all parties were kept fully informed and the exchange came within our deadline, to secure a rental property. It has been refreshing to work with such a credible agency, who are quite clearly top of their game. We would have no hesitation in recommending Collinson Hall and would be grateful if you could pass on our thanks to David and the rest of the team.
  • N & C, St Albans
    To David, A quick note to say a big Thank You for all your help with the sale of Cannon Street. Have been impressed with the service throughout and aside from the solicitors time management has gone through relatively pain-free. No doube we will be in contact when we decide to sell (it will be a while!). Thanks again. N, C & R.
  • A & R, St Albans
    Dear Elaine, Just a note to thank you and everyone at Collinson Hall for all your help with both Buckingham Court and Walton Street - we already love our new home! Thanks again, A & R.
  • L & J, St Albans
    Just wanted to say thank you so much for all your help with the sale of our house. From day one you were professional, efficient and extremely helpful. We felt completely confident in your hands through the whole sales process as your expertise, experience and impressive local knowledge put us at ease. It was quite a lengthy process in the end due to delays with our purchase and you and your colleagues kept us sane through several fraught situations. Nothing was too much trouble. We only wish customer service was this good everywhere! Many thanks again. All the best, L & J.
  • E.M., Chiswell Green
    As we draw close to completion date we just felt that we wanted to write and thank you all very much indeed for the fantastic service we have received from you since we put our property on the market. Not only has your service always been extremely professional, but also you have combined this with a warm, friendly atmosphere whether on the telephone or when entering your office. Your realistic initial valuation of our house also resulted in us achieving a sale at the upper end of your estimated figure, which has to be a good result! The regular feedbacks following each viewing were much appreciated and we cannot imagine how anyone could possibly have better service from an estate agent. Thank you once again for all you have done to enable us to achieve a quick sale at a good figure and we wish all of you the very best for the future.
  • Mrs R.T.
    Dear Elaine - Thanks for telephoning regarding the completion of the sale of my uncle's house. You have helped me with everything all the way through - far more than I could have expected. As I have had to conduct the sale from Norfolk, the fact that you were on hand in St Albans to organise things has been marvellous. You negotiated a price above the asking price with buyers who had no chain and everything went like clockwork. Thanks to you and the staff at Collinson Hall a difficult time was made easy.
  • A & N, Chiswell Green
    Dear Rene, A very big thank you to you and your team who have been so supportive in the selling of our family home which has been in the family for 58 years. Big big thank you to Lisa and Yvonne, who always replied to emails in a very polite manner and with such ruthless efficiency. I really think the service you supply is a second to none - service with values not often seen in many services these days. Thank you for going the extra mile, just wish I had some more properties to sell as it's been a pleasure dealing with you. Keep up the great work. With kindest regards, A & N x
  • Mr & Mrs D
    To our wonderful Estate Agents - David, Elaine & Linda to name just the ones we know were directly involved. Thank you for doing all those viewings and spending so long negotiating the price with the buyer. Huge thanks. K, T & E. XXX
  • Mrs P, St Albans
    We wanted to thank both of you for your work but also your approach to the sale of C. Avenue. We really feel it couldn't have been handled better by any other agent and will recommend you when we get the opportunity. It was interesting how important the matter of trust was. It must be really difficult to maintain the trust of both vendor and client when they have different agendas - but you seem to be able to do this. It must be the years of experience.
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HELPFUL ADVICE CENTRE

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We're here to help

Use the webform below to ask any your question

We'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Answers to previously asked questions...

  • How much is an annual season ticket from St Albans to St Pancras?

    As at Apr 2016. The standard charge quoted on the Thameslink website is £3,320.00.

  • What are the stamp duty thresholds for buying a property?

    Its all got complicated and now depends if you are buying a property as a principle residence. The most up to date info (as Apr 16) is here https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/residential-property-rates

  • I am tenant looking to rent one of your properties. What charges should I expect to pay.
    You can find this information in the tenant section of our website - should it need any clarification please call 01727 794104 and we can run through it with you.
  • Why do you ask for so much information about my property? (From a landlord)
    As your agents, we need to know about a variety of little things to be effective in marketing and managing your property. Each piece of information will enable us to either keep you and your property legally compliant, prevent misunderstandings and wasted viewing appointments, or ensure that your tenants have all they need to properly maintain and look after your property throughout their tenancy.
  • How can I find out about school catchment areas?

    Tricky as the rules seem to change but we use School Guru who come up with very useful info - this link will take you to their website http://www.schoolguruhertfordshire.co.uk/

  • What are "exchange" and "completion"
    The exchange means the exchange of contracts. Many years ago this meant that the buyer and sellers solicitors met and literally exchanged the contracts in identical form signed by their respective clients. Today the exchange usually just takes place over the telephone where each solicitor confirms they are in possession of a signed contract. Exchange is a significant milestone in that the transaction becomes a legally binding contract between the seller and the buyer at that point. One of the terms of the contract at exchange will be the completion date. Referred to as completion. This is the date on which the title to the property is transferred by the sellers solicitor to the buyer, the buyers solicitor transfers the agreed sale price to the seller and the buyer takes possession of the property. This is the date that the new owner of the property usually moves in. There is usually a time period between exchange and completion and this period can vary from a few seconds if exchange and completion take place on the same day or several months, even years. The norm however is usually between 2 and 6 weeks, and it is during this period that each party is able to book removals, make arrangements for the transfer of utilities and post and of course tell friends and family, or not !
  • I understand I need an EPC - how much is it and how long will it take?
    We can organise this through a third party. It takes about 24 hours and costs £50 plus VAT.

REGISTER A SEARCH

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Register your search

Complete the webform below and we'll send you updates on all new properties that fit your profile as soon as they become available.

 

ARRANGE A VIEWING

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We would be pleased to organise this for you.
It would be very helpful if you would give us more than one time when you would be able to view - this avoids some of the "backward and forward" messaging if your prefered time is unavailable.
If there is more than one property you would like to visit please make it clear in the message box which properties you would like to see and when.
If this doesn't turn out to be the right one we would really appreciate some feedback. It really helps our clients to understand what people think of their property and it will also help us better understand what you are looking for.
We hope you like it and look forward to hearing from you

 

ARRANGE A VALUATION

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How much is my current property worth?

When asked to give a "valuation" we will offer you our opinion of the likely figure you should expect to achieve should the property be put to the market.... MORE