What are the biggest property turn offs when buying a house?

Amelia's Shabby Garden Leeds

Tacky outdoor Christmas decorations, football flags flying from bedroom windows, parked cars or visible rubbish bins – what would turn you off viewing a property?

Well according to research, none of the above, but plenty of other hidden home horrors could have would-be buyers running a mile.

Well-documented survey results among estate agents, home professionals and home hunters have thrown up an interesting mix of property put-downs.

These include:

– Dirty bathrooms and kitchens – as these are personal spaces, ensure they are in pristine and clean condition.

– Clutter – buyers find it easier to imagine their own items in situ, so pack away photos, trinkets and ornaments if you have too many lying around.

– Odd looking plants in the garden! If a buyer cannot recognise a plant, they fear it could be the invasive Japanese knotweed.

– Transport noise – if your home is close to an airport, busy road or railway, think about measures to limit noise pollution through double or triple glazing.

– Coloured bathroom suites could give a feel of the Eighties – think about replacing with white suites if your improvement budget allows.

– Bad smells. Disguise odours from last night’s dinner with the smell of freshly brewed coffee, place some air fresheners around the home and banish smelly trainers to the shed!

– Houses with lots of cats! Worries include children with allergies moving in or the fact that the cats may return when the owner moves.

– Pushy sellers showing buyers around. Always take the advice from your agents and don’t be tempted to take on the role yourself – it can make viewers feel uncomfortable and in some cases, intimidated.

We have some simple but effective advice for people selling their property, particularly with a New Year around the corner.

Our Head of Estate Agency, Su Snaith said: “It really is a case of different strokes for different folks – depending on individual taste in many instances.

“However, the common theme does seem to be cleanliness and clutter. Potential buyers want to be greeted with a home they can imagine themselves living in.

“A messy and untidy home could be an instant turn off, so give your home a fresh, clean look and smell, and de-clutter where necessary – then you have a great starting point.”

Harrison Murray and Robin Hood team up for festive fun in Market Harborough

Dec 14 - Robin Hood visits HM in Market Haborough

Move over Santa – Market Harborough had another very special visitor making an appearance as part of the town’s Christmas festivities!

Our Harrison Murray and Nottingham Building Society branch in Market Harborough staged a ‘Christmas Soiree’, welcoming around 70 customers and visitors, as well as hosting a visit by our company mascot Robin Hood!

The branch event coincided with other Christmas activities happening in the town centre, with visitors enjoying festive refreshments throughout the late night office opening.

They were also invited to play a game of ‘window treasure hunt’, which involved local schools and 28 businesses hiding an unusual item in their window. For Harrison Murray, it was a chocolate bar. A donation was paid to enter with proceeds going to the Welland Valley Rotary Charity.

And in another special treat, artwork produced by creative youngsters from the nearby Little Angels day nursery was also on display, following a competition to create a drawing or picture of their favourite house.

Our Estate Agency manager Kameron Hutchinson said: “We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening with around 70 people joining us in branch.

Robin Hood was certainly a big hit with visitors of all ages and it was so nice our customers and visitors could share the event with us.”

Pic cap:
The Nottingham and Harrison Murray team Joanna Bailey, Kameron Hutchinson and Megan Marlow with Robin Hood and visitors.

Festive fun at the Christmas market

Chrismas Market 2

Our team in Grantham hit the streets last week to bring some festive cheer at the ‘Christmas on the Green’ in the town. As well as their Christmas wishes competition, they were raising money for SportsAid star Adam Harrison and local homelessness charity, Framework.

Senior Customer Advisor Dan Spendlow says ‘We’re very grateful to the people of Grantham who helped us raise almost £100 which we will split between the two charities.’

Sportsaid Table Tennis player Adam Harrison has been supported by the branch since March when the team handed over a cheque for £750 which they hope to boost to £1,000 through fundraising. Currently ranked seventh in the UK under 21’s after a successful 2014 season, the eighteen year old from Grantham shares just what the funding will mean for him; ‘I am delighted to have my hard work recognised by receiving funding from SportsAid and The Nottingham & Harrison Murray. This money allowed me to go on a summer training camp and has helped to cover some of the rising costs for equipment and accommodation.’

As well as the Christmas market, the team have grown moustaches, held table tennis tournaments and hosted a ‘family fun day’. Since its launch in 2013, almost 40 athletes have been supported through the scheme. To find out more, visit.

Christmas Market

Liking Harrison Murray lands Zoe new iPad


A quick scroll through her Facebook feed proved to be very much to the ‘liking’ of Zoe Thorpe – it earned her a brand new iPad Mini thanks to Harrison Murray (HM).

The 20-year-old from Wisbech saw an HM ‘Spot The Dog’ competition online and by sharing it with her friends (there were over 1,000 shares in total) was entered into a free prize draw.

Her name came out of the hat and Harrison Murray broke the news of the exciting early Christmas present to Zoe, who works in a childrens nursery.

Zoe popped into the Wisbech branch of Harrison Murray yesterday, and was presented with the state-of-the-art tablet by Sales Negotiator Ben Carter (pictured).

She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out, it’s amazing. I’m over the moon to have won the iPad – it’s the perfect early Christmas present.

“I’ve always thought fondly of Harrison Murray because I remember visiting the branch eight years ago when I moved house and the staff were all extremely friendly.

“And I certainly smile now whenever I see anything to do with Harrison Murray – because thanks to them I’m the proud owner of a new iPad.”

St.Albans and Harpenden high streets set for a Harrison Murray boost

The high streets of St. Albans and Harpenden are set to benefit from our new-look, modernised estate agency branches that are coming soon.

Thanks to substantial investment by The Nottingham Building Society (for which we are a part of), by as soon as mid-January (earlier in the case of St. Albans) the areas will be boosted thanks to the revamped premises.

Work begins in St. Albans this Friday (21st November) and a week later in Harpenden, with the former set to re-open week commencing 15th December and Harpenden in early 2015.

Customers should be assured that whilst the branches are closed they will still be able to access our expertise and services.

Our branch teams that are familiar to people in those areas will be contactable via existing phone numbers – (01727) 863114 for St. Albans and Harpenden on (01582) 766161 – and are being relocated to temporary office accommodation.

The Nottingham’s Head of Estate Agency Su Snaith explains: “The investment across both branches is substantial and represents the commitment of Harrison Murray to its loyal customer base in both locations.

“Customers in St. Albans and Harpenden will benefit from a continuous service whilst their branches close for refurbishment and they will be able to contact the teams.”

The St. Albans branch of Harrison Murray is on St. Peters Street and the Harpenden branch can be found on Church Green.

Our Market Harborough branch sell properties of a different kind to help Children in Need

Nov 14 - Market Harborough Children In Need event

Our Market Harborough branch certainly have the expertise when it comes to selling properties, but the team is facing a new challenge for Children in Need.

Properties of the paper and painted variety are being raffled by the estate agents in support of Pudsey-backed good causes, thanks to the efforts of budding artists from the Little Angels Day Nursery.

Creative youngsters are painting pictures of their dream home, which our branch in Market Harborough will frame and raffle off during a charity open evening next month. The finished results are now on display in the branch.

Proceeds will be added to the money raised from a Children in Need themed coffee morning for staff and customers, when the team popped on the kettle for tea and cakes.

Our estate agency manager Kameron Hutchinson said: “As everyone in the town is well aware by now, we are hugely community spirited and have become well known for our various fundraising initiatives.

“We were delighted, with the support of our customers, to do our bit for Children in Need – as usual, it was a lot of fun!”

Meanwhile, the branch will be welcoming customers to its second Christmas Soiree to join the team for festive refreshments on Friday 5 December from 4pm – where the painting will be raffled off.

And as part of our on-going support of the local community, we are sponsoring the goodie bags being distributed at Santa’s Grotto at the town’s Old Grammar School.

Our East Hunsbury branch lift the company Challenge Cup

Nov 14 - East Hunsbury Challenge Cup champs

Christmas has come early for our branch in East Hunsbury – proud winners of our Challenge Cup trophy.

Branch manager Ian Simons and the team lifted the coveted trophy for the month of October, in honour of East Hunsbury being the best performing branch.

The silverware will remain on display in the branch, which is to become its new home for the next month, with Ian clinching the title from three-times consecutive winners at our Melton Mowbray branch.

East Hunsbury saw off competition from our 20 other branches to be presented with the award for overall performance and excellent customer care.

Delighted Ian said: “We’ve had a fantastic month during October and really upped our game. We have a great team in place here at East Hunsbury and I am very proud of each and every person who has worked so hard towards this achievement.”

Pic cap:

We are the champions! East Hunsbury challenge cup winners (L to R) Annette Dyson, sales progressor; Claire White, sales and lettings negotiator; Lekeisha Dixon, lettings new business manager; Andrew Turner, senior negotiator; Ellie Palmer, weekender; Ian Simons, manager; Sean Perry, senior valuer and Julie Ashmore, administrator.

Back of the net! Football club scores sponsorship deal with our Grantham branch

Nov Grantham football club sponsorship

Our Grantham branch have taken their team colours from the branch window onto the sports fields – thanks to their local football club sponsorship.

Players from Caythorpe Sports & Social Football Club proudly wore their new blue and yellow kit at their recent 1-0 victory over Nobody Inn Reserves.

The club has been running successfully for eight years, and has become popular among Sunday morning players and supporters, being seen as a huge part of the local community.

Run jointly by managers Richard Welby and Garon Harrison, the team is hoping that the new look Harrison Murray kit will bring continued good fortune throughout the season.

Richard said: “Clubs are run on a very tight budget and with running costs rising each year, it is very hard to try and save for additional equipment and with the kit being the costliest item, clubs often have to search and work hard to get this sponsored by a company or carry on wearing a worn kit.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate to have found a generous sponsor in Harrison Murray, they could not have been more helpful or willing to help our club than they have been, and we are extremely grateful for this and would like to send a big thank you to everyone at Harrison Murray Estate Agents Grantham.”

Our Harrison Murray team joined our Nottingham Building Society branch in Grantham earlier this year, and the venture has been going from strength to strength.

Our Estate Agency Manager, Sarah Monteith said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this sponsorship deal to the football club, which is such a big part of the local community – not just for the players, but for their friends, families and supporters.

“As a business at the heart of the community ourselves, Harrison Murray values the importance of clubs, groups and organisations which brings local people together.”

Pic cap:
Estate agency manager from the Harrison Murray Grantham branch, Sarah Monteith – officially presents Caythorpe Sports & Social Football Club manager Garon Harrison with the new kit. Pictured with the team is club mascot Josh Welby.

The chaps at our Grantham branch have also been raising money in aid of Movember – here they are sporting their lovely attempts at facial hair.


We celebrate our new look estate agency team in Market Harborough

Nov 14 - Mkt Harb new team

We have strengthened their office line up – with a new look team now in place.

Remaining at the helm of the successful and community-minded branch is manager Kameron Hutchinson, along with existing negotiator Claire Appleby.

Joining the team is negotiator Kirsty Baird and estate agency newcomer Shanice Johnson, who has chosen to start her career with Harrison Murray – taking on the role of branch administrator.

Former Uppingham Community College student Shanice (18) originally studied beauty therapy, with an ambition to work on the cruise ships, before ending the course early when she decided it wasn’t for her.

She explained: “In all honesty I didn’t even think about becoming an estate agent until I met my now colleague Kirsty in college and she told me all about the job and then alerted me to an opportunity within the branch.”

Shanice was offered the role of administrator and took up the post just a few weeks ago. She added: “I have a great relationship with the whole team and personally wouldn’t consider any other agents as I have felt so comfortable and made to feel so welcome in such a short space of time.

“I’m eager to learn and very keen to rise to the challenge that this new exciting opportunity presents.”

Kameron said: “I am delighted to welcome both Kirsty and Shanice to the team, alongside myself and Claire – giving us a mix of strengths within the branch ranging from expertise and local knowledge to fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

“Our commitment to our customers remains as before, with Harrison Murray offering a first class, personal service to seller and buyers in and around Market Harborough.”

Pic cap:
New look team in place for Harrison Murray estate agents in Market Harborough. Pictured left to right Kirsty Baird, Kameron Hutchinson, Claire Appleby and Shanice Johnson.

Harrison Murray In The News

From a former RAF serviceman turned Harrison Murray estate agency manager to HM Lettings leading the way when it comes to new tenant immigration checks, the media have had it all covered of late.

If it’s happening at your local branch we want to make sure you can ‘read all about it’, whether that be in your local paper or online.

Why not set up a Google alert* with the search term ‘Harrison Murray’ and you’ll see what we mean.

You’ll be able to peruse stories, sent directly to your inbox, on a plethora of subjects including how our branches go to great charitable lengths to support talented young athletes bidding for Olympic glory one day via SportsAid.

Another story, carried in the Nottingham Post and Leicester Mercury recently, detailed the free prize draw entry for a £100 luxury hamper available in all our Harrison Murray branches (and Nottingham Estate Agency branches for those who live in Nottinghamshire) to anyone who instructs us to sell their property before 15 December**.

Here is a selection of some of the coverage we have received recently:

Landlords and agents must be ready for tenant checks – Nottingham Post

Wisbech estate agent appoints new manager – Fenland Citizen

Agents do charity… yet again – Estate Agent Today

Youngsters let their creativity run wild for Harrison Murray Halloween competition – Cambs Times

Move to a more environmentally friendly home – Leicester Mercury

How to prevent a DIY disaster – Derby Telegraph

Staying safe when selling your home this autumn – Property Reporter

Bland or bold for a successful property sale? – Hertfordshire Life

Heroic efforts at Harrison Murray raise vital funds for SportsAid athletes – SportsAid.org.uk

Christmas comes early at The Nottingham – Nottingham Post

*Other search engine alerts are available
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