COMBINING estate agency with a building society is a fantastic way of providing a community with a one-stop for financial and property services. And that’s precisely what Market Harborough’s branch of Harrison Murray plans to do. Located on the High Street, the Harrison Murray branch is proud of the professional and first-class services it offers the community and is soon to house the Nottingham Building Society.
Almost one year on from opening in April 2013, the Harrison Murray branch is eagerly anticipating its pending refurbishment and introduction of building society services.
The branch’s Manager, Kameron Hutchinson, is thrilled by the success they have experienced in the past 11 months, he says: “The upcoming refurbishment is a real testament to how well the Harrison Murray branch has been performing in Market Harborough. We pride ourselves on meeting our customers face-to-face. We always make our customers feel welcome to pop in on an informal basis, have a chat and find out a bit more about what we can offer them.”
“With the introduction of Nottingham Building Society as well, we’re delighted to offer our customers an even wider choice of services.”
Harrison Murray estate agency will be complimented with the installation of the Nottingham Building Society later this year. The Market Harborough community will be able to access their usual estate agency services from Harrison Murray, along with financial planning, insurance, savings and more from the Nottingham Building Society.
The joint venture between the Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray branches is being rolled out across Leicestershire to bring homegrown financial services, home buying and letting businesses to the East Midlands. It’s an exciting move for the Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray in allowing them to expand their offering to communities in Leicestershire.
Peter Stead, Area Manager across all Harrison Murray, has been with the estate agency since 1996 and is thrilled to see its continuing expansion. He says: “The joint venture of Harrison Murray with the Nottingham Building Society is another exciting chapter in the on-going success of the estate agency.”
Only a couple of months into the year, the Market Harborough branch is anticipating an exciting 2014 ahead of them. Kameron says: “Harrison Murray has been going from strength to strength, and our opening in Market Harborough last year further positioned us as a market-leading estate agency locally. This year, with the addition of the Nottingham Building Society and a brilliant refurbishment, we’re looking forward to another busy and successful year.”
HOW many of us have tapped our postcode into the search engine to find out how much our property is worth – particularly if a similar home nearby is up for sale!
Whether serious about selling or simply carrying out a fact-finding exercise, there is a danger that internet-generated results can be misleading – and this is where a real live professional can clear the muddy waters.
Using a valuer from the local area has numerous advantages to sellers, say estate agents Harrison Murray.
As well as guiding them towards marketing their property at a realistic price, input from a professional valuer ensures that the homeowner receives information based on fact and not fantasy.
Here are some things to bear in mind when valuing your home – and it is worth sellers doing a little homework of their own:
- Valuers will know what properties in your area actually sold for – which won’t always be the same as the asking price.
- Seemingly identical homes may have widely differing values. For example, perhaps one has a conservatory, is a much larger plot or has a room in the attic.
- Are they lots of buyers around?
- What sorts of properties are most in demand?
- Are prices rising or falling at the time of putting your property on the market?
- What’s happening to interest rates?
- What is your own situation – do you need to move quickly, have you found somewhere to move to?
Su Snaith, head of estate agency at Harrison Murray and The Nottingham, said: “All of the above will result in a realistic asking price for selling your home, and sellers can be confident that this is based on fact rather than what a computer wants to suggest.
“By using a professional valuation service, rather than a DIY on-line version, many people are pleasantly surprised with the outcome.”
WITH recent research suggesting more people are downsizing to save money for their retirement or reduce bills – Harrison Murray has some handy hints when downsizing.
According to survey figures (Nov 2013) from Lloyds Bank, almost a third of people are considering downsizing earlier than they expected to, with 37 per cent doing so as part of their retirement plans and nearly half (45 per cent) to reduce bills.
And for sellers planning to move to a smaller, more manageable property – there are some handy hints to help rather than hinder the process.
Su Snaith, head of estate agency for Harrison Murray and The Nottingham said: “We know that people tend to accumulate everything from pieces of furniture, kitchen items gardening equipment and so much more over the years.
“However, when it comes to downsizing, a move to somewhere smaller ultimately means less space and storage opportunities. Sorting out belongings before the move will ensure that you only take what you need or have room for.”
- Plan your packing well in advance as packing up a large home can be daunting.
Think about where you will be un-packing items and which room your belongings will be placed in – using colour codes or labels to help with the unpacking at your new home.
- Don’t take what you don’t need. Downsizing is your chance to have a thorough spring clean and focus on exactly what you want in your new home, and what you don’t. You may have furniture which is unsuitable or that won’t fit so think ahead and make sure you have taken proper measurements of your new property so you don’t struggle on moving day with items that you probably shouldn’t have brought with you.
- Set up your utilities as soon as possible – checking with your estate agent and obtain details of the previous utility providers so you can call them to set up new accounts. Also, make sure that your phone and broadband services are ordered prior to moving in as these often take a number of weeks to become active.
- Maximise space – Your new home might have less room so think carefully about the layout, and look at ways you can get the most out of the space available. You will be able to tailor the rooms to suit your needs.
Win £2000 of holiday vouchers*
If you’re thinking about selling your home it’s easy to start looking for the agent who has the lowest fee charges. But this is just one part of the whole home selling process. What should be at the top of your list is an agency who can confidently handle your sale, in a professional manner with efficiency. So before you make that decision, do a little research and find an estate agency, like ours, that has solid experience in selling properties, like yours.
At Harrison Murray and the Nottingham Estate Agency we have been selling homes for years and as such we know the areas we sell in. We have excellent knowledge of the neighbourhoods you live in and those you want to live in. We also know what you’re looking for, which is why we have a good pool of potential buyers on our books.
They will be able to go through the whole process of moving, timescales, how similar houses in the area have sold and ensure the move is as efficient as possible.
If you’re thinking about moving, give us a call. And if you instruct us to sell your property between the 1st November 2013 to 28th February 2014, you will be able to enter a prize draw to win a lovely relaxing holiday of your choice, with £2,000 in Thomas Cook holiday vouchers*.
We know this won’t be the reason why you choose us. You’ll choose us because of our expertise and experience, but wouldn’t it be nice to get your home sold and have a lovely holiday courtesy of us?
To find out more contact your local branch
*Closing date 28th February 2014. Terms and Conditions apply. Entry is in branch.
Harrison Murray estate agents will be putting the kettle on later this month to help raise funds for charity.
The team at the Duston branch of the independent estate agents will be brewing up in aid of the Macmillan Coffee Morning – around a month before the official event because of staff holidays.
Staff, friends, family and customers are invited to dig deep in their pockets on Friday August 23rd – when tea, coffee and homemade cakes will be on sale in the branch at Bordeaux Close.
This is the second year that the branch has taken part in what has become a popular national fundraising event for a cause which is particularly close to the heart of Harrison Murray branch partner Paula Scinaldi.
Paula – who recently raised £300 after taking part in the Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK in memory of her husband Tony – explained: “I have personally been with Macmillan for the last four years and as a team we wanted to support and promote the wonderful work the charity does. As many of us as possible wanted to be involved – which could only happen if we staged our event a month earlier, so we would love to see lots of public support.”
The event takes place from 9.30am until 12.30pm when shoppers and customers are invited to stop by for tea / coffee and cake.
Tea’s up ! Harrison Murray senior negotiator Claire Appleby and sales manager Kameron Hutchinson at the branch’s coffee morning with the company mascot.
When it comes to community spirit – estate agents Harrison Murray’s cup positively overflows with it!
The Market Harborough agent enlisted the help of the Harrison Murray mascot bear to announce details of the charity coffee morning at the branch, which saw local shoppers and business people chinking teacups in the name of Cancer Research UK.
The coffee morning collection and donations collected at last month’s Market Harborough Carnival have totalled £50 for the charity.
In addition – there was the Naming of the Bear competition announcement – with the adorable teddy being christened Charlie, and won by Harriett Muggleton.
Branch sales manager Kameron Hutchinson said: “The coffee morning was a brilliant success and our thanks to everyone who popped in to support the event. It also gave people the opportunity to find out a bit more about Harrison Murray, meet our friendly team and learn a little about our diverse range of services.”
With the long summer holidays just around the corner, there may be a chance to enjoy, rather than dread, a house move with the children around.
Moving home can be stressful enough for the adults, but spare a thought for the younger members of the family, and channel their energy in a positive and helpful way. In all the excitement of moving it may sometimes be difficult to remember that the young children in the family are also facing a change.
Harrison Murray development director Jackie Scotten said: “Selling the home and moving house can seem very daunting for some children, leaving them facing a huge change in their lives with new surroundings, new friends and possibly a new school.
“However old the children are, try and get them involved in the moving process by talking about the move, taking them on a fun trip to see a new school or new parks and places to eat, and give them little tasks to complete.”
Here’s how to get the children involved:
- Initially, chat to them about the family’s plans and get them on side when talking about moving to a new home in a new area – with lots to explore.
- Many children are expert hoarders, so introduce some eye-catching storage boxes and challenge them to sort out their toys/ belongings into things they really want to take with them and those to say goodbye to – this will help with de-cluttering too!
- For younger children, try and make sure that their boxed toys – with a label they can make themselves – are last into the removal van for easy access on arrival at the new home.
- Get your children involved in labelling other boxed items – with older children writing lists of contents.
- If possible, allow your younger children to select their new bedroom, decide on a colour theme and treat them to some new cushions, throws etc – but don’t overlook the favourite belongings that they may insist on taking.
- Let them say goodbye if you are moving out of the area. Take photographs and collect contact details from your child’s friends so they know they won’t lose touch.
- Ideally on the day of the move, have friends or relatives look after your children. If this isn’t possible, keep the children in the loop as to what’s happening and try and give them small tasks to do – but keep them small so that it doesn’t make the process more stressful for you!
- On arrival at the new house, encourage them straight away to put out a few initial belongings in their rooms to help make their mark on the new home.
A week or two in the sun may be just what you need if you’ve been trying to sell your home lately – but don’t forget to add your estate agent to any pre-packing preparations!
In all the excitement of a long-awaited break it may be easy to overlook a few important tasks to add alongside the ‘ticket, money, passports’ checklist.
Some simple steps can help sellers not only overcome the house selling blues whilst they are away – but could actually result in someone putting in an offer in their absence.
“When the weather is nice, people are more inclined to view houses, and a property always looks better on a sunny day,” said head of estate agency at Harrison Murray, Nick Salmon. “So when sellers go away, they should ensure that their house is still looking its best. While sellers enjoy a well-earned break, their estate agent will continue to work hard on their behalf.”
“There are a few steps sellers can take to ensure that there are no missed opportunities when it comes to viewings in their absence. Unfortunately, it is a situation estate agents experience time and time again – the seller goes on holiday and forgets to leave a key with the agent for them to show potential buyers the property while they are away.”
“This is easily resolved. If you are planning a break this summer, we would advise letting your agent know, and also to put together a simple checklist so that you don’t miss out on that potential sale.”
- Inform your estate agent that you are going away – and above all, leave them a key. There is nothing worse than having to turn away interested viewers because the agent has no access to your home.
- Ensure the house is clean and tidy before you leave. Place a couple of air fresheners around the property to compensate for having to keep windows closed and locked.
- Check for anything that might go off and smell – bread, fruit in a bowl and even flowers in a vase – and throw it away.
- Empty household rubbish bins, make sure all work surfaces are clean and tidy, clear out magazine racks, ensure that draining boards and sinks are clear of washing up and the dishwasher is clear of dirty crockery.
- Cut the lawn prior to your departure.
- If your refuse bins are due for collection while you are away, ask a neighbour to pull them back from the kerb to a suitable place once emptied.
- Make sure your agent also has a contact number in case they need to call you about that all important offer – even if you are sunning yourself abroad!
To find our where you nearest Harrison Murray branch is, or for more property tips, visit www.harrisonmurray.co.uk
Swapping the surroundings of their town centre branch for the fairway, Harrison Murray estate agents have been tee-ing off for a worthy cause.
Harrison Murray got behind the Aldwickbury Golf Club Charity Weekend in aid of the Hertfordshire Air Ambulance by sponsoring the 18th hole.
The Harpenden branch of the independent estate agents and valuers were among the many local business to turn out at the Aldwickbury Golf Course for the Harpenden Charity Golf event.
The tournament was held to boost funds for the £10,000 appeal in aid of Hertfordshire Air Ambulance, with Harrison Murray sponsoring the 18th hole.
Members of the air ambulance team, which landed the helicopter close to the 18th hole, were greeted by the Harrison Murray golfers as well as the company’s mascot!
Harpenden branch partner John Carini said: “It was a great day and we were delighted to be involved in not only an event which was a lot of fun but one which raised money for such a worthwhile, vital and local cause.”
What goes up must come down! Harrison Murray sales negotiator Diana Rugge from Northampton was exhilarated by the charity skydive.
Back on terra firma after plunging 13,000 feet from a plane is Northampton estate agent, and now charity skydiver, Diana Rugge.
After spending the past few months selling cakes and creative works of art, the Harrison Murray sales negotiator put her real fundraising efforts to the test with a skydive at Brackley Airfield in support of Action Aid.
Diana, who works at Harrison Murray’s town centre office, says the charity has had a huge impact on her life over the past five years. Not only has she sponsored a child in her birth country of Zimbabwe, but earlier this year she travelled the thousands of miles to meet nine-year-old Linnet and her family.
Action Aid is dedicated to helping communities in disadvantaged countries. Raising just shy of £600, Diana (23) knows just how important the donation is towards funding the charity’s work.
Diana said: “My huge thanks to everyone who has supported me and who truly understands just how much this charity and its work mean to me – particularly as I have had the honour of meeting one of the many families it helps. It was very emotional – not only to go back to my homeland, but to visit rural areas I had never seen before. Action Aid is currently building a new classroom at Linnet’s school, which was wonderful to see. The skydive was an amazing and exhilarating experience, and something I will remember for a very long time.”
Did you know:
- £25 could supply water to 250 people for four days in East Africa.
- £50 could give 100 children in Uganda sports equipment like footballs, volleyballs and nets.
- £100 could run a medical hospital in India for five days, treating over 1,000 people.
- £200 could provide a school of 1,000 pupils in Malawi with a guaranteed meal of nutritious porridge for two weeks.