‘Neighbours should always be good friends’, as the saying goes…

EVER felt like your neighbours let the street down, with rubbish bins left out and uncut lawns? Besides being annoying, it could even affect the resale of your home.

Estate agents, Harrison Murray, have put together some tips to make sure you don’t suffer as a result of those nagging neighbourly worries.

Su Snaith, head of estate agency at Harrison Murray says: “Time and time again we see homeowners who have invested time and money into making their property market-perfect. All to be let down by their neighbours.”

Not all neighbours are on first name terms but that doesn’t mean homeowners should avoid approaching them with regards to keeping the street looking nice.”

When viewings take place, potential buyers want to be able to imagine themselves happy not only in the property but in the area too. Having good neighbours is all part of the package – and it starts with a tidy looking house.”

To make sure your home benefits from a tidy street when it comes to putting your house on the market, here are few tips from Harrison Murray:

- Even if you don’t talk to your immediate neighbours often, pop round and let them know you’re putting your house on the market. It’s courteous to let people know that there will be potential buyers viewing the property: there may be the occasional extra car parked outside and people looking at the surrounding area.

- If you’ve noticed that bins are left out a long time or are always in plain view, politely ask them to put them away. Perhaps offer to pop their bin back in place when you do yours.

- Tackle the issue of shared land. Perhaps you live in a cul-de-sac with a shared driveway or lawn area. Look at the paperwork you have on your property to see who is responsible for these areas.

- Is the council responsible for maintaining the appearance of hedges and other areas in your neighbourhood? Give them a call to find out when they will be tidying up the local area and if needs be, give them a hint about areas that may need a little upkeep now.

- Be prepared for potential buyers to ask about the relationship you have with your neighbours. Make sure you have addressed any problems with noise, untidiness or inconsiderate behaviour well in advance of putting your house on the market. That way you can remain transparent with potential buyers and say that your current relationship with your neighbours is a good one.

All-in-all fostering a good relationship with your neighbours is done over time. So when you move into your new home, be sure to introduce yourself to the families living next door – then from day one you’re off to a good start.

A reputable estate agent, such as Harrison Murray, will be happy to offer further advice on putting your home on the market with outstanding neighbourly issues.

Three-times the talent: Harrison Murray strengthens its estate agency team in Wisbech

HARRISON Murray is thrilled to announce the appointment of not one, not two but three new team members at its busy Wisbech branch.

First of those starting at the branch is Joe Green. Joe has just returned from New Zealand and joins the estate agent as a viewing representative.

Next is Ben Carter, who previously worked in hospitality and makes the moves into estate agency as a trainee negotiator with Harrison Murray.

And last, but not least, Wisbech’s new branch valuer is Ben Wuttke. Ben knows the Wisbech community like the back of his hand, having had seven years’ experience as an estate agent in the local area.

This burst of new talent is a sign of great things to come for the well-respected estate agent.

Charlie Green, manager for Harrison Murray’s Wisbech estate agency, is delighted to welcome the new members to the successful team.

Charlie says: “It’s always great to have someone new join Harrison Murray. This time it’s three times as exciting! The new team members have a huge range of experience that will undoubtedly bring a wealth of benefits to the branch.

“They are all confident their experience and abilities will see them in good stead for their new careers at Harrison Murray. Already it’s clear that they all truly complement and enhance our existing professional, welcoming and friendly team.”

The Wisbech branch is located on Bridge Street, and other local Cambridgeshire Harrison Murray branches can be found in March and Chatteris.

Pic caption:
Three new additions to the Harrison Murray Wisbech branch: viewing representative Joe Green, trainee negotiator Ben Carter and branch valuer Ben Wuttke.

Leicestershire couple are flying high after winning the holiday of their dreams from Harrison Murray

Leicestershire couple Alan and Jenny Wood are celebrating after claiming the top prize of £2000 worth of holiday vouchers, in a competition run by estate agent Harrison Murray.

Homeowners instructing Harrison Murray to sell their property earlier this year were entered into the prize draw to win the holiday of their dreams.

Jenny said, “When I got the call to tell me we had won I thought someone was winding me up, I simply couldn’t believe it. I never win anything! I have been filling in the crossword for a national newspaper for 25 years and never won a bean, so this was such a shock.

“Now that I have the vouchers it feels real and we can start planning our perfect holiday. We have decided to take our son and his family away with us to one of the Balearic Islands later this year. We are really looking forward to spending quality time with them and seeing our granddaughters Ebony and Faith playing on the beach.”

Simon Taylor, chief operating officer for The Nottingham, who presented the couple with their prize at the Syston branch of Harrison Murray added;

“We decided to run this competition as many people looking to move home are often faced with a choice of hanging on to their cash to pay for the move or spending it on a break.

“I so am delighted that such a lovely couple will be able to enjoy a well-deserved family holiday.”
In the photo (left to right Alan and Jenny Wood with Simon Taylor, The Nottingham’s Chief Operating Officer)

Don’t miss out on a cracking opportunity to sell this Easter

A COLOURFUL array of chocolate eggs on shelves and equally stunning displays of spring flowering bulbs all sure-fire signs that Easter is approaching.

And while many home sellers choose the school break and Bank Holidays to enjoy a family get-away, estate agents Harrison Murray have some advice to ensure there are no missed opportunities when it comes to viewings.

“While some people put their moving plans temporarily on hold to enjoy some family time, there are many more who use the break to get serious about snapping up a new home,” said Su Snaith, head of estate agency for Harrison Murray and The Nottingham.

“The Easter break is a great time to recharge your batteries after the winter months – but for those people who are looking to move, it presents a wonderful opportunity to go house hunting.

“If your home is for sale and you are planning a few days away over Easter, it is certainly worth putting a few simple steps in place before you leave.”

Forward planning in advance of taking a break will ensure you stay a hop and jump ahead of the Easter bunny!

-DO inform your agent that you are going away – and above all, leave them a key. There is nothing worse than having to turn away interested viewers in your absence because the agent has no access to your home.

-DO ensure your home is spotless if you are going away for a few days.

-DO 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 empty. A couple of strategically placed air fresheners will ensure a pleasant aroma in your home.

-DO – if the weather allows – give the lawn a spring cut and pop a few plants in containers before you leave.

-DON’T leave any washing hanging over the radiators, dying flowers in a vase or fruit past its best in the bowl. Give your home a general once-over to ensure there is no clutter lying about.

-Finally, DO make sure your agent has a contact number in case they need to call you about that all important offer!

Harrison Murray’s Enderby branch is celebrating a double – with a best performance award and a new manager at the helm

The Enderby branch of Harrison Murray proudly announces they are the estate agency’s award-winning branch for 2013 and have welcomed Teana Hampson to the team, as estate agency manager.

As the best performing Harrison Murray branch of 2013, and having won several of the coveted Challenge Cups throughout the year, the Enderby branch has been awarded Branch of the Year 2013. The award recognises consistently high performance and rewards excellent customer care.

The Enderby branch ticked all the right boxes and beat the 17 other Harrison Murray branches to the podium for this highly sought-after award.

In addition to their most recent award, the Enderby branch is also welcoming Teana Hampson as estate agency manager. Teana, who also manages Harrison Murray’s Hinckley Road branch in Western Park, Leicester, and has great visions for both teams in 2014.

Teana said: “I am delighted to be leading the Enderby team as estate agency manager, especially after such a fantastic year in 2013. Being awarded Branch of the Year is the aim of every Harrison Murray branch and the Enderby team fully deserve the accolade.”

“I look forward to having the opportunity to lead such a successful team, whilst continuing my career with Harrison Murray.”

“The Enderby branch is located at the heart of the Blaby community and it is certainly the estate agency of choice in the area. Along with the rest of the dedicated Enderby team, I’m thrilled to be a part of an estate agency that takes customer satisfaction and care so seriously, whilst still providing exceptional performance figures.”

The branch offers a comprehensive service that includes all aspects of sales, sales progressing, financial services, conveyancing and lettings.

The Melton Mowbray branch will also offer building society services

Estate Agency and Beyond: Harrison Murray welcomes the Nottingham Building Society

COMBINING estate agency with a building society is a fantastic way of providing a community with a one-stop shop for financial and property services. And that’s precisely what Melton Mowbray’s branch of Harrison Murray plans to do later this month, as they move to a new home themselves.

The Harrison Murray branch is moving on to bigger and better premises with their relocation to 34 Market Place at the heart of Melton Mowbray. As part of their pending relocation, Harrison Murray will be welcoming an even wider range of services as the Nottingham Building Society joins them in their new location. The estate agency and building society will be offering even more services with great value products, whilst keeping the same first-class customer service.

Estate Agency Branch Manager at Melton Mowbray Harrison Murray, Mike Ford, is eagerly anticipating their move and introduction of the Nottingham Building Society.

Mike says: “Our relocation later this month is a real testament to how well the Harrison Murray branch has been performing in Melton Mowbray. 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. We make it a priority to meet our customers face-to-face and help them throughout their buying or selling journey. Now we’re going to have a wonderful new location to do that in.”

“With the introduction of the Nottingham Building Society as well, we’re delighted to offer our customers an even wider choice of services. We really will be a one-stop shop for the Melton Mowbray community.”

As the Nottingham Building Society joins Harrison Murray, the Melton Mowbray community will be able to access their usual estate agency services, 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 further expand their offering to communities in Leicestershire.

Peter Stead, Area Manager across all Harrison Murray branches, 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.”

Tips on getting the best and most accurate valuation on your home

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.”

Handy hints for downsizers

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.

NOVEMBER 2013. Selling your home through us is a win win situation

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.




Catch up for a cuppa at Harrison Murray and help boost charity funds

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.