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Alex Jones joins national customer service award scheme recognising the best property professionals in the UK.

Alex Jones Estate Agents, the Ashton Under Lyne based Estate Agent has entered The ESTAS Customer Service Awards.  The ESTAS is the national award scheme which recognises the best estate and lettings agents, mortgage advisors, conveyancers and suppliers to the residential property industry.  Winners are selected purely on feedback via ESTAS Customer Review platform which generates thousands of reviews from customers who have experienced the full service delivery from a property professional.  Last year over 45,000 customers completed an ESTAS survey helping firms taking part to gain valuable feedback which enables them to improve their services for the future.

 

Founder of The ESTAS Group Simon Brown said “ESTAS has become a community of forward thinking property professionals who are committed to delivering great service and in turn changing the perception of the sector by the general public. The fact is 99% of agents, conveyancers and mortgage advisors do a fantastic job for their clients, our review platform and awards provide a kite mark of service excellence for any property professional involved in the home moving process.”

 

The ESTAS Awards take place every spring at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Phil Spencer, the country’s favourite property expert and ESTAS brand ambassador, announces the winners in front 1,000 of the UK’s top property professionals.

 

Spencer says “I think it says a great deal about a firm who takes part in The ESTAS.  They care about their reputation and they care about their customers. Companies who sign up to The ESTAS are committed to giving customers the best possible service they can.”

 

Alex Bowden, Director at Alex Jones said “We take our levels of customer service very seriously because we know clients have a choice.  We have always been very proud of the personal service we provide and this is great way to demonstrate how good we really are.”

Alex Jones Estate Agents 

0161 292 9223 

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on just about everyone in the UK, and the national lockdowns have undoubtedly changed the way we live during the past year, and possibly forever.

Homes Are Now Doubling Up As Workplaces

Arguably the single biggest change that has occurred almost overnight, is the number of office-based workers who now work from home full-time.

For a lot of smaller start-ups, especially in the tech industry, this has been the norm for some time already. However, prior to the pandemic, many large companies had started to take tentative steps towards remote working, with staff working perhaps one or two days a week from home.

This trend has now become a full blown shift to permanent remote working for a lot of people, with major companies in various industries, including banking, travel and technology all announcing that employees can work 100% remotely, even after the pandemic is over.

With homes now doubling up as workplaces, this has naturally had a big knock-on effect on the property market as buyers and renters seek out more space.

Properties With Gardens And Offices Have Seen A Huge Spike In Demand

The biggest effect of lockdowns on the property market has been a shift in what buyers and renters want from a property now and in future.

As more people are working remotely, houses and flats with office space have seen a big increase in demand, while property listings website Zoopla confirmed that the most-searched term on their website in 2020 was ‘garden’.

This strongly suggests that the lockdowns have increased people’s desire for some outdoor space, having been cooped up indoors for months. Add to that, the long-term closure of bars, pubs and restaurants over the past months, and homes have increasingly become dining and entertainment spaces for many people too.

The other big change in buyer’s behaviour is the increased interest in houses instead of flats. Again, the potential extra space for a desk or a garden has clearly played a part in the minds of buyers and renters, as they spend more time at home and seek out larger living spaces.

Rural Areas Are The New Property Hotspots

The desire for more space, coupled with the shift to full-time remote working has opened up new property hotspots around the UK, with people no longer needing to be so close to their workplace.

For example, some areas of Wales and North West England have seen property prices climb around 15% in the past 12 months, whereas London has seen a far more modest rise of around 2%, with some parts of the capital even seeing a fall in prices.

The most likely reason for this shift is the change to remote working for many people, and also the fact you’ll generally get more for your money if you move further away from London.

Socialising Has Changed Dramatically

With bars, restaurants and nightclubs being closed, there has been a significant cultural change when it comes to entertaining, with increasing numbers of people choosing to host events at home.

This has contributed towards the growing trend of buyers looking for extra space from their property, particularly outdoors.

As restrictions ease it will be interesting to see if this new way of socialising continues, or if there’s a flood of people heading back to bars and nightclubs en masse. One thing’s almost certain though, and that is the number of workers who’ll be spending five days a week in the office is very likely to drop significantly, meaning city centres are likely to be less busy than before.

Build To Rent Is a Fast Growing Trend

Another trend that has taken hold since lockdown is the rise of the ‘Build To Rent’ (BTR) sector of the property market.

While home ownership is still an important goal for many people, the UK’s rental sector has doubled in size in the past 20 years, with BTR seeing a big increase since lockdown started.

There are BTR projects around the UK, and some of these have been boosted by the sad decline of the retail sector as developers swoop in on vacant out-of-town shops for their latest all-in-one residential developments.

One of the things that is making build to rent developments so popular is the ability to have everything in one place, meaning renters are getting the benefits of city living, without having to be in a city centre.

For example, many developments come with co-working spaces, cinema rooms, on-site salons and bars, so tenants have everything on their doorstep without the need to commute.

Alex Jones are your local property experts for the Ashton Under Lyne area. Call us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team if you are ready to change the way you live.

Autumn Jobs: How to prepare your home and garden for autumn

A rare warm breeze is a playful reminder that we are now into autumn, the summer months having passed us by.

Blue skies peppered with clouds will seemingly quickly turn to rain. Mornings start with wet ground underfoot, while the nights are already drawing in and the streetlights in and around Ashton Under Lyne will be glowing earlier. Children are collecting conkers, and while some of us relish the walks through the fallen golden leaves, others might be looking forward to snuggling down at home in the warmth.

It’s the perfect time to get our homes and gardens in order, ready for the rest of autumn, the slow onset of winter and the cold, snowy weather it often brings.

So, we’ve put together six things you should be doing right now to prepare your home and garden for the weeks ahead.

Store your garden furniture

You may already have been prepared and put all your summer items away, but some of us just haven’t got around to it yet, reluctant to say goodbye to the slim chance of just one more warm and sunny day! It’s a job that must be done though, so make sure that your patio furniture is stored away in a garage or a shed, or at least has a protective sheet over it. Chances are, you will have spent a few pounds on the furniture so you should look after it.

Top Tip: Give your garden furniture a good scrub before storing, as not only will it mean things are clean, it means you won’t have to spend time doing it when you bring your furniture out of hibernation in spring next year.

Don’t leaf it too late! (Sorry! We couldn’t resist!)

Many trees and plants have now shed their leaves, and you might love the look and sound of those crunchy piles as they mount up against a wall or fence, but it’s best to sweep all the fallen debris up before it begins to rot and leaves an unsightly mess in your garden. Similarly, ensure your gutters are free from mud, leaves and twigs.

Top Tip: Invest in a composter. That way, you have somewhere nearby to put garden clippings and leaves in, and, if managed carefully, you’ll have the beginnings of great compost.

Check your pipes and drains

As the days become colder, it makes perfect sense to make sure that you don’t get any headaches from broken pipes or blocked drains. With drains, ensure that they are not blocked by leaves or soil. With pipes, it’s best to ensure that they are well insulated. It’s also recommended that you keep your heating at set temperatures, even if you are away from home so that pipes don’t keep contracting and expanding, making them prone to damage.

Top Tip: Landlords who let out properties have a duty by law to have gas safety checks and boiler checks, but it’s easy for homeowners to skip an annual service. It makes sense to us here at Alex Jones for every homeowner to make sure their heating and boilers are in good working condition. It’s safer and more efficient, saving the pennies.

Ensure insurance is in place

No matter what you do, sometimes things go wrong, and it can prove costly. Through no fault of your own, harsh weather conditions in winter can mean leaks, breaks and cracks can happen. Check that your insurance is in place and that it covers you for everything you need.

Top Tip: As you’re checking your insurance cover, take the time to do an audit of other bits and bobs of paperwork too. Perhaps your car insurance needs looking at, or you need to renew policies or update your will. Seriously, spending time doing essential paperwork can save you money and heartache.

Sound the alarm

With the coming cold weather, chances are you’ll be spending more time indoors – the kettle is on, the fire is roaring, candles are lit, the heating’s on. While you’re indoors, you need to know you are safe, and that if anything should happen, you will be quite literally alarmed. Get a smoke alarm fitted, and a carbon monoxide alarm too. A few pounds spent could save your life.

Top Tip: If you’ve got your alarms sorted, do you have a plan of what happens if one sounds? Make sure you and your family know what they should do in the event of a fire or other emergency, including escape routes.

Seal up for winter

No matter how new your house may be, a little gap here and there can let in drafts – and allow heat to get out. Make sure your insulation is good and do any work to make sure doors close properly, or gaps in window frames are sealed. It’ll keep you warm and save you money.

Top Tip: A nice draft excluder by the front door can actually add to your decor. If you’ve got children, perhaps they would like to make a draught excluder out of old clothes and textiles as a fun project!

These are just a few tips to help you prepare your home and garden for autumn and winter. If you would like any more advice, we will be more than happy to help. Call a member of our team at Alex Jones on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Home staging is the process of preparing your property for sale. It involves making your home look its absolute best, encouraging viewers to place an offer on your property.

It generally starts with a thorough declutter, which makes the property seem more inviting and helps hugely with the moving process. Where necessary, you might also decide to redecorate. Depersonalising your home and repainting in a neutral palette can also help viewers envisage themselves in your home.

Many seasonal factors will also affect how you display your home, so here are our top tips for staging your home in autumn.

Focus on Kerb Appeal

First impressions count. From the second prospective buyers see your home, they should be wowed.

You should start by tidying up the garden, including mowing the lawn, de-weeding the path and repainting the fence. Next, clean the windows and repaint the front door where necessary.

To add an autumnal touch, consider a wreath made from deep oranges and brown tones, a classy way to incorporate the season into your décor.

Clear The Entranceway

The attention you have paid to the front of your home should continue into the porch or hallway. In autumn, these spaces are often cluttered with raincoats, muddy boots, and rouge leaves.

Be sure to deep clean the space making it warm and inviting for your viewers.

Sprinkle Autumnal Décor Carefully

It can be easy to go overboard when staging your home in autumn. With so many fun seasonal accessories available, many homeowners struggle to know where to draw the line.

Each room should have a nod to the season rather than revolving around it. For example, consider a singular piece of artwork, floral arrangement or pumpkin display in each room, which will avoid your home being taken over by the season!

Stage The Outdoors

Just because the weather is cooling doesn’t mean that your buyers don’t want to see the outside space. Leave out your garden furniture to show your viewers exactly how they can utilise the garden with their family and guests.

Even for those with tiny outside spaces, showing prospective buyers how they can enjoy this area will encourage them to make an offer.

Incorporate Autumnal Scents

Making your home smell fantastic doesn’t have to be as cliché as warm cinnamon rolls in the oven, but incorporating autumnal scents into your home will entice buyers to stay and see what the property has to offer.

Use candles and reed diffusers to allow subtle scents to float around the home. Pumpkin and burnt orange align with the seasons but be careful not to use too many contrasting scents, which can often counteract each other.  

Style The Dining Table

As the nights begin to draw in, our homes truly become our sanctuaries. So when buyers are viewing in autumn, they are already thinking of the festive period they will enjoy in their new home.

Therefore, showcasing how great the property is for hosting is of paramount importance. Lay the table, complete with an autumnal runner, crockery and glassware. This will make the room warm and inviting, encouraging visitors to imagine their friends and family enjoying the entertainment space. 

Focus on Lighting

Lighting is crucial when staging your home in any season.

Without enough lighting, your home will look dark and uninviting. On the other hand, if the lighting is too intense, the space will look uncomfortable and clinical.

Soft, freestanding lights tend to work better than brighter overhead bulbs. Use a collection of table and floor lamps to create a subtle glow around the home, complimenting any natural light rather than overpowering it.

Highlight The Fireplaces

As mentioned, viewers want to see a house they can imagine spending the winters tucked up inside. And nothing screams cosy evenings like a fireplace.

The warm embers and soft glow of an original fireplace will be enough to entice any buyer.

Use Dried Floral Arrangements

Flowers are an excellent final touch for styling any home. They allow you to add just the right amount of personality along with a pop of colour to every room. However, autumn is not the optimum time for fresh flowers.

Consider instead investing in a few dried bouquets to dot around the property. These look incredible, stand the test of time, and can be easily transported to your new home.  

Earthy tones are perfect for autumn, and be sure to add in some bright yellows to liven up the room.

We’re here to help

At Alex Jones, we understand that selling your home can be stressful and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Contact us today on 01612929223 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a friendly chat about our services.

Many people believe that spring is the best time to sell a house, with buyers wanting to be moved in ready for summer, viewings able to take place later in the day thanks to the lighter evenings, and spring traditionally being a time for new beginnings.

However, there are plenty of reasons why September is actually a better time to sell, with leading property website Rightmove even confirming an increase in traffic numbers to their website in their most recent figures.

If you’re thinking of selling your property in Ashton Under Lyne , here are a few reasons why September is a great time to sell:

  • Motivated Buyers

Buyers who start looking for a home in September are generally planning to be moved in by Christmas, particularly if they’re looking to host family and friends in their new home.

As a result, they see December as a self-imposed deadline, which can encourage them to make an offer quickly and also do their best to speed up the buying process.

  • The School Holidays Are Over

Summer is usually seen as the worst time to sell, especially if your home is ideal for a family. With the kids off school, and many families going away on holiday, most parents don’t have the time or energy to be looking at properties during July and August.

However, once September comes around again, it can be much easier for buyers to fit the time in for viewings. It’s also better for sellers too, as it’s easier to keep the house clean and have viewings during the day with the kids back at school.

  • School Admission Deadlines

As parents will know, school admission deadlines fall in late January, or early February. Therefore, families looking to move into the catchment area for a particular school will need to be moved in by this point, making September an ideal month to start looking for a new home.

  • You Can Highlight Your Home’s Features

With the Winter months approaching, gardens become less of a focus for buyers, as they’re more interested in a cosy home where they can stay warm.

This gives sellers a great chance to highlight the interior features that make their home ideal for the colder months, such as a fireplace or a wood-burning stove.

And having it lit for the estate agent’s photos can really make a difference to buyers.

  • You Can Show Off The Views

If your home has great views that are obscured by fully blossomed trees in the spring and summer months then September can be a great time to highlight its full views to buyers.

With autumn fast approaching and the leaves starting to fall, it may be the ideal time for buyers to see the views at their best, and it can even allow more light into the house and garden.

  • You’re More Likely To Get The Full Asking Price

Research shows that September is a strong month for buyers, with property searches very high, compared to November and December for example.

This means more potential buyers for your property, which in turn means more competition among buyers. When you consider the fact that there are more motivated buyers too, it can create a perfect storm for sellers.

It’s also worth noting that if you list your house during a quieter month it might stay on sale for longer. This may lead to buyers questioning why, and perhaps going in with a lower offer than they’d otherwise be making.

Are There Other Good Months To Sell?

March is still considered by many people to be the best time to sell. Houses that come on to the market during that month tend to sell quickest on average, and there are several reasons why it’s considered to be a good month.

  • The weather’s getting milder, which encourages buyers to go and view houses
  • Gardens are coming into bloom
  • The evenings are starting to get lighter, so buyers can see a house in its best light
  • There’s usually plenty of buyers in the market for a new home
  • Kids are still in school, so busy parents have more time to view properties

However, it’s worth remembering that different times of the year can appeal to different buyers.

For example, September is still seen as a good month for buyers with children, due to the school admissions deadline and wanting the family to be in their new home for Christmas.

On the flip side, first-time buyers and young couples may wait until the new year to start looking, with the aim of being in their new home in time for the summer, when they can host friends and family into the evening, with no kids to think about!

Thinking of selling in September?

Alex Jones are your local property experts for the Ashton Under Lyne area. Call us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book a free valuation.

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