Tel: 0161 292 9223 | 24/7 Tel: 07984 384 433
sales@alex-jones.co.uk | lettings@alex-jones.co.uk
       

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.

How to Stay Healthy this Autumn

As if we didn’t have enough to contend with already this year, autumn has arrived, and that means cold and flu season is underway. For some, weeks of sniffling, sneezing and generally feeling a little under par lie ahead.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from unwanted germs, and if you do succumb to the dreaded lurgy, how can you get back to full health as quickly as possible?

5 Ways to Avoid Catching a Cold
1. Don’t neglect your general health

We all know that a healthy diet and exercise will help keep your immune system strong, but just how good is your nutrition, and how active are you?

You should make sure you eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day and take 30 minutes of exercise to help keep your body in good condition.

Cutting out smoking and reducing your alcohol intake is also sensible.

  • If you don’t like fruit and vegetables, consider new ways to ensure you don’t deprive your body.
  • Blend up a smoothie: It’s not as nutritious as eating an actual piece of fruit but is better than nothing!

Make a vegetable soup: Warming and tasty, this is a superb way of getting your five a day in one sitting. Choose delicious veggies such as butternut squash, parsnip and broccoli and add spices to keep recipes interesting.

2. Get enough sleep

You may think you can function on just five or six hours of sleep per night. Still, the reality is that those who get less than six hours sleep are on average four times more likely to get a cold than those who sleep for seven hours or more, according to research from the University of California.

Sleep is critical for health, so if you’re a night owl, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night over five days. You’ll gain an extra hour and 15 minutes sleep overall and will barely notice your earlier bedtime!

If you find it difficult to drop-off once your head hits the pillow, try the following tricks to help you:

  • Spray a little lavender on your pillow and bedsheets. It’s soothing, calming and can help induce sleep.
  • Make the final hour before you go to bed a ‘device-free zone’. Switch off your phone, avoid your computer and the TV and instead read a book or magazine. Doing so takes you away from the blue light, which is emitted from smartphones and computers and may inhibit your sleep.
3. Wash your hands

This has been drilled into us all recently, but it shouldn’t take a pandemic to make us reconsider our personal hygiene.

Anything you can do to avoid exposing yourself to a cold virus will reduce your chances of catching it. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and carrying sanitizer with you, means you won’t pick up germs or transfer them to others so easily.

  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with dirty hands.
  • Cover your mouth if you do cough or sneeze.
4. Avoid children – if you can!

This is a tough one and virtually impossible for most people; however, children do tend to get several colds a year only because their immune systems are still developing so are perfect cold and flu carriers! They then pass the cold on very easily to those who come into contact with them. Parents of young children are the highest risk; however, contact obviously cannot be avoided altogether.

  • Teach your child to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze
  • Make sure your child washes their hands regularly to minimize the risk of passing on germs! 

Easier said than done – we know!

5. Be mindful of others

Often it’s challenging to make the decision to take a sick day away from work or other commitments, but if you are a ball of germs, the sensible option is to have a duvet day. This is not only in the interest of those around you, but you’ll also recover more quickly with some rest, allowing your body time to heal.

If you do succumb to a cold this autumn here’s what you can do to speed up your recovery:
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water, juice, or a hot lemon drink with some added honey. This helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration.
  • Take the recommended pain relief dosage for an adult or child, such as a decongestant, painkiller or antihistamine.
  • Rest your body to allow it to heal.
  • Gargle salt-water if you have a sore throat. Use a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8ozs of warm water. This is not recommended for children.
  • Speak with your pharmacist and try an over the counter cough or cold remedy.

Your immune system is a remarkable thing and is highly efficient at dealing with most colds and viruses, so remember, however annoying and frustrating it is, you will likely recover from a cold in a few days.

Our team at Alex Jones are fit, healthy and strong and ready to advise you on your next home move.

Call us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be delighted to help you.

Becoming a landlord for the first time is an exciting prospect, with not only the opportunity to bring in some additional income but also the chance to expand your portfolio further and perhaps even start up your own property business.

However, it can be tricky to know where to start once you have invested in your first property and you don’t want to be making too many costly mistakes.

Fortunately, you can avoid the most common landlord pitfalls by simply following our seven essential tips for new landlords.

1.   Do your groundwork

Before you start to market your rental property and look for potential tenants, if you haven’t done so already, you first need to research the local area thoroughly.

Is your property near good local schools? Is it near a university or college?

This can be helpful in deciding what type of tenants your property will appeal to, for example, families, students or working professionals.

It is also a good idea to find out how much similar properties in the area are currently renting for, as this can act as a benchmark for your own chosen monthly rental price.

2.   Take out insurance

Although landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement for renting out a property, it is highly recommended as it covers everything from accidental damage to structural issues caused by hazards such as fire, snow or strong winds.

You may also want to take out rent guarantee insurance which protects you if your tenant fails to pay their rent. It can also cover the cost of any legal fees if you need to evict a tenant.

Your tenants are responsible for taking out their own content insurance to cover their belongings.

3.   Find reliable tenants

One of the easiest ways to find good tenants is through word of mouth. Speak to your family, friends and work colleagues to see if they are aware of anyone who is looking to rent a property. You can also advertise for tenants on a variety of reputable websites or use a letting agency.

To attract the best possible tenants, ensure your listing describes the property in full and includes good quality photographs as well as advertising your property at a competitive market rate.

You should always check a potential tenant’s rental history and credit score, as well as perform a criminal background check. If the results are preferable, it now comes down to your natural instincts.

How do you feel about the tenant in question? Do you feel like you can trust them?

If yes, you’ve found your first tenants. Congratulations!

4.   Create a tenancy agreement

Once you have found your tenants, you now need to draw up a written tenancy agreement which details all the terms and conditions of the tenancy and gives you as the landlord, and your tenants rights.

This is extremely important as it will ensure the protection of your property, set out the obligations of your tenants and help prevent any future disputes.

If you have found your tenants through a professional letting agency, the tenancy agreement can be professionally drawn up through the agent.

5.   Place the deposit in a TDP scheme

Landlords are now legally required to place their tenant’s deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. This was created to stop rogue landlords from refusing to give back their tenants’ deposits after they have moved out.

You must place your tenant’s deposit in a scheme within 14 days of receiving it and you also have to inform your tenants of which scheme you have chosen within 30 days.

6.   Ensure your property is energy efficient

You should also strive to improve your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), to reach the minimum energy efficiency standard (effective April 2020).

Ways in which you can make your property more energy efficient include:

  • Upgrading your boiler
  • Sealing windows and doors
  • Installing double glazing
  • Installing loft and wall cavity insulation
  • Using energy efficient lightbulbs
  • Installing smart meters

Since April 2016, tenants have the right to ask their landlords to make their properties more energy efficient, and furthermore, as a landlord, you are legally required to make adequate improvements.

7.   Maintain a good relationship with your tenants

Arguably one of the most important aspects of becoming a good landlord is ensuring that you are able to build and maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants. Effective communication, on both sides, is crucial if you want to avoid any problems or disputes.

Try and respond as quickly as possible to any requests from your tenants and listen to any concerns that they may have. Once you find reliable tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property, you don’t want to lose them!

If you are considering letting your property in Ashton Under Lyne call our team at Alex Jones on 01612929223 for friendly help and advice on all rental aspects.

You’ve decided to move and you know you need a mortgage. Sounds simple.

But is it?

  • Is your credit score going to stop you from moving to the house of your dreams?
  • Do you even know what your credit score is and why it’s important?

In this article, we take a look at what a credit score is and why it’s important to improve your credit score before getting a mortgage.

We’re not financial planners or advisors, but we do know a thing or two about important subjects relating to property! If you want to know more, email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01612929223 for an informal chat.

What’s a credit score?

If you’re looking to borrow money, and you need to borrow it from an organisation, like a bank or building society, they have to be confident that you’re going to be paying it back.

So, right at the start of your mortgage application, they’ll have a look at your credit score – that is a number rating that is reached after your financial position has been looked at. The higher the score, the better position you will be in.

Things that may lower your credit score are, for example

  • Missing important repayments on credit cards or loans.
  • Having credit rejected for some reason
  • Having lots of outstanding loans already

Remember, a lender needs to be sure the money will be paid back.

Can you see your credit score?

Yes, you can. There are a number of agencies that collate information and calculate a credit score.

You should be able to create an account with a credit agency and have a look at your financial position. It’s the sort of information that lenders will be looking at.

Handily, it will show you all the positives but it will also show you any negatives – for example, a missed payment.

You can usually sign up to an account for free but you will most likely be asked if you want to get regular updates. This will cost a small fee, but you can usually close your account and not accrue any costs.

When you look at your credit score you may spot a couple of things that could lead to a low score and a mortgage offer not being successful.

Different lenders use different agencies so it might be that a little transgression may not affect things. But, you do need to look at what the negatives are.

Get on a roll

If you’re not registered to vote, you’re unlikely to have a good credit score. If this may be a factor, rectify it.

Credit where it’s due

Sounds a bit wrong, but you’re likely to have a low score if you don’t have much credit. The thing is, how can your ability to make repayments be calculated if you’re not making any repayments for anything? Have a think about taking out a credit card – but work out how to use it to your advantage.

Don’t keep applying

If you do get turned down for credit, don’t keep on applying. If the metrics say no, they won’t change overnight. It’s usually around six months that you need to wait before reapplying. During that time, you could have improved your score.

Partner penalties

If you look at a credit score report, you will see that it will link you to a partner. For example, you may have had a previous mortgage with a now ex-wife or husband. That will affect the rating you get so it may be worth asking the credit reference agencies to break that link in your file.

Too many cards

If you have had a couple of credit cards, don’t really use them but you’ve kept them going for a bit “just in case”, think about getting rid of one or two of them. Credit scores will assess them all and this can work against you. having credit cards with zero balances makes it appear that you have access to funds already, and the question then is likely to be “why do you need more?” This does not necessarily apply to mortgages but is good to be aware of anyway!

This advice should prove helpful. The key takeaway for you though should be – know what your credit score is and do something about it if it’s poor.

Alex Jones are your local property experts for the Ashton Under Lyne area. We can help you sell your current home and find you your next home! Call us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Property Portals