I dis-instructed my Estate Agent yesterday. Alas, I still want to sell my house and I want to move.

Once upon a time as far back as the 1990’s an E.A did 2 things to sell your home.

  • They put it in the window
  • They put it in the  local newspaper.

A decade ago, they advertised on Property Portals too. 5 years ago the smart agents used social media too……….

EA’s are finding the market hard and yet are losing customers because of a basic lack of trained staff able to  provide answers / suggestions or even provide timely feedback.

No wonder Purple Bricks and other Online Estate Agents are soaring…….because at the end of the day I have to ask, “What actually is my local independent agent doing more?”

Now, the answer should be:

  • that they are talking to people about your home
  • ringing out etc,
  • conducting amazing viewings and being personal, professional but most of all locally knowledgable.
  • Tweeting, creating discussion, offering to do a video, 360degree tour.
  • When the market is not great they should be calling you and discussing it, looking at other ways to gain traction
  • Sharing knowledge, sharing statistics, giving evidence based information on the market.

Sadly they are not.  They are sat behind their mahogany desk chewing a Rightmove free pen, doodling on their day book and staring into the street wondering where the next deal is coming from, or why they are losing business, or going on Linked In to complain about online Estate Agents…..

I am a Lettings expert, Ive been in this industry for 25 years and know a thing or two. I’ve ran my own company for a decade, but despite that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that markets change and behaviours have to change to adopt.

I apologise to all my Estate Agent peers, but I did it. I called Purplebricks.

The chap came out and surpassed the high street agents in knowledge and enthusiasm. He was darn right honest about the service PB provided. “I list your property, you do the viewings, I will help negotiate your sale if you need it, you use the app to do it all yourself, you are basically paying a listing fee but you have full control”. Hmmm all very tempting.

So with my local EA I was doing the viewings anyway, partly because the experience I had with the Saturday Girl reduced me to an hours private weeping.

I was called to reflect on the choice in front of me.

No viewings in 7 weeks, only one phone contact by them in this time.

There is nothing really we can say Mrs A. the market is quiet at the moment and its holiday season. Maybe reduce the price?”

I queried a property the same size as mine last week but in a far worse condition / location at 50K higher in price. I suspect just to get the instruction as when I queried it they indicated they would need to review it.

I suggested that maybe good old EA ways was maybe not enough anymore – how about doing a video of the house and then promoting it via social media?  A few nods but alas 4 weeks later not a glimpse of action. I popped in earlier in the week for an update, I was astonished by the suggestion of…

Maybe you should consider going multi-agent”

Actually, I was not just astonished I was downright flabbergasted.

All the  years Ive spent in this business and never do you suggest someone take away the business, not even half of it!

I know the market is tough, and I know my home may not sell overnight, this isn’t really about that. Its about the communication, dedication, going the extra mile, suggesting ideas….show me that beyond all else they are trying really hard that no other agent could plausibly do more……..so that I know going elsewhere is futile. So that I know they are doing so much more than PB could and therefore I have faith to leave it with them.

If Estate Agents don’t change, adapt and offer – even more importantly PROVIDE – a more customer centric, forward thinking, proactive service then quite frankly they cannot complain when the online agents steal their potential customers. Its not difficult, but I wonder how many are going to change? Or how many will chew their Rightmove pens and doodle in their day books until the day of redundancy calls?




Available from January 2017, an excellent sized family home in a hugely desirable area.

SurreyLets are pleased to bring back  to the rental market a property that has been lovingly updated and modernised by its owners.  The property  is a  generously sized family home that is situated within walking distance of Horsley train station and local shops as well as being within the catchment area of outstanding local state schools and a plethora of independent schools.East and West Horsley are sought after desirable areas for families relocating from overseas.  Its the perfect location for the international schools: The ACS in Cobham and the ISL in  Woking and the Horsley’s are situated just a mere 47 minutes from the heart of London City. Furthermore within an hour you can access Gatwick or Heathrow Airport.  Above all it is for convenience, The Horsley’s are surrounded by stunning greenbelt countryside offering a plethora of parks, common land and areas of outstanding natural beauty to explore . Locals who live here do so for the outstanding state schools, The Raleigh Primary School and The Howard of Effingham School both  on the doorstep.  Those looking at private schooling have Glenesk , Cranmore School and St Teresa’s. For more about the delight’s and benefits of Horsley living, read here.

P1050860 (640x480)P1050770 (640x480)P1050853 (640x480)P1050823 (640x480)P1050781 (640x480)


This property is a charming family home filled with original features, generous room sizes and has recently been modernised to a high standard throughout. The property is approached by a sweeping gravel driveway with plenty of parking. It benefits from far reaching views to the front overlooking this semi-rural area and beautiful gardens to the rear.

The accommodation comprises of: A Modern fitted kitchen that is open plan to a dining area and snug. The Kitchen boasts a full array of appliances including an Aga Rangemaster oven, a Bosch American fridge freezer and dishwasher which are built into modern units and finished with granite work surfaces and double Belfast sink. The kitchen offers a central island that can be doubled as a table / breakfast bar. Additionally the kitchen leads to a dining area with tri-fold doors to the rear garden, this area comfortably seats more than 8 people. The dining area leads into the snug which is a versatile and comfortable living space which could have a variety of functions.

The main living room is a delightful, deceptively large family space with a feature fireplace, bay window seat and wooden floors throughout. The whole of this downstairs living accommodation can either be opened up to create one large room which offers a truly excellent entertaining space, or closed off to offer several independently spacious living spaces. The downstairs hall area offers an abundance of space which has been thoughtfully used to combine with a study and piano area. The W.C / downstairs shower room is located off the main reception hall.

To the side of the kitchen there is a contemporary extension which offers a playroom with french doors leading onto the rear garden, the Velux windows in the pitched roof creates a light, airy feel. This leads into a utility room housing the washing Bosh machine, dryer, sink, shelves and generous cupboard space. The garage is accessed internally from the utility room which is perfect for a small car or to house bikes etc.

Situated on the first floor, the property offers a spacious and bright master bedroom offering an abundance of internally fitted wardrobe space and beautiful views to the rear of the property from the Juliet balcony. Adjoining the master bedroom is a new, modern, en-suite fully tiled shower room with W.C. There are a further three generous double bedrooms and a spacious family bathroom also situated on this floor. Additionally the landing area offers an abundance of hidden storage.

The converted second floor offers a very generously sized double bedroom with a brand new modern bathroom including a free standing bath, separate shower, sink and w.c.

Externally the property has a beautiful private rear garden. A spacious patio with can accommodate substantial garden furniture, leads onto lawns edged by mature plants shrubs and trees. There is a sandpit and a designated play area currently housing a climbing frame, swings, trampoline and tree house. Additionally there is a palatial shed that is currently being used as another playroom. Beyond this the gardens continue to an outdoor shed, vegetable garden and orchard. An internal viewing is highly recommended

For more information regarding this property or renting a property in East or West Horsley, call Sally Asling, Lettings Director at SurreyLets for more information on 01483 282470

Over Christmas and New Year literally millions of people are searching on Rightmove for their next home.

  • Rightmove statistics show that they have 1.3 million visits on Christmas Day
  • 2.6 million visits on New Years Day
  • A staggering 4 million visits on the first working day of 2016
  • There is 195% more traffic to this website between Christmas day and the first working day of the year than at any other time. 

Be Smart. Be Ready. Be Out There.  If you are thinking of letting your home in the early part of 2017 ensure your chosen Letting Agent is ready to market your property

See the Rightmove Data sheet here christmas-pdf-window-card

Wishing all of our customers past, present and future a Wonderful Christmastime and a very happy 2017


Like many Letting Agents this morning I want to scream out in frustration at the unhelpful and sensational news articles that the likes of the BBC are streaming.

Letting Agents fees have not been banned. Yet.

Letting Agents fees to tenants will continue until legislation is passed. There will be a consultation before this happens. This will take time.

The whole thing has come about in the first place because of greedy agents charging a fortune.

Once again the  unscrupulous actions of the few is having a disproportionate affect on the reputations of many.

I know locally a letting agent (no names mentioned but sounds like an unpopular scavenging animal at the start) who charged over £750 in upfront tenant fees for the agent and for the life of me I cant see how that is fair!  Yet most of us agents charge simply 50% of the cost of the tenancy agreement, the cost of the references and a small administration fee. Most reputable agency charge between £200 – £300 plus VAT to cover this.

It will hurt responsible letting agents to loose this fee. Why? Because the cost of referencing is a genuine cost, as is our time in drawing up tenancy agreements. The costs of running a company mean that this cost will have to be placed onto the Landlord and most landlords will put up the rental.

Phillip Hammond has confirmed plans (and note these are plans, not legislation implemented from today!) to ban letting agents’ fees to tenants in England. The details of this important announcement are still very unclear but the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will consult with ARLA and other associations ahead of bringing forward legislation.

This industry does not need a BAN – it needs a regulatory cap. 

“So now is the time to speak out” 

Sally Asling from Surrey Letting Agent, SurreyLets, answer to this heading is “Its time for all agents and all Landlords to use their voice and to speak up but until there is a consultation and until there is an outcome, its business as normal”

“Following today’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond has confirmed plans  (and note these are plans, not legislation implemented from today!) to ban letting agents’ fees to tenants in England. The details of this important announcement are still very unclear but the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will consult with ARLA and other associations ahead of bringing forward legislation.So now is the time to speak out”

“The banning of fees will end up hurting the most, the very people the government intends on helping the most.”

Asling continues  “The Letting agents fees should not be abolished, but I agree they need regulating. Some agents charge ridiculous fees, but most agents like ourselves charge a nominal fee for a service. Our tenants pay to be references, they pay 50% of the Tenancy Agreement and a small administration fee and all of this is normally capped at £300.00 per tenancy. I don’t know what service in life you get for “free”, from lending arrangement fees, car hire fees and even banking fees. If these fees are abolished they will be passed directly to a Landlord without question and I know this will impact what the landlord needs to charge through rental increases to make it a viable option. Landlords are not charities, they are investors. Without Landlords in the Private Rental Sector this country has a deeply dire and worsened Housing Crisis – yet instead of the government helping resolve the problem a supply of housing, it is driving Landlords out of buying to let, increasing the number of empty homes and hurting those it is trying to help”

The following article has been taken from the ARLA News Board.

Since the announcement ARLA MD, David Cox has spoken with DCLG who have confirmed that a consultation on banning letting agents’ fees will be launched in the New Year. Details of what the consultation will contain have not been finalised and the Government has asked for ARLA to bring forward the industry’s views. DCLG also confirmed that this will require primary legislation through an Act of Parliament. This will give agents time to plan for the ban to come into force; in whatever form it takes.

So Landlords and Agents please have your say here!

ARLA is extremely disappointed that this announcement has been made without a strong basis of evidence. We’re asking the Chancellor and the Housing Minister for a meeting at the earliest opportunity in order to ensure that they fully understand the damage that this will cause to housing standards and the impact it will have on the cost of renting.

We need the Government to explain why measures have been brought forward without prior consultation which undermine the work that we and other partners are doing as part of the DCLG Affordability and Security Working Group.We do not believe that these measures will tackle rogue landlords who will continue to operate outside the existing boundaries of housing legislation.

On news of this announcement there are a significant number of common concerns – most notably the loss of income to support the vital services that Letting Agents provide. This includes the increased legislation, the burden of which has grown significantly over the last 18 months, with little to no investment in policing these new laws.

Commenting on the decision to ban letting fees to tenants ARLA Managing Director, David Cox said:

“A ban on letting agent fees is a draconian measure, and will have a profoundly negative impact on the rental market. It will be the fourth assault on the sector in just over a year, and do little to help cash poor renters save enough to get on the housing ladder. This decision is a crowd-pleaser, which will not help renters in the long-term. All of the implications need to be taken into account.

Most letting agents do not profit from fees. Our research shows that the average fee charged by ARLA Licenced agents is £202 per tenant, which we think is fair, reasonable and far from exploitative for the service tenants receive.”

“These costs enable agents to carry out various critical checks on tenants before letting a property. If fees are banned, these costs will be passed on to landlords, who will need to recoup the costs elsewhere, inevitably through higher rents.

“The banning of fees will end up hurting the most, the very people the government intends on helping the most.

We are telling our members to continue with business as usual. When the consultation is launched, the industry must present a united voice and all agents need to work with ARLA to make our collective views heard at the very highest levels of government.

We welcome your views on this announcement to help support and inform the arguments that we are making in the media. To make your views known please email communications@arla.co.uk

The newspaper you read will probably have an influence on whether you believe the Housing Market in the UK is:

  • performing better with the Brexit vote or
  • struggling and in decline because of the Brexit vote.

Either way, the market post 24th June 2016 (post Brexit) has been in “wait and see” mode and will probably remain in this state until the new year when there will be a decision on the High Court ruling which take place on 5th December and is expected to last 4 days.  It is the view of Sally Asling, Letting Director at SurreyLets that the Housing market will continue to remain in “wait and see” mode until article 50 is served and negotiations to exit truly begin.

So what is a “wait and see” market?

In real terms it means there is a lack of activity unless there is a real need to make a move. Death, Divorce being the two main ones in Sales and Job Relocation or being served notice are the two main ones in letting. If there is no driving need, people are just waiting to see how leaving the EU  pans out and what the market will do, and this of course becomes a self fulfilling prophecy: a general lack of activity leading to what feels like a market slump because it is slow. This aside, what is actually happening to House Prices?

As I write a week or so into November, the latest statistical information we can draw upon takes us up until the end of August 2016 just 8 weeks after the Brexit decision, which isn’t really providing enough of a time lapse to see how the housing market has been affected if it has at all. However, there are encouraging facts in this data that should restore consumer confidence especially if these trends continue which may serve as some encouragement for homeowners thinking of selling but whom are “waiting to see”

House Prices have been in continual growth in 2016

Housing market indicators for August suggested a period of relative stability during the month. House prices grew by 8.4% in the year to August, up slightly from 8.0% in July.Prices in the UK continues to rise with the greatest increase for the year being the East of England with a 13.3 annual change followed by the South East wit
h a 12.2% rise. England as a whole saw a 9.2 rise.
price-changesI accept that sales agreed, pre-Brexit were possibly just going through to completion, but this is still encouraging. No major price drops as a direct result of Brexit –  which I have seen claimed in some scaremongering newspapers.

Shortage of stock on the market

Its clear that up until June there was a lack of stock on the sales market. Looking at data for June 2016 and comparing it to June 2015  England saw a 32.2% drop in the number of units sold. sales-volumes-by-country

Overall, year on year, June 2016 shows a decline from the previous growing trend of properties being sold.

A direct conclusion therefore could be drawn that whilst there is not the volume of property as in previous years on the market, and therefore not so much competition for your home, this has kept house prices rising.

Housing Demand

In terms of housing demand, the volume of lending approvals for house purchases fell slightly in August compared to July, remaining at levels seen in early 2015. Home sales in the UK stayed stable between July and August but remain below levels seen in 2014, 2015 and before the stamp duty changes in early 2016. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) market survey for August reported falling new buyer enquiries over the past three months, with demand from buy-to-let investors falling more sharply than demand from first time buyers and existing owners.

Latest news from Zoopla – for KT24

Zooplas Z-index is the current average Zoopla estimate of home values in a given area, and the Z index report for KT24 is £1,034,686. Zoopla shows a month on month rising trend.

The average house price paid in the last three months 17 sales is £998,703.zoopkt24

Fun housing facts for KT24

Highest value streets Zed-Index
The Warren £2,122,830
Beech Avenue £2,096,434
Woodland Drive £1,996,802
Pennymead Drive £1,834,411
Lynx Hill £1,828,226
Highest turnover streets Turnover
Fearn Close 45.5%
Station Approach 42.9%
Tintells Lane 41.2%
Little Cranmore Lane 36.4%
Parkside Close 33.3%

SurreyLets keep a keen eye on what property values are doing in the area as whilst SurreyLets are not an Estate Agency involved in the sale of property, SurreyLets regularly consult with Landlords who which to withdraw equity on their buy-to-Let investments and assist Investors making smart decisions on their portfolio growth.

If you have a property to Let, are considering Letting out your property or would like help and advise in buying an investment property, Sally Asling would be delighted to have an informal, no obligation discussion with you. Please call 01483 282470 or e-mail info@surreyletsonline.co.uk

Data taken from the UK House Price index summery published 18th October 2016 from UK.Gov’s official statistics and from Zoopla.

Everyone’s eyes are  looking at the  UK stock market and currency rates this morning as trumpthe UK assess what the Trump presidential victory means. One things for certain, change is ahead!

Camilla Dell, managing partner at Black Brick buying agency, says in Estate Agency today” amid stock market turmoil and weakening of the dollar” global investment into Prime Central London property is likely to increase from investors who hold the view that Trump is risky for the markets.”

She adds: “We are also likely to see some wealthy US citizens, particularly those most offended by Trump, move to the UK as some of our American clients hinted to us prior to this outcome. Foreign buyers, particularly those from the Middle East and of Muslim faith, may enter the London property market, too, as they decide not to buy property in the US due to his remarks about banning Muslims from entering the country.”

London and the suburbs will be attractive to USA citizens as the slump in sterling after the Brexit vote in June meant the  once soaring property prices, one of the major deterrents to a move to the capital, have fallen more than nine per cent in a year in dollar terms. That is equivalent to a $62,000 saving on a typical London property, but far more on a home in one of the more expensive central areas favoured by Americans. While the capital’s house prices have risen 13 per cent year on year for domestic buyers, those using the dollar will find homes in London are almost 10 per cent cheaper than a year ago.

Fears by some Americans that the doller will further fall (the markets am on 9/11/16 show the dollar has fallen and gold investment has soared) may see investment in UK property happen quickly. Investors who had previously looked to US markets as a safe haven may now turn to the UK property market. President Trump combined with a predicted unstable pound next year does make London look extremely attractive as any political change will cause uncertainty – which in turn causes stagnation as investors naturally look to alternative markets such as London.

About 63,000 people born in the US lived in London at the time of the last census in 2011. (Source ONS) They make up the largest group of immigrants in the three London boroughs of  Camden, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, where the American School in St John’s Wood is based.

So how many American citizens will look to relocate to the UK and most importantly where will they look to relocate to in the UK?

Outside of London,  Cobham has the ACS (International School, formally known as the American Community School) and an established American commmunity. With organisations like American women of Surrey , a commute to London in under and hour and cheaper healthcare – Cobham is an excellent choice for the Ex-Pat. Sally Asling, Lettings Director at SurreyLets says “Cobham has always been a firm favourite for American families relocating from the US. With a short commute to the city, outstanding educational facilities, ample green space and sports facilities and specific community organisations for the American community, we have seen the American community take good quality homes on long term rental agreements, and the American community have certainly been a good thing for the local lettings market”

If you are a landlord with a property to let in Cobham, East or West Horsley, Effingham, Bookham or Weybridge and Walton, SurreyLets would be delighted to help you. Please call SurreyLets on 01483 282470

Alternatively, if you are looking to relocate to any of the above areas, SurreyLets offers a wide range of property to let. Please call 01483 282470 for a viewing.


%d bloggers like this: