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You know how sometimes you set out to do something, with good intentions, but end up regretting you ever started? Well, that was me, earlier this week. A flat we’re selling has been cleared of furniture, and I decided that a few clutter-free photographs would do the marketing of the place a world of good. … Continue reading Flash, Bang, Wallop!

You know the feeling. If you don’t, I hope you never do… Yesterday, I penned an article for the Bristol Post which went to print today. Yesterday, the trade press was all over an announcement by the MD of the National Association of Estate Agents that house prices were set to be “astronomical” for years due to … Continue reading Oops … But It’s Not My Fault

This is a slightly edited copy of a blog I first wrote more than two years ago. I thought I’d re-post it because I notice that a few more local councils (including Bath & North East Somerset) have applied to the Communities Secretary for a Regulation 7 to be imposed in their areas. This would effectively … Continue reading Bored of boards? (reprise)

So… I was standing in the queue for the #OneBasket queue at Waitrose Henleaze yesterday. It was my turn next and I was, I thought, suitably excited about buying the two items in my hands.   But not as keen as the chap behind me, it turns out. When one of the cashiers finished with … Continue reading What Sort Of World Do We Live In?

A gentleman very purposefully entered our office carrying a large, plain cardboard box. “Er, hello…?” Clare said. “Hi!” he said. “I’m from Barringtons, your stationery suppliers; you ordered some bits and pieces this morning”. “Oh! Yes!” Clare chirped. “I thought you were bringing in an injured bird, or something…” Because, of course, you would, wouldn’t … Continue reading Random…

Tum Te Tum… How are you, today? Having a good day? How’s the family? Have you booked a holiday this year? Going somewhere nice? Awful weather, isn’t it, for the time of year? Did you see that programme on the telly last night? Aren’t England/Wales/North Ireland/Ireland doing well/badly in the Euros (please delete accordingly)? Wasn’t … Continue reading Haigh Report 17 June 2016

You wait for weeks (actually, days, probably) for a touting letter from the Countrywide group of estate agents … then THREE come along at once! All look very similar, all were addressed to the same property, all were sent on the same day, all arrived on the same day … but they are from three … Continue reading Like London Buses

I am thrilled to bits today. This morning, I visited a lovely chap who wishes to sell his house in order to move to a retirement place some miles from Bristol. We had a cup of tea together, we chatted about his family and his late wife, and we talked about his house and its … Continue reading The Highest Praise

A property sales record was broken today. Wow! Incredible! What have we managed to achieve? Was it the quickest house ever to be sold? No. Was it the most expensive, or the cheapest, or something else to do with the price? No. Was it … hang on a minute, why am I talking to myself? … Continue reading Record Breaker!

Next time you see an estate agent’s advert in the paper proclaiming “SOLD IN 24 HOURS” or a Sold stc board that says “SOLD ON OPEN DAY”, could you do me a favour? Please email the estate agent and ask this question: “Well done on selling your client’s property so quickly. Just out of interest, … Continue reading Do Me A Favour…

In this day and age of people moaning about the fees that letting agents charge, we’ve always tried to keep ours at a reasonable level. It seems we may have got the balance right.

“High Street” or “traditional” estate agents are being continually attacked by the comparatively new phenomenon known as “online” agents. “We’ll save you thousands of pounds”, the internet boys and girls cry. “But we’ll work much harder to get you a decent price for your home, thus making you thousands of pounds”, retort the traditional crew. … Continue reading Why High Street vs Online Makes No Sense

It’s May 1st and I have to admit I’m very pleased about that. April was a tad rub, if you get my drift. Or a wee bit rubbish, if you don’t. Sales that should have completed didn’t for reasons completely beyond our control (including one lovely chap who sadly passed away between exchange of contracts … Continue reading Goodbye, April … You Won’t Be Missed!

...when a property crops up that blows your socks off, there is less risk of losing it...

The other day, I went to see someone about their house.  No names, no pack drill, no information that might give them away. We had a long chat about their situation. They’re hoping to move out of Bristol, to another county, and they have seen a house that is absolutely ideal for them. Therefore, they are … Continue reading You Can’t Win ‘Em All. Irritating, But True.

So… it’s going to be one of “those” days, is it?   Among the early calls so far this morning:   “Hello can I please confirm my viewing is going ahead at 9.15am this morning?”   Oh. That would be the appointment you originally made for 9am on Friday, which you subsequently cancelled on Thursday, … Continue reading I May Just Go Back To Bed…

A very Happy Birthday to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Hope you manage to have a day off.

…if you want to have a quiet life and never do another day’s work, that is… Plaster your van with your name and telephone number. Aggressively drive up very close behind someone who has stopped to let another road-user extract her car from a parking space. Beep your horn. The louder, the better. Follow said … Continue reading Great Advertising Tip For Plumbers…

We are soooo busy at the moment, that I might not be able to call you straight back. But please don’t take offence: I DO want to speak to you. And I will. I promise. As soon as I find myself at a desk with a telephone on it. Aww, thanks for being so understanding. … Continue reading I’m sorry!

My weekly article for the Bristol Post and its sister publications. Property Viewings – Some Different Advice The internet is full of blogs and advice for property sellers who are having to endure viewings of their homes. Decluttering, painting, air fresheners, cleaning windows, tidying up kids’ toys, removing the pets and all their paraphernalia, sweeping … Continue reading The Haigh Report – w/e 05MAR16

Everybody seems to think that you need to complete the sale/purchase of a property on a Friday. Well, maybe not everybody, but certainly Friday is the day of choice for many solicitors and estate agents. And for buyers and sellers, there’s the appeal of moving, then having a whole weekend to get sorted. If you’re … Continue reading Why Oh Why Do It On A Friday?

More Criticism For Right To Rent Legislation Lib Dem peer Baroness Hamwee has scorned the Government for rolling out Right to Rent legislation nationally, when a pilot scheme had not even finished! Under the new rules, landlords and their agents are now responsible for ensuring that all new tenants have the right to live in … Continue reading The Haigh Report – w/e 27FEB16

Have just been reading some advertising blurb from an estate agent who claims to have already “sold countless properties in 2016”. Countless? Really…? That either means they have literally sold so many millions of properties that they can’t possibly count them (although I bet their computer system would be able to give it a go, … Continue reading Countless? Really…?

An online property-advertising company is today claiming they have achieved the quickest sale ever, as they have sold a property in 24 hours! This is, indeed, an impressive feat. Valuation, listing, advertising, viewings, offers, negotiation, surveys, conveyancing, exchange of contracts and completion all within the space of a day … WOW! Oh, but when you look … Continue reading Quickest Property Sale Ever…!?

On a recent viewing, the prospective purchaser asked whether any offers had been submitted for the property. “Well”, I explained, “our clients have turned down a couple of offers already, but I’m not at liberty to tell you what those offers were.” “What do you think they’ll accept?”, they asked. “I’m sure”, I said, “that … Continue reading I Hope This Isn’t Your Estate Agent…

This is a polite note to the estate agent who yesterday told a potential client: “You ought to instruct us to sell your home, because we get ALL the houses in the area you’re interested in…” This morning, out of curiosity, and because I hadn’t realised that your world domination had started yet, I had a quick look at … Continue reading Lies, damned lies and statistics…

Is the Online vs High Street estate agent battle actually a battle at all?

…I’m back! Sorry there’s been a hiatus in my blog writing for these last few months, but for technical reasons that are simply too boring to go on about, I haven’t been able to access my pages! You can now look forward to some more meaningless nonsense to fall out of my brain onto these … Continue reading Hi Folks…

… move to Bristol. We never have Tube strikes. And that’s a promise. Advertisements

The debate continues to rage: whether online estate agents will prevail over those on the High Streets of Britain. Will the “new upstarts” (who don’t have the overheads of shop fronts and branded Minis to cope with, and who charge less for selling a property because they offer a less hands-on approach) overcome the more traditional … Continue reading Why, Tepilo, why?

I just received a telephone call from a long-established client: “Hi. I booked an appointment to meet you at the house we rented out through you, some years ago, because the tenants are finally leaving and we want to discuss whether or not to find new tenants or whether now is the right time to … Continue reading “I Clean Forgot!”

Every week, we receive 50 copies of the weekend edition of the Bristol Post, which includes the Property Supplement in which we advertise. We put 49 of these (admittedly we keep one to read) in a box outside the office for the lovely general public to help themselves. Free of charge. Now, as this is … Continue reading Why Would We Do That?

Just days after I blogged, tweeted and … er … facebooked (is that a word?) about an estate agent who had – without our permission – decided to completely flout copyright laws and reuse photographs that we had originally taken, ANOTHER AGENT HAS DONE EXACTLY THE SAME THING!!! The first agents have admitted their error … Continue reading I Don’t Believe It!

A few weeks ago, I happened to notice (as you do, when you’re an estate agent keeping an eye on how your competition is doing) that a flat had become available in the rental market, in our patch. “That’s funny”, I thought, “that apartment looks very similar to one we’re currently selling. I know our buyer … Continue reading Oh! Puh-lease! Play By The Rules. It’s Not That Hard…

The other day, I had an interesting conversation with someone who is thinking that they might need to sell their home. They bought the property through a well-known estate agency in Bristol, and they were very happy with the service they received at the time. The agents ensured that all the demands they made (timescale, price re-negotiations … Continue reading Who Is Your Estate Agent Working For?

About five years ago, a couple were looking for a property to buy in “our patch”. Apparently, over a period of several months, they viewed loads of places, including a few with us. They eventually found their dream home. Through a rival estate agent. “Boo, hiss” I hear you cry. But wait… Five years on, and it … Continue reading Is This The Biggest Compliment Ever?

Just a thought… One of the latest revelations made by the warring political parties, in the run-up to next week’s General Election, is Labour’s promise to eradicate stamp duty on properties up to £300,000 bought by first time buyers. Fantastic! That’ll save those buyers a lot of money. Oh. But hang on a mo. Maybe … Continue reading Labour’s Promise On Stamp Duty Might Have A Flaw

There has been a lot of publicity lately on the subject of the fees that many letting agents charge prospective tenants. Some agents appear to charge tenants a fee (variously called an administration fee, a tenancy fee, a referencing fee, or …er… a fee) which is payable up front, regardless of whether or not the tenancy … Continue reading Here’s Why This Letting Agent Might Have To Stop Bucking The Trend

Maybe it’s because of things like this… What was the funniest* moment of my day? One of our vendors came into the office carrying a hand-written letter that had been pushed through their door over the weekend. Shock, horror! It was from another estate agent: “Call me! I have a client who wants to buy … Continue reading Why Do Estate Agents Have A Poor Reputation?

The prospective buyers of a house went back for a second viewing to measure up for furniture etc. What do you think was the main thing their young son could remember about the property after their first visit a week or so ago? The panelled dining room? The large garden? The cul-de-sac location? … Er, … Continue reading Uh-oh! Time For A Change Of Image, Do You Think?

At yesterday’s National Association of Estate Agents London Forum, the ever-cheerful Samantha Ashdown gave a very entertaining presentation (and not just entertaining because Sam’s Mac computer and the hotel’s Microsoft projector weren’t always on speaking terms!) on how agents need to make more effort and take greater care when they photograph property. She showed some marvellous examples of … Continue reading A Little Effort Goes A Long Way…

Having made the decision to stick with Zoopla and Primleocation, rather than sign up with new kid on the block OnTheMarket, I am obviously taking a keen interest in whether or not it was the right path to follow. So, tonight I decided to pretend to be a homehunter. If I searched online, what properties could … Continue reading OnTheMarket or Zoopla. Who’s Winning The Battle?

To the estate agent I was told about yesterday, who left an elderly couple shivering in the cold when you were late for their appointment to view a retirement flat: I don’t think your line “Sorry I’m late, it was a nightmare finding anywhere to park” was the most carefully considered excuse you could have used. Instantly off-putting … Continue reading You Really Didn’t Think That Through, Did You?

Had an interesting (and refreshingly honest … in the end) conversation today with someone who has viewed a property we are selling. Obviously, I’m not going to disclose which property it was, or give anything away about the person concerned, but the gist of the conversation was along these lines: Potential Buyer: “I like the … Continue reading Nope! You can’t use that reason anymore!

Apologies if you are trying to contact us today. Problems with our server mean we can’t receive any emails at the moment. Being a Sunday, the office is closed, so you can’t call in, and although our phones are being answered, messages taken are dispatched to us by email … so that doesn’t help much. … Continue reading Sunday 8th February

For the first time, yesterday, I saw the TV advert for the new property portal OnTheMarket. To start with, in all fairness, I thought it was quite nice. Pleasant music, and pretty on the eye. But then, to me, it went a bit off-beam. Suddenly the voiceover told us that participating estate agents advertise properties … Continue reading Is the new OnTheMarket advert a bit OffTarget?

We have just “taken delivery” of a property video, which is now on our website. The apartment featured was on the market with another agent before we were instructed, but a sale did not materialise. Now, I don’t know if the video is partly responsible, or if it’s our description, or our photographs (all of … Continue reading Videos & Videoettes – The Way Forward…

Tomorrow sees a new property portal site being launched onto the market. A number of estate agents up and down the country are shouting from the rooftops about how OnTheMarket is the best thing to happen to the home-buying public since the advent of the internet. Buyers, they say, will now have a wider choice … Continue reading OnTheMarket. Let’s Be Honest…

Today (Saturday 24th January) was not just our busiest day of the month, but quite possibly the busiest day of the year so far!!! Hm? Oh. Yes. I see what you mean. Let me rephrase that… Today was a very busy day. A valuation that went very well, a new property on the market, and … Continue reading Busy busy busy…

The two leading, and best-known, property websites are both reporting positive news for the market. Zoopla (who also the own the third most widely recognised brand Primelocation) report that house sales in 2014 were at their highest level since the credit crunch. More than 1.2 million sales completed on homes worth £40,000 or more during the … Continue reading Property Market On The Up?

Yesterday, I was out and about with a lady who is searching for a retirement flat to buy. She’s seen quite a few, in different developments, all around North Bristol, but particularly likes two that we have on the books at the moment. From what she was saying, it sounds like it’s been difficult for … Continue reading She Has A Point…

This is the post I have just placed on Facebook ( … Seven reasons you need to interact with us on social media… 1. Because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t know that we have a detached bungalow coming up for rent in Henleaze, just off the main road, near the shops, for just under £1000 … Continue reading Seven Reasons You Need To Interact With Us On Social Media

We have been approached by the fairly new tenant of a top floor flat, asking if he can end his half-year tenancy after just two months. The reason? Not the location, he loves it. Not the flat (well, not entirely), he thinks it’s super. Not the landlords, they’re lovely too. It’s just that he’s getting … Continue reading Short Let Available…

Look, I know I have a tendency to bang on about the ridiculous, underhanded and downright stupid things that some estate agents get up to (stealing chocolate bars from people’s homes springs to mind) with the apparent intention of dragging the reputation of our profession (even) further into the dirt, but … PUH-LEASE! Clients told … Continue reading Because Sometimes You Don’t Want Everyone To Know…

I wonder how many estate agents have had a similar conversation to this (along the lines of which I have had with a number of different people about a number of different properties over the years – the prices may vary but the reaction is often the same): Caller: “Hello, can you tell me what … Continue reading I Want That House! How Much???

Goodness! 2014 rushed by, didn’t it?! And, in saying that, I come to the sudden realisation that our website – once dynamic and cutting-edge – is another year older and, bearing in mind how quickly technology advances, is in need of being sharpened. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s a good website. Basically it does what … Continue reading Seeking Our Dream Home…page – How Hard Can It Be?

It’s been a long time coming but, at last, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has today announced a reform to the stamp duty land tax system in this country. Sounds a tad boring, I know, but it will SAVE most homebuyers MONEY! In some cases it will save them THOUSANDS of POUNDS!!! And it will … Continue reading Buy A Home AND Save Money???

IT’S BLACK FRIDAY! Get in touch with us tomorrow when you realise you need a bigger house to accommodate all the cheap stuff you’ve bought that, before today, you didn’t know you needed. HAPPY SHOPPING!

Possibly not home-sellers it would appear, according to a report on the internet pages of today’s Daily Telegraph: It is claimed that those estate agents who have committed to the new “OnTheMarket” website – due to be launched in January – are now being offered the chance to delay marketing their clients’ properties. “Why on Earth would they want to … Continue reading Who Will Win The Portal Battle?

And, sadly, it doesn’t look very exciting. In fact when the area rep, whilst showing a group of excited estate agents a screen shot of the forthcoming OnTheMarket website, said the words “Just like Rightmove”, I think I may have groaned. Audibly. The UK estate agency world is all a-quiver about the forthcoming launch of a new … Continue reading I Have Glimpsed The Future Of Property Portals!

I recently wrote an article giving advice to vendors of property who are left abandoned by their agents to show complete strangers around their homes. It seemed to be well received, but got me thinking about offering some simple advice to my fellow agents. After all, we all hear stories about what people claim estate … Continue reading Smile! You might well be on TV

I recently browsed the pages of an estate agency that does not offer accompanied viewings, and was drawn to the section where they give tips to vendors on “how to show someone around your house”. Immediately I realised that whoever wrote the advice (presumably the person who owns the company) must be too young to … Continue reading Want to sell your own home? Here’s some advice.

…it’s worth doing it well. Unlike some “High Street” estate agencies, I don’t have a particular problem with the existence of “online” agents (ie those that don’t appear to have an office you can visit, but who rely entirely on the internet to conduct their business; the ones who make the vendor do all the … Continue reading If a job’s worth doing…

Just for fun, I decided to set myself a challenge for the month of October. I tried the Movember thing last year (don’t shave for a month and ask people to pay money to charity). But I couldn’t achieve anything worthy of the title “moustache”. And this year there seem to be another two challenges … Continue reading Octieber

Had a nice chat the other day with an estate agent. We seemed to be on exactly the same wavelength regarding the underhand practices that some agents resort to when it comes to trying to generate business. “How refreshing”, I thought. “It’s nice to know there’s still some integrity in the estate agency world…” Phone call … Continue reading A Small Dent in my Faith in Human Nature…

For the record: when we advertise a property for rent with these words in the opening description:“…available for a single person, couple or family (rather than sharers)…” the likelihood of you securing the property, by ringing up and saying any of the following, is fairly remote:“…we are a family of post-graduate students…”“…yes, there are five of … Continue reading We Mean What We Say

We all know that valuing property is not an exact science. Even two houses that look very similar from the outside, have the same accommodation internally, and stand next door to each other in the same street, could be worth different amounts. One might have a better outlook or a bigger garden. One may need … Continue reading A Unique Problem

It is absolutely fantastic how busy we’ve been these last few months, including the time it has taken us to get our new property management/maintenance department up and running, not to mention our brand new sales progression team. Both sales and lettings markets have been frantic at times, meaning the days and months have seemed … Continue reading We Have The Key Of The Door (in more ways than one!)

This is a true tale from a decade or so ago (except I’ve changed the names: they weren’t actually called Hubby & Wifey Young-Couple): Me: “So, Mr and Mrs Young-Couple, we’ve had a good look around the house, what do you think? Just to recap: it was built in 1930’s and for the last 40 … Continue reading Deal Breaker

Over the last few days, two people have asked us more-or-less the same question, and both seemed disappointed by our response. Which is a shame. Without giving away the answer we chose, which reply would you have picked to the following question? “The description of that rental property says “no pets”. Does that include a … Continue reading The Things People Say …. pt 3

A couple of years ago I showed a lady and her young daughter around a newly refurbished rental house. Me: “So you would like to rent this property, then?” Lady viewer: “Yes, very much, it suits our needs perfectly”. Me: “Would it just be the two of you moving in?” Lady viewer: “No. There’s also … Continue reading The Things People Say …. pt 2

Prospective Tenant: “Can I please view this house? It sounds perfect for me and my two daughters”. Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, the owner of this property is quite adamant that he only wants a single person or couple. No children, no pets”. Prospective Tenant: “That’s ridiculous! My daughter is not like a child. She has … Continue reading The Things People Say …. pt 1

Estate Agents! Under the terms of CPRs (for non-agents that’s short for Consumer Protection Regulations, which is also short for the full title, but that’s not important right now) do you think we need to disclose to potential buyers that the one-bedroom retirement flat (over sixties only) we are about to start marketing carries a … Continue reading Don’t Milk It!

“I have a really bad credit rating but need to rent a house by Tuesday. Can you help?”This was a question posed of us by a gentleman who walked into our office this morning.I have to admit, I really admired his honesty.The answer was still “No, sorry”, but I wish him all the best and … Continue reading Honest question

A lady viewed a retirement flat for the third time today. I said that I completely understood that she had a big decision to make and that she was very welcome to view the flat as many times as she needed. Having now thought about it, I have decided to take her daughter’s reaction “you don’t seem … Continue reading Thanks Very Much … I Think.

It was supposed to be a later start for me today as I want to get some housework done before heading for the office. But have just noticed an email from someone who wants to offer more than FOUR TIMES the asking price for a property we’re selling. And they haven’t even seen it! Perhaps … Continue reading Amazing! Too Good To Be True Surely? Oh. Hang On A Mo

… live together in perfect harmony … within the opening few lines of a letter we received from a cleaning company. Here’s an extract: It made us smile.

I recently went to see a  young couple who have been trying to sell their home through a well-known estate agency chain. I don’t know why they selected this particular estate agency, or who they bought the property through when they were first time buyers, but I do know their chosen selling agents were the only … Continue reading First time sellers – the forgotten people?

The Labour Party has launched an attack on the letting agents of this land. We are, apparently, money-grabbing scum who are making life difficult for “Generation Rent” … people who can’t afford (or choose not) to buy their first home and who therefore have (choose) to rent. The plan is to ban letting agents from … Continue reading Tenancy Fees. Justified or Just A Rip Off?

When I first started working for my father’s estate agency in 1980, For Sale boards were virtually an unknown phenomenon in Bristol. There was, I believe, a “gentlemen’s agreement” between local agents and the Council: For Sale boards would only be erected on commercial premises and properties being sold by auction. In the days before … Continue reading Are You Bored Of Boards?

Open Days. Quite the buzzword at the moment. Estate agents seem to love them. Set a couple of hours aside, usually on a Saturday, when anyone and everyone can roll up and view the property. A good Open Day should result in many viewings, multiple offers, win win. They offer vendors a potential one-hit viewing … Continue reading Open Day? No Thanks!

Estate agents’ blogs are full of helpful tips for property sellers. De-cluttering, depersonalising, makeovers, staging, you name it, you’ll find it. But what if you’re not selling? What if you’re buying? I’d like to explain why I often suggest to prospective buyers that they should Sit Down & Be Quiet for a moment or two. Some years … Continue reading Sit Down & Be Quiet!

We have, for some time, been crying out for more properties to sell. There’s a real shortage of available homes and we need more, more, more! So you’d think we’d be delighted to have three properties all coming available within the space of 24 hours. Well, you’d be wrong. Why? Because these are three properties … Continue reading Fab! New Properties For Sale … but not quite what I had in mind

A number of weird and/or wonderful things have happened this week. These are my top three: 1. Helping an 85-year-old lady move from her house in Westbury on Trym into a retirement flat, almost exactly three years to the day after she first walked into our office and said “My children say I ought to … Continue reading A Surreal Chat with Tigger: one of my Highlights Of The Week

Perhaps it’s a sad indictment of how Joe & Jo Public regard the estate agency profession. But I do get frustrated when I try,  whilst keeping a watchful eye on my responsibilities under the headings Best Practice and Codes Of Conduct, to give honest straightforward advice, only for the recipient of my intended helpfulness to … Continue reading I Say What I Mean, I Mean What I Say

A Bristol estate agent has uncovered what one person has already described as “the find of the 21st Century”. Martin Haigh, founding partner of Haigh & Sons estate agents in Westbury Park takes up the story: “It’s the find of the 21st Century”, he said (okay, yes, he was the one person who said it). … Continue reading Bristol Estate Agent Finds Hidden Treasure!

Haigh and sons have opened a blog to reach their customers even more effectively!

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