gI have taken a timely look at a highly popular seasonal pastime - looking for a new home.
December is a month of two moods for those wanting to move home. For the first few weeks seasonal preparations can take over and, for a little while at least, moving may take a back seat.
But when all the hoo-ha is over, family and friends have departed and fallen pine needles hoovered up from the carpet, thoughts may turn again to the benefits of a home that better suits one’s changing needs and lifestyle for the coming year.
So the end of December can be about getting online and window-shopping for a new home.
It is also a good time to shop for an estate agent. Now, this is the important bit. Get it right and the sale of your property will certainly run a great deal more successfully than if you get it wrong.
A good estate agent may sound like an oxymoron to some but those who have benefited from employing a good one in the past will know that a tense and critical time can be made so much easier through an agent’s expert advice – especially if a good price has been secured through his or her skilled and experienced negotiation.
To help find the right estate agent, ask around. Get feedback from friends and neighbours in your area.
Take a note of ‘For Sale’ boards – or, more especially, ‘Sold’ boards.
Look for experience, capability, a bit of humour - without flippancy - some youthful enthusiasm backed up with mature direction and lots of wisdom and kindness.
These are all attributes of a good estate agent and can be found if you take a little time and trouble to look for them.
It’s best to avoid the patronising, the ignorant, the arrogant and the pushy. It will be worth it.
Finally, base your decision on the location of an estate agent.
Look at the footfall, the number of home shoppers peering through the window, check out the welcome you receive when you walk through the door and make sure they are open seven days a week.
Remember, a good estate agent is for the life of your sale not just for Christmas.
Peter Buckingham is head of residential sales at Andrew Granger & Co in Market Harborough.
For more details about the agency, visit its website at www.andrewgranger.co.uk.