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2021 Interior Trends: Furniture, Colours and Styles for Your Home in Chelmsford

interior trends

Are you planning on giving your Chelmsford home a makeover in 2021? Maybe it’s time to ditch that tired old rug and sofa you’ve been hanging on to for years and drag your home into a brand new year?

For inspiration, here are some of the top interior trends coming for 2021 that we absolutely love!

Vintage

Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways in which to make their homes stand out, instead of the usual mass produced, flat-pack furniture that’s functional but not unique. Think antique sideboards and cabinets in dark shades of brown.

And the more unique the story is behind it, the better! Mooch around antique shops to find that perfect quirky piece.

Sustainable

As a society we’re more aware than ever of the damage that’s being done to our planet, and that’s reflected in the growing trend of buying individual items of furniture, instead of mass-produced products.

This also ties in with the vintage trend. Furniture that was built 50 years ago not only has its own story, but it will also have been built to last. A few scratches add to its character and it won’t fall apart and get discarded so easily.

Multi-Functional Space

With the huge increase in people working from home, our houses have increasingly become our offices too.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated space for a home office, the demand for multi-functional furniture is increasing.

Consequently, items such as storage ottomans are perfect for using as both a footrest at the end of a long day and also a place to store your laptop and any paperwork out of sight in the evening.

Minimalist

Not only have people been working from home more, they’ve also been spending more time at home in general, with many living rooms serving as an office, gym and bar at times, often on the same day!

As a result of this increased time spent indoors, the desire to declutter and make more use of the space available will be a growing trend throughout 2021.

This also relates to the trend of having multi-functional furniture and space.

Natural Materials

Furniture that’s made from natural materials is also set to be a big hit in 2021, with designers constantly coming up with new ways of combining natural materials.

This can be anything from wood and marble to ceramics and metals as designers combine textures and styles.

Earthy Colours

One of the biggest trends that’s set to drop in 2021 is the use of earthy colours such as mustards, greens, beiges, blues and browns.

With so many people having spent so much time indoors recently, colours that we associate with nature and the outdoors are going to be popular as people reconnect with the outside environment and try to bring it into their homes.

Shades of Pink

Love them or hate them, soft and neutral shades of pink are another top trend when it comes to colours in 2021.

It’s light and airy, which gives rooms a more spacious feel, and it goes with most other colours, so finding furniture to complement the colour scheme will be easy.

Ocean Waves and Distant Shores

The increased time we’ve all spent indoors has heightened many people’s longing to get away and take a break, and that’s reflected in the trend for colours that relate to soft sea blues and cloudless skies.

Blue is also a very tranquil and calming colour, so it’s perfect for anyone who’s spending more time indoors and looking to destress.

House Plants

Following on from the trend for earthy colours, indoor plants are also back in fashion.

Not only do plants add colour and life to a room, they also freshen the air and bring the outdoor environment into the home.

And with such a wide variety of plants to choose from, there’s something suitable for any room in the house.

Individuality

It’s not just vintage furniture that’s trending for 2021, any items that could be considered unique and individual are currently in fashion.

As we’ve been spending more time in our homes and less time in the office and out socialising, there’s a noticeable shift towards stamping our own imprint on our homes. Rather than go for the tried and trusted functional furniture that we might have previously chosen, there’s an increased trend towards individual furniture that reflects our own personalities.

Think animal-shaped lamps and tropical theme light shades for example, or bright and bold statement rugs.

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Are you Ready to Sell in 2021?

moving house

If you’re thinking of putting your Chelmsford property on the market in the New Year, you’ll want to make it stand out from the crowd and generate as much interest as possible to make sure you achieve the full asking price.

The team at Essex Homes And Lettings are highly experienced in property and will always make sure we give our utmost attention when accompanying viewings on your property, but there are always little tweaks you can make to your home to make sure it’s in outstanding condition and ready for the most discerning viewer!

The Essex Homes And Lettings team have put our heads together and want to share with you the top nine things you can do to get your property ready for a new year sale!

1. Neutralise Your Home

There’s nothing wrong with injecting your personality into your home, but if you’re selling, then garish paint and leopard print feature walls won’t be to everyone’s taste. If this sounds anything like your property then give some serious consideration to some light redecorating, ideally using neutral colours such as off-white, magnolia, greys or pastels.

It’s far more appealing to potential buyers and it will also allow them to visualise their own ideas better if they have a blank canvas to work with.

2. Lighten Up

Following on from our first point, there are some simple lighting tricks you can do to make your home feel brighter, which in turn will make it feel more spacious and appealing to potential buyers.

It can be as simple as putting up a mirror opposite a window to reflect the light, or ensuring you have high-voltage light bulbs fitted. If you have blackout blinds or curtains in your bedrooms then make sure these are open before any viewings, to avoid rooms appearing dark or gloomy.

3. Declutter

We all tend to throw empty boxes in cupboards (just in case) and gather ‘stuff’ as the years pass. If you’ve been hoarding items, then the sale of your property is the perfect time to get rid of unwanted items and declutter. It’ll help your home appear more spacious and there’s potentially the added benefit of making a few pounds selling some of your old belongings.

4. Deodourise

Did you know that your home has its own distinctive smell? Obviously not all houses have strong smells but if you regularly smoke or vape indoors or you have a cat or dog causing a whiff, then no matter how beautiful your house may be, this is likely to be the first thing a visitor notices when they walk through the front door – and it can be very off-putting. If your property has a strong smell to it then give it a good deep clean before any viewings or get professionals in if you need to.

5. First Impressions are Everything

It’s rare that you’ll make a sale on first glance, but you can definitely lose one! If you have an overgrown garden, a grubby front door and a broken gate then it’s time to get your gardening gloves on and tidy it all up.

Kerb appeal is important not only because many potential viewers will do a ‘drive by’ to check out the property before booking a viewing, but first impressions are what always form the basis of someone’s opinion of your property. Things that can damage your home’s kerb appeal include having dirty wheelie bins on display, smeared windows and chipped paintwork, so spend a little time maintaining your outdoor areas and be sure everything is up to scratch before the viewings start.

Adding little extras like a potted plant or a lamp to light up your entrance can make a big difference too. You don’t need to do anything extravagant, just remember, it’s all in the details!

6. Show Off Your Homes Assets

Step room to room in your home and check for little things that may detract the attention of a viewer:

  • If you have a study or a room you are using as an office, make sure your desk is tidy and your paperwork is filed away so that viewers can see an organised workspace.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s not being blocked by toys or extra bits of furniture that you haven’t stored away so that viewers can imagine themselves cosy by the fire.
  • If you have a dining table – a common dumping ground for pretty much everything – make sure it’s clear of any paperwork or household bits that have been piling up so that viewers can see there is a defined place to eat.
  • If you have a utility room, remove piles of laundry and tidy away detergents so that viewers can appreciate the extra space catering for the needs of a family.

When it comes to our homes it’s easy to take some of the features we see every day for granted, but to a viewer they may be just what they’re looking for in a home, so be sure to highlight all of your property’s best features.

7. Be Prepared

Think back to when you bought your property. What questions did you have for the estate agent? If a buyer were to ask how old the windows are and if they have a guarantee would you know the answer? What about the last time you had the boiler serviced? When was the central heating checked? Be prepared and find your paperwork and service history relating to your home before it’s requested to save time!

  • Service the boiler
  • Check the central heating system
  • Look out any guarantees and warranties
8. Fix up, Look Sharp

Keeping on top of the maintenance of your home is crucial for when you bring your property to market. If you haven’t regularly maintained your home, now is the time to get all those little niggly jobs done. Make sure everything’s as well maintained as possible, whether it’s fixing a damaged fence or just replacing a broken lightbulb, these minor details can make a big difference to potential buyers. It shows that your house is well looked after, and it will give viewers fewer excuses to negotiate. Make your property as flawless as possible – touch up paintwork and don’t forget to check gutters and drainpipes to get rid of leaves and debris.

9. Depersonalise

Buyers want to imagine themselves living in a home, so seeing pictures of strangers all over the house can actually have an off-putting effect, even though it’s your home!

Don’t remove every family photo, you’re still living there of course, but there’s a fine line between making a home look lived in and loved and showcasing it as someone else’s dream home! Think about putting a few photos away before viewings. The space created will allow viewers to get a better idea of what they would do with the space and to imagine it as their own.

For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Chelmsford please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466.

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New Year…New Agent?

2021

We’ve noticed a trend recently. You love your home, you love Chelmsford, but you’ve also realised that you need somewhere new. Perhaps somewhere larger, somewhere with a bigger garden, somewhere closer to the countryside, or even somewhere a little smaller.

Yes, it appears you’ve got a dose of ‘ready to move’, and what better time than the New Year – a time often linked with new beginnings and fresh starts.

So, how do you find the best estate agent?

What questions should you ask?

As property experts in the Chelmsford area, we at Essex Homes And Lettings thought we’d give you our seven tips so that you can choose the best estate agent for you.

Phone a Friend

Ask for recommendations. Friends and family can point you in the right direction and equally they can steer you away from the agents to avoid! Ask them if they’ve had a great experience with a particular estate agent, and enquire about how communicative, knowledgeable and friendly the agent was. Did the agent get the job done – and achieve the asking price or above?

Tip: Social media is your friend! If you’re a member of a Facebook community group in a particular area, post your questions in that group. And while you’re there check out local estate agents’ profiles to discover more about their local area knowledge and understand how they interact with the local community.

Read Reviews

Check out estate agents reviews online. Facebook reviews, Google reviews and reviews on Feefo can all give you an insight into other customers experiences. Have a read through to get a good idea as to whether or not an agent is worth shortlisting.

Tip: Always have an open mind when reading reviews, because while most will be genuine, some negative ones (and some positive ones) may not be.

Check the Agents Website

If you have a couple of shortlisted estate agents, check out their websites. Compare and contrast the services they offer and the fees they charge. Research where they market their properties and check out their social media feeds.

Tip: If you’re comparing and contrasting, you need to ensure you know what you want your chosen estate agent to do for you. Write a wish list of your requirements.

Check Fees and T&Cs

When it comes to estate agents, each will offer a slightly different service, and each will have a different way of operating. You have high street offices, internet-based offices, and hybrid agencies that blend traditional with the internet. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your individual requirements, but always check the small print and look at the overall service.

Tip: Do some research and decide whether you want a sole agency agreement, or if you would like multiple agents to market your property. It’s important to read the contractual obligations if you choose the latter.

Review your Agent’s Performance

Remember, your estate agent will be working for you, to get your house marketed and sold. But it’s actually a two-way thing and you will need to do what you can to help them do their job too. Your agent should be prepared to communicate with you if they think things should change, like a review of the price for example. And you should feel confident enough to ask about performance and see results or otherwise.

Tip: Have a clear understanding of your expectations and what you will want to review. Is it the number of people shown your property, or is it the number of hits on property websites? Is it about proactive calls made to prospective buyers, or is it to get an offer within a certain timeframe?

Same Difference

When you are narrowing down your shortlist, have a look at the properties that the agent sells.

  • Are they similar to your house?
  • Do they have any experience selling homes similar to your property?
  • Can they talk with good knowledge about the local area?
  • How accurate are their valuations?

All of these are a must because you need to know that your agent knows what they are doing and can convey that to a prospective buyer.

Tip: If you want to know how much similar properties have sold for have a look online so that you are fully informed.

Trust your Gut Instinct

There’s a lot to be said for getting a feel for whether you have picked the right agent to market your property. Something may simply click into place when you’re having a conversation, or you may know immediately that the agent is for you. Trust your instinct as it may well be right.

Tip: While we say trust your instinct, make sure you also carry out the checks and reviews as well!

For no-obligation advice on selling your Chelmsford home, please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466.

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How to Get More Viewings on Your Property For Sale in Chelmsford

more viewings

The process of selling your home in Chelmsford can be daunting, simply because there is so much to consider and plan. It can be especially stressful if you aren’t getting enough viewings on your property, and when you’ve had your home listed for sale for a while, that stress can rise.

Homes that are well-marketed and presented will get more viewings, and therefore receive offers from interested buyers. The longer your property stays on the market without any offers, the less chance you have of getting any without taking drastic measures such as reducing the price of the property. So, before it reaches that point, there are some steps that both you and the team at Essex Homes And Lettings can take to entice people to view and to get your property sold faster. With this in mind, we have created a handy guide to help you attract more property viewings.

Improve Your Kerb Appeal

The kerb appeal of your property, i.e., the first impression made when standing on the kerb, plays a big role in garnering interest for potential buyers, not just for those who are passing by in person, but for people browsing your listing online. How your property looks on the outside can either deter or encourage people to continue looking at the listing and help them decide whether or not to come and view in person.

You can improve your kerb appeal by taking care of your lawn and front garden. Make sure the grass is cut, weeds are pulled, and flower beds and shrubs are tidy and groomed. Also, make sure to remove any debris like leaves or fallen branches. Fixing any damages can help, too, like repairing roof tiles that have blown away, mending broken gutters, or fixing window shutters. A fresh coat of paint on any woodwork may also be required if the paint is peeling or worn, as it makes the home look refreshed and clean.

Use Professional Staging and Photos

It’s important to keep in mind that potential buyers are looking for a property they can see themselves in and call home. A house empty of furniture doesn’t evoke much in the way of imagining a lifestyle, and similarly, a messy or dishevelled home can give off a bad impression. Clearing away clutter and having a professional stage your furniture can do wonders for your potential buyers trying to imagine a life in their new home.

It’s also common for people using online agencies to attempt to take their own photos of their property for the listing, and ending up with dark, dingy, or even blurry images. Without the right equipment or photography know-how, the photos won’t stack up against other listings. Your photos are a crucial part of the marketing of your property, and they need to be eye-catching and attractive. Your home should be accurately captured in these images; otherwise, nobody will be interested in taking the time to come and see it in person. The investment in professional photography to help sell your home is worth it and here at Essex Homes And Lettings we ensure we always cover the best angles and showcase your property to the highest standards through our photos.

Make Your Property Listing Look Flawless

The fundamentals of your property listing when it is seen online are so important in attracting viewers. At the most basic level, your listing should look perfect – photos should be sized properly for the website, titles should be typo-free, and descriptions should be filled out in full. Furthermore, the title and description need to be well-written and free of marketing jargon.

We understand that interesting and compelling descriptions can make all the difference alongside a strong call to action which will encourage viewers to click to read more or call us to book a viewing.

Consider Premium Listings

People scrolling through property listings are often drawn to the ones that look different or are highlighted, meaning they get more viewings and a higher chance of receiving offers. We invest in premium listings on the property portals which can increase the number of viewings you receive. They will also appear at the top of the search pages, giving your property a consistent chance to be seen before any others.

At Essex Homes And Lettings we work with our clients to ensure we maximise viewings on every property we have the pleasure of marketing. If you would like more viewings on your property in Chelmsford, call us today on 01245398466.

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How to find your perfect home in Chelmsford

find your home

It’s exciting preparing to find a new home and embarking on the next stage of your property journey, but of course, there are many factors that must be considered along the way as you find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

It’s likely you will view many different properties before finally settling on the right one for you. It’s also likely that you will have certain criteria to fulfil and plenty of boxes to be ticked. These might include the need for your chosen property to be situated in a location of your choosing and its ability to meet the demands of your lifestyle, whether that be in close proximity to good schools, shopping facilities, or if you are a social butterfly, close to cafe culture and a vibrant nightlife.

At Essex Homes And Lettings our aim is to help you make the correct choices and best decisions when it comes to finding your perfect home in Chelmsford so to make the experience straight-forward and stress free, we have compiled our top tips to ensure you make the right decision.

Research is the key to the door

What type of property do you require? It’s important to scope out the local area so that you can judge what type of properties are available in which locations and at what cost. For example, Victorian properties may be located at one end of a town, whilst new builds are predominantly at the other end! With this in mind, if you are searching for a large Victorian property in location A, your research may indicate that you may only be able to secure that particular type of property in location B. So, the question is, will you be happy to compromise?

This is the reason it’s vital you research the market thoroughly so that you not only have realistic expectations but are aware that you may need to adjust those expectations in order to find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

Top Tip: Think about what you truly need from your home rather than extras you simply desire, and be honest about it! For example, if you work from home, an office will be a need. If you have children, a garden will be a need. If you have a large family, multiple bathrooms will be a need. Whereas a desire could be a log burning stove, a decked area in the garden, solid wood floors or a conservatory. All of the latter can of course be added to a property with good planning and little hassle.

Location, location, location

Do you need to be close to your place of work, your children’s school or your extended family? Or are you willing to compromise on proximity in order to purchase your dream home in Chelmsford? Think about whether you are prepared to make concessions on some of your specifics, perhaps with a trade-off being a slightly longer commute, living closer to a busy road or a little further from amenities. These factors matter and it’s important you are clear about what is imperative to your happiness in your new home.

Top Tip: The right location is often more important than the right house. You can always alter a house and turn it into your home – however, you cannot change its location. Consider this when seeking compromises!

Enlist the help of an expert local estate agent

Finding your perfect home can be challenging so please don’t attempt to do so alone. Your local estate agent will be able to help you scope the area, arrange viewings of properties that match your criteria, shortlist the properties you love, offer expert advice regarding local schools and businesses in the area and of course assist you through making an offer and negotiating the best price on your dream home.

Essex Homes And Lettings are here to help you

By registering with us and letting us know your preferred location and the type of property in Chelmsford you are looking for, you’ll receive updates as soon as properties matching your criteria become available and you will never need to worry that you’ll miss out on your dream home.

At Essex Homes And Lettings we take on new properties in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas daily, so register with us today and let us assist you in finding your dream home in Chelmsford.

We are ready to help you start the process of finding your perfect home and look forward to welcoming you to our office. Simply call us on 01245398466 to arrange an appointment or drop in and speak with a member of our friendly team. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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8 Fun Christmas Party Games for You and Your Guests

Christmas

Who needs some fun? You don’t? Oh yes you do. Christmas will soon be here, and hopefully, some of us will get to mix for Christmas time fun and quality family time.

It got us thinking though, what sort of games can you play at Christmas that the whole family will enjoy?

Here are our thoughts but of course, if you know of some great family festive games, let us know by emailing sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk, and we will share them on our social media.

1. Hunt the Candy Canes

This will get your children moving about. Grab some candy cane treats and hide them around the house. Then, send the children to find them, making sure they have collected all of them before they can start munching!

Let’s be honest, you’ll need a sit down so as the children are looking for candy canes, have a rest with a little glass of something festive!

2. Snowballs

White marshmallows make great snowballs. And what do snowballs make? Snowball fights! Now we’re not talking about launching them at each other, but you could either see who can toss the most into a cup or bucket. Whoever collects the most gets to eat them! YUM. Make sure your hands are super clean for this one!

3. Gloves On

This is a staple favourite in many households and is COVID friendly! All you need is a pair of oven gloves or mitts, and some things to pick up. You then take it in turns to try to pick up objects like a tennis ball, sweets or a pencil. You’ll be all fingers and thumbs as it’s trickier than it looks. While it is fun, avoid any tears and tantrums by making sure there is something that little ones will be able to pick up.

4. Ho-Ho-Hoopla

This game is straightforward. All you need is an ornamental reindeer (nothing precious or fancy) and some hoops. Aim to throw one of the rings over a reindeer’s antler. The winner gets to snaffle a sweet! Make sure the reindeer is not breakable or sentimental!

5. Pics of Christmas Past

This can be great fun. It’s a guess who game. Before the big day, ask your family and friends to send you pictures of themselves at Christmas parties when they were children. Tie the photos on a piece of tinsel and then take it in turns to guess who! With COVID restrictions in place, you may have to ask for pictures of people who may not necessarily be in your home, but who is known to all who will be visiting.

6. Would you Rather?

This is dead simple. If you have children, chances are they will ask you the “would you rather” question. For example, would you rather eat a fried worm, or stand on an upturned piece of lego? You can turn this into a game. Get an empty jar and some paper. Cut the paper up into squares big enough to write on and ask everyone to write something – as horrible as you wish! Pop the folded pieces of paper into the jar. You then take it in turns to pull out two pieces each. The question is “would you rather…”, and then you have to choose between the answers. Keep it clean and be careful with what is written if you have young children!

7. Knock the Snowmen Down

Fun, and yet sometimes annoying, this game is simple to create. Use some white polystyrene cups turned upside down. Draw snowman faces on each one and then stack them up. You and your guests then have to use a ball of cotton wool or scrunched up wrapping to try and knock over the snowman.

You can get creative with your children with this one. They will love creating the faces of the snowmen.

8. Draw the Carols

Cut up some paper and write on each one the name of a different carol. Divide your guests into teams of two. One teammate picks out a piece of paper and then has to draw that carol – their teammate has to guess the carol. You can play this game as individuals or in pairs. If in pairs, alternate, whoever does the drawing element.

Christmas is a time for fun and family, particularly this year. Making it even more fun is vital for children, but games don’t have to break the bank.

We’re a fun team and have cupboards full of ideas when it comes to Christmas games! We’re also property experts! Get in touch at sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk or call us on 01245398466.

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Hold the tinsel! Ditch the mistletoe! The house won’t sell…

Christmas

We’re sure agents have been working hard to urge vendors to take it easy on the dodgy decorations if there are viewings taking place at the moment – and here’s evidence of why it pays to be careful.

Bankrate UK spoke with 1,000 people who have been to view homes for sale which have been decorated, and asked for specifics on what tinsel-tactic features put them off the most. 

Firstly no fewer than 60 per cent admitted to having been deterred by decorations in principle, with the biggest specific turn-off (for 26 per cent) being large inflatable Christmas characters.

Another 23 per cent found electronic characters like Waving Santas or Moving Reindeer) the most off-putting.

Then came religious scenes and statues (23 per cent) closely followed by the overall feeling of internal clutter (22 per cent).

Excessive external lights – we’ve all seen them – put off 20 per cent.

Nisha Vaidya, mortgage expert at Bankrate UK, says: “While decorations are wonderful, homeowners looking to sell their property in December should be mindful that buyers may not have the same taste in festive decor. 

“For example, too many decorations can make a property appear small and cramped or can be too distracting for buyers who are trying to envision themselves in the home. Sellers should consider their buyers when decorating for Christmas.”

Agents who may be feeling distinctly un-Christmassy because their vendors have gone over the top with the festive features may want to show them this story…

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 23/12/2020

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Centre Stage: 7 Tips for Staging Your Chelmsford Home Like a Pro

Staging homes

If you are considering putting your house in Chelmsford up for sale, but are not sure where to start, there are methods you can follow to help ensure it is fresh and market ready.

Not just for new build show homes, you should consider staging your home, or to put it another way, setting the scene to arouse immediate buyer interest in your property when it comes to market.

To be truly effective, you’ll need to look at staging both the inside and outside of your home, so here at Essex Homes And Lettings we have put together our seven top tips to get you started and on the road to staging your home like a pro.

Declutter

This is one of the most necessary things you can do. You’re going to be moving home anyway and will have to pack, so it makes perfect sense and is a straight-forward job to declutter and start packing at the same time. Pack up everything you don’t need and store the boxes out of sight in the garage if you have one, or consider temporarily renting a small storage unit. Keeping the look minimal can help sell your home.

Organise

Whilst we don’t like to think of strangers opening our cupboards, the reality is that they probably will. If you have built-in wardrobes, hang similar colours and garments together because this will make the cupboards look bigger. An organized space always appears larger, and you want your cupboards to look as tidy and spacious as possible.

De-personalize

You should de-personalize your home as much as possible when preparing to put it on the market. This is so that potential buyers can imagine themselves and their own belongings occupying the space. This means minimizing and putting away everything you don’t need or currently use. Clear kitchen worktops as much as possible, stash away all those gadgets and appliances and put miscellaneous small clutter in a few attractive baskets or boxes out of sight.

Look from the Outside

Stand on the street outside your property to see the view your prospective buyers will get as they approach your property in Chelmsford. Be aware of any negative impressions they may get such as overgrown borders, peeling paint, broken windows and so on. A poorly maintained exterior will make a prospective buyer think that the house has not been well taken care of. Even if you have spent the time and money to ensure the interior is amazing, it will all be wasted if the prospect gets a bad first impression as they approach your property.

What do you really see?

Step outside your front door and close it; then stand on your step and simply look around for a couple of minutes. This might appear to be a strange thing to do, but it is mimicking the likelihood of your estate agent fumbling around for keys before finally opening the door!

During this time, you will see exactly what your potential buyers will see. So, what is it? Cobwebs on the door frame? Dead plants? A broken lightbulb in the porch? A less than shiny letterbox? First impressions count, so it’s worth taking some time to clean up. If you want to go a step further, consider painting the front door or adding new accessories.

Don’t forget the back garden

A tidy and inviting back garden is just as important as your front garden, so don’t neglect it. Whilst it might not be part of the potential buyers first impression experience, you should make sure it is in the best condition possible. Pull up the weeds, water the plants, do some sweeping and maybe even purchase new furniture or accessories such as plant pots or bird houses. This all adds to the vision of ‘living the dream’ your potential buyer wants.

The biggest tip of all

Simply imagine yourself as a potential buyer looking at your property in Chelmsford for the very first time. See it through their eyes and ask yourself:

  • What impression does the house give you?
  • How is its kerb appeal?
  • Would YOU buy your house?
  • What would you like to see that’s different before you put an offer on your house?

Finally, to stage a home will cost money but you’ll get that back, and often more, when your property sells. Proper staging will help you sell your house in a shorter time and importantly at the price you want.

For expert advice on showing your home in Chelmsford to its full potential, contact the team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 today.

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5 Ways To Add Value To Your Chelmsford Property

Add value

For homeowners in Chelmsford looking to add value to their property, house extensions and renovations are pretty much guaranteed to do the job.

But what if you’re a homeowner without the time and/or budget to invest in a full-blown extension?

We often get landlords asking us this very question: how can I add value to my property with minimal effort and a limited budget? So, the team at Essex Homes And Lettings have put our heads together and come up with seven easy ways to do just that.

Here’s how to increase your property value in Chelmsford without breaking the bank or investing too much time:

1. Start by focusing on your kitchen

The kitchen is known as the ‘heart of the home’ for a reason. It’s the room we all tend to spend the most time in when we’re at home. This is why potential buyers value it so much. If your budget only stretches to one single property improvement, make it the kitchen. A great kitchen can add as much as 4% to the value of your home, and a dated kitchen can easily turn buyers off.

Here are some easy kitchen improvement ideas that can add value:

  • Invest in modern worktop surfaces –  check out Pinterest for some kitchen worktop inspiration
  • Get new kitchen tiles – be bold and opt for a few more striking patterned tiles to create a statement backsplash
  • Paint your cupboard doors
  • Swap the cupboard door knobs for quirky ones

Yes, they’re all small changes. But together, they can really help to spruce up a tired looking kitchen!

2. Add more storage space

Never underestimate the appeal of lots of storage space for home buyers.

This is the one thing that we notice time and time again – buyers can easily be turned off a property if they discover that there just isn’t enough storage space.

So, how do you deal with this issue if you simply haven’t got the space?

Here’s how to add extra storage to your Chelmsford home when space (and budget) is limited:

  • Make use of all that space on blank walls by building shelves. Shelves are much easier to put up than you might think!
  • Work out what you can do with any unused nooks and crannies. For instance, the dead space underneath your stairs. Could you add a cupboard there?
  • No idea where you can add extra storage and exhausted all your options? Study the layout of your property layout, and you may just discover dead space you didn’t even realise existed.
3. Make your home more energy efficient

In this eco-conscious day and age, more and more home buyers are interested in finding out how energy efficient a property is before they invest in it. This doesn’t just stem out of concern for the environment though. An energy-efficient home can also save you a considerable amount on energy bills.

Landlords, make your home more energy-efficient and you’ll instantly make your property more appealing to many renters. Here’s how:

  • Make sure all windows and doors are double glazed for effective insulation
  • Invest in a heating system with easily adjustable settings so that comfortable temperatures won’t mean racking up bills
  • Choose an eco-friendly paint brand for any decorating jobs
  • Invest in LED lights and solar panel heating

These improvements come at a cost, but they’ll benefit your wallet, and our planet, in the long term.

4. Create a more open-plan home

Working with a smaller property? Create the illusion of more space by knocking down a few walls. Do this effectively, and you could boost the value of your Chelmsford property without any extensions. Modern buyers are attracted to open-plan layouts, which can make a smaller flat or house look more spacious and make it easier for them to move around.

Don’t attempt this yourself though. We recommend consulting a local residential architect who can show you how to do this to maximise the space in your property.

5. Find out what home movers in the Chelmsford area are looking for

Not quite sure where to start? Have a chat with our team at Essex Homes And Lettings as we know your area! We have a good understanding of what home movers in your neighbourhood are interested in.

We can also help with recommendations of local suppliers that can offer you great deals on any small renovations and extensions that can add value.

Give us a call today on 01245398466 and a member of our friendly and experienced team will be happy to speak with you further. Alternatively you can email us at sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk.

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8 Questions Every Landlord Should Ask a Prospective Tenant

ask questions

When you’re renting out your property in Chelmsford, you want to get things right. After all, it’s your property, and you want to ensure it is going to be looked after and that the rent is going to be paid. It’s a business, and you don’t want any interruptions to occupancy.

So, to help you, our experienced team at Essex Homes And Lettings have come up with eight questions that you should ask a prospective tenant before agreeing to rent your property to them.

1. When are they able to move in?

You want continuity of occupancy as it makes sense from a financial and security point of view. If one prospective tenant can’t move in for a few months, but another can, this will help you make a decision on who to let your property to. You need to be on top of your game when it comes to efficiency. If a prospective tenant can move in immediately, but you haven’t got the gas safety or electrical safety inspections done, this will cause issues.

2. Do their finances stack up?

You don’t want timewasters looking at your rental property. Respectfully ask if they are aware of the rent amount and whether they fully expect to be able to pay it on time, and on the right dates. There’s the deposit too, so make sure they know what’s expected. Your lettings agent will ensure thorough financial checks are carried out.

3. How long do they think they will want to live in the property?

This is a good question. You don’t want to be going through the process of finding a tenant every six months. Likewise, some people will be looking for long-term tenancies, so see who expects to be in a property for an extended period. The contract length could be advantageous for both parties. Be prepared to be flexible.

4. Do they have pets?

Some landlords don’t mind pets, and this may be you. However, pets are also a big no-no for some landlords. If you don’t want to accept tenants with animals, you must be sure that having a pet is not on their future agenda. Similarly, if you don’t mind pets, you need to make sure the contract stipulates what sort of pet, if any, is allowed. If you do allow a pet, your agreement should make it clear that any damages caused by the pet must be rectified by the tenant at their cost.

5. What would their current landlord say about them?

References are crucial! When you or your lettings agent speak with your prospective tenant, you hope you will get a genuine answer. References will clarify this though. Listen to your prospective tenants’ responses with a critical ear as not everyone will be honest!

6. Why are they moving?

Again, you might not always get a genuine reply, but the answer will give you an indication as to what sort of tenant they might be. This question can also be a good ice breaker and will start the conversation.

7. What sort of lifestyle do they lead?

This is a tricky question to ask, but useful nonetheless. You’ll get a feel for the sort of people your prospective tenants are. If they appear to be young, 24-hour party people, you should consider whether your property and location are right for them.

8. What other properties have they looked at in Chelmsford

This is a question that can be asked either at the start of a conversation or at the end. You’re trying to ascertain whether they are serious about moving to the area, to your property or if they are just ‘tyre kickers’. They might also say that your property is the only place for them, which is great if everything stacks up financially.

Remember, you don’t have to have a definitive list of questions and formally run through them. These questions can be wound into your regular conversation!

If you’re unsure of what to ask prospective tenants, please get in touch with us on 01245398466. We have been offering a professional lettings and management service for many years and can guide you. After all, we are the experts in the Chelmsford area for lettings.