Property news - December 2013

PUBLISHED: 11:18 23 December 2013 | UPDATED: 11:18 23 December 2013

Romans auctioneer Simon Clayton

Romans auctioneer Simon Clayton


Our pick of super homes in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire

Auction fever at Romans

There was interest for every lot at Romans’ penultimate auction of 2013, creating passion-fuelled bidding wars and resulting in sales totalling £2m.

Simon Clayton, Romans’ Auctioneer, said: “This was one of the busiest and buoyant rooms we have experienced this year. It was very encouraging to see so many buyers chasing a variety of lots, and I definitely think we have turned a corner as far as prices are concerned, which is very good news for sellers.”

Amongst the lots was a Lodge House on Castle Hill, in Reading. It was the original lodge to Yeomanry House, now Reading’s Registry Office. Prior to auction there were over 100 viewings of the vacant one bedroom property. Unsurprisingly, bidding started strong with the guide price of £90,000 surpassed within seconds. “It was a fantastic result and the popularity of the lodge saw the guide price almost double, ending at £170,000,” said Simon. “The successful bidder now owns a unique property which I expect will be renovated and restored.”

A detached home with a third of an acre on Ayling Lane in Aldershot, one of the town’s most regarded roads, eventually sold for £466,000 to a very happy couple, who were seen rejoicing as the gavel came down. “Every sale hit or exceeded the guide price, which is brilliant news for the sellers. In this competitive market auctions lend themselves to a fair result; getting the best price for the seller and giving all buyers a fair chance,” added Simon.

A vacant three bedroom flat at Coley Avenue, Reading sold after fierce bidding for £179,000 off a guide of £130,000. And a semi-detached house in need of modernisation in Farnham went for £221,000 off a guide price of £180,000.

Romans’ next auction will be held on 11 December and entries are now invited. Call 0800 093 994 or visit for advice on whether your property would benefit from being sold by auction.


Downsizing without compromise

More than half of the homes at a luxury development in Ascot have sold, with many going to downsizers. The two and three-bedroom apartments at Fircroft, Devenish Road have been built by Kebbell Homes. They have a high quality kitchen, master bedroom with dressing room and en-suite, guest room with en-suite, utility and spacious living areas.

Prices from £895,000. Visit between 10am and 5pm, Thursday to Monday, or call 01344 876237. See or call Savills (01344 626162) or Aston Mead (0845 505 2277).

Get your house in order

Potential tenants prize the situation and size of the property beyond all other considerations, research by international real estate adviser Savills has shown. Gill Mooney, Head of Savills Windsor and Sunningdale lettings, says: “Applicants have become even more discerning about what they are prepared to spend their money on. Properties which are not presented in the best order, are over priced or have some sort of compromise attached to them (such as being close to a busy road), will tend not to let as quickly.”

Use a reputable agent

Tenants are more aware of unscrupulous activity from both unlicensed agents and fraudulent landlords, so often seek the peace-of-mind that comes with renting through a qualified agency. To have the best choice of tenants, a landlord needs to go to agents likely to be highly regarded by well-informed tenants.

Presentation is key

First impressions count. Properties need to be clutter free with smart, clean interiors. If a property needs a fresh coat of paint, paint it. If the approach to a property is overgrown, cut it back. There is nothing more off-putting to viewers than shabby interiors and unkempt gardens.

On a busy road or ‘in the sticks’?

Ensure the driveway and garden is securely enclosed so that it appeals to applicants with children. If a property is in a rural situation, using a knowledgeable agent who will provide informative particulars which accurately highlight distances to and from amenities, will help to reassure applicants.

Get the price right

Every property has a value, but that value has to take into consideration the condition and surroundings. Properties which are over-valued look like they offer less than ones in the same price range and will, as a result, not let quickly.

All that paperwork

Ensure relevant paperwork and maintenance has been carried out - from PAT testing through to EPCs and insurance. Consider using property management. Many of Savill’s applicants are corporate tenants who will refuse to view any property which doesn’t come fully managed

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