14Jun

Are you looking into the options available to you for buying your first-time home? There is a lot for first time buyers to take in when looking into the options available so carry on reading for some top tips and advice from our professional sales teams.


First things first we think it is important for you to know what funds you have available or require to purchase a property.


Deposit: Firstly, you will need to work out how much of a deposit you will be able to put down for the property, this is generally 10% of the purchase price of the property.

If this deposit money is in fixed rate accounts, contact your service provider to find out how you go about releasing the funds to a more accessible account. 

 

Mortgage: The next step will be to contact the bank/building society and arrange a meeting about a mortgage. They will be able to do a full financial check and provide you with a mortgage in principle (this is a mortgage promise). You can also contact an Independent Financial Advisor, they act as a go-between to get you the best mortgage product. Most estate agents will have someone they recommend professionally, contact one of our branches and ask the question today.

 

Researching Properties

Things to consider when researching available properties:

  •  Location in relation to your work place and transport links
  • Long-Term Option – local schools (Rightmove and Zoopla often show you the local schools and Ofsted ratings online)
  •  Potential to extend or modernise if needs be and the cost implications of this.
  • Price of the property compared to what you can borrow.


Booking In to See Properties

·        Book a day or a long-weekend and in advanced and book in a few properties you have short-listed online.

·        Contact the agents and have a chat about the houses as it maybe you can remove or add any properties to your short-list in having a conversation with the agents about your property wants or needs.

·        Book the properties in with plenty of time between appointments because even if they are in close proximity to one another it gives you chance to have a look up and down the road and take your time in the property and ask all the questions you want without clock watching.

·        Maybe create some sort of grading system and sit in the car after a viewing and reflect on the property before moving on to the next and make notes.

·        Once you have finished your viewings it may be an idea to speak to family/friends about the properties and get their thoughts from the literature you have available.

·        If you whittle the houses down to a couple, book some second viewings in and arrange to take family/friends to get further opinions.


Not only are our sales team experienced in the properties we have available, they will also be able to discuss and offer you some advice or even some contact details to those who can help. Why don’t you contact us today and get started on that property ladder!

09May

Join Nick Tart Estate Agents as we venture to the ‘big city’ on Thursday 11th May. Nick Tarts are part of the Guild of Property Professionals, as part of this membership we have been given a unique opportunity to advertise a selection of our properties in our associated office in Park Lane, London for one day only! 

The event is being promoted via our social media pages (Twitter Page and Facebook Page). We will have window cards in the London office, live tweeting from our colleagues at the associated office contactable here, and an opportunity for our selected properties to be viewed by those in London on Thursday.

The event is particularly important to us to begin developing a relationship with those who work in the City but want a bit more for their money. With HS2 travel times estimated at 49 minutes between Birmingham and London, the West Midlands will become easier for people to ‘commute’. With the properties, you will see advertised on Thursday, it is possible that you can get a lot more for your money in Shropshire and the West Midlands. Take advantage of these available properties now because of the extra demand for housing in the area that HS2 could bring after completion. 

Well, why Shropshire and the West Midlands? Surrounded by lovely countryside our towns are easily accessible by great public transport and road links. With diverse shopping areas in Birmingham and the newly developed Grand Central Shopping Centre within Birmingham New Street Train Station contrasted with the beautiful county town Shrewsbury and other popular locations such as; Ludlow, Much Wenlock and Bridgnorth, Ironbridge there is plenty to suit everyone! The West Midlands conurbation also has great nightlife, universities, restaurants as well as more rural pursuits including walks and visiting places of Historical Interest. It’s worth a visit! 

If you would like to discuss your potential property needs with a member of our experienced team, contact a branch today and they will be able to assist you. 

03May

April was a busy month at Nick Tart’s, a previous employee Ann Widdowson, rejoining us at our newly opened Much Wenlock branch, Bridgnorth office having a work experience student; Billy Parker, and Telford Office announcing they are hiring an apprentice…it has been all go! So, let’s talk about all that has been happening!

We love to take on work experience students from local schools during their dedicated week of working in their GCSE years at school or in their school holidays. Most recently we have had a student from Oldbury Wells School working in our Bridgnorth branch. He approached us one Saturday morning with his CV in hand requesting some work experience as he felt it was a route he would want to pursue upon leaving school. How can you say no to enthusiasm like that! We invited him in during his Easter holiday break to work with Nick and the team for a few days.

Billy went out and accompanied the team on a viewing, a property ‘take on’ to get it ready for the open market, and valuation. The office also introduced Billy to some of the administration tasks involved with estate agency and spent time talking about the process from a seller and buyers point of view. When Billy left, he said that he had ‘really enjoyed the experience and the opportunity with Nick Tart’.

The day after Billy had finished his work experience, we received an email from him requesting more! We were more than delighted to take him up on his offer and show him more.

If you like the sound of the experience Billy had and would also like to apply for work experience, contact your local branch (Contact Us) with your CV and a bit about the sort of experience you would like and we will be sure to do our best to accommodate.

If you are looking for something slightly more permanent, our Telford office are looking for an apprentice! They are advertising for a Customer Service Negotiator, as well as learning on the job, the successful applicant will also be undertaking a NVQ level 2 in Customer Service provided by Matrix Training and Development Limited. Closing date is 2nd June 2017 – take a look at the link and get applying! Customer Service Negotiator Application Link

05Apr

I have been working at Nick Tart’s a little over a year now, and so far, I can clearly say no two days have been the same! Whether I have my negotiation head on, my Carp conservation head on, my Detective head on or my Grand-Father Clock restoration head on I try to answer every question and query that comes my way.

At Nick Tart estate agents, we pride ourselves in believing that ‘not all estate agents are the same’, after answering a broad array of queries over the last year and helping assist our clients in any way we can, I understand why we use that slogan. Moving house is the biggest move anyone will ever make, and we want to make the transition as straight-forwards and as stress free as we can for all involved.

So whether you pop into our branch and want to know where a street is, you need advice as to what sort of property would suit your needs, where you can go to get a certain light bulb for your new kitchen light fitting, you need a trust-worthy tradesmen, or need to check you have done everything before moving house – we always say to our clients just ask.

Whatever the query…whatever your worry ask away because if we don’t know the answer, we will certainly aim to find it for you!

If you like the sound of the way we do business and the way we look after our sellers and buyers alike, please do contact (put the link to the contact page of the website here) your local branch today and see how we can help you. 

22Feb

This month our Telford office have advertised a property with a difference….a converted Windmill!

Situated in Hadley, a Northern suburb of Telford (in Shropshire), approximately 2 ½ miles east from the market town of Wellington, sits a famous Grade II listed local landmark; Hadley Park Windmill.

Boasting 360° views, the 18th century tower mill has been beautifully converted by the current vendors into a five-storey family home whilst retaining some of the original features including some of the wind and later water power machinery.

The property has come to market with an asking price of £695,000.

                                             

As well as the converted windmill, there is also a separate detached oak frame 2-bedroom annexe which could possibly be used as a relative’s annexe or holiday let which is also included in the price.

A gated gravelled driveway and double garage is part of the plot. The gardens continue around the property, with steps leading to a raised terrace providing a lovely seating area. From the lawned area there are further steps descending to a lower patio providing a further seating area with a timber built summer house.

Careful considerations had to be made preparing this property for market. Taking measurements of the property for the floor plan gave branch manager, Paul Steadman, a new challenge as the walls were round! The initial valuation also took some careful thought as there was no comparable evidence to work with!

The property has also caught the attention of the local press, with a featured article in the Shropshire Star - Shropshire Star Advert - Hadley Park Windmill

 The property advert can be viewed from our website - Hadley Park Windmill Nick Tart Advert

For any queries or questions relating to the property, or to arrange a viewing, please contact  Paul Steadman or Jackie Ginger at our Telford Office on 01952 200255 or paul@nicktart.com.

                                                               

03Feb

Our Tettenhall office had a hugely successful year in 2016 with a record number of completions and with that in mind we needed additional staff to manage our customers’ needs and the additional properties coming to the market for 2017. Therefore, in January we were joined by Laura Lowe in our Tettenhall office. Laura has joined Nick Tart Estate Agents as an apprentice studying towards a Business Administration Qualification at the same time as working. For this month's blog I wanted to find out more about the apprenticeship scheme and more about the work, learn and earn initiative! 


1) Hi Laura, it is great to have you with us in Tettenhall, tell me a bit about yourself:

"I was a student at Ounsdale High School but took a hairdressing course at Codsall High School and in addition studied for an IT qualification. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with you family, going on day trips to the coast and of course shopping!”

 

2) What were you doing before you came to Nick Tart Estate Agents?

“When I left Ounsdale High School I started a hairdressing apprenticeship which I continued with for a year, but I also enjoyed the administration side; dealing with clients and booking appointments. Therefore I decided that I wanted to continue down the administration route.”

 

3) What made you apply for an apprenticeship?

“I applied for an apprenticeship because not only do you learn new things each day, but you are also getting essential work experience as well.”

 

4) Was estate agency an industry you have wanted to get into?

“Working in an estate agents was never something I thought of myself doing, but I am glad that I have as I am really enjoying learning and speaking to new people each day.”

 

5) What have you done over the last few weeks whilst you have been with Nick Tart Estate Agents?

“Over the past couple of weeks, I have been; booking in valuations, booking viewing appointments for properties, sending out marketing letters, chasing feedback from viewings, dealing with email enquiries and scanning and archiving client files.”

 

6) What qualification are you doing and what are they like?

“I hope to obtain an NVQ level 1 in Administration.”

 

7) Are you going into a college or does an assessor come to you at our Tettenhall Office?

I won’t be going to a college, but my assessor Julie Gardener will be visiting me at the office on a regular basis to make sure I am getting on okay and to ensure that I am covering all of the points required to obtain my qualification. She also checks in with me to see if I am enjoying the course and if there is anything I need assistance with.”

 

Thank you Laura, it has been great to speak with you and find out more about your apprenticeship programme within Nick Tart Estate Agents. I wish you every success within the company and can’t wait to hear of all of your achievements. 

17Jan

January - a time for promises, a time for change and a time to start that next chapter!  A lot of estate agents, including Nick Tart, find that the property business has a busy flurry over the four weeks of January with many people deciding that this is the year to move! January 2017 has been no exception, with properties in the pipeline and several properties on the market already this month, we are hoping this pattern continues!

When it comes to selling properties there are plenty of blogs available on the internet with top tips for selling. First impressions count, so we have trawled the internet and talked to our six offices to ask the Nick Tart Team what their ‘Top Tips for Selling in 2017’ are!


1)    Neutral colour schemes:

This has been shown to be most attractive to those looking to buy a house. This is because neutral tones brighten up the rooms making them look airy and clean. The colours also allow potential buyers to picture their furniture in the rooms rather than spending the entire viewing thinking “how many coats of paint will it take to go over that green in the kitchen?”!

2)    A clutter free home:

Again, the more simplistic a home is the easier it is for applicants to picture themselves there and work out if it is the house for them. Invest in some plastic crates…whether they are stored up the loft or under the bed they make a great and quick solution to putting away that pile of magazines or the kids toys that are out as the doorbell rings!

3)    Cleaning:

Seeing a clean home on a viewing is another positive. It makes the potential buyers realise that the cleaning is manageable and makes the viewing more inviting. Focus on the carpets, sofas, kitchen and bathrooms. If these areas are spotless it is inviting and welcoming to visitors. Clean windows are another bonus, they show a well-maintained home and offer a good first impression.

4)    Tidy the garden:

We are not saying you need to turn into Monty Don and completely transform your garden, but keeping any lawn well maintained and weeding pathways to the property are good ways to keep the garden looking smart and ready for visitors.

 

5)    Curtains and blinds open:

Natural light is a wonderful selling point, so keep those curtains and blinds open to show the light bouncing around the room. If you have venetian blinds make sure you give them dust off if they are open (wouldn’t want the light to show you up!)

 

6)    Lamps and Lights:

Lighting is a great way to show a room off, whether that means the main ceiling lights or lamps for atmosphere. Turn them on, make the home look inviting and show the house off in its best ‘light’.


7) Heating and fires:

There is nothing more inviting than a warm home. Got a viewing tonight? Why don’t you turn the central heating up a little to take the rooms to an ambient temperature? Or if you have a fire or wood-burner let the applicants see it in action! Not only does it show it’s actually working, but it allows you to create a cosy atmosphere at the property which the potential buyers could imagine being theirs! Of course, don’t listen to this point if it is July and 25°C!!

 

8) A few of those ‘I’ll do that in the New Year’ jobs:

Been promising to re-grout the bathroom for three years? That scratch on the wall that you were going to look at during the August bank holiday 2008? Put aside a weekend and make a list. The more finished a home looks with fresh paintwork, grouting and flooring, the more attractive it is to potential buyers who just want to move in!

 

9) Leaving Pets with The Neighbour:

A lot of homeowners have pets these days, but it is probably best from a selling perspective for the pets to be with the neighbour and all traces of them tidied away for the purposes of viewings. For those who have pets they will want to picture their own pet dog or cat in the property but you never know if a potential applicant has an allergy to fur therefore, the most attractive property is one which doesn’t make the potential buyers sneeze!

 

10) Parking Arrangements:

Got a drive-way or parking space at the property? Leave it for the viewers. It is a nice personal touch of them and allows them to imagine pulling on to the drive-way day in and day out as the new owners of the property!


See, 10 little tips and you’ve got yourself a highly attractive property! If this blog has inspired you to try your property on the market this New Year, why don’t you contact your local Nick Tart branch? With branches in Albrighton, Bridgnorth, Ironbridge, Much Wenlock, Telford and Tettenhall we cover a large area within Shropshire and the West Midlands. Contact us today and speak to our team about the financial deals we can offer you to sell your home with us (www.nicktart.com). 

01Dec

December is a month of reflection, a month for taking time to look at what you have achieved. This year has been a special year for Nick Tart Estate Agents, celebrating 25 years of business! Therefore, for the last blog of 2016…let’s look back!

                                                                      

Nick Tart is now based full-time in our Bridgnorth office, but let’s cast our minds back to where it all began….1969. Nick started in Bridgnorth as a ‘trainee auctioneer’ with a West Midlands firm called Skelding and Boucher. Nick made the tea, put the for sale boards up and did the printing. As well as learning on the job, Nick also studied in corresponding courses on day-release to qualify as a valuer and surveyor.

Nick then stayed at Skelding and Boucher until 1988, he then had two years at Nock Deighton and spent a further twelve months as an area surveyor for a National company called Ekins. During this time Nick had always wanted to set-up on his own, and in fact had set-up a small new branch for Skelding and Boucher in Ironbridge, which had given him the bug!

In 1991 Nick bought that Ironbridge office back and Nick Tart Estate Agents was born! The branch was re-located to more prominent premises in 1992 followed by the opening of Bridgnorth in 1994, Telford and Much Wenlock branches. In 2001 the Ludlow branch opened.

Shortly after the opening of Ludlow, Nick was approached by a large London based company of Chartered Surveyors who eventually acquired the Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Much Wenlock offices. Nick took a role as a consultant with them for three years.

In 2002 Nick became self-employed again and re-opened in Bridgnorth and through the acquisition of a well-known Wolverhampton company, opened in Tettenhall and Albrighton. By this time the group was in multiple ownership. Nick concentrated on the Bridgnorth branch (which had moved back to the original premises they had opened in in 1994). In our 25th year of business, Nick Tart Estate Agents celebrated by opening in Much Wenlock. This is our 6th Nick Tart branch and is run by Jayne Tart, Nick’s wife, who has been a strong and integral part of the brand for a lot of its growth years.

Throughout this time in business Nick has never lost the focus of his brand, this is shown through the repeat business and repeat custom showed by local property owners. Although times change, technology advances and new competitors appear Nick has never lost sight of his values; “aiming to provide straightforward and reliable advice to ensure that both buyers and sellers [are] treated as individuals and receive a service they could value.”

To celebrate this momentous year in business for Nick Tart, I took to the offices to find out what the staff thought:

“Nick Tart Estate Agents focuses on the individual to find them their dream property. Being part of The Guild of Professsional Estate Agents means as well as forward thinking marketing techniques such as our hybrid videoettes and high levels of web coverage, we also use traditional paper applicant cards to ensure important ‘hot’ buyers and sellers are kept in the forefront of our minds.”

"Having worked in both the public and private sectors during my working career, the last 7 years at Nick Tart I feel have been the most rewarding.  I had never worked within the property industry prior to commencing at Nick Tart so this was a new area for me. Every day is different which I love, I can be managing our rental properties in the morning to doing admin duties in an afternoon with a few viewings thrown in in-between, you never know what the day will bring. During my time here I have been encouraged to progress within the company Nick Tart are currently supporting me with my continued education towards gaining my ARLA qualification which I hope will allow me to progress to Lettings Management."  

“Throughout many years of working in the property sector, Nick Tart Estate Agents is by far the the most enjoyable and rewarding company I have worked for."

"Having worked for Nick for 11 years in our Bridgnorth office, I have been able to develop skills in selling and negotiation. My initial role has developed to focus on establishing and maintaining our post-sales department, I liaise with both local and national solicitors to ensure a smooth property transaction with minimal stress for all of our clients."

"I started with Nick Tart in February of this year. I have really focused on creating a strong social media awareness for the company, as it is a really engaging way to advertise the properties available. Since developing the social media, we are seeing a positive effect with local businesses and have started supporting a young fundraiser from Tettenhall, Louis. We absolutely love seeing what he is up too and we love it when he pops into the office to show us all of his achievements. I am hoping the social media will show potential clients that we are embracing the changes in technology and just sets us apart from some more traditional firms of estate agents."

All that’s left for us to say is that we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Nick Tart Estate Agents! We are open over Christmas so please do contact your local office to find out when they are working if you would like to get in touch with us.  

See you in 2017…

02Nov

        

Walking around Bridgnorth as a newcomer to the area I have found the twisty turning roads full of beautiful architecture fascinating and truly enchanting. I can see why so many people come into the office and say ‘we have fallen in love with Bridgnorth and want to buy a house!’ I have been working in the town since February, I am truly in love with it…and I am hoping after my top picks of places to go, you will be too!

  

 Bridgnorth is a market town named after a bridge over the River Severn that was built further  north of an earlier bridge built in the village of Quatford (2 miles south of Bridgnorth). The  earliest historical reference to the town is 895 AD…that is even before the internet was  created!!

 The town is split over two levels conveniently named high town and low town. The best way to  get between one and the other is using the Victorian Funicular Railway! For a mere couple of  pounds you can get a return trip on the railway making the steep hilly walk back up the  Cartway look a lot less like hard work. But don’t panic…if you are thinking about being an  adventurer and fancy the climb back up one of the seven sets of ‘donkey’ steps there are plenty of cafe's and pubs in low town to help you fuel up!

Once you’re back in high town you could take a stroll along castle walk. This walk is along the edge of the old site of Bridgnorth castle. With views across the whole of Bridgnorth this a fantastic photo opportunity. If you follow the walk all the way to the end you will arrive in castle gardens. These very well maintained gardens are an absolute delight to sit in on a summer’s day with a refreshing lemonade from Costa Coffee.

As you head back up to the High Street you will be able to mooch through the fantastic array of individual boutique shops and some of those well-known brands. Bridgnorth prides itself on remembering its roots as a market town and always encourages individual shops to have the opportunity to thrive here.

Whilst you are in the town, why not pop down to our office on Whitburn Street and have a chat with us about your property needs! We are always keen to talk to those looking to move to the area and help them find the home of their dreams.