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1 Scotland End, Chippenham, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 5PN

Is cheap always best?  With regards selling a property, a number of ‘on-line’ estate agents have launched in the last few years to give vendors a cheaper option.  We believe a number of High Street agents have had it good for many many years and been able to rely on their existence to secure a decent market share. They have been able to dictate terms and charge over-inflated fees in the knowledge there has been a lack of competition.

So, the advent of ‘On-line’ agents has certainly ruffled feathers amongst these High Street agents, put pressure on their fees and also their market share.  A good number of clients and people we have spoken to over the last few years believe it was time the High Street agents were challenged as they had become complacent and their propositions had not evolved over the years.

Property sellers, can choose to go with pure ‘On-line’ agents, including those that charge for ‘listing’ a property, rather than on a ‘No sale, No fee’ basis, cheap fee agents, or the usual selection of High Street agents.

Our clients chose Grant Berry Estate Agents because we charge competitive fees, but just as important, a market leading service, where they are kept informed throughout what can be a highly stressful and anxious journey.  Being kept in the dark is no longer an option, and this can result in the collapse of chains because the parties involved just do not know what is going on, unacceptable!

We know where the ‘cheap’ agents are involved, we will do the chasing on their behalf as it is expected the property owners will likely have to do their own viewings, and liaise with their buyers throughout the process.  From outset, there is a great feeling when a sale is agreed and both sellers and buyers in such circumstances are both happy.  But, when something in the process doesn’t go quite to plan it can open a can of worms and leave both parties perplexed and frustrated with the other party.

Likewise, our experience is that the High Street agents are under pressure from the powers that be to drive results, through numbers, and there is a general disregard for their actual clients.  It’s a numbers game because they are under pressure to deliver for the corporate owners, so irrespective of selling your property, as long as they meet their targets, then that is their real focus, and to keep their jobs.

We know that the majority of our instructions come from word of mouth recommendations or clients that have either sold or purchased from us before.  We believe this is testament to the fact that we are different, and proud to be different.  One of our vendors posted a review to say we should be careful, as we are in danger of giving estate agents a good name – one never to forget, and have sold more properties for her and family.

So the collapse of Emoov and Tepilo recently, costs 140 staff their jobs just before Christmas but also leaves their vendors and buyers not knowing what is happening.  Their Business models could not support their proposition.

One of the fundamental reasons for setting up our own estate agency, was the poor experience we had received when looking at property over many years.

We would often ask questions about a property and be told the person just worked weekends and to ring the office on Monday, or the person worked for lettings and was just helping out their Sales colleagues, or they were simply employed to do viewings and couldn’t help us.

I am delighted to report that we have won instructions from vendors for whom we have done ‘accompanied viewings’ who wished to view a property being marketed by us.  Whilst the property we showed them did not meet their needs, they have phoned up a few weeks later to say they had since viewed other properties, but that  we were the only agents who imparted detailed knowledge about the property and surrounding area, and as such wished us to sell their own property!  We believe this is testament to personally meeting the vendors from outset, asking questions about their property, their circumstances, work they have undertaken, so we can pass on this information when we do viewings and inform prospective buyers accordingly.  We then take our own photos, offer help and advice on presentation, and measure up so we can produce accurate 2D and 3D floor-plans. 

We do all ‘accompanied viewings’ as don’t see that as the vendor’s responsibility, surely that’s why they pay an estate agent.  We continue to be shocked at how many vendors, including elderly owners, do their own viewings, as perhaps their agent can’t really be bothered.

The last 12-18 months in our opinion has been more a more challenging marketplace for selling property, with less ‘proceed-able’ buyers out there.  This being the case, we believe in producing the best possible marketing, knowing about properties so we can answer any questions, and have extended hours of availability to speak to potential buyers and perform viewings.  Our vendors are advised of who is viewing their property, their position, and usually within an hour of completing the viewing, we provide them with initial feedback.  It is about keeping our clients informed and providing a level of service they have never experienced previously.  We have not needed to resort to knocking on doors of houses on the market, cold calling vendors, or simply telling people we are the best estate agents around.  Our Business success is based firmly on offering the very best service possible to our vendors and buyers, and keeping all parties informed throughout, from first point of contact through to the day of completion and handing over a Thank you card and bottle of fizz.

Ultimately, it is our clients that decide how we perform, and to this end, it was incredible to win “Best Sales Branch of the year, 2018 in Ely/CB7” following reviews posted on, the largest review sight in the UK for estate agents by our clients.  In fact, better still than winning the award were the reviews themselves.  It is testament to how we continue to look after our customers and want to exceed their expectations, so much so that they too recommend us in the future.

Please ‘click’ here to see the award, and the client reviews. Thank you for reading, and if you are serious about moving, or know someone that wishes to, please do not hesitate to contact us, and let us show you all agents are most definitely not the same!

Inspect your roof – Don’t wait for a damp patch on the ceiling to check your roof, Gary Walpole technical manager at the national Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) said “Check inside the loft for leaks, see if any daylight is coming in through the roof or around the chimney.” When outside you should look for cracked, slipped or missing tiles, replace these quickly so that more damage doesn’t occur, by replacing the damaged tiles it will stop leaks and prevent more tiles from being dislodged.

On flat roofs uneven lumps, standing water or splits around the edges are red lights!

Drones – Hiring a drone can save you thousands of pounds, this is because you can hire a drone to take a video of your roof and this video will highlight any cracks, loose tiles and general damage. You can then send this video to as many roofers as you may wish and they can give an accurate quote rather than just guessing. Using a drone will save you money on scaffolding costs which can also cost up to £2000 to put up and that would be to just get a quote.

Close chimneys and lofts – To stop heat from escaping up the chimney you can buy a felted wool chimney sheep to help prevent this from happening. You can also purchase an insulated loft hatch to keep the heat in.

Test the heating – Boilers should be serviced annually and radiators bled.

Stock up on fuel – Logs that you use in the wood burner should be at least one year old: oak, ash and chestnut are best. Also, you need to make sure that the wood you are using is dry. Chimneys and wood burners need to be swept regularly and make sure that that an open fire is covered by insurance. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Don’t forget – The barbecue. Cover or put it away to prevent rust and do the same with garden furniture but before that try rubbing them with olive oil. Also, garden hoses should be stored indoors over the winter.


Information taken from The Sunday Times October 21 2018, Property Supplement.

It is already a summer to remember due to a heatwave lasting weeks, and England reaching the semi–final of the World cup.

In the property market, estate agents have yet to experience a seasonal slump as new instructions on Rightmove were up 7.3% on June last year.  However newly agreed sales have declined, and it is evident there are fewer ‘proceed-able’ buyers about.

The market continues to be challenging.  Stagnant prices (falls in London), the possibility of an interest rate rise, and Brexit uncertainty, all playing a part.

In order to get the best chance of a sale, property presentation is paramount.  Cleaning and decluttering is essential.  Any outstanding DIY jobs need to be completed.  A buyer may assume flaking paint means windows need replacing when they may just need re painting.  First impressions count, so make sure the front garden and entrance to your property is neat and looks well maintained.

Photos are more important than ever, and staging is not just for high end properties.  With more properties on the market, and a high proportion of price reductions, it has never been so important to try to stand out from the crowd.

Historically, people have priced their properties higher and would likely take an offer below this. Buyers searching ‘on line’ will search up to their budget.  So it makes sense to put your property on the market at a competitive price from outset.  Recent press articles suggest the first 2-4weeks of marketing is vitally important.

At Grant Berry Estate Agents, we pride ourselves in carrying out extensive research coupled with our local knowledge to provide realistic valuations and offer trustworthy advice.  A detailed report is produced and discussed with every vendor.  Should you require a FREE market appraisal we would be delighted to assist.  The majority of our business comes from recommendations and clients who have used our services previously.

Don’t be afraid to ask an estate agent how they are going to make your property more visible to prospective buyers.



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