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Top Tips For Managing Your Energy Bills In A New Home

Smart meter monitoring energy use

We’ll be surprised if you haven’t already heard that energy bills are rising. 

On April 1st, millions of homes will see their bills shoot up as the price of living continues to rise. This is a frustrating change, especially since it’s out of our hands. However, there are some tips and tricks to help you save as much as possible. 

Whether you’re planning a move or settling into a new Plymouth property, keep reading. We’ve researched the best tips to keep your energy bills low.

Scroll down to explore more.

What To Do If You Want To Spend Less

Ready to cut down on your energy spending? Here are some tips that Plymouth homeowners can use to battle the rising energy prices.

Review Your Bills

Firstly, you should get into the habit of reviewing your bills to ensure they’re accurate. Even if you’re not a smart meter user, it’s essential that you make these checks so you’re paying for what you use and no more!

Remember to take a meter reading on March 31st, then submit this to your supplier. This will prove how much energy you used before the energy price increases on April 1st. 

Change Your Habits

Another way you can save as much as possible is to get into good habits now. Small changes can provide significant results! 

Consider washing clothes at a lower temperature and ensuring each load is full before starting the wash. You can also lower the heating by one degree and ensure all lights and electronics are switched off when not needed. 

Switch To A Smart Reader 

Smart readers are an excellent way for homeowners to monitor their usage daily. This will give you a clearer picture of when and how you use energy and indicate which appliances use the most energy. You can make educated decisions on where you need to cut back from this information. 

Not only that, but smart meters send trustworthy meter readings for you, which saves you time and makes bills a hassle-free experience. 

Check Your Credit

Did you know credit accumulates? When you pay the supplier more than you’re using, your account will build up credit, and the company will owe you money. 

Credit builds up when bills are overestimated, less energy is used, and it can also happen if you’ve recently switched suppliers. Check with your energy supplier today to see if you have any credit in your account. When the prices rise, this money can act as a buffer for the subsequent bills.

Review All Home Bills

Energy bills are going up, but you might be able to cut back in other areas to compensate for this price increase. Homeowners should review their TV, broadband, and mobile phone contracts. These days, we pay multiple companies monthly, and there’s usually an area or two we can cut down. 

Explore The Energy Market

If you’re interested in getting the best energy deals, sign up for energy market alerts. These news updates will keep you in the loop of current energy prices and new deals. Comparison websites (such as Confused or MoneySupermarket) are also popular ways to see the best energy deals available.

The Bottom Line

Rising energy prices are stressful, but they shouldn’t take the excitement out of buying a new home. Use these tips to cut down where you can, as a little goes a long way. We hope this article has inspired you to take control of your energy spending!

Want to get started on your moving process? Get expert Plymouth property advice and contact us here.

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Top Tips For Finding The Best Removal Company in Plymouth

Removal workers carrying sofa

Moving is an exciting process. Once you’ve found your new home, exchanged contracts, and picked out a new interior design theme, it’s ready to move. But, have you booked a removal company yet?

When buying and selling in Plymouth, removal companies are usually the last part of the process. However, just because this is one of the final steps doesn’t mean you should rush the process! 

Make sure your moving day is as stress-free as possible. We’ve researched the best tips for finding a removal company to ensure you are armed and ready to go when your sale is complete. 

Ready to move? Keep on reading to find out more.

The Key Tips When Booking A Removal Company

It’s easy to Google local removal companies and book the first result, but this isn’t always the best way to book a removal team. Instead, have a read of these tips and keep them in mind when the time comes for you to move into your dream home!

Read Real Reviews

Reviews are always a good indicator of a removal service. However, don’t get hoodwinked by the reviews on the company’s website. Their team will handpick these, and what team would willingly showcase any bad reviews?

Instead, use third-party websites to gauge an unbiased view of their services. Good websites to check include Checkatrade, Google Reviews, and TrustPilot. These offer real experiences instead of pre-selected 5* reviews. 

Explore Their Website

Though you shouldn’t only look at the website reviews, it’s still advised to explore their website. This will let you know how large their operations are, how long they’ve been in the industry, and how professional they are. 

A company’s “About” page will often give you most of this information. You can also check image galleries or “Service” pages to understand the scope of their work. Of course, some of this information will be more staged, but it will give you a general idea of how they present themselves. 

Check They Can Move Your Furniture

This sounds simple, but it can often be forgotten! If you own larger items, such as a piano, make sure the company offers services that include these. This is also important if you own fine art or any delicate antiques, as not all movers are experienced with these items. Consider hiring a specialist if needed.  

Look For Insurance

When it comes to your finances and possessions, you always want to work with an insured team. Though all removal companies should be insured, double-checking is essential. Any good removal team will list their insurance online, or they’ll be happy to show you the details of their policies. 

When All Fails, Trust Word Of Mouth

It’s easy to make a company shine online. However, it’s harder to control what previous customers say about the experience. Ask local friends and family members if they have any experience with removal companies in the area. Often, a word of mouth recommendation is the best way to find a trusted removal team.

Do I Really Need A Removal Company?

Most moves will require a removal company, but it always depends on your situation. 

For example, if you’re leaving a furnished rental home with fewer personal items, you might only need a self-drive van. But, if you have lots of large furniture and enough things to fill a few storage containers, a removal company will help make the process easier. 

A good removal company will provide any necessary packing materials for you, and they’ll also offer advice on how to protect your possessions. Remember, these teams have years of experience, so if you have any worries ask for their opinion.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, these tips have helped you learn more about the removal process. When it comes to moving home in Plymouth, there is a range of trusted removal companies to help you get from A to B. If you’re ever unsure or confused, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of the Pilkington Estates team for guidance. 

Ready to find your dream property? Find out more about our buying services here.

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The Million Dollar Listing Effect: How Do You Style Your Home?

Downtown Miami

Have you ever tuned into Million Dollar Listings?

This popular luxury property show is back for the 9th season, but it’s based in Miami this time. This show follows professional real estate brokers selling luxury homes to wealthy clients.

Though Miami is far from Plymouth, this show and similar shows have had an impact on the UK property market. These brokers are known for their unique property marketing methods, which are now being adapted for UK properties.

So, if you’re interested in selling your home, keep on reading. The Million Dollar Listing team has some handy tips to help stage your property for potential buyers.

The importance of styling

It’s no secret that buyers respond well to homes that go the extra mile with their staging and decor. But, how do the Million Dollar Listing teams make their properties look so great?

We’ve broken down the top home styling tips from the cast to ensure you’ve got the secret industry knowledge. If you’re selling your home this year, make sure you take note of some of these top tips.

You can also contact the Pilkington estates team for our professional property marketing services. We’re always here to help!

Clear the Room

An essential tip for high-end property marketing is to clear the room. It’s necessary to do this first when you start a home styling or staging project. Clearing the space allows you to see it as a blank slate. Without any extra clutter, it’s easier to formulate a plan and highlight the best areas of the architecture. Don’t be scared of empty space! This can leave the house feeling light and airy.

Upscale the Finishes

Another important tip is to upscale the finishes. While this isn’t always possible, try not to buy low-quality options if you’re purchasing extra finishes and furniture for your viewings. Of course, you don’t need to blow your budget, but make sure you opt for pieces that will inspire your buyer to want your home.

It’s also worth noting that any extra finishes (such as lamps or rugs) should align with your current decor. This will leave your home looking cohesive, plus the finishes will fit your new home when you move.

Use Mirrors

Mirrors are an underrated tool.

When you focus on adding a few mirrors to your home, you will notice that it will instantly feel lighter. Large mirrors reflect any natural light and leave your home feeling larger than it is. They also add a luxury feel, so add a mirror now if this is the atmosphere you’re after!

Add lighting

Similar to mirrors, make sure you add lighting fixtures too. Different types of lighting can change the ambience of the space, so make sure you’re creating a positive feel. Whether you opt for table lamps, standing lamps, or intricate overhead lighting, it will make a difference to the feel of your home.

Create a flow

This tip can sometimes be overlooked, but it’s essential to create walkways through your home. Sometimes, each room will start to feel “blocky” as furniture styles change from area to area. Instead, focus on creating a decor style that flows through the property and avoid placing furniture in the way of the natural walkthrough route.

Choose a focal point

Though the Million Dollar Listing team advises sellers to avoid “cluttering” rooms, you should also avoid being too minimalist. If you strip everything back too far, you run the risk of showing potential buyers a dull room.

Creating a focal point can be done through a range of objects, but the Million Dollar Listing team prefers to use art. When you decorate the room with an exciting art piece, the mood of the space changes. The team suggests going big but neutral – this way, you’re appealing to more tastes.

The bottom line

While these tips won’t fit all properties, it’s worth noting them when getting your home ready for viewing. Selling a home is exciting, so make sure you get creative and enjoy the staging process.

If you’re interested in selling your Plymouth home, contact us here.

We also offer a range of professional property marketing services, including home staging. Find out more about these here.

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Pilkington Estates gives the gift of joy to two families

Ivey and family get a visit by Father Chrismas

The Christmas period is a time for friends, family, and loved ones to reunite and enjoy the holiday cheer. Whether you’re digging into the Christmas dinner or opening presents, this is the perfect time to forget your worries and live in the present. But, this isn’t always possible for all families.

The last few years have been hard for many of us, but they have been especially difficult for two young families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer. The Pilkington Estates team have had the pleasure of giving the gift of quality time and Disney magic to these families, allowing them to forget the trials of daily life for a while in 2022.

Keep reading to find out about Santa’s visit to Plymouth!

Making it through the year

We met with Fox’s family to find out more about their journey. Fox was diagnosed with leukemia on Christmas Day when he was only two years old. In the video, Fox’s Mother explains how there was no time to fall apart through the whirlwind medical diagnosis. “There’s no choice but to stay strong for them,” she explained.

Fox received rounds of chemotherapy and surgery in Bristol hospital, but with the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, the hospital process became more and more difficult. Only one parent was permitted to visit and overnight stays became difficult. Luckily, Fox responded well to the treatment and now receives a biopsy every three months to check that he remains in remission.

Our team also met with Ivey’s parents, who talked us through their tough journey too. Ivey’s parents explained how the cancer diagnosis becomes your new normal. “There’s no choice but to get on with it,” they explained.

Ivey was diagnosed with cancer two months before her second birthday. With countless hospital trips and procedures, Ivey’s tumor was eventually removed. Ivey and her family have had to push through one of the toughest years of their life and now Ivey is doing better than ever.

Bringing back some Christmas cheer

It’s tough to imagine what these families have endured over the past couple of years, but here at Pilkington Estates, we want to make sure that they can enjoy this Christmas. Both families were invited to our office for a Christmas surprise. Not only did the children receive personalised gifts, but there was a special visit from Santa too!

In the videos, you can watch the pure excitement as Santa arrives at the Pilkington Estates offices in Saltash. With some Christmas joy and Disney magic, we capture the children’s innocent reactions to finding out they are visiting Disneyland Paris in 2022!

To allow the families to leave their day-to-day lives and spend some needed family time together, we’ve arranged for them to visit the dream destination and see all of their favourite characters in person. We couldn’t have made this happen without your support throughout 2021, so we’d like to thank our customers for working with us throughout the past year.

Looking to the future

Nothing makes us happier than seeing families together, so we want to continue spreading joy into the new year. From our team here at Pilkington Estates, we hope you’ve had an excellent Christmas and a chance to sit back and relax over the New Year too. We are looking forward to helping more families make new memories in 2022!

If you want to watch the heart-warming videos, check our Facebook page here or here.

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Happy New Year: Will You Be Celebrating 2022 With A New Home?

burning sparkler light 2022

There’s nothing like a New Year to make you want to make a change in your life. From starting an exercise regime to selling a house, the 1st of January is a day full of motivation and change.

2021 has been another unconventional year, however, from the team here at Pilkington Estates we hope you’ve had a great Christmas and New Year too. We hope to see you again in January and we can’t wait to help you sell your homes in 2022.

Want to explore some reasons to sell your home in the New Year? Keep on reading to find out more!

A Fresh Start

A New Year brings resolutions and a new outlook, but will a new home be on the cards for you?

Our team is looking forward to working with you in 2022, whether you want to buy or sell a home, we’re here to make your life easier. With our premium property marketing packages and our large selection of listings, we’ve got everything needed to kickstart your year with a successful sale.

Also, getting your home onto the market ahead of the spring rush will put you in better stead of getting a high price for the sale. In January there’s less competition from other homes, plus if your home is still for sale by February it will have more exposure than those who are listing their home later in the season. January may seem too early to you – but never underestimate the time it takes to get your home ready to be sold!

What’s The Housing Market Like?

Though we often worry about the housing market during uncertain times, it’s set to be a good year in 2022. Sources state that the UK housing market will be the busiest we’ve seen since 2007.

Zoopla has noted that their House Price Index is showing a strong buyer demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This has boosted the average home’s values from £200,000 to £240,000 in just five years. It’s estimated that one in 16 houses changed hands during 2021, and this trend is only set to increase in 2022.

It’s also estimated that in the past 12 months, average prices have risen by £15,500 and homes in the South West and South East have recorded an increase of £22,000. This is great news if you’ve been worried about the market, especially as overall buyer demand is about 28% above the standard five-year average.

Let Pilkington Estates Help You

If you’re ready to celebrate the new year in a new place, let the team of experienced agents at Pilkington Estates help you find a new home. The New Year is a great time to invest in property and it allows you to access a fresh start in a new area too.

Find out more about our premium property services here.

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Buying And Selling During Christmas? Here’s All You Need To Know

House in snow

For some, the idea of moving house during the Christmas period would send a shudder down their spine. This time of year can be stressful for a range of reasons, but moving house shouldn’t be one of them!

Though many want to spend the end of the year curled up at home relaxing, it’s a great time to get your home on the market and find your dream home. Real estate agencies see a boost in interest over this period, as many have more free time to look for new homes while they’re enjoying the festivities.

Keep reading to find out our best tips for buying and selling your home at Christmas time!

Continue reading Buying And Selling During Christmas? Here’s All You Need To Know
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Going Digital: Are we moving away from cities?

Aerial view of rural house surrounded by green fields

From remote work to working in Covid-safe bubbles, our professional lives have been altered over the last two years. Working from home has changed the way we view our careers and it’s formed new relationships with our homes.

With a focus on digital work and Zoom calls, many are choosing to ditch the office for good. But what does this mean for those that only lived in the cities for work?

Keep reading to explore why many are choosing to leave the city in favour of quieter areas!

Goodbye Office Work!

If you haven’t experienced working from home, someone close to you has! March 2020 left many of us in uncertain positions, unsure of when we would next step into the all-important office. Though it’s not for everyone, remote working showed a new way of living and for some, this was a game-changer!

Why pay expensive rent and live in a busy city when you could log in remotely from a larger and less-expensive home further away? Not only that, but life without a commute is enough to make some never turn up to the office ever again!

We’re seeing more and more families push for a remote job position, letting them spend more time with their families and less time working away in the office. This has consequently caused an increase in home sales in areas further afield and a large number of workers fleeing from London.

Moving To Plymouth And West Devon

Plymouth is an increasingly popular area to move to, especially for young families and young professionals. With a bustling urban area, natural beauty, and an abundance of high-quality amenities, Plymouth has all you need to thrive in your personal and professional life. Plymouth house prices are still more affordable than similar properties in London and the Southeast.

Trends are showing that as many move away from the cities, coastal areas like Plymouth are becoming more popular than ever before. Plymouth was recently dubbed “Britain’s Ocean City”, so if you’re considering moving to a coastal location this could be your new home. This maritime city has impressive academic establishments, global connections, and a wealth of businesses like no other. You can also find exciting recreational activities like the aquarium, cafés, and the Plymouth Gin distillery – great options for family time and fun for grown-ups too.

And if you need to get to a meeting in London, you’re there by train in just over three hours.

Are you ready to experience an exciting city with additional ocean beauty?

Looking Ahead To 2022

As we get closer to 2022, it doesn’t look like the work from home mandates are going anywhere soon. With a new online professional culture growing, we expect more and more families to leave their capital city homes and move to different areas of the country. Why commute every day when you can log onto your laptop in your own home?

Are you looking to move to Plymouth? Let us help you find your new property. Explore our expert buying services here and find out more about Plymouth house prices.

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The Perks of Living By The Plymouth Waterfront

Aerial view of Plymouth's waterfront

Plymouth is getting more and more popular every year. But, why are so many families choosing to relocate to this city?

With seaside views, urban life, and excellent amenities, Plymouth offers residents all they need to live a comfortable life. It may be a smaller city than others in the UK, but Plymouth is full of charm and friendly people. Not only that but it has excellent transport links too.

One of the most popular areas of the city is the bustling waterfront area. This coastal spot is a favourite for locals and tourists alike! This area has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and lots of charm too, so it’s no surprise houses nearby get sold quickly!

Keep on reading to explore why the Plymouth waterfront area is so popular.

Urban life meets the seaside

The waterfront area is extremely popular for those that love the historical charm and the quaint British seaside feel. With a mix of historic buildings and modern developments, the waterfront feels different to other English cities. Plymouth offers a sophisticated take on the traditional seaside down, resulting in it being dubbed the “Ocean City”.

This waterfront area boasts a range of cafes, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs too. If you need exciting hospitality amenities in your life, the Plymouth docks area is perfect for you. A wide range of cuisines and businesses are found here, giving you an urban feel in a different setting.

Plymouth also boasts two universities, plus the Plymouth College of Art. These highly ranked schools add an extra buzz to the area, whilst bringing in more tourism and an emerging arts scene too.

The best area in England to invest in

As many of us look at alternative areas to live in, Swann Security has created a list of the best areas in England to invest in property. This list is curated from data including property prices, crime rates, people’s relationships with their neighbours, and more. The city at the top of this list was none other than Plymouth!

In the list, Plymouth was named the best overall city to live in and invest in, as well as the city with the highest number of residents that have a good relationship with their neighbours, too. The investigation also found that the city has an average price for a 3-bed at £185,000 and a low crime rate too. There’s no surprise that many are moving away from bustling megacities when you can have it all in an area like Plymouth.

The Swann Security lift featured Belfast in second place with an average house price of £164,000 and Cardiff came in third place with an average house price of £225,000. When inner-city rents are sky-high, there’s no surprise that families are looking for quieter cities to raise children in. 

Natural beauty at your fingertips

While the proximity to great nightlife and academic institutions always puts central Plymouth properties on the map, one of the main reasons these homes get snapped up so quickly is for their great views. A range of these waterfront-based homes offers a sea view, something you just can’t find in other cities!

Plymouth is surrounded by beaches, coves, and other areas of natural beauty, however, nothing beats watching the sunset over the water from your bedroom window.

Interested in Plymouth?

Plymouth is a unique city with a completely different atmosphere to other cities in the UK. If you’re interested in experiencing a new pace of life in Britain’s Ocean City, make sure you contact us to find out more about our Plymouth-based real estate services.

Are you looking to move to Plymouth? Let us help you find your new property. Explore our expert buying services here.

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Welcome To Saltash: Introducing Pilkington Estates’ Newest Office

Saltash view from river

We’re excited to announce the opening of our new Saltash office! The new Pilkington Estates office is located in the heart of Saltash, just across from the Tamar bridge. Our team is excited to be working in this area, and we can’t wait to help you find your dream home by the Cornwall border.

Are you interested in a property in the Saltash area? Keep reading to find out more about the “Gateway to Cornwall”!

A Rich History

When you arrive in Saltash you’re greeted by the Royal Albert Bridge. This impressive landmark was completed in 1859 and adds some historic character to the coastal area. You can also find the impressive 11th century Tremonton Castle which looks over the valley, a must-visit for anyone who loves architecture and history.

When you move to Saltash you’re living in the beauty of the past. The market town was established in the 12th century by the lord of Trematon and the town has been a popular residential town ever since. Residents and visitors can learn more about the town’s impressive history in the Saltash Museum and the Local History Centre too.

Modern Elements

While Saltash has an impressive historical presence, it also features a diverse range of restaurants, hotels, and businesses too. Saltash sees a lot of tourism in the summer months and the town has accommodation and shops to make sure the local population has everything they need.

If you want exciting nightlife, Plymouth is just across the river and you can also visit the nearby resorts of Polperro and Looe. This is ideal for anyone who likes to dine out and enjoy drinks as hospitality is only a short journey away.

Everything You Need

Alongside exciting bars, restaurants, and historic sites, Saltash offers necessities like a hospital, a leisure centre and transport links. Saltash railway station is managed by the Great Western Railway and can take you to London Paddington if you make a quick change at Bristol Temple Meads. You can also find an extensive range of bus routes within the Saltash area too.

If you’re looking to raise a family in the Saltash area, there are a range of schools including St Stephens Community Primary School and the Brunel Primary school which are all within walking distance of the centre of the town. For higher education, you have access to the Saltash Net Community School and the Cornwall College Saltash.

Saltash is a popular residential area, offering high-quality amenities and natural beauty too. Other facilities in Saltash include a range of dentists, banks, gyms, post offices, and even a golf course. Everything you need to live a comfortable life is available in this gorgeous coastal town!

Contact Pilkington Estates To Start Your Moving Process

If you’re ready to start your moving process, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team today. With premium property marketing and exclusive listings, we’re here to make the buying and selling process stress-free. You can also visit us in person in our new Saltash office too! Are you ready to move? Contact us here to learn more about our buying.

Located in Keast Mews behind Fore Street in Saltash, this branch will be there for our neighbours over the bridge. To celebrate the opening, for a limited time we will be welcoming back our £500 referral scheme for Cornwall. Do you know someone looking to sell or already trying to sell a property in Cornwall? Recommend them to us and earn yourself a £500 referral fee when we successfully complete on selling their property.

Please contact us on 01752 982773

Pilkington estates office
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Horror stories of real estate and how to avoid them

Spooky looking house

Have you ever wondered about haunted houses or scary sales? Buying and selling houses can be stressful, and sometimes horror stories occur in the real estate industry too!

Of course, Pilkington Estates makes sure nothing scary happens when you engage them, but to celebrate Halloween we’re focusing on some real estate spooky stories that you want to avoid! These scenarios are very rare and haven’t happened in our experience, but they make entertaining stories for the Halloween season!

Keep reading to give yourself a good scare.

The horror of selling

While these stores may make your skin crawl, remember that they’re only ghost stories and this doesn’t happen in Plymouth! When you work with the team at Pilkington Estates you’re always in safe hands.

Skeleton Home

When you’re selling your home you want to keep it as presentable as possible to attract new buyers, this includes making sure there aren’t any rodents or pests in the house! 

A common story on real estate blogs explains how one Pennsylvanian resident moved homes but was greeted with a scary surprise once settled in. When new resident Liz Spikol was in her new home, she realized there was blue dust falling from the ceiling. After some investigation, Liz had to open her ceilings and found they were full of dead mice, skeletons, and blue powder to poison them! 

Let this be a warning to be thorough when cleaning your house and always investigate a home before moving in. 

Hidden In The Walls

Imagine moving into a new home, and finding a large snake in the crawl space. Well, that’s exactly what happened during a home inspection in the U.S. Philadelphia agents found a whopping 4.5 metres boa constrictor hidden in a house that was for sale. It’s safe to say this additional feature was not listed in the property marketing!

Some may call this situation a free pet adoption, however, it’s a nightmare for others. Watch out for anything that goes “slither” in the night!

A Little Haunting

Another U.S real estate horror story involves a resident listing that his home is “slightly haunted”, and you can expect knocking, footsteps, and occasional screams when living there. Of course, this listing went viral and paranormal experts worldwide wanted to visit. 

Disappointingly, it turns out the home wasn’t haunted, but his honest listing and the increased interest in the house prove a few ghosts don’t scare buyers off! Always check with your real estate agent before you start telling buyers your house is haunted though. 

Quiet Neighbours  

Some agents like to promote their properties by adding information about the neighbours as this gives buyers a good idea of the area. However, if you ever see “quiet neighbours” on a house listing, make sure you double-check the location as in the past agents have used this to describe graveyards!

While this isn’t a false description, it’s good to be open about your property’s location. Some view this as good humour. Whereas some clients may be put-off by this take on professional property marketing. Either way, always check where your potential new home is located! 

Selling your home doesn’t have to be scary

For some, selling can be a stressful situation, however, it doesn’t have to be this way. With our team’s expert professional property marketing skills and experience in the industry, we can guide you through the selling process with ease. Buying and selling with Pilkington Estates is never scary! 

To learn more about our services, visit our FAQ page here.