Location, location, location

When it comes to buying a house, the quality of the bricks and mortar are a key part of the deal. But when it comes to an investment and a lifestyle that you continue to appreciate, it’s all about location, location, location.

When homebuyers choose Hammersmith or Shepherds Bush, it’s because they are already sold on what the area has to offer – whether it’s the improving local schools, the improving local shopping, impressive local parks, riverside views or superb transport links.

But you would be surprised just how many young homemakers ask about the local hospitals. It’s a huge topic at the moment as the NHS plans to modify Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals have been met with protests from all quarters. But it shows just how much people want their local amenities to stay strong and present. 

For middle-aged buyers, the lure of a sterling A&E is good… but for those with a family planned, proximity to Queen Charlotte’s hospital in White City is the icing on the cake. 

Since 1739, the hospital has been setting the standard for its work caring for our precious little ones. It’s the hospital of choice for the Horton and Garton family – two kids delivered in fine style, thank you! – as well as numerous celebrities and musicians, such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who chose it for the births of their children. Not to mention actors Dame Helen Mirren and Daniel Radcliffe, who are also Queen Charlotte’s babies.

The NHS is an iconic British creation and in a borough of 180,000 people and counting, it has a huge effect on the prosperity and attractiveness of the borough. If your estate agent hasn’t ranked it up there along with Westfield and the River Thames as the jewels in the H&F crown, perhaps you should send them to a doctor!

While I am harking back to great British traditions and standards, I believe this also applies to the humble work of estate agents; when I see a rush to embrace American and Australian-style open houses as a clever way for other estate agents to prove their worth and make a quick buck, it makes me cringe.

Call me old-fashioned, but nothing beats dealing with clients on a level where I would like to be treated if I was the customer – that’s with professional respect. 

For sellers, we can assure them that our buyers are vetted and genuine when viewing the property. All prospective buyers get a private view accompanied by an experienced agent without leaving front doors open for unqualified buyers and timewasters. 

For me it is quality over quantity. If you have ever been herded around a property then you know of the method of racking, packing and stacking ‘buyers’ through a house to save the agent the time and effort of skilfully matching its clients with proper customers.

That’s the true art of a good estate agent, and it requires one-on-one viewings, no pressure tactics, attention to detail, and listening to each client and customer to make the best deal work for both parties. 

Here at Horton and Garton, we call it the purple carpet treatment.