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Five Star Service


A note from our Directors...

We've had a busy summer of helping our clients to sell and let their properties, our buyers successfully purchase homes and our tenants check out or move in seamlessly. In the fast paced world of property, we never forget our primary motivation: to go above and beyond for our clients in every way. Service can make or break an independent business like ours so receiving glowing feedback in emails, letters, cards and in person is always a special and meaningful occasion in our King Street and Turnham Green Terrace offices. We're sharing a handful of sentiments from the month of August; we are immensely proud that Horton and Garton continues to provide west London's highest standard of service.

"Having bought our home through John it was only fitting we used Horton and Garton to rent it. The team was the height of professionalism. If you're buying, selling or renting in W6 I can't understand why you would go to anyone else; this is THEIR patch."
-Joe Bradley

"We switched agent and marketed our flat with Horton and Garton and got results quickly - not just that but we really appreciated their approach; sound advice and good local knowledge, and everything dealt with in an honest and professional way (very un-"estate agent"-y). We'd recommend them highly."
-Timothy Wilkes

"We recently sold in Brook Green through Horton and Garton Hammersmith and bought a new home through the Horton and Garton Chiswick office. We were very impressed with both parties who were incredibly professional, hard working and were a real pleasure to deal with!"
-Alice Davidson

"The best lettings agents I have worked with in the last 20 years. Excellent local knowledge, very proactive and attentive. A pleasure to work with."
-Rupert Carruthers

"A rare find in the baffling world of London estate agents. Horton and Garton may not be the biggest agency on the block, but they are certainly one of the best."
-Sarah Jane Grace

Nomination for Brackenbury Village Parklet



The Brackenbury Village parklet has been shortlisted for the Best Innovation category in the Healthy Streets Awards. The project was delivered in April and is positioned in front of Brackenburys Deli on Adensley Road. The goal was to regenerate the centre of the popular Brackenbury area of Hammersmith by providing more outdoor community space.

This new modular parklet, or urban park, offers seating areas, planters for greenery and cycle parking on sustainably sourced thermo-treated decking. The parklet has proved extremely popular with local residents and is encouraging walking, running and cycling to the local area. Henrietta Bewley said of the parkelet, "As a resident of Hammersmith and Fulham for about 30 years, I am delighted to have started to use the Brackenbury parklet. It is so nice to have somewhere outdoors in the sun to sit and drink an excellent coffee, especially as I can park my bicycle next to it. The parklet gives a focal point to the village. Let's reclaim the streets from the internal combustion engine!"

Sharon, the manager of Brackenbury Deli, says of the parklet, "We were a little apprehensive about losing the parking spaces outside of the shop, but now consider ourselves lucky that this spot was chosen for the first parklet in the borough. Lots of people have commented on how impressed they are with the new seating area and believe that it improves the area while creating a focal point for the village."

Read more here: http://www.cyclehoop.com/news/our-parklet-has-been-shortlisted-for-the-healthy-streets-awards-2017/

Local v Online – a response to BBC Watchdog



Our sales negotiator Phil Coombes shares his thoughts on why an established local independent agency is always your best bet:

Last week BBC One Watchdog Live examined an online agent which came under fire for misleading customers and wildly inflating claims. Watchdog investigated the company after receiving numerous reports they were still attracting new vendors by using exaggerated claims previously banned by the advertising standards agency or ASA. This same business has been censured half a dozen times over the past year by the ASA.

When homeowners come to sell their most valuable asset they might be tempted to think there is little to separate an online agent from a local one. Both organise viewings and market your property via online portals, but scratch the surface and you'll uncover some fundamental differences:

1. Fees: This is where you’d assume online agents would be more attractive, however they like to mislead their clients about how much they can save (though the ASA and Watchdog have now put a stop to these claims). Online agency fees tend to be a fixed amount rather than a percentage of the selling price and this is paid up front with no guarantee the agency will sell your property. After taking this fee, the online agent has little incentive to sell your property and even less to agree the best price possible. Local agents operate on a 'no sale, no fee' basis ensuring the agent will work hard for their commission and achieve the best price for your property.

2. Viewings: Most local high street agents will arrange and conduct viewings for you. But with an online agent, the default setting is for the vendor to conduct the viewing. You might be tempted to think this is beneficial because you know the property best. From experience, it tends to mean that potential buyers feel pressured into viewing the property quickly and feel less comfortable looking around the home. In turn, I would argue this means less chance of receiving an offer and less chance of achieving a sale.

3. Local Knowledge and Valuations: The majority of agents will visit your home to value it however online agents cover a much broader area which is often regional and therefore ultimately will not know the ins and outs of the local market. They might not know critical information about the local Conservation area, school catchment areas and transport routes. This is vitally important when giving you, the vendor, an accurate figure to sell. We understand that this is a figure you will base your future plans on so it needs to be correct and realistic.

4. Vetting buyers: A good local agent like Horton and Garton will ensure that all viewings are vetted. We take the time to get to know our buyers and ensure we bring around quality applicants. Online agencies might secure little information past the potential buyers' names and addresses. When showing applicants a property it’s important to understand their finances, current position and search requirements to ensure the home is a good fit.

5. Sales Progression: Once the sale is agreed, a good agent will come into their own. This can be the most difficult, strenuous and delicate part of the selling process. Many online agents have been slated for their lack of communication during this process with BBC One's Watchdog highlighting how vendors hadn’t been informed their buyer had pulled out of the deal. Horton and Garton handles each sale with kid gloves, investing time in all parties including solicitors, brokers and surveyors to ensure all hurdles are jumped and the sale is seamlessly managed.

The choice is yours. Will an online or local agent work hardest for you, achieve the best price for your property, conduct thorough viewings, source the perfect buyer and deftly handle the challenging process of sales progression - all the while keeping you, the client, at the heart of the transaction? To discuss the sales market in your local area within Hammersmith, Chiswick, Shepherds Bush or Fulham, give our team a call. With over 90 years of combined experience in West London property, we know the local landscape and love to share our knowledge.

We’re #1!


Breaking news from our King Street HQ: we received our Rightmove report for the four months leading up to 1 August and we are #1 for Sales in Hammersmith out of a whopping 55 agencies operating in the area! We are a colossal 9 sales ahead of one of our competitors who has not one but two offices operating in our postcode.

Over the past decade we established ourselves as true market leaders and are proud to announce that we're officially the leader for Sales in W6. Director John Horton says, "We work tirelessly for our clients and when we list a property, we absolutely intend to sell it. The combination of our years of experience here in Hammersmith, intimate knowledge of its many local areas, integrity, honesty and genuine drive to go the extra mile for our clients has put us on top. I'm extremely proud of my sales team's outstanding efforts." One of our recent clients said of our sales service, "After contacting several agencies we went forward with H&G to sell our flat as they sounded professional, knowledgeable, and honest. It was the best decision we could have taken. Selling can be stressful, but Horton and Garton's professionalism and honesty made all the process very smooth. I would strongly recommend their services."

If you're considering selling in Hammersmith and only the best will do, don't hesitate to be in touch. Our sales team lives and works in West London so we bring a unique perspective of both agency professional and local resident. We're happy to share our knowledge of the market in Brackenbury Village, St Peter's Conservation Area, Hammersmith Riverside, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, Wendell Park and Shepherds Bush. If you'd like to review the property market with us or a valuation, call our King Street sales team on 020 8819 0510.

*The information is based on the following filters: Property types: detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses, unspecified houses, flats, bungalows, commercial properties, mobile / park homes, retirement properties, house / flat share properties and private halls Age: Resale Date: 02/04/2017 - 03/08/2017

Best (Bids) in the West


This is the tale of an unextended, unassuming upper maisonette in the heart of Wendell Park on Aylmer Road - a sale was agreed on Saturday at almost 8% above the asking price. The property came to market in the middle of July and exactly one week later achieved enough interest to attract five best and final bids. This potential-packed property was perfectly priced by our Chiswick Director Paul Cooney who knows exactly how the west London market is moving. Paul has priced and sold £300 million worth of property in all areas of Chiswick, including Wendell Park. He says, "The right asking price is the key to selling. Accurately priced, your property will generate a buzz and buyers will flood through your door. Overprice by even 5% and potential buyers will be put off because they will think your property is out of reach. We achieved interest from several superb buyers and now have three disappointed parties who are looking to buy in Wendell Park." We have a very happy client and an equally happy buyer, but we also have three sets of disappointed buyers who are looking in the area and are ready to move. If you are considering selling your property in the Wendell Park area and would like advice from West London market leaders, give our team a call.

Paul also notes that contacts are key. "We have established relationships with the best local tradespeople in west London. Matt and his team at Chiswick-based Ash Island Lofts are invaluable to us, especially with properties like Aylmer Road that could be extended into the loft space. They view our properties for sale, carefully examine the floor plans and local authority planning portal, and offer on-site phone estimates for loft conversions to our potential buyers. This provides an accurate cost of building works for our buyers considering potential projects and helps them clarify whether it's a property they want to pursue. Their reputation in west London is impeccable with customer service to match. The solid structural works aren't let down by a haphazard finish - it's always immaculate with Ash Island. Their teams are never subcontracted so the works are to the same high standard for every project they take on." To discuss your project with Matt and his team, call them on 020 8166 5145 or visit www.ashislandlofts.co.uk.

Keys to success: two asking price offers in two days


At Horton and Garton, our sales team has managed to shrug off the spectre of a slow down in the property market. Apparently, the 'sluggish' market isn't moving.... but this hasn't been the case for our properties here in west London. In 48 hours, our team was able to put forward asking price offers on two different houses in Chiswick and Hammersmith, one from a cash buyer.

Why are we achieving the unachievable in Chiswick, Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush when other estate agents are struggling?

Negotiator Phil Coombes says, "I liken the current market to a river. If you price your property well, you'll be in the fast flowing stream. If you inflate your asking price, as most agents will advise, you'll be stuck in the slow stream, possibly even in a pool stagnating, with little to no interest or demand generated for your property."

Sales Manager Martin Clements notes that research carried out by Right Move demonstrates the importance of correct pricing. Owners are 40% more likely to sell their property if it's priced right from day one. He says, "If you inflate the asking price you'll end up achieving less than your property's market value. Why did we achieve two asking price offers on two different properties in two days in a 'stagnant' market? Because we priced the properties right on the money and we know our buyers. The relationships and trust we build with our buyers result in genuine offers. Neither of the asking price offers came from online enquiries so had these properties been listed with an online agent - or an agent who relies heavily on their online marketing - the buyers would never have viewed them. In fact, one of the properties achieved an asking price offer with no floor plans, photos or online listing! Why? We establish relationships with our buyers and know exactly what they are looking for so we can match the property to the purchaser. The asking price offers were the natural result of that tailored service. Because our buyers know we don't inflate our asking prices, they trust our judgement and are more willing to view and ultimately offer and purchase through us. Properly marketed properties and investment in our buyers is the magic combination that leads to sales."

If you're considering selling, Martin's advice is to ignore agents' current portfolios and instead look at their conversion rate of listings to sales. "Often, a high quantity of stock means agents are overpricing their properties and the stock is stagnating. You should also ignore viewing numbers as many agencies will drag every buyer on their books to view every property. One of our listings is exchanging this week and we conducted only four viewings before an offer was accepted. This is because we know our buyers better than any other agency in west London. The trust we build starts at registration, carrying on until they collect the keys from us."

One of our recent clients says it all: "I can't fault the service provided by Martin and John on the sale of our flat. They offered clear, sensible and realistic advice and the sale went through quickly and smoothly, without hiccups. Having originally tried selling with an online agent, and received no service at all (and virtually no enquiries), I have to admit that in the end Horton and Garton's fee was well justified for their excellent local knowledge and professionalism.”

Over 90 years of combined experience in west London property sets us apart from our competition. Honesty, ethical practice, integrity, professionalism and a client-focussed approach to each transaction have made us market leaders in Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush. For a valuation of your property, call our Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush team on 020 8819 0510 or our Chiswick team on 020 8996 5120.

Redefining west London riverside living – Fulham Riverside by Barratt Homes


Situated on the Thames in the Wandsworth Bridge area of Fulham is the stunning new Fulham Riverside by Barratt Homes.  Ashley Clements, Lettings Manager, visited the portfolio of brand new properties we now have available to let.  "With a fairly large choice of riverside apartments currently on the market across west London I went to view Fulham Riverside with preconceived notions but came away floored.  It is unlike the majority of modern developments I've seen in that no two properties are the same and the development as a whole offers a host of special features - more than you can conceive of from a distance.  It has to be experienced to be understood."  Click on the images below to view a handful of the Fulham Riverside properties available to let with Horton and Garton.

Walking through the vast, award-winning landscaped gardens you'll stumble upon a tennis court overlooking the Thames, an outdoor gym, open air chess tables, a waterfall, children's maze, and stepping stones set in a stunning water feature. Naturally, the 24 hour concierge, private fitness suite, secure gated parking and onsite cafe are a few more features included as standard.  Every property comes with a generous outdoor balcony or terrace with views across the gardens or River Thames.  Ashley notes, "Whilst this is very much a development in the heart of the city, what immediately strikes you is the peace and sense of community."  Set away from the road and overlooking the river, every property offers sanctuary from the relentless pace of London life.  

 Starting from £856 per week, the two bedroom, two bathroom apartments are each unique - some are arranged as duplexes.  All have sweeping river views and are over 1100 sq ft.  The four bedroom, three bathroom homes start from £1,355 per week and have views over the landscaped gardens.  Each property is immaculately finished with high end appliances and materials throughout.  With a large portfolio of brand new homes just launched to market throughout Fulham Riverside, it's the ideal time to snap up a gem before our busy summer season swings into high gear.  Our lettings department can be reached on 020 8819 0511 or email our Lettings Manager on ashley@hortonandgarton.co.uk.

 

Why we’re the best in the west: sales and lettings summer case studies


We keep our clients at the heart of our business.  It’s not just marketing blurb, it’s part of our mission statement at Horton and Garton.  Our vendors and landlords are at the centre of every viewing, each phone call and email.  We strive to achieve the best for them and their properties.  If you’re thinking of selling or letting in Hammersmith, Chiswick, Shepherds Bush or Fulham and only the best will do, give us a call; your most valuable asset will be handled with care.  Read on for recent examples of our superior practice in estate agency.

We’re number one for lettings in Hammersmith.  Here’s just one example of why we’re market leaders by a west London mile:

Flat to let: Edith Road, W14

  • 11 viewings on the first two days of showing the property
  • 6 offers by the end of the second day
  • Best and final bids/offers resulting in the highest offer being 7% over asking price
  • Let agreed within 3 days of the first viewing
  • Let in advance of the move date with no void period
  • We now have several disappointed applicants looking for a similar home in the area

 

Our sales team is on a roll!  With double figure sales in the last two months, we never stop working for our clients and their properties.  Here’s one example of how we go above and beyond:

House for sale: Iffley Road, Brackenbury Village, W6

  • Multimillion pound house in Brackenbury Village
  • Buyer secured and contracts exchanged within 22 days from first visiting and valuing the property
  • “Thanks to your sales team, the process has been perfect… well mannered, attentive and patient with regards to our needs. I really cannot be more satisfied with the whole experience.” –Client feedback

Picking up the pieces – why choose an independent agent from the start


For most of us, our properties represent our most valuable assets. When we are looking to sell or let, we want to maximise our return. The temptation to instruct the estate agency that presents you with the most attractive figure is understandable. Many agencies will tell you exactly what you want to hear, presenting you with a pumped up, inflated price tag simply to get the property on their books. “Another listing secured – tick!” The manager is pleased because they are closing in on his monthly target for new listings, even though few of them will actually sell or let.

I can understand the temptation. It’s hard not to be seduced by the highest number… but they’re setting you up for failure. There’s one small matter before you can proceed - the contract that binds you in for an 8 to 12 week exclusivity period. A week or two in and your property is now languishing on the market with no new interest or viewings scheduled.

Another week goes by the excuses start rolling in, but you have an unbreakable contract of exclusivity so you can’t market the property with another agent. The agency will blame political or economic events, Stamp Duty changes, Brexit, Trump, the financial crash of 2007, the cold war, the kitchen sink. You’re presented with a dossier of research to back up their claims complete with bar graphs and pie charts leading back to the conclusion that it’s not their fault. They’ll blame everything but their sheer incompetence, unprofessionalism and inability to treat buyers and vendors alike with the honesty and integrity they deserve.

Surely dropping the price once or twice will do the trick. Once you agree, a stream of buyers or prospective tenants flood through the doors but from the feedback you receive it turns out many of them were unsuitable… they’re looking for a townhouse with a large garden when yours is a top floor flat. It’s not just you that is losing patience - the buyers and tenants are fed up with the agents who are bringing them to see irrelevant properties. Credibility and trust are lost and the sales or letting process unravels leaving you to start from scratch. Meanwhile, your property has been on the market for several months with no suitable offers.

You’ve pinned your hopes, dreams and future plans on an inflated figure. Sadly, this business model is old as the hills; it is wrong and morally defunct. We hear this story time and time again. The process is tiresome, frustrating and emotionally taxing.

However, it doesn't have to be this way.

Often Horton and Garton is enlisted to pick up the pieces, developing a targeted marketing plan, a clever blitz across our ‘socials’ and injecting fresh enthusiasm and energy when ringing through our black book of buyers. However, the scenario above can be avoided by choosing a locally owned and operated independent agency where reputation is everything.

For almost a decade, Horton and Garton has served west London as a professional, honest and ethical estate agency. We put our clients at the heart of our business. We don’t inflate property figures – we treat our clients, buyers and renters with the respect and honesty they deserve, telling them what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear. With over 90 years of combined office experience in West London property, ours is a reliable and informed opinion. This is demonstrated by our conversion rate from properties listed to sold and let by - the best in Hammersmith in 2016. We live and work in our neighbourhoods meaning we offer a both a resident’s and property professional’s perspective. For advice that you can trust from a team who knows and loves Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Fulham and Chiswick, call or stop by one of our offices. If only the best will do, it has to be Horton and Garton.

- Phil Coombes, Sales Negotiator, Chiswick W4

West London is property hotspot for wealthy over-65s, study finds


Over 50,000 London pensioners are estimated to live in properties valued at over £1m. 

 

In Kensington and Chelsea the total value of properties over £1 million owned by pensioners was found to be a whopping £45 billion, with Westminster coming in second place at £24 billion, with the total for London amounting to over £127 billion 

A total of almost 52,000 people over the age of 65 in London were found to live in property with a price-tag of over £1 million. The only boroughs where over-65s did not own such high value properties were Barking and Dagenham and Newham.  

Data revealed by The Telegraph puts the combined property wealth of British Pensioners at £926 billion. The data, provided by CACI, provides stark contrast to the 20% drop in home ownership in under-45s.  

For specialist advice on buying and investing in property in West London, Horton and Garton have extensive knowledge of the housing market in Hammersmith and Fulham, and have advised buyers and renters of all ages.