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Clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right…

The two most important questions to ask your estate agent

When you consider selling your home, you’ll begin the process of selecting your estate agent by checking their Google reviews and asking friends and neighbours for recommendations. You’ll pour over Rightmove and Zoopla. You’ll then make your shortlist and begin the interview process. You’ll have many questions but here are two you should always ask:

What percentage of the properties you listed in 2018 were reduced in price?


What was your average price reduction?

Chiswick sellers continue to be hammered with significant price reductions as a result of ill-advised overvaluing by our competitors. We valued a property this week which has been reduced by the seller’s current W4 agent by a staggering 25%. Chiswick Sales Director Paul Cooney notes, “We have access to invaluable statistics courtesy of Rightmove so we can see exactly what is happening with asking prices. In September, we sold a beautiful family home in a prime residential road just off of Chiswick High Road to a cash buyer after just three weeks of marketing. Another agent listed a similar house in the same street which has lingered on the market for 4 months and been reduced by over 17%. It is still for sale! Empirical research conducted by independent watchdog Which? categorically demonstrates the damaging effect the practice of overvaluing has on the final price achieved for your home. Poor advice on the price of your property can have a five or six figure impact on your bottom line.” Associate Director James Liggins adds, “The average high street agent in Chiswick reduced the asking prices of one in two properties they listed in 2018. The worst offender, who we won’t name, reduced the asking prices of 64% of their properties. Overvaluing has shambolic consequences for the seller: their homes end up selling for less than their true value.”

Paul advises, “When you are considering selling, always ask your agent about their record on price reductions. What percentage of their listings did they reduce in 2018 and by what an average of what percentage? In 2018 we reduced just over a quarter of the properties we listed by an average of just 6.8%. These small and sensible tweaks in price resulted in fresh interest and sales agreed; we’re incredibly proud of our record. Estate agency is full of dubious characters who will say just about anything to list your property only to hammer you for price reduction after price reduction until your home finally sells – for significantly less than its real value. For us, honesty, integrity and achieving the very best result for our clients are paramount. Overvaluing is a practice we will never employ here at Horton and Garton. The combination of keeping our clients’ requirements at the heart of each transaction with precision pricing means we’ve been able to achieve fantastic results across the board. For an experienced, professional and honest approach to your property, we’re at your service.”

“Paul is someone who I have and will continue to recommend to friends, something I rarely do. He is an extremely hard working individual and his passion for Chiswick property clearly comes through.” -Glebe Estate seller

“Paul did an amazing job helping me to sell my Chiswick flat in a tough market. He’s a fantastic agent!” -Bedford Park borders seller

“Paul is certainly the best agent in Chiswick and, very probably, in London. He offers a service that is both professional and personal and gets results. He’s streets ahead of the competition.” -Chiswick Park seller

Affected by Japanese Knotweed? Here’s what you need to know…

A court ruling has opened the door for homeowners to claim damages if Japanese Knotweed has encroached on their property. The Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of two homeowners whose properties were affected by the notoriously invasive and destructive plant. The bamboo-like species spreads quickly and through its underground root system can undermine the structural integrity of buildings. It’s also costly and time consuming to treat.

The home owners, who own two adjoining bungalows in South Wales, made a claim against Network Rail which owns the land immediately behind their properties. Japanese Knotweed has been present on the land for at least 50 years while the pair of home owners first complained of the encroachment onto their land in 2013.

They brought a successful claim against Network Rail at Cardiff County Court and were awarded damages in February last year. Network Rail challenged that decision at a Court of Appeals hearing last month, but the court upheld the ruling that the homeowners were entitled to damages because the roots had extended beneath both of their properties. This provides reassurance to homeowners who have been affected by Japanese Knotweed that legal recourse is available to them and the law is emphatically on their side.

50 Sales of Phil

Horton and Garton's most successful negotiator celebrates his 50th transaction in 15 months

Top sales negotiator Phil Coombes who joined the Horton and Garton family just 15 months ago celebrated his 50th property exchange last week. Phil has personally agreed almost 60% of the total office sales since he started with us. Continually proving he is a rare breed of agent, Phil's track record of success coupled with the consistently superb feedback he receives from buyers and sellers alike puts him amongst the elite within our industry. He is, undoubtedly, one of the very best and most successful negotiators in West London today.

Interestingly, Phil's sales have been agreed over 7 different West London postcodes with a total value in excess of £40million and a ratio of 40% houses and 60% flats. He's achieved a remarkable 98% average of listing prices, a testament to both Sales Manager Martin Clements' ability to accurately value, price and list Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush property coupled with Phil's ability to secure the very best value for every sale.

If you are thinking of selling and would like an up to date valuation of your home call the market leading West London estate agents. We're proud to have served local home owners for over a decade. If you're considering listing your property for sale, it's important to have the very best agents on your side. With an unrivalled track record (according to Rightmove statistics) of the most sales agreed in 'Our Patch', we would welcome the opportunity to provide you with our first class, gold standard of service.

Don't just take our word for it... click here to read our google reviews.

Breaking Records in W6

Horton and Garton achieves Hammersmith's highest £pound per square foot post-Brexit

Horton and Garton's sales team has just sold Hammersmith's most expensive property on record at a ceiling-smashing £1578 per square foot on Brackenbury Village's desirable Cardross Street.

Martin Clements, Horton and Garton's Sales Manager of a decade, says of the transaction, "Whilst it has broken every Brackenbury Village £pound per square foot record, it also represents the priciest post-Brexit £pound per square foot achieved in the whole of the W6 postcode.

We're extremely proud of this accomplishment in what is supposedly a 'difficult' property marketplace as it demonstrates what an exceptional agency can achieve. The fact is we sell 150% more property in Brackenbury Village than our nearest competitor which demonstrates the firm grasp we have on its unique micro-market."

hammersmith's most expensive property

Director John Horton notes, "Every article on the London property market spouts doom and gloom, and whilst the market certainly has shifted since the Brexit vote, it's tough to buy into that negative mindset when we're doing so well for our clients.

It comes back to one of my favourite sayings: some of our competitors couldn't value a £5 note. It was true ten years ago and it's true today. When you know property in Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and Chiswick like we do, nothing is impossible.

My advice to sellers is to instruct the trusted local agent who has a genuine knowledge of your area then take their professional advice on the sale of your property.

We're working hard for you - every step of the way - and keeping our clients at the heart of each transaction. Our recent success with the property on Cardross Street is a direct reflection of our seller putting their total trust in our century of combined experience in Hammersmith property. By taking our advice it enabled us to do achieve an outstanding result."

cardross street

Sales negotiator Phil Coombes, whose years of experienced sourced the ideal buyer, says, "I knew from the moment I saw the house that it had huge potential - the ability to extend on the ground floor, first floor and maximise the top floor with a loft and rear pod conversion.

Within hours of the seller instructing us and before it was listed on Rightmove, Zoopla or we had multiple interested parties chomping at the bit to view.

Our experience and already-established rapport with our buyers ensured we were able to achieve not just the best price for our seller but the best price Hammersmith has ever seen. The deal was negotiated and cliched within TWO DAYS of the seller instructing us to go about our work. One very happy buyer and one very happy seller means it's mission accomplished!"

If you're considering selling in Hammersmith, Chiswick or Shepherds Bush, our sales team is at your service - get in touch today.

Six Things I Won’t Miss About Working For A Corporate Agency

by James Liggins, Associate Director, Horton and Garton Chiswick

I'm very excited to join my first independent team and help Paul Cooney build the Horton and Garton business here in Chiswick.

Paul mentored me years ago. I learned the ropes years ago from him and one might argue that the last several years in corporate agency have been an extended training course on how the competition works and how we can outperform them... every day was necessary to ensure I got the job with Paul!

I've always been based in Chiswick so I feel part of the furniture here; I know the local shop owners and residents. Working for a forward thinking independent agency like Horton and Garton is the perfect fit.

My career in agency thus far has been spent working for corporates and the experience I've gained has been invaluable in terms of learning what to do and, more to the point, what not to do. At Horton and Garton we can do things better and work differently to the London-wide chains.

We're an office of committed property professionals; there isn't anyone 'in training' here for us to babysit... you'll never find 'the new guy' who's learning the ropes. The property industry is full of inexperienced people trying to make as much money as possible - your sale will suffer if it's in the wrong hands.

We have a collective experience of over a century and we're proud of this fact. At a corporate, their company-wide policies and procedures means, as a negotiator, you frequently can't take decisions that fully benefit the client. As we don't need to please our manager's area director's CEO, the whole team is fully client focussed, working for them instead of 'the company's' self-centred interests. It's a incredible feeling... I feel like a new man!
Reflecting on my first week in independent agency, here's what I won't miss about the corporate world...

Six things I won't miss about working for a corporate agency:

- Joyless, bland property descriptions. In a corporate agency, I had zero flexibility when it came to writing property descriptions and would often have my sellers calling me to say, "Can you add in our favourite local pub that's just a three minute walk? We think it's a real selling point." I had to tell them I wasn't allowed as it didn't fit in with the standardised description! Utter lunacy.

- Politics. Politicking was part of every day corporate agency life. Ego-stroking and keeping the peace between negotiators was exhausting. I've witnessed clients suffer due to the dark art of office politics. Selling property should be about the client, not inflated egos!

- Up to 50 live listings. I've always believed too many listings is a recipe for failure. You might sell a few of them, but what happens to the rest? If you're considering an agent with 50-odd live sales listings, you should also be considering how many minutes of their day the experienced team members will have to spend on your property. It's just basic maths.

- "Smashing the phones." If I never hear this phrase again it will be too soon! The utter inflexibility of working for a corporate agency meant cold calling was part of my routine. I absolutely hated it as I knew the buyers I was ringing hated it, too. People in West London detest cold calls. They might be received happily in other areas of London or the UK - who knows? - but they don't wash here.

- Leafleting and door knocking. It's still common practice but thankfully not at Horton and Garton. We're good enough at our jobs that we don't need to employ these outdated (and desperate) tactics. In fact, we run a paperless office in Chiswick so printing thousands of leaflets would go against the ethos.

- Ties. Bad ties, silk ties, ties in general. This one speaks for itself - never again!

Reduce your expectations?

My morning routine starts by logging on to Rightmove. I check what's newly listed, what's been sold and get a snapshot of the market before I've had my morning cup of coffee. I'm increasingly disturbed to see that up to half of the 'new listings' on the first page of properties aren't new to the market at all - they're simply price reductions.


over inflated housing market


My colleagues in Hammersmith have just sold a house on Brackenbury Village's Cardross Street for a post-Brexit record breaking £pound per square foot value; this was not achieved by offering the property to the market at an over-inflated price.
Research demonstrates that listing homes for their true value is the way to achieve the best price for the property but knowing this true value is the job of an experienced agent.
Which? independent research states, "When you want to sell your home, it may be tempting to choose the estate agent that values your property at the highest price. However, the results of our investigation suggest that while it may seem like agents are doing you a favour by trying to get more for your home, the property can end up selling for much less than average."
Their research found three agencies that trade in Chiswick among the worst offenders for over-inflated asking prices - one of them is now defunct. Which? findings demonstrate that properties with inflated asking prices took longer to sell and achieve a lower sale price than their true value.


independent estate agents


How can you maximise your return on investment when selling? My advice is to enlist a local, experienced, independent estate agent - one with no 'targets' attached to listing properties, one that will advise with your best interests in mind.
Managers are often incentivised to with cash bonuses and will tell you what you want to hear - not what you need to hear - in order to list your property.
In Chiswick, we've sold seven out of eight properties we've brought to the market in 2018. One part of the magic formula is an accurate asking price from the first day of marketing. So when you're selling, remember the research. If you want to achieve the best result, enlist the right agency for the job and let them work for you.

Double your money for the H&F Foodbank’s Summer Holiday Club!

Today and tomorrow (Friday the 15th June) your donation to the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank's Children's Summer Holiday Club will be doubled thanks to The Big Give. A record number of families have been referred to this brilliant initiative. They require access to the foodbank and intervention from other council services, including social services, during the summer holidays. The H&F Foodbank are rising to the occasion with their amazing summer club which will run across two locations in LBHF twice a week and will cater to up to 70 children with their carers. These disadvantaged children will be able to access a healthy, nutritious meal every time they attend the club and will be provided with not only games, dance and cooking classes but incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences and excursions to help make their summers memorable, educational, safe and enjoyable. If you donate £10, the H&F Foodbank's summer programme will receive an incredible £22.50! People of West London - local children need your help! Get donating by clicking here! At Horton and Garton, we are proud to continue our support of this invaluable local charity.

Write Big Cheques for the Big Give!

Brand new in Askew

Brand New Family House For Sale in Askew

This picture perfect newly refurbished and fully extended Victorian family house is available to purchase with Horton and Garton.

valetta road home for sale

Granted a new lease of life by its current owner, the property has been lovingly restored and is ready for a family to make it their forever home. Nestled in tree-lined Valetta Road, the house boasts four double bedrooms and a family bathroom including a palatial master suite on the top floor. The ground floor offers a generous, flexible footprint of living and kitchen space, including a cloakroom, that is flooded year round with natural light thanks to the southerly aspect.

Tastefully and neutrally decorated throughout, this immaculate home is offered to the market with no onward chain thus offering a stress-free purchase. The location of the house means the buyer will benefit from a short stroll to two beautiful parks and two private members' health clubs.

In less than ten minutes you're in the heart of the popular Askew Village area with its independent shops and cafés. A variety of bus links via The Vale will bring you directly to Shepherds Bush tube station and Acton Central overground is also nearby.

Sales Manager Martin Clements says of the home, "Newly refurbished, chain free houses on Valetta Road are rarely available which makes this a unique opportunity for a canny buyer who is seeking their ideal Askew Village location."

To arrange your viewing, contact us or call our team on 020 8819 0510.


Street (and property) Sale in Hammersmith Grove

Neighbourhood Street Sale in Hammersmith Grove

As Hammersmith's number one estate agent, we recently agreed of sales hat trick on Hammersmith Grove. One sale was agreed last week via best and final bids after languishing on the market for months with another estate agency.

Top sales negotiator Phil Coombes says of the sale, "Ten days of intelligent marketing and hard graft was all it took our team. It's a tricky market at the moment which means you need the very best career agents in your corner."

What makes this leafy part of West London such a desirable place to live? As the local experts, our answer would be quite long winded (!) but we can assure you the annual street party and sale, which takes place this Saturday afternoon, is a major attraction. It brings local residents out in force to celebrate 'village' life together with a street sale, dog show, delicious food, children's games a bouncy castle and much more.

Director John Horton says, "Spend five minutes at the party and you'll quickly come to know the true affection residents hold for their friends and neighbours."

hammersmith grove street sale

Various organisations including the Brackenbury Residents' Association will be attending to help make the day even more special. The BRA will have a stall with lucky dip for children, a Guess the Weight of the Cake game and information about the Association. Bring your family and friends to meet fellow residents and neighbours in the outstandingly beautiful and friendly Brackenbury Village area.

Our sales and lettings teams keep Hammersmith moving so for superlative service you won't find anywhere else and a true understanding of the local market, get in touch or call us on 020 8819 0510.

brackenbury village testimonial

Artists At Home

Horton and Garton Sponsor Artists At Home 2018

We are proud to be the principal sponsor of Artists At Home in 2018. The organisation, which stretches back over four decades, is a part of the fabric of West London. Next weekend, over 75 artists will open their studios to the public.

artists at home poster

John Horton, founder of Horton and Garton, says, "We are blessed as local residents to live amongst such acclaimed artists. I'm honoured to call several of the artists my friends and can tell you they exhibit in prestigious galleries and museums around the world. To be able to enter their personal studios where you can see firsthand their creative process and purchase their works is a very special annual treat. If you live in Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith or Chiswick, you will live very near to at least one artist so put your walking shoes on and get around to as many open studios as you can!"

artists at home horton and garton

Paul Cooney, Horton and Garton's Chiswick Sales Director, says, "The range of disciplines is extraordinary. From painters to printmakers, jewellers, sculptors and weavers, there is something for everyone. I would advise visiting the website in advance of your visit so you can see a snapshot of each artist's collections, then create your own bespoke art trail. I love the warm welcome you receive at each studio - glasses of prosecco, nibbles and sparkling conversation is standard. The artists are invariably pleased to host you and let you browse their works. If you've never been to Artists At Home, make this year your first! If you see an AAH board outside the property, you know there's an artist inside who would love to meet you."

To learn more about Artists At Home, visit their website and watch this short video which summarises AAH and what to expect in the upcoming weekend.