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“Location, location, location” may be the cornerstone of wise property investment, yet many people are unaware of the importance of location in making the right choice of estate agent – whether buying or selling.

Estate agency is an intensely local business. It is essential that agents are fully conversant with the issues of the day relating to the buying and selling of property within what is often no more than a mile or two from their office. Preferably they should themselves be resident in the area in which they are selling.

Who’d have thought it – the market is moving! Despite all the uncertainty and political turmoil, buyers and sellers alike seem to be getting on with life as readily as one would ordinarily expect at this time of year.

However, if you really want some juicy property-related dinner party conversation then just try to unravel the various house price reports. For example, according to the latest data from Nationwide, annual house price growth has remained under 1% for the sixth month in a row, with an average house price of £241,946. Yet the Halifax claims house prices were UP 1.1% on a monthly basis, but with an average house price of £236,619. Haart claims the market has fallen by 3.6% on the year with an average price of £217,785. The latest The Land Registry report states that the average house price in the UK is £226,798 with prices having fallen by 0.2% compared to the previous month and risen by 1.4% compared to the previous year!

 Working In Partnership with your Estate Agent

When the time comes to sell your home, it is important to ensure that you entrust your sale to a reputable estate agent, if the stress of selling is to be minimised.  

However, the most successful sales tend to be those where the seller and agent work hand in hand during the marketing process.  Here are some pointers:

Valuation Versus Value

Estate agents’ market valuations are usually free, and because of this, it is very tempting for prospective sellers to invite a number of agents to comment and then select the agent that suggests the highest likely sale price for the property.

However, we advise caution on this issue. Some agency “valuers” are paid bonus on the number of new instructions they secure, irrespective of the saleability of the property offered for sale at their suggested value. The easiest way for an estate agent to win your business is simply to suggest a flatteringly high figure, but many people who fall into this trap live to regret it.  

The pressure for a decisive Brexit result has clearly provided the country with a sigh of relief and a bit of breathing space – finally. Most people now realise that life goes on and whatever the eventual result, if there ever is one, it is probably more likely to affect their political sensitivities more than their actual pocket. This has been borne out by the increase in activity we have experienced over the past few weeks as we find ourselves in a surprisingly “traditional” spring market.

Clients often ask us if a board will significantly improve their chances of selling, especially as the majority of (but not all) buyers source property online. Some sellers feel that a board risks “overexposure”, or they don’t want their neighbours to know they are selling.

The day eventually comes when the family home, despite its wonderful memories, no longer fulfils the purpose for which it was originally purchased.   

This usually coincides with an evolving lifestyle for people in early middle age and the freedom that comes with it. Mortgages get paid off and, as children become financially independent, costs fall – dramatically so if school fees are involved! This comes at a time when salaries might also have risen in line with more senior job roles.

It’s official – what we’ve suspected all along – a “traditional” estate agent gets sellers more in their pocket than the internet-only alternative. They also secure more viewings and offers! According to research by The Advisory, internet-only agents rely too heavily on property portals to find buyers.

The research suggests that while Rightmove, for example, may directly generate 52% of viewings, this results in only 36% of offers, whereas High Street estate agents generate 48% more viewings, 64% more offers and, in 73% of cases, a 5% higher sale price.


Lock & key are professional and attentive estate agents with excellent local experience of pricing and sales. We instructed this firm after the death of my father and the need to sell his large house which was in need of some updating. A suitable buyer was quickly found at a fair price, which has now proceeded to completion with all parties very satisfied. Highly recommended agency.

James Pierce, Semington, April 2019

'Nigel was by far the most proactive of the estate agents in Melksham marketing our property and due to his dynamic approach and ability to think outside the box we were able to secure a buyer in the shortest possible time.'

Thank you Lock & Key

Sue & Mark Paddon,  Skylark Road, Melksham


Interestingly I have noticed prospective buyers are increasingly waking up to the fact that the current window of opportunity could slam shut in the event of a Brexit deal and are being more proactive and Lock & key yet again are reporting strong sales figures with delighted clients now sold STC.

There’s a huge amount of pent-up demand out there and it’s starting to come through. Underlying demand has strengthened as potential buyers respond to the current price adjustments.

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