Selling The House This Winter? Here are some tips for a quick sale.

Summery walls - James Kristian

Well the New Year is almost upon us, and it’s time to start planning for the months to come. January is often the time to make changes in your life, and more often than not this is the time when people make the decision to sell their homes.

It goes without saying this is also the darkest time of the year and you need to add a bit of summer to your preparations to make the house shine in the dark nights.

The winter can make houses look drab and grey, and this can make selling your property a bit more of a challenge.

So in order to help you sell your property quickly this winter, James Kristian have compiled a series of tips to give you some ideas on how to improve the winter mood of the property, and achieve a quicker sale.

January Is The Best Month To Declutter

When Christmas is over you have to deal with the outcome of discarded wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and general clutter that always accumulates over the holiday period.

If you are thinking about putting the house on the market in the New Year, then you need to get rid of that Xmas clutter sharpish.

And don’t stop at the wrapping paper and boxes, this also gives an ideal opportunity to go through the rest of the house and get rid of everything that would put off a potential sale when people come viewing the house.

In the darker nights when the space closes in, the last thing you want to present to a potential buyer is Christmas presents still lying around, and if this is compounded by shoes in the hall and a general unkempt house.

This will give a bad first impression and could kill the sale as soon as the buyer walks in the house.

So before any viewings make sure you de-clutter the house to give a good first impression.

5 Tips to De-Clutter Your Home for A Quick Sale
Opening image for article in AARP Magazine on the social and psychological effects of clutter in the home.

Make The House Warm And Cosy

When you have viewings scheduled for your property, make sure it feels nice and warm when potential buyers walk in.

Turn up the heating before the viewing so the rooms are nice and warm, don’t make it a sauna, but you need to make the viewers feel cosy when they enter the property.

Block any draughts, and use brightly coloured throws and cushions to give the place a nice homely feel to the property.

This will go a long way in making sure buyers will leave with the impression that this is a place they would like to live in.

warm and cosy room - James Kristian

Add a bit of summer to the Walls

For a small investment in some paint and brushes ahead of any viewings, take the time to freshen up the place with some bright colours that will add a bit of summer to the place.

When the door opens from a gloomy January day, it will make a really good impression if the first thing that hits the buyers is a bright rooms that make them forget about the winter weather outside.

Bright airy rooms also make the house seem bigger, and space is always a premium when buyers are looking for a new place to live.

Make sure you get the painting done well ahead of any viewings, as you don’t want the smell of fresh paint overwhelming your visitors as they enter your property.

Summery walls - James Kristian

Give the garden a makeover

The depths of winter are not the best times to be getting in some gardening, but if you are looking for quick sale this winter, then make sure you take the time to clean up the fallen leaves from the garden.

Get the rake out and fill some bags and give the garden a quick winter makeover, a few hours spent tidying up the garden ahead of any viewings will make a real impression when it comes to making a sale.

If the garden is clean and tidy it will look bigger, and give off the impression of space, but also allows the buyers to visualise how they would like it, seeing themselves sitting outside in the summer months enjoying a barbecue.

A nice garden is a massive selling point, so make the effort to show it at its best, even though its winter.

winter garden tidy up - James Kristian

First impressions count

January is a busy time for house moves, this is the time of year when people make changes in their lives, and finding a new place to live is often of those big decisions.

So when it comes to putting your house up for sale, make sure you take the time and effort to present it the best way possible.

Especially in the winter months, if you can make your house stand out against the gloom of winter, then you will be ahead of the competition when it comes to making the sale.

If you need any help or advice on the best way to present your property to achieve a quick sale then our friendly staff at James Kristian are here to give you help and advice on how to do this effectively.

Feel free to give us a call or pop into our estate agents in Waterloo, and we will be happy to have a chat with you.

7 Things To Consider When Viewing A Property

structural cracks

Buying a house is the more than likely the biggest expense you will undertake in your lifetime. So, when it comes to viewing a property you need to make sure you view it properly to ensure you don’t end up buying a money pit.

This could be your home for many years, and unless you’re purposely looking for a fixer upper, then you need a checklist to help you make the right decision.
James Kristian have put together a checklist to help when you are viewing properties, to help you make the right decision.

1. Is the building structurally sound

The first thing you need to be looking at from a property is the outside structure, are there any major cracks in the brick work that may need attention.

This could be an indication of structural issues, the places to check are around the windows, if it’s an end terrace check the gable end for any signs of bowing. And if there is an existing extension look at where the brickwork joins the main building for any issues.

If you see any potential issues then ask the homeowner or estate agent during your viewing, they may not have noticed themselves, a house gains wear and tear and not all cracks may signal trouble.

As part of the sales process there will be a survey carried out, and for further reassurance chartered surveyors have years of experience to spot issues and highlight if needed.

structural cracks

2. Look for damp

Damp is pretty easy to spot once you enter a property, look for wet spots on the walls, and you will generally get a musty smell in the house if there is damp present.

The most obvious place to spot damp, are around the windows, in the corner of rooms, and on the top of the skirting boards.

Look for any freshly painted spots that may look out of place with the rest of the décor, as this may be freshly painted to hide damp.


3. Is there enough space for your needs

When you view a property its easy to get excited about the new décor, or the sunlight gleaming through the windows, or the new garden if it has one.

But don’t forget practicality, is the new place going to be big enough for you?
If you have couches and beds you are going to take with you then make sure you measure them before you view the new property.

Then when you conduct your viewing you can pull out the tape measure and make sure everything fits, even if you are planning on buying new furniture, then take a trip to the store before the viewing, or find the measurements online.

The last thing you want is to be there on moving day to find out your furniture doesn’t fit.

Measure for furniture

4. Check the waterworks

Check the water pressure in the taps by running them as you view the property. Have the pipes been lagged so they are insulated from the cold during the winter, you don’t want to move in and have a pipe burst on you.

Is there central heating?

Check the age of the boiler and the radiators, does the heating work ok, and check the hot water temperature.

These are all things you can check quickly for piece of mind, having to replace a boiler as soon as you move in will be big expense so check carefully.

5. Check the wiring

Rewiring a property is an expensive undertaking, so it’s essential to take a look a look at the wiring in its current form.

Look at the sockets, do they seem old, are they cracked? Are there enough sockets throughout the house for all your power needs?

And ask to look at fuse board, does it look modern and up to date, you may not be an electrician but if you know one it may be worth asking them to accompany you, or take some pictures on your phone to show someone who knows.

Dodgy wiring


6. Is there adequate parking

One of the essential items on the checklist for a new home, is there enough parking space?

And this may be one you have to check on alternate occasions.

If you view the property by day, then most people will be at work and so the road the property is on may seem empty with plenty of parking spaces.

So it’s worth driving by in the evening and weekends to see just how congested the road becomes, and whether it’s still easy enough to park.

There is nothing worse than coming home from work in the winter and having to walk a good distance from where you park to where you live.

So make sure you do your homework.

7. Are the local amenities any good

If you like the quiet life you don’t want to be living near a busy bar and restaurant area, but on the other hand it may be a bonus to live close to a town centre where these are all on your doorstep.

If you do like the quiet life you still need to get to a local shop for a pint of milk.
So make sure you check the local area for the usual suspects, post office, supermarket, transport links and schools.

Locak Amenities

Looking for a new place to live whether it be to buy or let is a big undertaking, and it’s really important you do your homework.

Take the time to do all the necessary checks to make sure there are no hiccups.

If you need help looking to find a new place, James Kristian are on hand to help you in any way.

Our friendly staff is here to make sure we answer any queries you may have with your new home.

So give us a call or pop into our offices on Waterloo for a chat.

5 Tips to De-Clutter Your Home for A Quick Sale

5 Tips to De-Clutter Your Home for A Quick Sale

If you were going to ask any of the staff at James Kristian, ‘what is the biggest issue that prevents a property sale?’

The answer would most definitely be ‘clutter’, if there is one thing prevents a property from achieving its best value at the point of sale, it’s the fact that a property is untidy, or cluttered when the potential buyers came to view the property.

When someone comes to view a property with the intent of buying, there is one thing in particular they are looking for……. space.

That’s right, the majority of people who are looking to buy a property are looking for more room.

So, if you’re in the position of looking to sell your property, the best thing you can do is create as much space as you can, to show the property in its best light.

Nobody wants to be viewing a cluttered property when in a buying frame of mind. Stepping over shoes or clambering over kids toys is not the best way you can present your property.

First impressions last, and if you present your house in cluttered way, then your property will take longer to sell, and you may have to reduce the price.

Fortunately, de-cluttering is a simple and cheap way of staging your house, so its presented in the best way for a quick sale, at the best value to you.

So James Kristian have put together 5 tips to help you declutter your home to make that sale in the quickest time for the best price.

5 Tips to De-Clutter Your Home for A Quick Sale

1. Declutter by category and not by room

You may think the best way to declutter is to do it room by room, when actually the best way to do it is by category, and by that we mean by shoes, clothes, books etc etc.

Clothing is usually the biggest form of clutter in a house, items hanging on the back of chairs, multiple coats in the hallway hanging on the banister.

These are the things that are unappealing to the eye when someone enters your home.

Find somewhere to hide the families shoes, which are usually in a pile behind the front door.

And books need to be neatly arranged to present a tidy and formal look to your property.

And even though it can be emotional, take down the excessive photos from around the house, if your walls are covered in pictures and photographs, this will close in the room and make it feel small.

Clean tidy rooms give the impression of space and will help the sale.

sort by category

2.Leave nostalgia at the door

When it comes to clearing clutter, you have to leave your nostalgia out of the equation.

You may have an old rug given to you by your mum, or an old book case that’s seen better days in the corner of the room.

But if its not improving the look of the room, then it has to go, lots of people get nostalgic about items in their house, so it may be worth getting a second opinion from a friend.

If you’re preparing or thinking about selling your house, then ask someone you trust to walk around with you and ask for honest feedback on what they like, and what would put them off buying.

It may not be what you want to hear, but this is about staging the property to appeal to someone you don’t know, so what’s nostalgic to you will be clutter to them.

The thing to remember is you don’t have to get rid of them for good, because you can take them with you when you move.

Just find a temporary home to make the space for the sale.

Nostalgic Clutter

3.Make the decision to ditch

Decluttering gives you a great chance for good old clear out, especially when it comes to clothing, I know its hard, you have that special t-shirt from the concert you went to back in the day.

Or the shoes you bought that you never ever wore…..but you will one day, when the occasion crops up.

When it comes to decluttering, there is no room for sentiment, keep or sweep, that is the question.

Collect all the items you are thinking of getting rid, and have two bags, keep or sweep.

Then make the decision yes into keep, and no into sweep, and don’t get sentimental, this could be the factor in making that sale.


4. To Iron is fine, but fold for gold.

Once you have removed all your declutter items, then you have to make what’s left presentable. And the last thing you want when someone is looking through you wardrobes, is untidy, un-ironed clothes hanging there for all to see.

If you are going to hang clothes during a viewing, make sure they are ironed and looking neat on the hangers, and make sure the hangers match.

But to create the illusion of space, its better to fold clothing away, and leave the hanger space empty, so anyone viewing can imagine their own clothes in the wardrobes.

Wardrobe space is a premium, so make it count.

5.Decluttering is good for the soul

Its good to have a good old clear out now and again, and if the occasion of selling your property prompts that, then take the chance to make it a good one.

Its very cathartic to cleanse yourself of unwanted clutter, it may be a big task, but its one worth doing.

If you need to get rid of excessive clothing and shoes, then take them to homeless shelter or charity shop.

Not only are you preparing your house to make as much profit as you can, but you can actually help someone who needs those items more than you.

You can also sell unwanted household items on eBay for a bit more cash.

And once done you will be ready to stage your property for that sale, and onwards and upwards.

If you are thinking of selling a property and need advice on the best way to present it for sale, then one of our friendly James Kristian staff will be more than happy to help advise you.

Feel free to pop in for a coffee at our estate agents in Waterloo,  or give us a call for a friendly chat anytime.



10 Ways To Keep The House Cool In A Heatwave

The UK is currently experiencing a heat wave like we haven’t had for years, the weather has been so good, people are outside enjoying the sun, looking pink and burned in some instances.

Enjoying time in the parks or down the beach, or sitting in a beer garden watching the world cup, it’s shaping up to be a great summer.

The downside to such warm weather though is it can make your home uncomfortable to live in during the heat wave. Especially when you are trying to sleep.

So James Kristian have compiled a list of tips to help you keep cool in your home as the heat wave continues to grip.

1.  Keep the blinds closed.

It may seem obvious but the majority of the heat that comes into your home comes via the windows, as much as 30% of the heat that warms up your home.

An easy way to beat the heat is to keep the curtains or blinds closed during the day, it may darken the room, but it can reduce the heat in your home by up to 20%.

This is especially true if you have south facing windows, where the heat is most prevalent.

Window blinds

2. Check the Airflow

If you have all of the internal doors closed where you live, then this will create that stuffy feeling of warm air in your home.

It’s best to create airflow throughout the property, so open up all of you internal doors to let the cooler air flow through your property.

This is important in the evenings when the air is cooler outside, opening the doors will allow the cooler air into the bedrooms to help you sleep easier in the evenings.

Air flow

3. Change the Sheets

If you don’t have summer bed linen then maybe it’s time to invest in some lightweight cotton sheets.

Ideally it’s best to swap your winter quilt for a lighter cooler option during the warmer months.

Opting for cooler cotton sheets is the better option, keep away from the satin and silk options, as they are not as breathable, so will not be as cool whilst trying to sleep, and don’t forget to opt for lighter colours that reflect the heat, and don’t absorb it.

Cotton sheets

4. Freezer Tricks

If the heat is becoming really unbearable, one trick you can use is to place your bed sheets into the freezer before you sleep.

The chill won’t last all night but it will give you a cool start, the thing to remember though is to place the sheets into a bag first, so they don’t gain any unfriendly stains or smells.

Another good trick for the freezer is to reverse the use of a hot water bottle, by adding cold water to the bottle and freezing it in the fridge.

You can then take the frozen bottle to bed, to help keep you cool as you sleep.

Frozen hot water bottle

5. Stick to the salads

Eating hot food during a heat wave is only going to raise your core temperature, so if you plan on making a roast dinner, then expect your temperature to go through the roof.

Especially if you have had the oven going for hours on a hot summers day, this will also raise the temperature through out the house.

So stick to the salads, where the food comes straight from the fridge, not only is it lighter in your stomach, but its cooler to eat and won’t send your internal thermometer souring.

Summer Salad

6. Keep the body temp down

It may seem obvious but keeping yourself cool is very important, one of the biggest risks during a heat wave is dehydration.

So make sure you take in plenty of cool fluids, water is always the best for hydration, you can keep a jug in the fridge to keep I cold.

A cold beer is tempting, but that will dehydrate you, stick to the water in general and keep in the shade.

Also wear light airy clothing to keep the ventilation going round the body when the sun is shining and the temperatures rising.

Cold water

7. Turn off the appliances

There are so many devices in our lives these days there is almost always something on charge, or turned on.

All those devices turned on around the house are going to create unnecessary heat throughout your home.

So take the time to switch off all appliances that are not being used, and this will keep the rooms cooler, and save you some money off your household bills.

Plug socket

8. Use your fans to full effect

Fans are a great help when it comes to coping with the summer heat, and a way to help this further is to place a bowl of icy water in front of the fan, as the ice evaporates it will spread cool air around the room.

You can also point fans towards open windows and this will help to push back the hot air, keeping the room cooler.

And if you have ceiling fans, then set them to rotate counter clockwise as this pulls the hot air away from the room.

Icy Fan

9. Use the garden

A longer-term plan for keeping the temperature of your house down is to plant trees and shrubbery to create shade.

If you know the locations where the sun has the most impact on heating up your home, then this is the ideal place to plant a tree or a tall bush.

Climbers and vines are great for stopping the sun from blazing in and warming you up.

So this may not make an impact during this year’s heat wave, but you will reap the benefits in the coming years.

Tree shade

10. Paint it White

White reflects the heat, so it makes sense to paint your house to reflect the heat during the summer months.

You can also use this method for your home interior, using white throws to cover couches and the like will also help to keep the temperatures down during these hot summer months.

So there you have our tips for keeping cool for the rest of the summer, we are sure you can use them to keep cool as the heat rises.

One other solution for keeping cooler may be to find a different property to live in, whether that’s to buy a house, or to rent a house, a bigger cooler space may be just what you need.

If that is the case then James Kristian can help you find the right place for your needs.

Feel free to contact us at any time, and one of our friendly professional staff will be on hand to help.

Have a great summer.

4 Tips to Spruce up the Home for a Quick Sale

The seasons are changing, the summer is breaking and the flowers are blooming, I don’t know about you, but I always feel my mood lifts when you start to feel the heat of the sun on your body after a long winter.

Summer is a time for rejuvenation, rebirth and new life. Time for a change can come in all shape and sizes, and summer can be the ideal time to refresh the home and make it great for the rest of the year.

If you have a house to sell, then it’s the ideal time to make the house look great for any prospective buyer, if you have to compete against other houses in the street, then you need to make sure your house is presented at its best.

  1. Colours are critical

When it comes to summery shades for a home, light pastel colours will give the home a warm feel, but still create the illusion of space within a room.

It’s important to make a room feel spacious when inviting viewings to your home. You have to remember, if someone is looking at your house with a chance they buy, and you get a quick house sale, with minimum fuss.

It’s because when they where in your home, they where visualising how it would look if they lived there. The viewers where placing their furniture and hanging their pictures.

Mentally of course, but if you prepare the room correctly, then you will allow any prospective buyers to visualise the house as they would like it. And if that helps to sell your house fast, then it will be worth it.

2.  Keep the house free from clutter

When you show people round. Don’t have the kids bikes in the hallway, and don’t have shoes lying round on the floor, as this could look unsightly and put people off.

Take the time to present your house at its best, another big space to utilise as the spring approaches is the garden, or any outside areas you may have.

If the sun is shining then take your prospective buyers outside to feel the sun, and show them how much they could make use of it for barbecues and parties.


3. Make sure any outside areas are tidy and presentable.

Make use of the blooming summer flowers and place them so they best display how appealing a space the garden is to relax in, summer is the perfect time to inject colour and light into a home.

Tidy Garden

4. Create extra space

A house is not only a home but also an investment for the future. And one of the best ways to add value to a property is to create extra space.

If someone is looking for houses for sale in Crosby, then one of the main motivations for this is to have more room to live in. Everyone has a cupboard that is full to the brim with clutter.

The two best ways of doing this is to either build an extension, or convert a loft space, both will cost you money, but if done well, both will add more space, and more importantly both will add value to the property.

Loft Conversion

And if you need to make a quick house sale then it’s in your best interests to make the effort, and make your home look its best in order to invite a buyer.

If you need any help or advice on how to sell your house quickly, feel free to give James Kristian a call and one of our team will be on hand to help you.