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Esale Crowd Funding – What The Papers Say!



The no-nonsense Yorkshire based online estate agent has announced it is ready to step onto the national stage – and wants YOU as a partner.

Launched in 2012, the company has been quietly earning itself an enviable reputation in the industry, chalking up second place in the UK for customer service on Trustpilot’s independently compiled rankings, thanks largely to a no-quibble money-back guarantee and competitive, easy-to-understand packages for vendors.

Links with the ProperStar network also mean homes for sale with can be seen on 80 websites in 51 countries – and in 19 languages around the world.

Today (Monday 30th January 2017), the company has unveiled its most ambitious project to date – a strategy which it hopes will secure its place among the UK’s big-hitters when it comes to selling property online.

In order to expand its operations Esale has engaged leading crowdfunding platform Crowd for Angels for help in its search for backers large or small. The company is looking to raise a minimum of £45,000, with the maximum fundraise set at £90,000. Investors can pledge as little as £30 to be part of the company’s future.

Regardless of the amount invested, and in addition to potential future dividends, HMRC has confirmed that qualifying investors will be able to claim 30% of their investment back as part of their taxable income under the Enterprise Investment Scheme*. So, a qualifying investor pledging £1,000 for example, will be able to claim £300 back from HMRC.

“At the moment, the online market is still quite small – between 5% and 7% of homes sold in the UK have been through an online agent,” said Managing Director David Rook. “However, experts agree – just like other forms of internet shopping – that figure is likely to increase dramatically over the coming decade.”

“There are already a handful of firms doing quite nicely using the online business model and we firmly believe we now have all the pieces in place to allow us to join them. All we need are forward-thinking investors who can see the huge potential offered by the online property market – and the vision to help us harness it.”

Traditionally, barriers deterring vendors from instructing an online estate agent have included up-front fees, the lack of one-to-one engagement and the fact sellers have frequently found they have to conduct their own viewings.

However, those who instruct Esale can chose to pay either up-front or on completion, can always expect pro-active action to speed their sale through and, if required, they can request an agent to help with viewings, regardless of where they are.

“We’re determined not to be just another estate agent, with a nice line in sales patter and a branded car to drive around in. We know just how stressful – and how exciting – selling a home can be and we want to be there for our customers every step of the way,” said Mr Rook.

Mr Rook concluded: “We don’t believe in jargon and have won praise both for our plain speaking and for offering packages which are both easy to understand and are offered with no hidden extras. We are versatile, flexible and open to both new ideas and the changes in media such as 3D and drone technology which we anticipate having an impact on the property market in the not-too-distant future.”

“All we lack is a partner or partners with financial clout and with the same vision and belief in the future of the UK’s property market and its ability to bend and shape itself to the world where new technology is bound to take us.”

“If you think that’s you and you are willing to consider investment, we look forward to welcoming you to the team – and to sharing the rewards in years to come.”

To see the full pitch visit



Esale David Rook 01423 62 33 33 / 0800 025 3451

Crowd for Angels Tony De Nazareth, Director 0207 437 2413

* The availability of any tax relief, including EIS and SEIS, depends on the individual circumstances of each investor and of the company concerned, and may be subject to change in the future. If you are in any doubt about the availability of any tax reliefs, or the tax treatment of your investment, you should obtain independent tax advice before proceeding with your investment.

Moving Home and Pets.



So let’s say you’re second-steppers; you were lucky to get on the property ladder before prices started to spiral but now it’s time to move on. Your first home was ideal 15 years ago and has some happy memories of life BC (before children) but it’s now too small for your growing family.

You’ve found the ideal property which ticks all your boxes, you have a buyer for your old house, your exchange date is set, the removal firm is booked and it’s all you can do to stop yourself packing things in boxes.

It’s often at this stage someone says: “The dog’s going to find everything a bit different in the new place.” And suddenly, you realise you’ve been so busy you haven’t really given a great deal of thought to how the family pets are going to adjust to life away from everything familiar – in fact away from everything they’ve probably ever known.

It’s easy to shrug, park the problem and persuade yourself the animals will be fine given time and lots of reassurance – but there is actually more you can do in advance of The Big Day to make moving home less stressful for your pet too.

First of all, try not to disrupt their routine too much. If you can walk them or feed them at the same time as you usually would despite everything going on around you, it helps to reassure them that things are pretty normal after all. There’s nothing more likely to unsettle your pet than to make sudden and dramatic changes to their routine.

Closer to moving time, have you thought of trying out dog walks around your new home? Of course, it might not be practical if the property is a distance away but, if it’s in the same town or even a reasonable drive, why not visit the area and do a bit of exploring? If the house you’re moving to is empty, even better. You could always visit at let the pets explore the inside of the new property first. While you’re there, you can also check the security of the garden. Can dogs escape easily or, from a feline perspective, is it easy for unwelcome doggie guests to get in? Knowing the answers to questions like these – and having a plan – is reassuring and actually makes the move that bit more exciting.

When it comes to The Big Move itself, the important thing is to try to ensure you don’t get too animated. There’s often something which crops up which puts a crimp on the day, despite all the work you’ve done in advance but animals do pick up on anxiety and stress so, if something – or someone – frustrates you, then it might be worth finding a quiet spot on your own to vent and not do it in front of the dog!

Also, if you can, make the pets’ stuff the last thing you move; that way, the disruption of their own life is minimised. Also, it might be best to resist the temptation to make a clean start and wash all their bedding before you go. Scent is really important as a familiar so, if you can also sacrifice an old jumper which is likely to smell of you (in the nicest possible sense) then it could be an idea to let them have that in their basket or bed too.

We’re an estate agent though and not experts on animal welfare so we’d recommend a little more research too. If you’d like a bit more detail, the Blue Cross has advice on its website which you can find here: If you’re looking for more advice on moving from a people perspective, we’d love to hear from you. Just give us a call or drop us a line at

When is the best time to put my house on the market?



So, we’re already a little way into 2017 and, before we know it, we’ll be on the other side of Valentine’s Day, the nights will be getting shorter and there will be daffodils in the garden. And, if you were thinking of selling your home in the spring, you’ll be edging closer still to the time when you have to make a decision.

If you read the papers every day, no one could blame you for being a little perplexed at the moment. On the one hand, there’s still plenty of doom-mongering over the impact of the Brexit vote but, on the other, some commentators are enjoying the lack of any real evidence of any kind of financial crash. So where does that leave you?

Inevitably, it means you have to make a choice about who you believe but something which may be overlooked is that potential property vendors are not necessarily powerless victims of whatever the fates have in store over the next six to 12 months. There are avenues to be explored which could help you to establish cold, hard facts which may then make a decision about whether you go to market that little bit easier.

Firstly, you can check out the property portals to see if anything is shifting in your area. Both Rightmove and Zoopla have apps you can use which allow you to check what’s sold recently and for how much. It’s true that prime property in London has been struggling for some time now but there are still hot spots across the UK where homes are being snapped up quickly – particularly when they’re priced realistically. You may be living in one of them …

Something else you could try is social media. Have you thought of asking Twitter if anyone in your area has any experience of selling their home recently? Not only is it possible that you may be able to tap into a resource of recent first-hand experience of the property market, you may also get some pointers about suppliers you may like to use – solicitors, removal firms or even estate agents (although, naturally, as you’re reading our blog, we hope you’ll check us out as well!).

And, although it may seem obvious, your third option could be to speak to estate agents themselves and see what advice they’re offering. Of course, friends and family may have their favourites but we’d suggest contacting at least three, not necessarily to compare price but to establish what they think the market in your area is doing at the moment. After all, agents live and breathe the property market every day and should be able to offer some guidance – even though it’s possible they may not all have quite the same take on it as, like in just about every walk of life, opinions can differ when there are so many variable involved.

Whatever you decide in 2017, we wish you the very best and, of course, if you think we can help further, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line or give us a call.


2017…A Happy New Year?



What Will 2017 Bring?

Many of us will be glad to see the back of 2016 – but is 2017 going to be any better?

There’s been a lot of expert comment already on the prospects for the property market over the coming 12 months.

Some would have it that it’s not going to be a good year. They’ll tell you, post-Brexit, all we’ve really seen so far is a Phoney War. There hasn’t been the kind of economic meltdown some predicted largely because the Government is still dithering on how to get us out of Europe and the full picture won’t become clear until the process actually begins. Until then, house prices will probably just plateau before the Brexit crisis proper bites later in the year.

Others will tell you to ensure you’re braced for a hike in interest rates and an evaporation of the generous mortgages deals lenders have been offering to stimulate the market and to prevent it from flat-lining.

There are still others who suggest The Donald’s election will mean four years of global turmoil which is bound to stymie spending worldwide – an age when few are going to have the confidence to make significant decisions which could affect their income.

But, in reality, what we need to remember is that neither the doomsayers, nor indeed the eternal Brexit optimists like the Daily Express, are dealing in fact. They’re dealing in conjecture and opinion and, although it may be well-informed, there are no cast-iron guarantees. If nothing else, the polls ahead of the UK’s referendum vote and the US election should have told us that.

After all, a year ago, pundits were confidently predicting homes in Britain would be worth 20% more by 2020. Property was a sure-fire investment and, if you had a pension due to mature, the best thing you could do would be to cash it in and join the buy-to-let set – and be quick about it.

Just 12 short months later and the growth predictions offered by the same sources are a lot lower and buy-to-let is being touted as attractive as a pay-day loan.

And that’s the point. There are no certainties; there are no sure-fire winners. But then there never have been.

None of us knows what’s going to happen over the next 12 months. All we can do is judge events as they happen and determine our best course of action on our instincts just as we always have. Should you be thinking of buying or selling property, we’ll be here and, as ever, we’ll do our very best to advise you – and that advice will be based on the FACTS as we understand them.

Can I sell my house over Christmas?


If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you probably know, around this time of year, we’re prone to a bit of a rant about the hackneyed myth that you shouldn’t put your home on the market in the run-up to Christmas.
To be fair, it’s not necessarily other agents who are prone to spreading this unhelpful twaddle any more. It may have been true at one time when people used to do their window shopping by driving around neighbourhoods in their cars looking for For Sale boards or trudging from one high street estate agent office to another with their “dream house wish list” in hand. After all, if it was chucking it down and cold, there probably really was a time when enquiries dried up.
But, these days, it’s like the free Range Rover posts on Facebook or like believing there’s a way others can check if you’ve been stalking their profile…
People just believe what they’re told and forget, if you’re looking at property these days, you can side-step all the leg work just by visiting one of the online portals and keying in a few search terms – all from the comfort of your armchair or even on the bus on the way home. You can even check out what homes have been selling for in your chosen area and, with a bit more research, even who has been selling them.
Yes, it is true that there is still a bit of a seasonal downturn as people’s focus turns more towards Christmas. Yes, there has been a more noticeable drop in the amount of new homes coming onto the market in 2016 in the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote and the election result in America.
But, if you think about it, what does that mean? Does it mean you should shut up shop, hunker down and wait for everyone else to start selling again? With all due respect, if you think that’s the best plan, we’d beg you the have another go…
Fewer homes available means a narrower choice – and buyers with less choice are more likely to act if they see something which is close to what they’re looking for. It’s a well-known selling technique to suggest you’re offering something which might not be available tomorrow – and, at this time of year, with fewer properties coming to market, it’s not just sales patter; it’s the truth.
Put your home on the market today and it is likely to be among a smaller number of properties available. Wait until spring and, guess what? Your home may be among dozens in the same area, which may have an impact on price and how quickly you sell.
Wait until after Christmas? Bah humbug! If you have property to sell, get ye to market – and the sooner the better!



A message to the chancellor…

So now we know … The new Chancellor has given his Autumn Statement and we have an idea of the direction the new-look Conservatives want to take.

First the slightly disappointing news; the proposed abolition of letting fees. Let’s not forget there is to be some consultation before it actually becomes law so there’s time for lobbying for those who feel strongly that Mr Hammond has simply got it wrong. But, having said that, it’s perhaps significant that many commentators have already been reporting the move as a done deal, probably because it was presented as one of the Government’s gestures to help “the just-about-managing”.

Mr Hammond seems to believe that it’s the landlords who should be paying for letting agents’ assistance, not the tenant – which many will see as fair enough. However, there’s absolutely nothing in the statute book to prevent landlords passing the additional cost back to the tenant in the form of increased rent so, in the end, we’ll probably soon be back where we were. Indeed, tenants may be even worse off as the Chancellor also ignored calls for an end to the additional 3% Stamp Duty his predecessor imposed on buy-to-let landlords in April. Again, the move was meant to make an investment in a second home a little less attractive, freeing up more property for first-time buyers and bringing prices down. In reality, the buy-to-let market is still thriving – although rents have continued to rise, possibly to counter-balance the extra Stamp Duty the landlord now has had to pay.

But there was some good news on Wednesday too – and that came in the form of the Government’s pledge to invest in construction. Over £2bn is to be pumped into regions where there’s a desperate need for new homes and a further £1.4bn is to be invested in 40,000 more affordable homes, along with a raft of new schemes like Rent-to-Buy, Shared Ownership and Right To Buy, giving struggling first-time buyers a number of options to look at when it comes to getting a foot on the housing ladder.

But (and there are a few) we should first of all acknowledge 40,000 affordable homes isn’t many in a national context. Also we’ve yet to see the definition of “affordable”; neither do we know yet where these new homes will be built.

We’re a Yorkshire-based firm so, as you might expect, we’d very much like to see the Government back-up its rhetoric about a Northern Powerhouse with some action. If we’re going to see significant investment north of Watford, then people will need homes to live in so, hopefully, a decent slice of that money to boost construction will be coming our way.

But, in many cases, the areas feeling the “housing crisis” worst are small rural communities. Many villages have fast become enclaves for the over-50s as homes in the countryside have been snapped up as holiday cottages or have become so expensive they’re well outside the price bracket for the average rural worker.

Yes, there are pockets of London – and other big cities too – where “brown field” development could help ease the logjam and get Britain back on track when it comes to home ownership. But let’s hope rural communities get their fair share too or we’ll likely see a continued decline in a quintessentially British way of life.

What Does The Donald Trump Win Mean For The UK Property Market?


Does Trump Mean Slump?

Many have been predicting yet more doom and gloom in light of Donald Trump’s election and US president. There’s no doubt his rhetoric in the run up to the vote was controversial, divisive and sometimes disingenuous so it’s perfectly natural that many will be battening down the hatches and pledging not to come out for four years.

But, here in the UK, we’re fortunate to have a yardstick in the Brexit referendum. Yes, the result was a shock of equal proportions and the immediate aftermath in June was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. However, almost six months on, the economic meltdown many predicted hasn’t materialised – at least not yet.

It would be complacent to say that Britain has ridden the storm. The reality is that many commercial enterprises are in “wait and see” mode and, if that continues in the long-term, that’s bound to have an impact as, eventually, less investment will begin to wear down confidence and our willingness to spend money will be eroded.

But there are a number of factors in play in the property market which are likely to mean any drop in house prices will be a long time coming. Indeed, a significant change in Government policy would be required to force prices down quickly so, we’re sorry to say if you’re a first-time buyer, Mr Trump’s victory probably won’t bring you closer to an affordable home within the next few years any more than Brexit has to date.

In short, the UK needs more homes but not enough are being built to meet demand. That means a shortage in supply is driving prices higher. As a result, many of the over 55s are cashing in on their property wealth, downsizing to help younger members of their family get a foot on the property ladder. However, that also puts “silver sellers” in direct competition with first-time buyers, which means stiffer competition for smaller properties, driving prices higher still.

Meanwhile, other savvy over-55s without family to worry about have spotted the fact that fewer homes for sale means younger generations are being forced into rented accommodation. With both revenues and property values rising, buy-to-let has become a far more lucrative option than some pensions, prompting many to cash them in and invest in property instead. More competition for the small to medium-sized home, meaning even higher house prices.

But the most recent phenomena is inactivity. The wait-and-see policies adopted by some of the big corporate players in the wake of Brexit – and now the Trump victory – are being repeated by those thinking of selling their homes, which means the number of houses coming onto the market has slowed. The likely result? Yes, you’ve guessed it. Prices will probably remain high or even continue to rise.

The Government has pledged to build more homes to ease the log jam. New initiatives have also been promised to replace Help To Buy, which folds at the end of next month. However, neither are likely to result in a sudden or dramatic drop in house prices – unless there’s an equally sudden drop in demand. But so many people have seen high prices quash their dreams of home ownership that a slump is highly unlikely; there are simply too many who would jump at the chance of buying their first home or moving up the ladder a rung or two to make an overnight crash likely.

So, if you’re thinking of selling, our advice would be not to worry too much about The Donald or even Brexit come to that. A recent levelling out in house prices month-to-month may have been reported here and there in an alarmist media which forgets to mention the average homes was still worth 5% or more this autumn than it was a year ago.

Be cautious of course. Do your homework and check out the apps on Rightmove and Zoopla which give you an idea of what homes are selling like in your area. But, if you prefer a voice and someone to chat to before you make a decision, just give us a call or drop us a line. We’d be more than happy to help.

Should I hold An “Open House” Event To Sell My Home?



If you’re thinking of selling property in the UK, then you probably know how it’s normally done. You find an agent, they help you with the marketing and then you wait a little while for buyers to show an interest.

It can take a while; it may be a week or even more before anyone bites and you can feel a bit like the person who arranged the party, sitting nervously worried that no one is going to turn up.

Invariably, though, they do bite and it always seems, once you’ve had one viewing, others follow. If you’re lucky, your life can seem to revolve around them until, at last, the offer you wanted – or at least something close to it – comes in and you can move onto the next step and perhaps even begin to look forward to completion.

But, while that might be the traditional method for selling homes in the UK, did you know it’s not necessarily how the rest of the world does it and, as estate agency becomes more global and buyers from overseas become more common, the “open house” method is becoming more prevalent.


The argument is, if you engineer things so you have a lot of possible buyers in the same place at the same time, the chances are that they’ll begin to compete. If they’re competing, then you have a much better chance of getting an offer closer to the vendor’s asking price. Even better, they may even exceed it if the house is close to their “dream home”.

However, there are drawbacks too. If your agent underperforms, for example, or if you opt to conduct viewings yourself and sales isn’t your forte, you could find a whole bunch of disillusioned buyers walk out the door in one go.

As it many other walks of life, it’s horses for courses and, to be honest, if you’ve read this far, you’ll probably already know what would work best for you.

If you’re not a gregarious animal, if the thought of public speaking terrifies you or if your agent isn’t inspiring you with a great deal of confidence, the better tactic might be to stick to the one-on-one approach. That way, if one viewing goes badly, you have time to regroup and learn lessons before the next one. On the other hand, if you can inspire a room and sell snow to Eskimos, then the open house tactic could be your thing.

Whichever you choose, good luck – and, of course, if you think we can help, we’re just a phone call or an email away.

Should I Consider Using An Online Estate Agent?



We were encouraged to note some recent research has indicated that, these days, as many as 85% of people selling property would consider using an online estate agent.


From our perspective, it’s certainly a step in the right direction as it suggests folk are now less sceptical than they were about conducting perhaps the biggest financial transaction of their lives on the internet.

However, as you may have noticed, we’re not claiming the figures as a watershed moment for our business model. And that is because, as ever, there are caveats.

The same research goes on to point out, that although the initial approval rating for online agents may be high – perhaps because of the much lower prices we tend to offer – the traditional high street estate agents still have more than 85% of the market.

Why? Well, it seems to be that, when it comes to homes, we want to deal with people face-to-face and not a laptop or computer keyboard. We want someone to hold our hand, guide us and reassure us that they know the patch as well as we do.

For a start-up business in online estate agency – particularly one with an ambition to go nationwide – that’s always going to be difficult. There just aren’t the resources to put experienced boots on the ground across the whole of the UK within a few months, at least not without a massive injection of investment capital.

However – as we like to think we’ve proved – it’s faulty logic to conclude that the services offered by online agents are therefore inferior across the board. A focus on good customer service, a sound knowledge of how the market works and a solid investment in IT can cut across many of the issues. In fact, these days – after almost four years in business – there are few things a high street agent can do that we can’t any more.

But still there is the general public’s reluctance to make that leap of faith – which is certainly something we’re aware our high street rivals sometimes play on (which is understandable in a competitive business arena).

The frustration remains though that, often, vendors make their choices based on assumptions and what they think they know about us – and not the facts.

As the same research pointed out, not many people really know what it is that estate agents actually do to earn their money so there’s a tendency to stick with the old rather than risk with the new – especially when something as important as a house is at stake.

So, in summary, the fact 85% of those who were surveyed would consider an online estate agency is great. The fact that most of them then decide against it isn’t.

Don’t get us wrong… We’re doing okay. We’ve grown considerably since 2012 and our property portfolio now includes homes across England and Wales – from one-bed terraces to luxurious piles in the country.

But it’s going to take a while for online estate agents to break down those barriers and the only way to do it will be through excellent customer care, comprehensive industry expertise, competitively priced packages – and good old hard work …

Why Doesn’t An Estate Agent Look After The Buyer?



One of our favourite sayings at is that the best time to sell your house is when someone wants to buy it – and our job is to find them. We’re been fortunate of late to have been able to do that pretty regularly and, sometimes pretty speedily. It helps to have a database of potential buyers waiting and, of course, it’s an advantage to know how the property business works and to have a network of good suppliers. But, as well as doing everything possible for the vendor, should a good estate agent also be helping the buyer?

It’s an interesting question as, sometimes, you’ll hear that agents can treat a potential buyer as a lower life-form or, in the worst cases, as someone to be gently led into parting with a substantial sum of money for something which, let’s say, isn’t everything it was advertised to be.

We’re not comfortable with either tactic to be honest. Of course, our job is to do the very best possible for our vendors but, in some cases, that means helping out the buyers too.

Take a recent case in point:

Back in March, we were delighted when one of our clients accepted an offer on their Yorkshire property and everything seemed to go pretty smoothly – right up until completion was due in July. Suddenly the buyer’s solicitors were insisting no further progress could be made on the sale until a management plan for the property had been obtained – and at a substantial additional cost to the vendor.

The vendor’s solicitor was equally adamant their client should not be bearing that cost and, out of nowhere, a tortuous legal debate was born. The finer details are probably only of real interest to property experts but suffice to say the debate between the two legal teams escalated until it became nothing much short of chest-thumping by email. Of course, both insisted they were acting in their clients’ best interests but, in the meantime, the sale was stalling and, at one point, was even at risk of falling through.

Heads needed banging together and we stepped in an attempt to broker more constructive dialogue between the two sides, appealing directly to the management of both legal firms. After several weeks, more bickering over an additional management pack and the costs of a transfer certificate of lease, more than 70 emails and almost 75 phone calls, we were finally successful…

Naturally, our vendor was relieved but we were also delighted to receive a testimonial from the buyer – someone who had not engaged us on their behalf or paid us for any service whatsoever but gave us credit for saving them from losing over £1,000 in up-front costs which would have been in jeopardy if the sale had fallen through.

“Our solicitors may have struggled with the process but Mark and Dave were fantastic at ensuring communication between all sides and there is no doubt at all that, without them, the sale would have collapsed. Even on the last day, they were there to help us negotiate early entry to the property as our removal men were waiting outside and needed to get in,” said Mr C, whose full review you can read on independent website Trustpilot.

Mr C added he had some concerns when he was first informed an online agent was acting for the vendor, largely because he’d been told by a traditional high street estate agent that they “would probably just take the money, stick a property on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla and then sit back and do nothing”. Money for old rope, really …

We’d beg to differ – and we know at least two other people who would now agree …

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About esale

eSale  Estate Agents, founded in 2012, bringing a fresh, clear and easy approach to online estate agency in England and Wales. We are a group of professionals with years of experience in helping people sell and buy property.

We have the skills to ensure the correct price is set for your property and we can negotiate the right sale price between buyer and seller.

Additionally, we can arrange accompanied viewings and also see the sale through to completion.

Your property will feature on Rightmove , Zoopla  and Primelocation esale have a wide advertising network, come and join our approach to selling a property, no matter what your property value is.