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It’s a sad reality that your “forever” home or what you thought was going to be your forever home, may sadly turn out not to be, if things don’t work out in your relationship with your partner.

Statistically, almost half of all marriages in the UK end in divorce, and divorce and separation can be made all the more complicated when there is a property involved.

Deciding what to do with your home when you separate can be very emotive, especially if you cannot agree with your partner on the best course of action.

One (or both) of you may prefer to stay in the property and buy the other person out. However, this could prove difficult, having to transfer mortgages and buy the other person out, whilst working out whether you are able to afford the costs of the house on your own.

If you don’t want to sell your home, then you may decide that renting your property out could be a good option for you. In some situations, making an income from your property may prove to be more fruitful financially in the long run than putting it up for sale, especially if you are wanting to pass the family home down to your children, or you love the property and don’t want to lose it.

In many cases, however, it often makes more sense financially and emotionally to sell your property and split the proceeds, giving each party that fresh start that they are looking for.

So, if you have decided to sell your property following separation or divorce, here are some considerations that may help.

Do the figures together

After having your property valued, come to an agreement with your partner about what figure you would be willing to accept from the sale of your home, for you to both be financially comfortable, or what the best and worst possible case scenario offers would be for you to both be able to move on from the property.

Ensure that this figure also takes into account legal and moving fees when working out how much you would be walking away with. If you can’t come to an agreement about this, then working with a mediator or your solicitor may be a good way to liaise on this.


Showcase your property in the best light

Prospective buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your property and so you are more likely to sell quickly if the property still looks like it’s being lived in.

A property is less likely to sell if half the furniture is missing, it’s clear someone is living in an altered state following separation, or the home isn’t being looked after.

If one, or both of you have moved out already, then you may like to consider having the property professionally “staged” to help sell it quicker. It could also help to place your furniture in storage and enable prospective buyers to view the property once it is empty so that they can imagine their own furniture in the property. Properties which look attractive and “homely” sell faster than properties where the buyer’s stuff puts buyers off making an offer.


Don’t mention the “D” Word.

It may surprise you to hear, but sometimes knowing that a couple is divorcing can put prospective buyers off. They may be concerned about the sale being more complicated due to divorce or separation, especially if they are hoping for a quick and easy sale.

Knowing this information may also mean that buyers try to take advantage by offering a lower offer, or employing tactics as the sale reaches completion.

To make the sale easier and break the chain, you could consider moving into rented accommodation or in with family and friends.


Try to keep the peace

Tricky as it can be, it’s important to try and keep the peace, and focus on the end goal during your sale. If you haven’t yet split your belongings, try and amicably go through the property and decide who will get what once the property is sold. It may help to “sticker” things or pack boxes separately and colour code – especially if you are having two sets of movers.


Look forward to the next stage

The sooner your property sells, the sooner you can move on to the next stage of your life. Choosing a new home, a property that works for you, and your lifestyle can be an exciting time and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

For help and advice in selling or renting your home following separation or divorce please do give us a call on 01727 221290 to speak to one of the team.



In February our thoughts turn to “love” as many people celebrate St Valentines and we start to look forward to Spring and those glimpses of lighter days. 

If your home has felt a bit drab and boring in January after taking the Christmas decorations down then don’t fear, because here are a few quick and easy ways to fall back in love with your home this month!


1. Display Fresh Flowers

A quick and easy low-effort win! Adding colourful arrangements to your home can help to brighten up your spaces. Flowers are proven to bring positive energy and lift your mood, and they also often introduce a fragrant aroma to a room too!

Flowers are readily available and often reasonably priced from your local supermarket or you can spoil yourself and your home and shop at a local florist who can offer you a more curated selection of your favourite blooms!


2. Introduce pleasing Aromas

Did you know that our sense of smell affects our emotions and creativity? It’s also our most important trigger of memory, so having nice smells wafting through the rooms where you spend most of your time can make your home feel cosier and safer, and can help to lift your spirits and calm your mood. 

Why not try introducing smells from diffusers, reed diffusers, air fresheners, incense or room sprays to your home. 

Homely winter smells you could try include pine needles, cinnamon, mixed cloves and spices, chocolate chip cookies and vanilla. Small touches like this can make a huge difference.

If you’re looking to sell your house and want buyers to love your home then the three top smells guaranteed to make a sale from a recent survey are freshly baked bread, freshly brewed coffee and fresh linen! 


3. Light a Candle

Candles can bring warm light to your home, and they smell really good, plus they also encourage a calm and stress-free environment. They create ambience and you can definitely never have too many!

Add your favourite playlist a good box-set, or even a bubble bath if you’re so inclined and you’ve got a perfect evening in a place you can love spending time in.


4. Rearrange the Furniture 

Sometimes sitting in the same old chair or sitting at the same old table can get repetitive and boring. So, rearranging the furniture can help to give your room a new lease of life and you a new love of the space 

Often people will stay with the same layout, but it can be fun to keep rearranging until you find the combination that feels right. Try the TV at the other end of the room, move your arm chair into a different position or swap round your dresser and your bed. 

If you can’t move the larger pieces then try swapping round the decorations. Swap the photos in the hallway with the ones in the living room or the vase in the kitchen with the one in the bedroom. Little things like this can really help to get rid of the feeling of seeing the same old things over and over in your home. Some people also like to change table cloths or decorations by the season to have a different feel in their home at different times of the year. 


5. Change the Décor 

One way that is guaranteed to help you to love your home again is a mini renovation, so if you’re feeling up to the challenge then why not give a room a whole new makeover! 

Try a different colour scheme, or different fabrics than you’ve had previously in the room. Change the carpets or the colour of the walls, or the curtains in a room which can really change the look and feel of your space. Take a look at Pinterest for some inspiration. Adding new wall art, succulents or other plants, or even just sprucing up your sofa cushions and duvet sets can help to freshen up your home and makes it feel new again.



Sometimes an over-cluttered space can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed and it can be a downward spiral, so set aside some space to declutter. If you don’t use it, need it or love it anymore then lose it! Start with a small area and spend 15 minutes clearing it out and then progress from there. Little and often is the key!


7. Keep your Home Tidy

Ok, it may be an obvious one, but having a messy home only adds to your stress levels and makes it harder to enjoy your home. Try to make sure that you make your bed every morning, put dishes in the dishwasher after a meal, keep your workspace organised, keep all your towels folded nicely. This can help to create a place you enjoy coming home to and enjoy spending time in. 


8. Keep the Garden in a neat condition

Is your garden overgrown? Are you terrified to battle it? Well caring for it may be the extra thing your home needs to help you learn to love it again. You don’t even have to do it yourself; you can hire a garden service to clear out the dead greenery and plant some new colourful plants to get your garden back to the thriving ecosystem it once was. Having a useable garden space opens a new space to entertain guests or get the kids to spend less time on their devices and more time outside. It will inevitably bring you a step closer to enjoying your living space.


9. Invite Friends over

Maybe the reason you don’t love your home anymore is because you can’t remember the last time you had some good fun in it, especially as many of us have spent so much time in our homes over the last couple of years! So, invite your friends round, have a games night, movie night or just put some music on and have fun! Order some food, have cocktails and make some happy memories. We all need time to relax with friends. 


10. Think about the good things

What sets your home apart from other ones you’ve lived in? Is it the extra cabinet space, the kitchen island, your garage, the garden, that little room in the attic that everyone thinks is so cool? You can find something positive in every home you live in and remember that home isn’t the building you live in, it’s who you choose to share it with. Family, friends or even pets. 


We hope these tips can help you fall in love with your home all over again and if you’re looking to buy, sell or rent a property, we’d love to help. Just give us a call on 01727 221290 to speak to one of the team. 


Picture this, it’s January 2022 and you’ve decided on a fresh start. 

You’ve been looking at a new property for a while and you’ve found the perfect new home to suit your needs. 

If you want to move home then the New Year is the perfect opportunity to do so, in fact, did you know that Boxing Day and the last week of the year is the busiest time of year for websites like Rightmove and Zoopla as thoughts turn to moving plans and the future. 

So, the new year is the perfect opportunity to move, but how do you make your property picture-perfect for a quick and easy sale? 

Well, here are nine of our top tips on how to do just that.

1. Deep Clean and Declutter

One of the first things that we always advise our clients to do is to declutter and deep clean if needed.

First impressions really do matter and it’s vital for your potential buyers to get a great first impression when they set foot in the property. your buyers are imagining making your house their next home, so making sure that they can interpret the space will feed heavily into their final decision.

To do this, decluttering can really help, as can ensuring that everything is clean and doesn’t present them with the feeling that it will take a lot of work for them to get the home how they want it. 

Make sure all curtains are open and as much natural light is in each room as possible when potential buyers visit – even more important on winter days when it gets light earlier. 


2. De-Personalise your home if possible

As we’ve already said, your buyers want to imagine their new home when they set through the door. This can be made trickier if you have too many pictures of your childhood, your wedding, your own children, pets or family everywhere. The same goes for children’s artwork. This can make it feel like the house is well lived in and whilst this gives a homely feel it can also make it harder for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your property. 

To help buyers and keep your privacy intact for the Estate Agent photos, try putting pictures and photos away when showing the home.  


3.Keep it Neutral

You may be a huge fan of purple, green, blue or orange walls, but when trying to sell your home, it’s important to remember that the colour of your walls is subjective and could be enough to put a buyer off!

You could consider painting rooms to a nice neutral muted colour and keep furniture to a minimum to increase the likelihood of a quick sale. This makes the house aesthetically pleasing and draws buyers into picturing living there.


4.Redefine your rooms

Has your guest room become the kid’s playroom? Is the dining hall your part time office or the garage the hobby room? With so many of us working from home, or spending more time at home, it’s entirely possible that the rooms in your home have been redefined over the last couple of years. 

When selling your home, its advantageous to make sure that the room resembles its original use. If a room has to have a dual use – for example a spare room/playroom, then try putting all the toys away, making the bed and neatening the room so it looks more appealing, and this will help with finding a buyer. 


5.Remove bad odours 

Over the years, your house will have been through many things like cooking meals, burning candles, people smoking, blocked drains even and whilst your house may not smell weird to you sometimes it can to other people. 

Giving your property a nice smell makes it feel fresh, new and inviting and entices people in. Nice scents for room sprays, reed diffusers or candles include orange, lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, cedar or pin, although avoid the smell being too strong as this can have a negative response. Of course, the smell of freshly baked bread seems to be the most popular in encouraging buyers to make an offer. 


6.Think about the garden

How long has it been since your garden’s seen a lawnmower? Or the bushes have been cut back? Do you really need that rusty old trampoline? Are the gutters overflowing or thick with leaves? Presentation is key and your buyers are noticing every little detail and considering how your house adapts to their lifestyle. 

They could want a space to host garden parties in the summer, or maybe they want a nice view from the window. 

If you do have a gorgeous view, then cut back the trees and trim the hedges to capitalise on that. Cut any long grass so people can visualize it as their own area. Also clean up any flowerbeds so they look nice and pretty. If you don’t want to do it yourself then considering getting a gardener in to do so.


7. Think about the front exterior 

Also think about the front of your house. Does it need a paint job? Do the hanging baskets need freshening up? Is the driveway looking a bit cluttered? They may seem like small details, but they really do make a lot of difference. 


8. Be responsive

Once you’ve found your buyer and set a price, don’t take a lot of time between confirming the deal and moving out. The longer you leave it, the more time the buyer has to pull out of the deal which annoys the buyer and complicates things more for the both of you. Once the deal is done set a date that works for both of you and commit to it to ensure as smooth a transaction as possible. 


9. Planning your next move

Whist the selling process is happening then it’s also normally your turn to become the buyer and to also plan your next move. 

It’s helpful to register with good local estate agents who can advise you of property coming to market. 

It’s also wise to register with websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. On these websites you can set the location or post codes you want. For example, if you want your children to go a particular school you can look for houses within 5 miles of the school and get alerted whenever a house goes on sale. This means that you can stay on top of the current local market and be in a great position to move as soon as is viable. 

We hope these tips helped with preparing your home for sale and moving in the new year. We’re always happy to advise on all things local housing market related, so for any help and advice, please do pop into the office or give us a call!


St Albans is a great place to be around Christmas time. After so many Christmas activities were curbed last year, we know that this year many are hoping to get into the festive spirit and make the most of the Christmas season.


We think that there’s nothing like some of the simple traditions of Christmas to get you in the festive spirit so here are 10 great activities to enjoy around the St Albans area this Christmas time.


1.       The St Albans Nutcracker Trail


Walk around St Albans and hunt for the Nutcrackers, placed in and around the City Centres. Find the names of the fifteen Nutcracker Soldiers and enter the free draw to win a £250 gift card! This would make a great trail to do with the family or even a great way to get out and about for a walk after all that Christmas Turkey!


The Nutcracker Trail runs from 21st November to the 2nd January 2022.


Visit the Enjoy St Albans website for more info.


2.       Carols on the Hour at the Abbey


No Christmas in St Albans is complete without “Carols at the Abbey”. One of the Cathedral’s most popular festive events, Carols on the Hour takes place between 11am and 4pm on the 18th of December and is a must-visit. Entry is free and not ticketed. The Christingle on the 12th of September is great for younger children and there are services happening all over Christmas time.


Visit the Cathedral website for more info.



3.       Christmas Lights Tour


With us being in the property business, of course we had to mention the amazing efforts that so many homes in St Albans go to, to create spectacular Christmas Light displays around the city. Why not take a walk around your local area or drive a little further afield and have a look at the displays. Christmas music and thermos of Hot Chocolate optional!



4.       St Albans Round Table Santa Sleigh


Nothing gets you into the Christmas spirit like seeing Santa arriving outside your door. The St Albans Round Table Christmas sleigh has been travelling the streets of St Albans in December for over seventy years, raising money for local good causes. To see if your home is on Santa’s route this year, please visit the Round Table website.



5.       Take in a festive display at the local Garden Centres

We recommend a trip to the Garden Centre to help get you in the festive spirit. We are blessed with an array of fantastic Garden Centres in the local area, many offering some amazing Christmas Displays, wonderful Decorations, Cafes with festive treats, and even a visit to Santa!



6.       Visit a Panto


Panto is a great tradition which so many missed out on last year due to theatres being closed. This year we would definitely recommend a visit to a local Panto if you can. Snow White is running from 3rd December 2021 – 2nd January 2022 at the Alban Arena and there are also other local theatres offering Panto too.  



7.       Boxing Day Mummers Play

Another St Albans staple, the Mummers Boxing Day Play has become a major feature of Christmas in St Albans, and the group is determined that the tradition started in the 1960s will remain vibrant for many years to come. The traditional play on Boxing Day is a must-see event this Christmas.  



8.       Living Advent Calendars

Many churches locally now do a living Advent Calendar in different areas in St Albans, where they gather behind a different “window” each night of Advent. It’s a great thing to take part with during advent, especially with kids. It’s worth checking with your local churches whether they are organising something this Christmas.



9.       St Albans Christmas Post-boxes


Another activity which has quickly become a Christmas regular, raising money for local charities ADD-Vance and Youth Talk. This year there are 82 Post Boxes around St Albans and the surrounding areas, all with a Christmas themed topper on, created and sponsored by various groups and local businesses. One the website you can find a map and download an app to Scan and Win by taking photos of the trail. For more info visit the website.



   10.  The Christmas Charter Market


St Albans is famed for it’s Charter Markets and this year, there will be a whole range of markets held throughout December, including the Christmas Charter Market which will be running in the city centre every day from Monday 13th to Friday 24th December. A great chance to do some Christmas shopping and buy those all-important gifts!



We hope that some of these ideas will help you to get in the festive season in and around St Albans. If we can be of any assistance this festive season in making plans to buy, rent or sell your property, please do get in touch.