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Here at Aubrey and Finn, like other Estate Agents you may meet, we love to help our clients buy, sell and rent their homes. However, we also like to recognise that we are a little different to other estate agents you may visit in the St Albans and Hemel Hempstead areas. Our premises have a unique, relaxed, café-style feel, there’s often music playing in the background and our resident doggy mascot Cricket, can often be found greeting our customers as they enter. 

Whilst we love our business set-up, we also recognise that we not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay! Perhaps we look a little too fresh-faced, or we don’t give off a corporate enough feel for an our industry, but as a business, we’re “doing” Estate Agency the way that we think works for us, and this will attract the kind of clients and customers who think we would be a good fit for them. 

We know that selling or renting out your property can be a very emotional and sometimes stressful time, and our clients rely on us to make the process go as smoothly as possible for them. That’s why it’s really important to be able to feel confident and trust in the abilities of your estate agent to be able to secure a successful sale or rental and a hassle-free completion to your transaction. 

It’s always helpful to shop around and consider a few different agents before instructing someone, so with this in mind, here are a few things to consider and questions to ask, when looking for a new Estate Agent:

1. What’s the best price you think is obtainable for my property and is this in-line with the local market picture?

Let’s face it; everyone normally wants the best possible price for their property, so it can be very tempting when an agent gives you an attractive proposition of what price they could secure for your property. However, this needs to be in-line with the market average, and shouldn’t be the deciding factor of who to place your property on the market with. You can also do your own research on portal websites to see what properties have been recently sold and rented for in your area. 

2. What is your Fee/Commission Structure?

As with the previous question, it’s not always advisable to choose your Estate Agent purely on a cost basis, but understanding the fees or commission structure which your estate agent charges is essential, so that you can work out your finances and consider the right agent to sell or rent your home, which works for you and your budget. 

3. How big is your team and who will be showing my property to prospective buyers/renters? 

It’s important to understand who your prospective buyers or renters will be meeting when they come to your home or property. Will it be the business owner or manager? Will it be the sales or lettings specialist? Will it be someone who is part-time and works remotely, a Saturday person, or will you be expected to show the property yourself? Knowing who will be showing your property and more importantly, how well they will know your property, the area it is situated in and the circumstances behind the sale are so important. In bigger agencies, with lots of properties on their books, it may be that the person the Estate Agent sends never visits the same property twice, or is unfamiliar with the quirks or layout your property has. 

4. How long are properties on the market with you on average?

Some properties are so attractive perhaps due to location, price or school catchment area that they quite literally fly off the shelf, and we often help to create a demand around them to get the best possible price or rental situation for them. 

Others may be wonderful, but just not what the consumer is looking for at the moment and can take a little longer to sell or rent, but it’s what the estate agent is doing to help the process along which is important. Estate agents should be able to tell you the stats on their average sale or rental, and also the qualitative information around those stats too. 

5. What’s your knowledge of the local area like?

Your estate agent often needs to be able to answer the myriad of questions about the area your property is situated in including the local property market picture, transport links, school catchment areas, parking situation for the property, whether the property is leasehold/freehold, and many more, so it’s important that you feel confident in their abilities to be able to answer these questions.

6. What communication methods do you use? 

The way that your Estate Agent communicates should be in-line with how you communicate. Do you know that we still know some estate agents and solicitors who will ONLY communicate by letter? Finding out how you can communicate with your estate agent, whether you will have one central point of contact, when they are available and how you can get through to them (phone/email/text) is very important for a smooth communication process. 

Find out how you can interact with your estate during the transaction. Will you have one point of contact? Can you reach them via email or do you need to call them? What hours are they available? Do they offer a 24 hour service for any rental issues? This may determine who the best Estate Agents will be for you.

7. How long am I tied into my contract for, what’s the cooling off period, and what are the penalties for moving to another agency?

This question is a really important one to ask as it’s crucial to know, if things go downhill with your agent, how long it will be before you can get out of your agreement if things aren’t working. 

All too often, we have people come to us when things aren’t working with other agents, and we are unable to help them, because they are locked into such watertight contracts, which mean that they will incur huge penalties if they instruct us to market their property, so it’s essential to know how long it will be before you can get out of the contract you have committed to if you need to, and also what the cancellation period is, if you quickly realise that things aren’t working in the early days of instruction. 

8. How will my property be marketed? 

Take a look at the way that your prospective estate agent is currently marketing other properties. Most agents worth their salt will place your property onto portal sites like Rightmove, but what else are they doing? Are they taking photos which portray your home in the best light, are they sending out your property’s details to their database, are they including it in printed literature or marketing it on social media? What are the other methods they will use? Are these in-line with who you think would be a great buyer or rentor?

9. Who are you regulated by? How can you prove great customer service? 

This brings in the trust element of your transaction. Who can you contact if things go wrong? Does the estate agent subscribe to a regulator? Does the estate agency have credible customer testimonials you can view online, or have they won any awards which are testament to their credibility within the industry? Your estate agent should be able to give you examples of regulatory bodies, happy customers and great customer service to help you to make your decision. 

10. Are there any other options that you think would work for our situation?

When considering how to make an income out of your property, it can sometimes pay to think outside of the box! We are the only agent in St Albans and Hemel offering our Airbnb management service, which can often bring in 30% more per year than a rental income and retains the property for you to use when you want to. If you may still want to live in your property, or perhaps keep it for its location, then we can help you to consider whether other options may work – such as retaining your family home and getting a second mortgage to rent another property, or renting your property out through Airbnb so that you can still live in it. Always ask your agent whether they think that the option you are pursuing is the best one for your situation. 

Ultimately, asking the questions above (and these aren’t exhaustive) should enable you to gain enough information to build up a good picture of the Estate Agents who will best be a good fit for you, and your property, taking into account your preferred communication methods, values and beliefs and also importantly, your budget too. 

Of course we would love to be the Agents to help you or your friends and family to sell or rent property locally, so if you are thinking of selling or renting out your property either in the short or longer term and would be interested in a free, no obligation quote, then please do get in touch with us at the office. We can also offer local free advice on the property market, so even if it’s just a question you have, please do feel free to pick up the phone or pop in and see us! 


This month marked a prestigious win for all of us here at Aubrey and Finn, as we’ve been toasting our success after winning an award at the Estate Agency (EA) Masters Awards in London!

We are humbled, and excited to announce that we were recognised as “Best Estate Agency Business” in the ‘Small Agent’ category for the London East region. Seeing off competition from a whole host of other estate agents, we were the only local agent to win an award in this category!

The EA Masters awards are run by the Property Academy, in association with popular property website Right move. They celebrate and recognise the performance and achievements of the top five percent of Estate Agents throughout the whole of the UK. Yes, we are officially in the top 5%! 

Winners and finalists were assessed, via Right move, over a six month period, on four key areas including Sales and Letting results, Customer experience, market share, and success in marketing properties. Mystery Shopping scores also contributed to the results. The awards are a highly sought after endorsement of achievement, hard work, determination and enterprise within the Estate Agency Industry. 

Ben Colling, our Sales Manager attended the ceremony. Ben says “We’re chuffed to bit with this award”. “It’s nice to know that you are recognised and appreciated within your industry as an independent estate agent offering a unique perspective, innovative approach and personalised service to your clients”.

Often in our industry, it’s easy to think that Estate Agency is just about buying, selling and renting, but for our clients, it’s can be a very emotional and emotive time, often triggered by a huge life change or shift. So it’s really fulfilling to know that we are supporting our customers through some of the biggest decision making purchases of their lives. To then be recognised for doing a good job of helping our clients with an award, given by our industry movers and shakers is so important.

The EA Masters also celebrate enterprise and innovation in Estate Agency, something which we here at Aubrey and Finn are no strangers to. We like to move with the times and respond to global changes on a local level, which is why a couple of years ago, we created our new “Air Hosting” managed Airbnb service, which for us is transforming the way our clients rent out their homes. 

Landlords often think that renting their home for long periods of time is the best way to earn a return on their investment, but our landlords can typically earn 50-100% more through our managed Airbnb “Air Hosting” Service than renting their property out monthly, plus they have the flexibility of being able to stay in the property when they need to, so it’s great if they work out of the area and want to come home at weekends, or have a second property which they may sometimes need to use. 

Lots of Business Awards are won through self-entrance, or through nomination and popular vote, but the EA Masters awards is a set of awards based on facts and figures, hard work and customer service, so we are absolutely thrilled to win! 

This award is an endorsement to the hard work of all of the team here at Aubrey and Finn. We are very proud that we have been recognised as an estate agency in the local area, which provides a high quality service, and which goes above and beyond for our clients. 

If you are considering selling, buying, or renting out property, you would like more information on our managed Airbnb service, or you just have questions about the state of the property market locally, then why not give us a call, or pop in for a no obligation conversation! 


You wouldn’t naturally think that St Albans and Hemel Hempstead were famous for celeb-spotting, but it seems that a myriad of celebrities are proud to call St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and the surrounding areas their home, living in varying types of properties which they’ve either invested in, or are renting. 

It makes sense, given the location we are situated in, that those in the spotlight would be attracted to the local area for the same reason as us regular members of the public would be.  There is a wide and varied property portfolio on offer to make your home in, the local conveniences and attractions are vast, and then of course there is the proximity to London to consider, and a variety of good travel links, taking you to a whole host of destinations around the world. 

So who are these famous members of society who live among us? Well the local Facebook Groups are rife with stories of how celebs have been spotted shopping in town and at the local supermarkets (hey, they’ve got to eat…), hanging out at attractions like the Cinema and the XC in Jarman Park, and enjoying a morning stroll around Verulamium Park or a spot of lunch at Sopwell House and the local McDonalds!

Given our proximity to Elstree Studios, it’s not surprising that one of the most common bunch of celebrities who are rumoured to call the local area home are past and present members of the cast of EastEnders. Kelly Bright who plays Linda is said to live in St Albans, Jake Wood who plays Max apparently lives in Hemel, with Lacey Turner who plays Stacey and Pam St Clement who played Pat Butcher, said to be living in Radlett. Also living in Radlett is rumoured to be TV Chef Gino Di Campo. 

Speaking of TV Chefs, Gino’s fellow “This Morning” star Phil Vickery apparently lives near Bovingdon, with wife, presenter Fern Britton, and fellow TV Presenter Nick Knowles is also said to live close by in the Hemel area. 

Rupert Grint, who spent many hours filming as Ron Weasley in Harry Potter, locally at Leavesden Studios is also said to be a local resident, as is fellow actor Martin Freeman. Rosie Marcel, Holby City Actress also lives locally in St Albans whilst Sir Roger Moore, who sadly died last year was said to live for many years in Leverstock Green.

The local area also boast a whole host of ex and current sports people including footballers Les Ferdinand, John Barnes, Theo Walcott and Harry Winks, who are said to have considered Herts a great base for their footballing careers. England Rugby International Chris Ashton also lives in the local area, and as many locals will know, Max Whitlock, International Gymnast is one of Dacorum’s most famous exports. 

Then there’s music artists David Essex, Duncan James from Blue, Emma Bunton from the Spice Girls and now of Heart Radio Fame, Matt Willis from Busted and wife Emma Willis and Harry Judd from Mcfly. Ronnie Wood is also rumoured to live just outside Hemel Hempstead in Little Gaddesden.

So when it comes to celeb properties, is it all high-tech kitchens, tennis courts and inside and outside swimming pools, or are there more modest abodes? Well whilst some of Hertfordshire’s most famous residents are said to live in sprawling mansions and luxurious penthouses, many other celebrities prefer far more humble abodes and like many of us, just frequent an apartment, or a regular terrace, semi, or detached house, so you never know…they could be living next door to you!

So you see, living in the St Albans and Hemel Hempstead areas, we really are in great company! Here at Aubrey and Finn we love to help sell homes of all sorts (whether they are lived in by a celebrity or not) and we also love to give advice. Sadly we can’t tell you how to bag a celeb as your next door neighbour, but we can help you with all aspects of sales, rentals and Airbnb for your property, so feel free to get in touch! 


Estate Agents…they are two a penny in St Albans and Hemel Hempstead. You can’t walk through the town without coming across a plethora of different estate agents, eager to help you sell, rent or buy your home - what can you expect from one of the most popular areas to live in Hertfordshire? 

However, we strongly believe that not all Estate Agents are created equally. We’re not just your local high street chain estate agent! You’ve only got to come and visit our offices to see the Aubrey and Finn difference. We know that you have a choice when deciding on an estate agent , so here are a few things that we think distinguish us from the rest!

We’re Independent!!

Working in property isn’t just a job, it’s our passion! We are one of St Alban’s and Hemel’s top independent Estate Agents. That means that we’re not tied to a chain, and when you deal with us, you don’t get through to a call centre, or transferred to different offices, or palmed off with the Saturday employee for a viewing who has no idea idea what they are doing. We’re here, in your town or city, ready to answer your call, help as best we can and put our customers first. We like to get to know our clients and we pride ourselves on being able to offer a personal service. We’re here when you need us and we have a 24/7 out of hour’s service if you need to contact us in an emergency. 

We love the local area, and we know a lot of house-hunters do too. Because we all live locally, or grew up here, we know the area - and the market - like the back of our hands. Our passion and commitment have made us St Albans’ go-to independent estate agent for both buyers and sellers and we love to help! We never forget that buying, selling or renting a home is a big deal. So we’ll be there for you every step of the way to guide you through the process and offer support to you.

We know our clients…

We like to think that we know who our clients are, and we know your clients too!

We know that many of you are busy working full time, probably commuting, and you want viewings at a time convenient to you, so we offer evening and weekend viewings to help you find your perfect home – whether it’s your forever home, or your home for right now, or a rental property you are looking to make an extra income from. 

We also know what your clients are looking for when it comes to choosing their new property, so we ensure that we market your property in the best way to maximise viewings. We’re sure you’ve seen those estate agents who when preparing property particulars, take a picture of the room as it is, low lighting, stuff everywhere, funny angles of lens… need we say more? We really take time over photographing our properties for sale, and will hunt around for the best light, the best way to photograph the property, and we will also make suggestions of things which should be moved as we know that your clients need to be able to imagine themselves living in the property, so we need the photos to help sell the dream to your clients. 

We like to think we’ve got our fingers on the pulse! 

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media where the cool kids hang out! We like to share what’s happening during our day, and we also like to be responsive, so come and follow us on Social Media and let’s connect.

We also advertise widely to reach the maximum audiences for our customers. Unlike other agents locally, we don’t just rely on one property website. WE list on Zoopla and Rightmove - plus Prime Location, the favourite site of Londoners looking to move out to ensure that we get your property in front of the people who are looking to make their next move. 

We’re forward thinking!

Things are constantly changing in our industry and we are an estate agency which likes to move with the times and respond to global changes on a local level. 

An example of this is our commitment to our managed Airbnb service, a service which for us is transforming the way our clients rent out their homes and is a service which is completely unique in the local area. No other estate agent is offering this locally. 

 Did you know that you could earn a bigger rental income from a managed Airbnb property than renting it out month-to-month. We make it so easy for you to earn an extra income from property in this way. It’s ideal if you own your property but perhaps work away or not, or are moving elsewhere and want to retain a property in the local area.

We offer free advice and recommendations!

We’re not just here when you are looking to buy, sell or rent! We love to help people, so whether you just want some advice on the state of the current property market, you are not looking to move just yet but would like a free valuation to give you an idea of what your home is worth to enable you to make plans, or you are considering becoming a landlord and want some advice on navigating the tricky word of buy-to-let’s then we can help! 

We are also connected to a whole plethora of independent businesses working in the local area, so if you are looking for a tradesman to repaint your home, survey asbestos or fix your roof, you want new windows and doors, advice on mortgages, legal issues, or even business services, we can recommend a great local business to be able to help you! 

Really, we’re just a jolly nice bunch! 

It’s not unusual to wander past our office after hours and see us having a bit of a band jamming session, perhaps running a quiz night for a local charity, or just indulging in some wine and cheese with clients who have become friends, and other local business owners. We’re passionate about supporting the local area, whether it’s through helping our clients, supporting local charities or networking with other businesses with a shop-front or without, to help boost the local economy. 

Of course, we’re also awlways here for our clients in Hemel and St Albans and surrounding areas, whether you are looking for your first home, you want to upsize, downsize, or rent out your home, or you just fancy a coffee and a natter about the state of the current property market!!  For us, working in property isn’t a job, it’s a passion. Our job satisfaction comes from helping people find their perfect home or achieve a successful sale (or both!).

We'd love you to bear us in mind for your next move, so get in touch with us to discuss this or for a free valuation.