Family estate agents take the Bishop’s Stortford property market by storm
Mother and daughter estate agent team Angela and Hilary Westgarth, owners of The Personal Property Shop in Bishop’s Stortford are celebrating 1 year in business this September. The dynamic duo set out with a mission to change the face of estate agency in Bishop’s Stortford by offering home owners something a bit different with their new estate agency, The Personal Property Shop.
Since starting in 2014 they have developed a niche for selling the “trickier” properties, those that have been on the market with other estate agents that haven’t sold.
It also started this time last year when a frustrated home seller approached director Angela as they had been trying to sell their narrow boat for 9 months without success. After having just 3 viewings in the whole time, they were at their wits end and desperate to fulfil their dream of moving back “on land” to retire. Angela quickly realised that selling boats was the same as selling houses and by helping the owners to stage their property in the best way to attract buyers, taking beautiful, professional photos of the boat and writing an exciting and engaging property description, she had a buyer for them in just 5 days who paid the full asking price!
Since then The Personal Property Shop have been approached by numerous other property owners all in the same boat (excuse the pun) needing their help and they have successfully sold over 90% of them to date. They’ve had numerous successes including a property that had been on the market for 2 whole years with 6 different estate agents, which they sold in just 8 weeks! Mrs Moss was delighted and thanked the team by saying “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for basically being THE BEST estate agent (I don’t like that term) out there! You have been fantastic from start to finish!”
One of the many things they’re doing differently is using a technique called “home staging”, which many of you may have seen on programmes such as House Doctor and Phil Spencer: Secret Agent. Quite simply it’s the process of presenting a property in a way that will appeal to the highest number of buyers, therefore selling it faster and for more money. It’s something that’s been popular in the US for many years and is only just catching on in the UK. Angela says “home staging can reduce a property’s time on the market by between 35% and 50% and can even add up to 20% to the property’s value too. It’s well worth it, and that’s why we offer a free home staging consultation to all our new clients. We know that all home owners want the best price for their home, and they don’t want it to hang around on the market, so it makes perfect sense that as their estate agents, we help them to achieve that – it’s a win-win situation!” For more tips about home staging read our article entitled ’10 Quick Home Staging Tips’.
Not only do they help home owners to present their properties in the best way, but they’re also one of few estate agents in the area using a professional photographer. Hilary says “nearly all buyers now are looking online for their next property, typically on Rightmove in the Bishop’s Stortford area. The first thing that ALL buyers look at is the photos of the property, so it’s absolutely vital they’re the best they can possibly be. People make a judgement as to whether to view a property based on the photos, so it makes perfect sense to use a professional photographer.”
Angela Westgarth, one of the directors said “we’re so pleased to be able to offer something different to the people of Bishop’s Stortford. Unfortunately estate agents really don’t have a great reputation, despite there being plenty of good agents in the area. By offering something different we’re standing out and clients are often commenting on our fresh approach.”