Author: Liz

Buying a home is a big decision, but what if you fell in love with a home that was said to be haunted?

It’s not something that estate agents have to think about too often, but some houses are harder to sell than others, due to some buyers superstitions. For example houses numbered 13 or properties near a graveyard, But what if the house you want to buy comes with a ghostly fixture?

Would this put you off putting in an offer on your dream home? We think there are a few pluses to buying home with a spirit in residence. Let us know what you think?

You could save money 💷
If a house is considered haunted, in a spooky location or a number 13, it’s going to put some buyers off. By having less people in the running for the home of your dreams, you may be able to get it for a bargain price.

That homely feeling 🏡
Not all spirits are bad. Having a ghost in residence, doesn’t mean your furniture will start flying around or things will go bump in the night.

We use the strapline “A house is a building, A home is a feeling” Many buyers report having a feeling, or a sense that they are ‘coming home’ when they view the house of their dreams. What if that feeling is partially due to a spirit that has been waiting for someone like you to come and share their space? It could be like having a ghostly roommate.

A fantastic project 🧐
A haunted house makes for a great research project – assuming you want to know what’s behind the haunting. It’s something you can involve your whole family in. Finding out the history of your home can be addictive, even without a resident ghost. You can find information out from local libraries and museums. Join local social media groups. Talk to your new neighbours and community to find out what they know.

Who doesn’t want to visit a “haunted house” for Halloween? If you have a spiritual resident or two, why not embrace them. Get the pumpkins carved, the decorations out and invite some friends and neighbours over to have some spooky fun.

There you have it. We know there is a buyer for every home. So, the question is, would you buy a haunted house?

Author: Liz

You may have noticed something spooky has been happening in West Street Sittingbourne this week.  We’d had the lovely and talented Cadell from Studio Lockington create us a Halloween themed window display.  It’s already created quite a stir with passersby, especially the children who point and smile as they walk past.

To celebrate Halloween, we will be giving out sweets to any passing trick or treaters that pop into our office to show us their creepy costumes on Friday 27th October or on Halloween itself, on Tuesday 31st October.



Author: Liz

For the month of December the team here at Harrisons are set to officially become some of Santa’s little helpers, as we will be hosting one of Santa’s post boxes that will magically send any letters posted inside direct to the North Pole for Santa’s elves to open, record, pass to Santa and to take down his reply.

Every child that posts a letter in our postbox will receive a personal response direct from Santa himself.

If you, or someone you know would like to receive a letter from Santa this Christmas, here is how you can take part:

  1. Write your letter to Santa. Remember to tell him about something you did well this year, and what you would like for Christmas.  We know that Santa also likes to hear about what you like about Christmas, how you will be celebrating and with who, or anything else you would like to share.
  2. Include your first and last name in the letter, so that the elves can make sure each reply goes to the right person.
  3. Visit our office at 2 West Street, Sittingbourne, ME10 1AW to post your letter directly into our special Santa postbox. If our office is closed, you can put letters through our letterbox and we will post them on your behalf.
  4. Post no later than 16th December 2023
  5. Collect your personalised letter from Santa from our office from 19th December 2023

Author: Liz

How to sell your home behind the scenes for over asking price.

We took on this property in Mickett Gardens, Sittingbourne is a stunning four bedroom detached family home recently.  As we do with all our properties, we showed this home to our pre-qualified buyers that are registered via our unique “Heads Up Property Alerts Service” before the property details go “live” by being  published to the portals such as Rightmove or On The Market.

This resulted in viewing requests and an over asking price offer made and accepted before the property went live. Not only that, all parties have peace of mind that the house sale is secured with a reservation agreement being in place.

If you would like to find out more about how we can get your house sale moving or how you can protect your sale from falling through, talk to one of our dedicated team on 01795 474848

Author: Liz

We recently sold a property in an area that had very similar properties for sale, valued at the same price that are not selling. We received multiple viewings and an offer was agreed within 24 hours of going onto the open market.

The Property:

The property is a modern three bedroom semi detached home in Sittingbourne.  With two bathrooms and a pretty landscaped garden, that is in lovely condition.  The property had been valued at £325,000.

The Problem:

The vendors needed to move, and to achieve as close the £325,000 as possible in order to make their next next step.  The problem was that in their local area there were three similar properties on the market, in a similar condition that were priced at £325,000. These properties have been on the market for some time, without going under offer.

The Solution:

We had two options, we could try it on the market at, or around £325,00, see if it got any interest.  If it didn’t, we could reduce the price and try again.  However, we felt with so many properties on the market and not selling, this would not be an effective strategy to get the best price for these vendors.

We felt that a more effective approach would be to market the property for offers in the region of £300,000 and £325,000.  This would reach more buyers as it reached over a number of price points.  It would also make our property seem very attractive as it was potentially £25,000 cheaper than anything similar that was on the market in the local area.  We were confident that we could negotiated any low offers to, or above the price the vendors would accept.

The Result:

Within 24 hours of this property coming onto the market, it had received five viewings and two offers, both well above the lower range of the asking price.  We finally negotiated an accepted offer which was in the upper end of the price range, and well above, the asking price if we had listed it for £325,000 originally and then had to reduce the asking price.

Try a marketing solution that gets results:

If you are considering moving, and are concerned about how you may get the best price for your property in the current market, have a chat to the team at Harrisons about a free, no obligation Marketing Advice Meeting, to give you a clear marketing strategy for getting the best price for your home.  Call us today on 01795 474848.

Author: Liz

In the current market, reducing your asking price can be the difference between receiving multiple offers and agreeing a sale. Or having to chase the market by making a series of reductions.

In our recent blog “How to move home in the current housing market” we talked about why it it is so important to be proactive about ensuring your home is priced competitively.  We also covered why reducing the asking price by less than 10% isn’t going to attract viewings or competitive offers.  We recently agreed a sale on a property, that is a perfect example of how a proactive approach to adjusting your asking price can make a real difference to a sale.

Case Study: Reducing your asking price

On the 19th June 2023 we began marketing a three bedroom, end terrace home in Sittingbourne with an asking price of £325,000

During the crucial first two weeks of marketing, the property attracted very little interest, despite the team at Harrisons putting a huge effort to gain interest and book viewings. There was nothing wrong with the property itself, we knew it had to be down to price.

During those first two weeks of marketing, we had several conversations with the property owners with regard to reducing their asking price.  At first they felt it was to early to reduce, until we explained how important the first few weeks are if you want to get the best price for your property. The owners wanted to move, they decided to take our advice and asked to reduce the asking price to £315,000.

However, we didn’t feel this was right, a reduction of less than 5% would not attract any interest.  Additionally buyers who use the online property portals create their search profile and set the filters according to their budget.  The portal price parameters go up in increments, in this case the maximum price filters available are £300,000 and £325,000,  When you are considering a reduction, you want as many buyers as possible to see it, buy reducing to £315,000 you are not reaching buyers looking in a different price bracket or generating any new interest in your property.

On the 4th July we agreed a price reduction to offers in the region of £300,000, we understood that the owners hoped to achieve around £315,000 on their sale.

The reduction had and instant impact, with the first offer coming in on the 6th July for £295,000, which was rejected.  In the days that followed we had a flurry of new offers with two buyers bidding against each other. Until, on the 10th of July 2023,  we agreed a sale with an offer of £315,000, which was the price the owners wanted from the start.

From listing to sold subject to contract, the whole process took just 22 days!  If you are being told that houses aren’t selling at the moment, this isn’t true, houses priced competitively are still selling, and selling quickly, often for over the asking price.

If you want to move, ask the Harrisons team about how we can help 01795 474848

If you are being told that houses aren’t selling at the moment, this isn’t true, houses priced competitively are still selling, and selling quickly, often for over the asking price

Author: Liz

Following the exceptional and somewhat artificial market we’ve experienced in the last couple of years, it’s easy to feel quite negative about the current housing market. However, the situation is not as simple as it seems. As we emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market throughout the UK witnessed unprecedented growth, but it’s unlikely to happen again. Comparing that period to the current market won’t provide an accurate picture of its performance.

The “Race for Space” Phenomenon: The so-called “race for space” was prompted by buyers gaining access to more flexible working arrangements, the stamp duty holiday, and the limited availability of housing stock. Consequently, there were numerous buyers competing for a limited number of properties, which drove up prices. Buyers found themselves making increasingly higher offers to secure a sale, and properties often sold within days of being listed.

An Abnormal Market: It’s crucial to remember that this was not a normal market. To illustrate the exceptional nature of this period, consider the following: In 2018 and 2019, UK house prices increased at an average annual rate of 2%. Now compare that to the average increases of 7.4% in 2020, 10.8% in 2021, and 9.8% last year, amounting to a total increase of over 28% in just three years. Even the worst-case predictions for a decline in house prices are nowhere near a drop of over 20%. Unless you purchased a house within the last 12 months, the value of your home will have increased.

UK house prices increased at an average of 2% per annum in 2018 & 2019.  In the past three years combined they have increased at a national average of 28%.

Navigating the Current Market Conditions:

Let’s get serious and discuss how to buy and sell homes in the current market conditions.

For Buyers: How to Bag a Bargain

If you’re a buyer waiting for house prices to plummet before making a purchase, that scenario is unlikely to occur. Instead, prices will likely return to more normal levels. However, you can still take advantage of the market by following these steps:

  1. Prepare: Organize all your paperwork, have your deposit readily accessible, secure a mortgage offer in principle, and have a solicitor lined up. This will demonstrate your commitment to the purchase and allow you to move quickly once you find a home.
  2. Research: Many houses are currently marketed above their actual worth. Research recently sold properties in your price range and area from the first half of 2022. This will give you a realistic idea of what you can buy now.
  3. Ignore Current Asking Prices: Most asking prices on property portals are inflated. Consider moving up to the price band above your maximum spend to explore available options.
  4. Plan: Before looking at houses, develop a strategy for putting forward your offer. Clearly explain why you are the best buyer and why your offer stands out. Remember, the highest offer doesn’t always win; sellers often prioritize buyers with a solid financial position and demonstrated commitment.
  5. Property to Sell: If you have a property to sell that isn’t under contract, refrain from making offers on other properties until you have a sale agreed. This will ensure you can negotiate a better price. Instead, read our advice for sellers to ensure a successful sale.
For Sellers: Being Realistic About the Current Market.

If you’re looking to sell, it’s essential to have a realistic understanding of the market and price your property accordingly. Keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Invite agents who provide honest pricing advice. Be cautious of agents who claim to have sold comparable houses for higher prices, as it doesn’t guarantee your property will achieve the same figure or exceed it. Compare prices from the first half of 2022 for a more accurate estimate.
  2. Choose an agent based on their competence and track record, not solely on fees. Agents who can negotiate well to secure the best price for you are worth their fee.
  3. Avoid lengthy contracts; limit your agreement to no more than four weeks. Agents who push for longer contracts may lack confidence in their ability to sell your home at the suggested price. You should remain with an agent because you want to, not because you are obligated to.
  4. Distinguish between listings and sales. Look for agents who have a high number of sold boards in your area, as it demonstrates their proactivity in achieving successful sales.
  5. If switching agents, inquire about their proposed selling price. A good agent will suggest a new marketing approach with a revised price, rather than merely relisting the property at the same price. Listing at a lower price can attract more buyers.

Changing your mindset is crucial

Getting the Best Price and Multiple Offers:
If you’re struggling to attract offers or viewings, it’s time to take action. Start by having an open conversation with your agent. Consider the following steps:
  1. Be honest about any issues affecting your sale. If your agent focuses on market conditions or property features instead of providing solutions, they may lack the necessary experience or courage to secure a sale.
  2. Be proactive and drop your price. Waiting too long gives the impression that your house is overpriced and discourages potential buyers. Consider lowering the price by at least 10% or adopting an “offers over” strategy.
  3. Changing your mindset is crucial. Dropping the price may seem drastic, but unless you purchased your house within the last 12 months, it is likely worth more than what you paid. Changing your approach can help you sell quickly and avoid further financial losses.
  4. Avoid chasing the market with small incremental price drops. This raises buyer suspicion and eventually leads to a stalled sale. Instead, proactively set a competitive price that attracts buyers.
Understanding the Best Offer:

Once you start receiving viewings and offers, remember that the best offer isn’t always the highest one. Look for offers from buyers with a solid financial position, short chains, and proof of deposit or cash. If the buyer needs a mortgage, ensure they have an agreement in principle. Consider requiring a reservation agreement for added security. By securing the best offer, you can negotiate effectively and move forward with your onward purchase.


In the current housing market, it’s crucial to approach buying or selling with realism and adaptability. By understanding market conditions, pricing your property competitively, and working with experienced agents, you can increase your chances of success. Remember, seeking advice from professionals can provide valuable insights and support throughout the process. If you require honest advice and assistance with your house sale, contact Harrisons today at 01795 47484

Author: Liz

With summer firmly (and finally) here, there are a range of activities and events going on throughout Swale this July that make for great family days out. Check out what’s on, and give yourself a month to remember.

What’s On – July 2023

Saturday July 1st

Borden Village Fete

Fun for all the family from 12 noon until 5pm. Lots to do from go karting, craft stalls, falconry, tug of war, coconut shy, summer raffle, BBQ, beer and Pimms, live music, a tea room and much more.

The Playstool, Borden ME9 8LP


Saturday July 1st

Faversham Cycle Fest


Fun for all the family, including balance bikes and rides around the Rec, plus a chance for adults to try out e-scooters and e-crago bikes. You can also grab a free health check, and find out more about the Council’s Active Travel initiatives.

Faversham Recreation Ground, ME13 8EU


Saturday July 1st

Party in the Park

Family fun day, with live music from six bands. Real ales, real ciders, and a food area, with this year’s special guest Toyah Wilcox. Funfair and live music from 3pm.

Tickets start at £7.50

Appleyard Sports Bar, ME10 1QN


Saturday July 1st-2nd

Flower Festival

Annual flower festival, this year’s theme being ‘A Night at the Theatre.’ Refreshments available.


The Holy Trinity Church, Queenborough, ME11 5AG

Borden village fete

Sunday July 2nd

Classic Car Show and Steam Railway at Bredgar Railway

A unique view of the park and woodland, as well as the class car show, as you view it from the handmade passenger carriages around the site of Bredgar railway. Activities, crafts and workshops all included in the ticket price, starting at £15.

Book online

Bredgar Light Railway, ME9 8AT

July 8th, 9th, 22nd and 23rd

Cherry Trail at Brogdale and PYO

Visit the National Fruit Collection at the prime time for harvest, walk the cherry trails, and sample the delights of the Kentish cherry. The perfect time to learn the orchard’s history with a walking tour,

Arrival between 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm.

Brogdale Road, ME13 8XZ


Sunday July 9th

Cherry Day at Mount Ephraim

Visit the picturesque Mount Ephraim between 11am-5pm to experience, enjoy and celebrate their award-winning cherries. With live music from 1pm-3pm, and tea and cakes galore, you can also explore the orchards on a self-guided tour.

Please book tickets in advance.

Mount Ephraim Gardens, ME13 9TX


Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th July

Chickenstock Music Festival

A four day dog friendly, and accessible festival suitable for all ages with camping and glamping. With music from Skipinnish, Noble Jacks and more, as well as yoga, magic shows and workshops for both adults and children plus a plethora of refreshments available.

Under 16s free – Prices from £30

Pett Wood Cottage, Stockbury ME9 7RL

Chicken stock 2023



Saturday July 29th

Leysdown Carnival

Parade starts at 2pm from Little Groves Leisure Park, join in on the fun!

Little Groves Leisure Park, ME12 4LL


Sunday July 30th

Classic Car Rally at Mount Ephraim


All are welcome to admire the classic cars on the front lawn of Mount Ephraim, with tickets on purchase in advance.

Mount Ephraim Gardens, ME13 9TX

Where to stay

With a variety of accommodation choices to choose from, you can invite friends and family to visit and enjoy what our beautiful area has to offer. Here are some of our recommendations, with local hosts waiting to greet you.


CreekSide Bed & Breakfast, Faversham

Within easy walking distance of everything Faversham has to offer, in a quiet setting. Continental breakfast included, and free wifi.


Judds Folly Hotel, Ospringe

Enjoy a relaxing stay in the Kent countryside just outside Ospringe near Faversham, with a wide variety of rooms to suit everyone, with both early and late check ins available.

Norwood Barn, Wormshill

Enjoy garden views, with free private parking and wifi and your own private entrance and your own kitchen, you can make this a true, tranquil getaway.


The Beaumount Bed & Breakfast, Sittingbourne

Clean, comfortable rooms, with a warm and friendly welcome and an excellent breakfast included.

Hogwarts Bed and Breakfast

A quiet and friendly getaway, great for a little peace and quiet. All rooms are en-suite, with gorgeous sea views.


The Ferry House Bed & Breakfast

16th Century country house, with dog friendly rooms aside the Swale estuary in Harty Ferry. Enjoy a relaxed stay in rural tranquility.

Author: Liz

With the announcement last week from the Bank of England that the base rate is rising from 4.5 to 5%, this can cause a lot of worry and confusion for anyone trying to hoping to buy or sell a home. With this in mind, we thought we would take a moment to explain what we are seeing in the Swale Housing Market currently, how we think this may impact property sales in the short term and what you can do to ensure you are able to move regardless.

Don’t believe the hype

The mainstream media may have you thinking the property market is on the verge of collapse, this simply isn’t true, many parts of the UK, particularly in the North, are still seeing house prices increasing.  For us in the South East, who are in much closer proximity to London, we are seeing prices adjusting, whilst it feels that house prices are falling, they have only dropped back to the pricing in July 2021 (see chart).


Swale Housing Market

The average UK home has risen in value by £48 a day since February 2020.  That’s equivalent to £38,000 and higher that the average UK salary.

The whole of the Swale property market has out performed this, with ME9 postcode increasing by £78 a day (£62,000) for the same period.

In truth, parts of the local market are struggling.  If you are trying to sell a home over £500,000, you will need to have a strong marketing strategy and be realistic, and proactive in how you negotiate offers.

Fall through rates (sales that were agreed and one party withdrawing from the sale) are rising.  Currently over a third of all sales don’t make it to completion, however if you use a reservation agreement, this figure drops significantly.

The Silver Lining

Before you despair, it’s not all doom and gloom, there are pockets in the Swale housing market that are holding up well, with many properties still receiving multiple offers, and many agreeing a sale over asking price.  We have also noticed an increase in buyers registering for our Heads Up Property Alerts Service.  The biggest group of these are first time buyers, we are also encouraged to see London buyers returning.

Our Straight Forward Advice to Secure a Sale

Here are a few of our top tips of how to secure a sale in the current Swale housing market

  • Ensure all your paperwork and finances are in place before listing your property for sale
  • Do not price your house too high when you initially list it for sale
  • When comparing agents, ask for evidence of comparable sales before June 2021 to have a more realistic idea of your home’s current value
  • Choose an agent that has a strong marketing strategy away from just listing on property portals
  • Choose an agent that can demonstrate outstanding negotiating skill – If you can haggle them down on their commission rate, they probably aren’t going to be good at negotiation the best price for you.
  • Sales aren’t the same as completed sales.  Agents claiming to have sold more houses than competitors are only talking about offers being agreed.  Ask for evidence of how many sales they have completed and what their fall through rate is.
  • Choosing a cheaper agent often costs you money rather than giving you a saving.
  • Always use a reservation agreement, if a buyer/seller/agent or solicitor is resistant to using them, this should ring alarm bells that someone isn’t as committed to the sale as they claim they are.

If you would like some honest, straight forward advice as to how you can sell your home, contact the Harrisons team on 01795 474848


Author: Liz

Forgive the click bait title, we wanted to grab your attention and explain why this is a post you will want to read

With every house sale fall through, a cost is incurred. Whilst we do all we can to not let that happen, unfortunately, sometimes it does. With estate agents losing an estimated £1.27 billion last year, we wanted to look at it in more detail, to help you understand why and how you can minimise the risk to your sale.

Boom and Bang!

Whilst there is no doubt that the housing market post Covid was a boom time, with houses receiving multiple offers, many over asking, house prices selling and many agents finding that properties they were listing were selling with very little effort involved.  But with this Boom in the industry, another statistic began to rise, the amount of sales that were collapsing, or the fall through rate as we refer to it in the industry.

Why?  This is due to a number of reasons. Some are reasonable (yet still annoying) Such as significant issues arising in the survey, buyers unable to secure funding, illness or a major change in circumstances.  However, many were not reasonable.  Many buyers and sellers simply change their minds!  Buyers feeling pressured by the competition in the market made offers higher than they were comfortable with, or on properties they weren’t totally sure about.  Some sellers agreed an offer with one party, only to switch to someone else who made a higher offer part way through.

Then there was the issue with the sheer volume of sales that were going through, this caused delays in the conveyancing process, poor communication and frustration, which sometimes ended in the painful decision to pull out of the sale all together.

Chain Reaction

A sale falling through can the whole chain.  The initial sale that fell through will try agree a new sale, whilst those further up and down the chain have to sit and wait for this to happen.  This can cause more frustration, and in the worst cases other buyers and sellers feel the stress isn’t worth it and pull out themselves, possibly causing the whole chain to collapse.  This doesn’t only affect buyers and sellers, it effects everyone involved.  The mortgage brokers, lenders, removal companies, conveyancers, solicitors and of course the estate agent, they are all out of pocket.

Of course during the boom of the last couple of years, where buyers out numbered properties available to buy, finding a new buyer was relatively straight forward, and didn’t cause too much of a delay.  However, in 2023 demand has dropped and prices are settling to a more normal level, finding a new buyer after a sale has fallen through is not quite as straight forward.  The agents and sellers need to be much more proactive.

The financial impact

Harrisons of all agents know that losing a house due to fall through affects all parties involved. From the agent to the buyer, to the seller, and all services in between, it is not ideal, and it had an impact on three in 10 property sales last year. Costing UK estate agents well over £1 billion¹.

Unbelievably, the compiled properties is an extortionate 315,652 sales falling through in 2022. 

The table below shows that the average fee lost from agents alone equated to over £4,000, with both buyers losing over £2,000 and buyers losing over £1,500 per fall through. 

When added together, the estimation of conveyancers losing money totalled £706.7 million, with sellers coming in not much lower at £533 million.

Collectively – that is a great deal of money.

Category  Estimated fall throughs 2022* Average fee lost per transaction £ Estimated total cost of fall throughs (2022)
Agent 315,652 £4,034** £1,273,445,322
Conveyancer – buying 315,652 £2,239 £706,744,828
Conveyancer – selling 315,652 £1,690 £533,451,880

*Based on 31% of all transactions falling through before completion and applied to sales volume

**Based on average fee of 1.42% to the average 2022 house price of £284,108


We understand the stress

Not only are we agents, but we ourselves are homeowners. We know the stress behind selling, we know the stress behind buying, but we are most acutely attuned to the stress that it collectively brings to a couple or family who are wanting everything to go as planned, without any party pulling out. 

The simplest of purchases can still stall and take time, and people can become impatient, worried, or distracted from their original dream of moving because it isn;t going as quickly as they’d like. 

With surveys being carried out and revealing costly issues, or a plain old change of circumstance can sometimes be enough to halt the sale, or prevent it entirely. 

It only takes one link to break the chain, but what if something could be in place whereby the costs were considered through a contract between parties before this all commenced?


What Harrisons can do for you

With a third of all sales falling through last year, at this figure rising currently, it’s interesting to note that only 13% of all of our sales agreed at Harrisons fell through last year, and this is because we recommend reservation agreements on all sales.

Whilst not all fall throughs can be prevented, they can be significantly lowered with the help of our Reservation Agreements, our results reflect this.  We plan on creating a fresh wave of awareness on how this particularly works for you as our customer when it comes to either buying a property, or selling yours with us directly. 

Our aim is to lower the costs incurred by sales fall throughs. Each property only sells with several people attached to it, making it complete, but if there is no promise of commitment behind it, then it can be left to collapse. That is costly for all – and we are doing our best to prevent it where possible. 

If you would like to hear more about what Harrisons does to prevent sales fall through, please give us a call today on 01795 474848.


¹Fall Through Source