Tag: Swale

Are property prices going down? This is the question everyone is asking right now.  After such a busy year which has been driven by the Stamp duty holiday, low mortgage rates. Plus the so called “race for space” as people reassess their home requirements following effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, multiple lockdowns and home working. Properties are being snapped up by eager buyers, sometimes within days of coming onto the market.  Demand is so high, that house prices have been driven upwards by an average of 6.9% so far this year., according to property portal Zoopla, 2021 has been the busiest market since 2007.

With so much activity, and so many people taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday, surely demand will cool in 2022 and with that, so will property prices?

The housing market in 2022

Zoopla’s recent report into the housing market has identified that currently 22% of people want to move. Compare this to a normal market which has around 5% of people wanting to move and you will get an idea of why buyer demand is so high, and why house prices are continuing to rise.

As people continue to review their options.  The pandemic-induced search for space will continue to be a driving force within the marketplace.  The ability to work from home has opened up opportunities for many office workers who are now able to move further afield to improve their work life balance.

Low mortgage rates have enticed many first time buyers to the market, desperate to get their feet on the first rung of the property ladder.

Additionally, many home owners have built up significant equity in their homes over the past 18 months and they want to cash in.

The current shortage of stock is also driving prices up, this looks set to continue well into 2022.

The downside of this is that the cost of living is rising rapidly.  Mortgage rates are expected to increase  next year, along with taxation.  This will affect affordability for many. This in turn will see demand start to slow and house prices cool a little.

However, predictions are, that due to the factors above, house price growth is expected to end 2022 at three 3%.

Swales’ housing market

Properties in Swale have an average house price of £288,874.  This is predicted to rise to £297,540 based on an increase of 3%. However, due to it’s close proximity to London and being surrounded by both coast and countryside. Swale has seen house prices increase beyond the national average in recent years.  Based on this, the average house price in Swale will be past the £300K mark by the end of 2022.

Tag: Swale

The damaged caused when your home doesn’t sell quickly can be costly, both emotionally and financially. In this article we explain the why it’s not great news when your home doesn’t sell quickly. And how to ensure your house sells within four weeks of going onto the market.

Sittingbourne Estate Agents

What a year it has been for the Sittingbourne property market: the Stamp Duty holiday causing a frenzy, the pandemic changing people’s perspectives on what they want from a home, and a constant lack of properties coming onto the market. With buyer demand still high, the prospect of your home not selling fast has probably not crossed your mind, especially when you see homes in your area come on the market one day and sold the next. But what damage is caused when your home doesn’t sell quickly?

The first 4 weeks

As you know, many homes in Sittingbourne, Faversham and Sheppey are selling well within the first four weeks of being placed on the market, but did you know how crucial these first four weeks are?  This is the period when your home is launched by your estate agent, buyers become aware and viewings are abundant.  Your expectations will be high, and your estate agent should be working tirelessly to market your home effectively in a variety of ways. They know that what they do within this first few weeks can impact the speed of your sale.  It’s the optimum time to make things happen.

What happens after four weeks?

After four weeks a property starts to become stale, and you could see enquiries and viewings dwindle. A good agent will be constantly reviewing their marketing and looking for new opportunities to attract potential buyers.  They will also be having an honest conversation with you on why they feel that your property is not appealing to buyers.

But does the fault lie with you or your agent?

what happens when your house doesn't sell within four weeks

A buyer’s perspective

Homebuyers are savvy, they know all the tools to help them find their next home. They will no doubt have alerts on property websites so they are informed as soon as a new property in Swale hits the market.  When they start to look they will be doing their research, and one thing they will always note is how long a property has been on the market.

What would you think if a house was still not under offer after four weeks or more?  Like most people, you will no doubt be wondering what is wrong with the property if it hasn’t been sold yet.  You may decide to view the home, but even before you have walked through the door you will already be in the mindset of making a low offer, because there must not be any real interest.


We can not stress enough how price can have such an effect on the attractiveness of your home to buyers.  Your home, as soon as it is listed, will be compared with other houses within a similar price bracket, and if your home seems overpriced it will be noticed instantly. Of course it is alluring to have an estate agent tell you they can sell your home for a wonderfully high figure.  But is that an actual fact based on their ability with recently sold properties in the area? Could be. Or is it a tactic to try to win your business?

At Harrisons Homes we are not here to list properties, we sell homes. We use our experience in the local property market, understanding which streets are on the up, and those areas that are falling out of favour. When we appraise your home we take so many factors into account. Including condition, presentation, location and up-to-the minute data. We always aim to achieve the highest possible price for your property, and we will not inflate that to win your business.

Overpriced homes will sit on the market longer; you will probably find yourself frustrated when the agent requests you lower the price a few weeks later.  More reductions could follow. The quality of the offers you receive could be a lot lower than you had ever expected. Choose an agent who can back up their figures with their actions – do your research to find the right fit for you and your property.

How to sell your home fast

Presentation – do the work

If you have been browsing property websites in the search for your next home, you will notice those sellers who have put in the work to ensure that their property is looking its best for potential buyers. You will also notice those who haven’t. Often there could be something off-putting.  Such as a cluttered room, an untidy bedroom, a unloved garden, that can put you off going to view.

Unless your house is a project you need to make sure it is presented properly using home staging methods. Ensuring your home is clean and organised is a great start. However, it isn’t just about having an immaculate home but projecting the lifestyle that your home gives.  You only have to watch house programmes, or flick through home magazines to see home staging in action. A loaf and breadknife stylishly placed on the kitchen work surface, a thoughtfully placed throw on a bed with a book at its side; these little touches add warmth and personality to your home.

Having the mindset ‘buyers will see past …’ will never win. They may view your rooms as small due to the amount of stuff inside them. ‘Too much work to do’, could be another view point if the décor is tired, and a couple of odd jobs are spotted.  And these views, and more, are made whilst looking at your property online. Why place your property in a challenging position when with some work, you can attract buyers easily.

Get it right from the start

You need to get everything right when placing your home on the market. The price, the presentation and also your choice of agent. The damaged caused if your home isn’t under offer in the first four weeks is hard to repair. We are often contacted by sellers who have had struggles selling previously, and come to us for a fresh approach. Get it right from the start by calling us on 01795 474848 today.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also find these interesting.

How to reduce the risk of my house sale falling through

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Or, you can sign up to our new property alerts service


Tag: Swale

We recently asked Would You Buy A Haunted House?” If you answered no, your options of buying a home in the Swale area could be very restricted as the areas rich and varied history mean that we share this location with many ghostly neighbours.  With today being Halloween, we thought we would share some of the most famous ethereal Ghosts of Swale.


It’s widely known that the village of Pluckley in Kent is Britain’s most haunted village. It is perhaps not as well known that Faversham is reported to be Britain’s most haunted town.


Ask any child that has grown up in Faversham about ghosts, and the chances are they will mention Diana.  Daughter of the owner of Syndale Manor (now known as Judd’s Folly).  Legend has it, she was engaged to the son of the vicar at Davington Church.

After evensong, each evening the couple would walk from Davington, through Bysingwood to Diana’s home at Syndale.  It was on such a stroll that the couple were attacked which resulted in Diana being killed and decapitated. Her lover survived with minor injuries but was devastated with grief.  Shortly afterwards he was found hanged, close to the place where the lovers were attacked.

Today Diana’s restless soul is believed to wander the route the lovers took that fateful night with her head head tucked under her arm.

Ghost in the machine

If you are visiting Faversham, we would recommend a visit to the Faversham Museum in the Fleur des Lis Heritage Centre.  The building was formerly a pub, and is home to at least one very long-term resident, who is keen to make contact.

“The White Lady” she is frequently seen by staff and visitors at the top of the stairs.  But more curiously, she is believed to “haunt” the telephone exchange exhibit.  Staff have reported the phones on the exchange ringing, despite not being connected to any external phone lines.

Brewery Spirits

Britain’s Oldest Brewery Shepherd Neame has been brewing on the same site in Faversham for at least 300 years.  The Court Street buildings which house the brewery offices today, are of a similar age to the brewery, but would have had many uses before the brewery expanded into them.

Staff at the brewery could tell you a number of ghosts that are supposed to reside within the brewery buildings.  From Annie, a possible servant, who lives in a storeroom, know as Annie’s attic.  To former directors who are often caught smoking cigars in the boardroom.

The brewery has so many unearthly spirits that In Derek Acorah visited in 2005 with his television “Ghost Town”

Ghosts of Faversham

The Ship Wrights Inn

Located at Hollowshore, on the banks of The Swale.  This remote old pub and the setting lends itself to tales of pirates and smugglers.  Drinkers and staff have reported a noticeable drop in temperature, and strong smell of tobacco and rum. Occasionally they have also seen a “thick set bearded sailor” wearing a thick coat, a peaked hat and red eyes.

The story goes that a Dutch captain boat ran into difficulty along the Swale on a bleak winters night.  The captain hauled himself along the mud flats  to the door of the Inn.  With, last orders already called, the Landlord would not open the door for fear of vagrants.  The sailor passed away from exposure overnight.


Haunted Railway Line

A level crossing in Sittingbourne is said to be haunted by ghosts. Should you be on a train, passing this location around midnight. You may well see a ghostly apparition walking across the track.

The crossing is no longer in use, replaced by a footbridge as the crossing was an accident hotspot. The ghostly pedestrian is claimed to be one of the victims who haunts the crossing, warning travellers of the danger.

A goods train was passing the location recently at 2am.  The driver believed he saw someone on the line and believed he hit them.  The train was brought to a standstill, and the emergency services called.  Despite a thorough search, nothing was found. The driver is credited with the belief that the apparition foretells impending danger.

Smile, you are on camera

Many cynics wonder, if ghosts exist, why are they not caught more often on camera given the amount of technology we have at our disposal?

Local photographer, Laura Dickson believes that she has captured a series of apparitions in her photographs, including a faceless monk at St Peter and St Paul Church in Borden.  After an afternoon photographing the church, she spotted the figure in the window of the church, which appeared to show a faceless monk in a habit.

Ghosts of Sittingbourne

This is not the only time Laura believes she has captured a ghost in her photographs.  For the full article take a look at Kent Online’s 2014 article

The George

The George on Sittingbourne High Street is believed to date from 1430. With so much history, it’s not surprising that it has attracted a few spiritual residents.  One is believed to be a somewhat bad tempered monk who is believed to be responsible for smashing glasses.


Old House At Home

Pubs often attract spiritual visitors, mostly without issue.  However, the Old House at Home plagued by a ghost who has very bad manners.  The resident ghost is credited with making eerie noises and moving furniture across rooms.

But it doesn’t stop there, The pub’s owners once claimed to have been tossed out of their bed while they slept.

Another time the barmaid, all alone in the basement, was hit on the head by a barrel top which had been thrown. Remember your hardhats if you pop in here for a pint!

The Red Lion

Paranormal investigators who visited this pub said they reported the strange sound of phantom footsteps and some even felt seasickness overcome them while they were there.

One of the area’s oldest pubs also has one of the longest haunted pasts. Since its original incarnation as the Swan Inn in the late 1700s, the Red Lion is believed by some to have been haunted by the ghost of a former prostitute and her beloved dog.

Amateur ghost hunters should also listen out for the sound of phantom hoofs and bells mysteriously ringing themselves.

The Royal Fountain Hotel

Now residential flats, this former hotel has hosted the likes of George II and Lord Nelson. Now it is better known for hosting a range of ghost and ghouls.

They include a crying baby, an eighteenth century man making non-existent cups of tea and a tall gaunt man clad in bandages.  Former hotel guests reported sound of chains clinking.

Sheerness Docks

On Sheerness Docks, a shiphand claimed to have seen a tall apparition in Elizabethan clothing walking ABOVE the road.

As the ghost reached the Garrison Port Fort he passed through the wall, disappearing completely.

Ghosts of Sheppey

Photo credit: Kent Online

The Ferry House Inn

Overlooking the Swale Estuary, The Ferry House Inn is a Grade II listed 16th century building.  Tragically, in 1954, a local man drowned when his boat capsized. Staff believe his spirit haunts the pub.  They repeatedly report the unusual feeling of being watched while they work.

During a vigil at the inn in 2004, paranormal investigators heard noises coming from the cellar and photographed a spirit they believed to be that of the drowned man.

The Shurland Hotel

This hotel has gained worldwide infamy due to CCTV footage showing potential poltergeist activity there.

In one video, a pint of beer appeared to slide across a table and smash onto the floor without being touched.

Staff have also reported hearing strange noises throughout the hotel. Lights that turn on and off in the rooms, locks that unlock themselves and many other unexplained issues. One guest claimed to have seen a little girl appear at the foot of one of the bed in one of the rooms.

Ghosts of Swale

So there you have it, our Halloween blog on ghosts in Swale, do you think we’ve missed any? Do you live with a ghostly roommate? If so, we would love to hear from you, contact us via hello@harrisonshomes.co.uk

And remember, don’t have nightmares!

Tag: Swale

Buying a home is a big decision, but what if you fell in love with a home that was said to be haunted? Would You Buy A Haunted House?

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.  Luckily we don’t have a road called Elm Street in Swale.  However, we do have plenty of houses numbered 13, some that are next to, or have a view of, a graveyard, which give many buyers the jitters.  Also, Faversham is believed to be the most haunted town in the UK.  And with the whole of Swale having such a rich and colourful history, the chances are a house that is believed to have a ghostly guest or two will come up for sale every now and then.

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.  Read on, and then let us know, would you buy a haunted house?

You could save money

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, 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 waining for someone like you to come and share their space?  It could be like having a ghostly roommate.

A fantastic project

If you love a bit of research and history, a haunted house is perfect for you – assuming you want to know what’s behind the haunting. And 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. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

Your Halloween parties will be epic

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, even a haunted house can through up less problems than a home survey can.  So, the question is, would you buy a haunted house?

Tag: Swale

What do we mean when we say People over portals?

The business of estate agency has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. As has the way that buyers find their next home.  Since the introduction of property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Many buyers are able to view houses from the comfort of their own home. Looking through the photographs, virtual tours, floor plans and property details before they physically view properties.

For some estate agents, this has cut their workload considerably. They react to leads coming in for from the properties they have listed. Meaning they do not need to rely so heavily on building relationships. Being property experts in their local area, or knowing which buyers are looking for what type of home. This, in turn, means that they can handle more properties. Cover larger areas and sell houses to buyers that come to them rather than having to actively market the properties to their database of buyers and the public in general (if you are paying the portals to do this, why do you need to do it as well?).

It sounds like a win, win, for everyone at first. Until you realise that one of the key requirements for your estate agent has been lost along the way, and that is trust.  Trust is not just a given, it’s earned, and it comes from building a relationship and understanding each other’s position and requirements.  Here at Harrisons Homes, we have been on a mission to change people’s perception of estate agency by delivering and outstanding service and excellent results for both our vendors and our buyers.  The problem has always been with the industry (and the public’s perception of estate agents) being so heavily reliant on the portals it’s hard to demonstrate how different we are unless you have used our services already.

Change is coming – The focus is people over portals

We have always believed that estate agency will change, we have always believed there will be less reliance on portals and the personal service will become more important. With the current boom in the housing market, we believe that change is coming soon.

Such is the demand for property buyers are finding that when they contact estate agents to view properties they have seen online they have either sold already or there are lots of other people already booked in for viewings.  This puts potential buyers under pressure to put in an offer and, as we are finding at the moment, in many cases offers end up becoming a bidding frenzy and houses are selling well in excess of the asking price.  This may sound like a great result for both the agent and the vendor (after all an agent’s main role is to get the best price for their client – and the higher the sale price the higher their fee for commission based agents), this isn’t always what the vendor wants.

Reducing Stress

Having tens of dozens of viewings can be quite stressful. Especially for busy families that are still trying to work from home. Having lots of offers can be quite stressful too, do you hold out for the highest offer? or do you go with someone chain free? Do you trust your agent to give you the best impartial advice? Or are you thinking they are just interested in their fee?

And after the offer is accepted, the conveyancing process can be very stressful too and this is where many sales collapse. How do you prevent this happening? Will your agent work to push the sale over the line or will you be passed onto someone else to progress your sale?

Understanding People’s Needs

Moving can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be.  We spend time listening and getting to know our vendors and potential buyers, we build relationships and understand the individual requirements of each buyer and seller.  Some sellers want the most people through the door, viewing their property. Some want the best achievable price.  We know that some people want the right buyer with the least hassle possible.  Many people do not know the ins and outs of property transactions. They will want to be informed of what we are doing. That we are here to answer questions and give advice when needed.

Our clients trust that we are doing our best to drive their sale forward with as little stress as possible. This isn’t because we are experts in estate agency. This is because we have taken the time to get to know them.  Build a relationship and proven they can put their trust in us.

People over portals

This is why we are giving our clients a choice. They can have their property listed on the portals and hope for multiple viewings and offers.  Or they can trust in us to understand which buyers would be interested in their home. That we will only show it to motivated buyers that are in a position to (and likely) to proceed. Saving them time and hassle in respect of viewings and getting realistic offers.  In this way 23% of all our sales this year have been agreed, and that’s without listing them online.

Here at Harrisons, we really believe that we have achieved such fantastic results because of the relationships we build with our clients.  They trust in us that we will find the right buyer for their property. We believe in people over portals every time.

We recently had an excellent result. One that highlights the requirements of the vendors and how we were able to deliver just the result they were looking for.  Click here for more.

Tag: Swale

If you’re reading this, Sittingbourne is perhaps already on your list of areas to consider moving to. That’s great! We love Sittingbourne. Read on to discover why we think Sittingbourne is such a good place to live and why you should consider a move to Sittingbourne

1. A thriving residential town

Our town is currently undergoing a period of much-welcome investment and large-scale regeneration. A focus on the town centre brings a new hotel, leisure facilities, retail park, multiplex cinema and residential environment of distinctive quality.

2. Rich history

But it’s not all about the new. Sittingbourne and nearby Milton Regis have a plentiful history of paper-making, brick-making and building sailing barges. You can discover the history of the town’s paper-making heritage on Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway. It’s makes for a lovely day out.

3. Thriving hub of activity

Our town is full of bustling cafes and restaurants. The town centre hosts a popular market every Friday. The Milton Creek Country Park is a jewel in our midst. It’s a tranquil green space, which is a haven for wildlife and offers enjoyable days out for the whole family. It has an extensive network of paths and a natural play area, which the kids love. Many community events are hosted there throughout the year such as Parkrun, Art in the Park, Sport in the Park and more.

4. Excellent transport links

Sittingbourne has good transport links. Typical commuting time on the high-speed rail service from Sittingbourne to St Pancras is 58 minutes. London Victoria is also a direct rail service. And you’ll have quick access to the A2 and the M2.

5. Wide choice of properties

We have properties from all periods in Sittingbourne so you’re bound to find something you’ll love. From Victorian and Edwardian town houses and terraces, generously proportioned 1930s homes and all the way through the decades to brand new contemporary apartments.

6. Value for money

You get a lot more house for your money in Sittingbourne compared to the prices of houses in some of its neighbouring towns. According to Rightmove the average house prices over the last year (2019/20) in a 3-mile radius from the town centres are as follows:

  • Sittingbourne – £273,847
  • Rainham – £281,230
  • Faversham – £328,084

Travel a little further to Whitstable (16 miles) and you are looking at an average of £344,799

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