Tuesday, 24 August 2021

ARMA and the EWS1 Saga #Sheffield #PropertyBlog


Although the horror and tragedy that was the Grenfell tower disaster is now over four years ago, the ghostly remains of its tragic legacy will unfortunately continue to haunt many people throughout the country for the foreseeable future.

The crack down on dangerous and combustible cladding has left many flat owners up and down the country feeling very nervous and worried about the prospect of unaffordable and spiraling repair bills for works that they simply do not have the money for, leaving many with potentially worthless properties.

Although the Government is indeed starting to tackle some of the issues that have been presented by events in 2017, the guidelines remain murky and many people are finding that they are now falling in- between the gaps in the legislation. In a nutshell, buildings higher than 18m / six storeys need a satisfied ESW1 for selling / re-mortgaging purposes.

The biggest cause of concern for us as Estate Agents seems to be the buildings that fall below the threshold. Although not a legal requirement for all residential buildings to have a satisfied EWS1, for buildings below this height, it is now becoming more and more frequent for mortgage companies to request one before agreeing to lend. It seems that there is a lingering sense of nervousness within the industry that nobody wants to have a repeat of the disastrous events that happened in North Kensington on their watch. 

This is an ever-increasing problem and it’s something we have now had first-hand experience at a site we manage at Kelham Island. Fortunately for us (and the owners), we have now received a satisfied EWS1 on all the blocks, with not a single remedial piece of work needed. The sense of relief was palpable from all corners of the development, including in our office too!

This situation will continue to rumble on and on for the foreseeable future and I am sure there will be many twists and turns in this long, drawn out saga that are yet to come. However, it is encouraging to see the Government starting to sit up and realise that there is a problem with fire safety within high-rise buildings in the UK.

The problem remains however, in that too many leaseholders are now feeling abandoned by the lack of clarity as to what they legally need to do and what they are obliged to do. This overlapping is something that needs straightening out by all the relevant financial and government bodies soon, otherwise there will be plenty more leaseholders becoming increasingly desperate in the next few years. 

We, at Spencer, have recently become ARMA members, the recognised regulated body for block management and have grown in experience on block management over the last seven years since we opened the department. We manage various blocks city-wide now within our geographical patch and are interested in more blocks should you wish to consider us for your management. 

Contact Tom or Lynn by emailing block@spencersestateagents.co.uk 

Thursday, 20 May 2021

NEW HOMES - #Sheffield #Spencer


Are the days of fixed prices on New Homes over?

Last week we launched a new development at Walkley, Lark’s View, and interest quickly flooded in. These are incredibly well-built properties with well thought-out layouts, great interiors, lovely gardens and exceptional views so we weren’t surprised that the phone suddenly rang off the hook. After booking a staggering 86 viewings in total, the offers started to come in thick and fast and on Monday morning we logged multiple offers on every plot in less than three hours!

There’s no doubt that the properties themselves and the marketing by DED of these properties are both exceptional, yet the market really is booming and a perfect storm of demand has meant that these houses are really hitting the mark. We have found that the low stock levels, the number of people looking to downsize or upsize, divorces being up, people relocating to Sheffield, the stamp duty holiday and people who sold and went into rented hoping the market would drop, have meant that an unprecedented number of people are in the market to buy.

Once upon a time, a fixed price would be seen as always the norm on new build houses, but in this current market, developers fixing prices for sales really are missing a trick at hitting the true market values, which may be much higher than their original expectations. The market drives the price, so don’t shoot the agent or the developer for pushing prices upwards, the demand is doing that!

We know that the price of building materials is at an all-time high, squeezing the margins more than ever before so the developer isn’t just winning, so is the economy generally hopefully contributing to a recovery out of these strange and difficult times.

If you have a new development that you are looking to sell, now may be the time to rethink your sales strategies to maximise your result. Feel free to speak to us about how we can help, we certainly know that our clients at Walkley are happy they did!



Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Grief - What's it all about? #stlukes #lymphoma


What’s it all about?

“Funny” how grief can bring up a whole host of emotions that you didn’t know you had, they range from anxiety to strength with just about every other feeling in between and you are never quite sure which one is coming when.

You also find out who the people are in the world that really understand. When you first lose someone close, in my case my mum, you become a bit of a circus act, people come from far and wide to see how good you are at grieving and have a whole range of opinions as to how you’re coping and to see if you are dealing with it as they think you should be. It’s incredible how many people feel they have a right to an opinion on this, as how could they possibly know? You don’t know yourself! Once the initial flurry of onlookers have moved on, it’s who remain that you really lean on. There are people that show up once and there are those that you know will show up forever, the ones that will sit with you in the dark, and the ones that just want to judge you on how you’re getting on to report back to others in some sort of macabre way. You certainly find out who your friends are!

Some people have contacted me to say how forthcoming I am in speaking about my grief, how I am coping, and how I will have to cope going forwards, some people have reached out to me when they too have lost someone to find some comfort in their own emotions, and some have chosen to watch from the side lines, expecting me to implode or to self-destruct. They may wish to continue to watch this space, as who knows!?

I have read some interesting blogs, articles, books on grief and on loss and have joined some communities online to feel assured by my own feelings and insecurities, and it is incredibly interesting to research how different cultures, communities, and religions deal with the feelings of loss. The British way seems to be one of a stiff upper lip, that we shouldn’t really continue to talk about grief, that we should in some way move on and get over our loss, whereas other cultures have a much more open and interesting way of continuing to keep those you love in your life and to keep talking about the dead, without having to “get over it” as a process.

Watching the Queen at Prince Philip’s funeral filled me with strength and confidence in the way that the Queen seemingly wanted to appear. She wasn’t alone, in my opinion, she didn’t appear weak, she showed that she could be alone, and that no one was going to replace him by her side, an incredible show of strength and resilience but also an open and honest aloneness that so many people would be able to relate to.

I don’t want to get over the loss of my mum, I am choosing to keep talking about her all the time, and I will continue to do so, I am sorry if that makes you feel uncomfortable, but it doesn’t me. A huge thank you to all those that are choosing to sit with me in the dark, who continue to speak about my mum and who she was openly and frankly, I love people talking about her and keeping her memory alive, she was the most incredible woman.

As you may know, we, at Spencer and including many of my friends around the world, undertook a challenge in February to run 125km within the month which we all did with gusto. The time each day gave me some alone time to have her in my thoughts and gave me the impetus to get up each day and get out and carry on, a message to myself that I needed to drill in that I had no choice but to get on with life without her. We raised around £15,000 for St Luke’s where mum died and are so proud that we were able to do something for them, as they were so incredibly kind to us when she was dying at Christmas. We have decided that we will close down the Just Giving page this month, so that we can move forwards and can continue our journey through this awful time.

Thank you so much to everyone that has donated to this incredible cause, we are unbelievably thankful for all your strength, your kindness, your continued support, and for keeping mum’s memory alive.

To my friends, you were so loved by my mum, and I am quite sure she died knowing that you would all continue to look out for me and to love me no matter where I am at through this time and always. Thank you for being there.

If you still wish to donate to St Luke’s, the link is JUST GIVING , we will continue to support this charity over the coming years in her memory.

Monday, 15 March 2021

#Reception #Job in #Sheffield - Estate Agency


Reception Job Available!

This is a front of house, public facing role, working in a busy estate agency branch on Ecclesall Road. We are an established agency and have been working from these premises for 28 years this year. We are looking for a confident receptionist used to working with phone systems, IT, and who is good with the general public. Personality and sense of humour essential! Also advantageous if you aren't easily offended. 

In this role you will be responsible for front of house communication and as an administrator relating to the sales and letting of properties.

This is a varied role, key duties include:

  • Handling inbound calls, booking appointments and passing on as appropriate
  • Greeting clients face to face and referring them to the correct person to handle their query
  • Administration relating to the sale and letting of properties
  • Updating the client database and qualifying applicants
  • Communicating effectively with clients

The successful candidate:

  • Experience in an admin/reception role. Any property industry experience is desirable
  • Strong communication skills; numerical, written & verbal
  • Good IT skills including Outlook, MS Word, Excel
  • Good organisational and time management skills, ability to multi-task
  • A commitment to providing excellent customer service
Apply in writing to sales@spencersestateagents.co.uk 

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

A huge thank you from me, Mum and St Luke's #Sheffield


It goes without saying that everyone has a different relationship with their mum, some are more difficult than others, and some are unbelievably aspirational. Most go through a bit of both, varying through youth to teenage years and into adulthood, and then particularly when you become a parent yourself into a whole different level of understanding. 

My relationship with my mum was no different; I was mummy's girl and then daddy's girl, a rebellious teenager, then a defiant, strong-willed, tenacious, argumentative, emotionally unattached, independent young woman, and then went through a metamorphosis into seeing her as the most aspirational person I have ever known. It wasn't because she was hugely prominent in my day to day life, quite the opposite, she was just there, ever-supporting, proud, strong, and always championed my decisions and my choices. 

It is quite overwhelming, now that she has gone, the loss that I feel from not having that person who literally loved me no matter what, who I knew I could completely rely on and who would always have my back. How many times was I told to appreciate her and to give her an extra hug and that I would miss her terribly when one day she wouldn't be there? You can never understand that until it's true to you, that all of sudden you wish you had listened a little bit harder, asked a lot more, and accepted the hugs more readily. Then it is too late. The most relevant understanding of this loss has been described to me as the sense of wanting to be loved like a child, and your mum is the one that gives this love in spades, no matter what. 

The culture surrounding grief is very much that it should be "fixed" or that you will "get over" the loss over time, and I would love this to adapt to a more realistic concept of learning to live with the hole left behind, and of encouraging people to keep talking about their loved ones after they have died. There's no medication to help, no rhyme or reason to your feelings, and should be no judgement if you never feel completely ok again. 

We have undertaken a challenge throughout February to run 125km and have so far raised over £11,000 for St Luke's where mum died on December 27th 2020, you are welcome to still donate, if you haven't already, and we have received the most generous donations from the most wonderful people. Thank you so much. 

One last favour at this time please, if you still have your mum, please take yourself out of any comfort zones to give her a huge hug next time you see her, ask her the questions that you never asked but always wondered, listen when she tells you any stories about her life. I know that, with Mother's Day just around the corner, there will be plenty of us that wish we could. 

Thanks so much to everyone that has donated, my mum would be genuinely overwhelmed and flattered and feel so much comfort from knowing how loved she was, how loved I and my family are, and to know the level of support that there is around us all. Mum loved all my friends and colleagues and network of supportive clients who she worked with too for so many years, and she always saw the good in everyone so thank you for all seeing the good in her too, there will never be anyone like her and her shoes could never be filled.   

Click to Donate

Monday, 8 February 2021

Sales Negotiator #Job at #Spencer #estateagent #Sheffield

Sales Negotiator Position Available

We are a well-established and very highly regarded Estate Agency in Sheffield, and are hoping to find an experienced Sales Negotiator to join our team ASAP! Our agency has seen continual growth throughout since 1993 and we are now in a position to welcome our next employee into a friendly, stable and motivated team.

This fast paced, exciting role involves:

  • ·         Working in residential sales and lettings in this busy agency
  • ·         Registering purchaser details and matching them to available properties
  • ·         Booking property valuations and identifying opportunities
  • ·         Carrying out accompanied viewings with purchasers
  • ·         Negotiating property sales and liaising between purchasers,  vendors, and solicitors 
  • ·         Working closely with the team, sharing information to secure additional business
  • ·         Recommending the company’s other products, such as conveyancing and financial services
  • ·         Keeping a close eye on the local market, noticing any changes and recognising opportunities
  • ·         Being part of an enthusiastic and driven team, working towards common goals

Candidates will have experience of working in Residential Sales and have a strong knowledge of the industry, a clear passion for property and a good knowledge of the local area – in particular the S10, S7, S8, S11, S17 and Peak District postcodes. You must have:

  • ·         Strong and confident negotiation skills
  • ·         A good understanding of Estate Agency and the sales process
  • ·         A high level of commercial awareness
  • ·         Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • ·         Good IT skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel
  • ·         A keen eye for detail
  • ·         Confident and able to work alone, as well as be part of a team
  • ·         Able to work to targets
  • ·         A willingness to go the extra mile

On offer is an excellent basic salary (based upon your experience), potential bonus, incentives, and benefits, as well as the opportunity to join one of the most recognisable and names in the industry. You will need to drive, have a clean driving license and access to your own vehicle.

Email your C.V. to sales@spencersestateagents.co.uk 

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Mum and our #StLukes #Fundraising - #Spencer #Sheffield

This is my lovely Mum, Anne Spencer..... 

"Mum was diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma on the 16th December 2020 at the Hallamshire and was quickly told that they weren’t going to treat her, as the cancer was too aggressive and she wouldn’t survive the treatment. 

"Trying to absorb that information was incredibly distressing for mum and for us and when they told us on the 23rd December that she only had a few days to live, mum desperately wanted to get transferred to St Luke’s or to go home. Because mum was on such high levels of oxygen by this point the Hallamshire ruled out the possibility to go home so we started trying to get her to St Luke’s via a referral but time was obviously of the essence. 

"I rang St Luke’s on Christmas Day to beg them to take her, as she so desperately didn’t want to die in hospital. I’m not saying that her medical care at the Hallamshire was lacking particularly but she spoke about feeling abandoned and uncared for and she felt as though they had put her in a room and told her to die quietly without a fuss. David from St Luke’s called me back on Christmas Day afternoon and was utterly wonderful, he made me instantly feel as though he cared about her and that she could get her dying wish in getting the transfer to St Luke’s to hopefully get some peace and to feel like she was cared for and comfortable. David called me back again on Christmas Day evening to say that they had a bed and that they would liaise with the Hallamshire to get her there on Boxing Day, which they did. 

"Telling mum on Boxing Day morning that she could go to St Luke’s felt like the greatest gift I had ever been able to give her, she was so incredibly thankful, and immediately felt a sense of relief. At St Luke’s they spent the whole of Boxing Day making sure she was comfortable and listening to her and her wishes to want to feel loved and cared for. 

"Mum died the next day, peacefully in a beautiful room. 

"The feeling you get when you walk into St Luke’s is one of peace, and serenity. It is presented as a five star hotel, and everyone there makes you feel heard and cared for, even us who went in to see mum after she had died. I only wish mum had had a few more days there so that she could have truly appreciated the difference in care to that she experienced in the hospital environment, but she got there and she felt so incredibly grateful for what they achieved in the small amount of time that she was there. 

"I will be forever thankful to David for the way he spoke to me on Christmas Day, I knew he was going to do everything he could to make the move happen and his manner and professionalism was everything that I needed to hear in my time of need. We are therefore raising funds for this amazing charity, and hope that people will want to join us in the challenge to remember my lovely mum.”