The AJ Blog

Here’s where we answer your most pressing and challenging questions, where we share with you our thoughts and ideas on marketing your Lake District home, and also where we will show you what we’ve done for other homeowners, and the results we got.

The unique agent, for unique homes

big house with huge lawn The unique agent

Unique homes are a joy. They’re different, unusual and characterful, but when the time comes to sell, they require extra special marketing too. And that makes choosing between a traditional estate agent, and an innovative alternative, a little tricky. Both tick boxes, but choosing just one feels like a compromise. And no one really likes…Read More→

Spring into action to sell your home

Sunny porch with beautiful flowers and great view Spring into action to sell your home

The dark, wet (very!) days of winter are behind us, and Spring is newly sprung. It’s that time where traditionally, sellers think about selling, and buyers think about buying. On the plus side, this means plenty of activity, but it also can mean a lot of competition, with lots of other properties all fighting for…Read More→

Why isn’t my home selling?

Why isn’t my home selling?

The decision to move home is exciting. Perhaps you’ve bookmarked your dream property on Rightmove, and you’re longing to call it home. Or maybe you’re trying to sell your rentals to boost your retirement pot. Whatever your reasons for selling, prolonging the move gets tiresome fast. But when the ‘For Sale’ sign in your front…Read More→

When is the right time to sell?

Hallway with wooden staircase When is the right time to sell?

It’s Saturday morning, and the Moving House Monster rears his ugly head again. Not quite good enough to stay, but not quite bad enough to move, you sigh as you shake the thought of him away. You head to the master bathroom, but it’s locked. Downstairs is taken too. If only you had an en-suite….Read More→

Home styling tips for selling

table with vase full of flowers Home styling tips for selling

Helping another family fall in love with your home isn’t the most romantic concept. And the path to hanging a sold sign isn’t quite as straightforward as whitewashing the walls magnolia. Stripping every room of personality, and presenting a blank canvas to new families, seems logical; but sterile spaces aren’t appealing, and existing in a…Read More→

Your Rightmove Statistics – Why They Matter

beautiful hallway with side table Your Rightmove statistics

Is your estate agent sending you your Rightmove report and leaving you baffled? Are you looking at the results and feeling none the wiser? Relax, we’re here to explain all…. When your house is for sale on Rightmove, statistics about who’s looking and clicking are compiled behind the scenes, and we estate agents have access…Read More→

Tips for selling a unique or unusual home

Tips for selling

If you’re trying to sell a unique or unusual home and you’re just not getting any takers, perhaps it’s simply that you haven’t found that unique or unusual buyer yet. After all, the house that’s quirky and not to everyone’s taste needs a buyer who loves it for its quirks, not in spite of them….Read More→

Preparing your home for photography

Preparing your home for photography

There are many elements that go into making great property photography: the weather, the skill and experience of the photographer, and the features of the house itself – they all go into making or breaking the shoot. But did you know there are lots of things you can do to increase the chances of achieving…Read More→

How saleable is your home?

How saleable is your home

Ask most estate agents why a house hasn’t sold and they will usually say the asking price is the main cause. But is that the whole picture? There are many other factors that determine whether or not a property will sell, how quickly and for what price? On average, premium properties (those over £700,000) in…Read More→

9 ½ Top Tips for Winter Selling

B2 – Winter Selling

Selling a house in the wintertime can be a bit tricky. Your garden is looking far from its best, dogs and children are wont to bring in mud and leaves, and everything looks so grey.  So to help you get your home shifted by the new year and get you moved on, we’ve put together…Read More→

Why We Love Unique Homes

Why we love unique homes.jpg

“I love your house.” As I said these words, the lady in front of me at the scrubbed kitchen table put her head in her hands as tears rolled down her cheeks. At first, I had no idea what was wrong. I touched her hand gently and said, are you okay? She looked at me…Read More→

Light Up Your Home

Light up your home

Have you ever noticed when you go into an expensive restaurant, how the lighting really sets the mood of intimacy and quality? And how in a fast-food restaurant, that the bright overhead lighting has the opposite effect, encouraging diners to eat quickly and leave? That’s the power lighting can have. Light can transform a room,…Read More→

Top Ten Tips for Styling Your Living Room

Top Ten Tips for styling your Living Room

Add the ‘wow’ factor to your home Who doesn’t want a comfortable and cosy living room?  Where do we all settle down at night to watch a good film or a TV drama?  The living room is one of the most important rooms in any family home.  It is where we can relax and ‘switch…Read More→

Three Tips to Make the Most of Your Lake View

Three tips to make the most of your lake view

  How many homes around Lake Windermere have lake frontage, do you think? We counted around 150. That’s almost seven for each mile of shoreline. And how many have a lake view? Easily ten times that, we estimate. So roughly 1,500 homes around the Lake have direct access or a view of the water. If…Read More→

How long will it take to sell my house?

How long will it take to sell my house

We were once called in to help a homeowner with a beautiful Georgian home in Keswick.  He and his wife had been trying to sell their house for a soul-destroying seven years. If you asked any of the six or so estate agents who had tried and failed to sell the property, why hadn’t it sold,…Read More→

Your Rightmove Property Performance Report

Your Rightmove Property Performance Report

So your home is on the market; your sale board is outside; your photos are done and your house is on Rightmove. Maybe you get a flurry of viewings initially, but then it dies off to just one every once in a while.. then once in a blue moon. And you ask yourself, “what is…Read More→

Should you move?

Should you move

How do you decide if now is the right time for you My friend Marissa has her house on the market.  It’s a beautiful home, a true Grand Design; all glass and chrome, with stylish touches and contemporary gadgets. It’s been for sale for a few months now, in an area where properties usually fly…Read More→

Taking a Break from the Market?

Taking A Break From the Market

If your home has been on the market for months, or even years, it may be time for a rethink. We once had a client come to us who had had their property on the market for seven long years and was understandably fed up and despondent. So what can you do when it seems…Read More→

The Zero Price Strategy

The Zero Price Strategy 3

This short post is all about the numbers on the end of your asking price. Way back, twenty years ago, it was very common to put your house up for sale with lots of nines in the number. For example, you wouldn’t have £500,000, you’d have £499,999. Just like when you’re buying a new lawnmower…Read More→

Don’t Put Your Home in the Shade

Don’t Put Your Home in the Shade

When your home is about to go on the market, having the photography shoot can be an exciting – and daunting – process. There’s a simple step you can add to make sure the photographs of the outside of your home look as lovely as they deserve to. All you need to do is make…Read More→

Move your Car!

Move Your Car!

Your photoshoot is booked, and the photographer turns up, ready to take the best photos of the front of your house. But stop! Is your car on the drive?   Photos are always better without a driveway full of cars, even if they are of the highest calibre. Cars are such a statement about people,…Read More→

Name Your Photos on Rightmove

Name Your Photos on Rightmove

When you’re browsing Rightmove, and clicking on properties that catch your eye, have you found that some property listings have photos you can’t identify? Even more confusing is when the estate agent uploads them with little regard to the natural flow of the house, with perhaps a photo of the kitchen first, then a bedroom,…Read More→

Three Top Tips for Viewings

Three Top Tips for Viewings

If you’re thinking about selling your house, does the idea of viewings put you off? Or if your home is currently for sale, do you dread viewings, unsure how exactly to prepare your home so it looks its best?   Don’t worry! We have three very simple tips to help you prepare for your next…Read More→

Oversold or Undersold?

Oversold or undersold?

We go to see a lot of houses that are failing to sell with a local agent. And without exception, we are always pleasantly surprised by what we see. Unique features that weren’t in the brochure, an interesting history that isn’t mentioned, and beautiful elements of the house that just aren’t given justice in the…Read More→

How to Mystery Shop your Estate Agent

How to Mystery Shop Your Estate Agent

The other day, in the AshdownJones’ studio, the phone rang and I answered it. The caller was a lady called Angela, enquiring about a house we had for sale. Now, 99% of estate agents would have simply taken Angela’s name and address, possibly her phone number and email, and popped the brochure in the post…Read More→

Who Should Do Your Viewings?

Who Should Do Your Viewings?

Who should show viewers round your house? Some estate agents will tell you that you are the best person to show people round your own home. (“After all, you know your home better than anyone”.) Whilst other agents feel they should accompany every viewer. (“Buyers often feel uncomfortable with the seller, as they are unable…Read More→

Selling Your Home in Autumn?

Selling Your Home in Autumn

What You Need To Know to be in your New Home by Christmas Autumn is such a lovely time of year.  The leaves on the trees are turning golden and red, and homes feel so much cosier. Lots of people who have their homes on the market in Autumn want to be in their new…Read More→

A Heartwarming Lake District Story

A Heartwarming Lake District Story

Is this the most heartwarming Lake District story so far this year? Early in the morning of Thursday 31st August, Tony McDougall took his beautiful Dogue de Bordeaux – Zeus – up Place Fell, over Ullswater. Although Zeus had been on lots of walks to build up his fitness, at ten months old, this would…Read More→

7 Reasons to Sell Your Home in September

7 Reasons to Sell in September

Whilst Spring is a traditionally a favourite time to sell your house, there are other times of year that are good for selling, especially to upsizers: buyers – usually families – who are looking for a larger home. Family buyers tend to buy at three distinct times of year: autumn, spring and early summer. Recognise…Read More→

Struggling to sell?

Struggling to sell v2

When you have your home up for sale, time seems to stand still. You’re in limbo, caught between your old life, and your new one, with no way of knowing when you’ll be able to move on.

How do we value a unique home?

How do we Value a Unique Home v2

Here in the Lake District, valuing a property is far from straightforward. There are so many factors to take into account, like the views, the historical importance and the calibre of the road.

What’s your house brand?

What's your house brand (2)

Branding is a symbol or mark that distinguishes one product from another, just as it was originally intended to ensure farmers and ranchers knew which herd was theirs…

When every penny counts

When every penny counts v2

Are you downsizing? If you’re at that time of your life when you’re currently rattling around in a house that’s too big for you, that is consuming more time, effort and money…