Spotlight On : Ross Davies - Knight Frank Partner

Can you tell us a little bit more about the Tunbridge Wells office. It’s a really unique and homely design, do you feel this is what makes you stand out from other estate agents? Our office is in exactly the location we wanted it to be in, and can be seen from either end of the High Street. We have moved away from the traditional and slightly intimidating office set up, creating an inviting and welcoming space which is customer focused. We have noticed a definite increase in footfall to the office since we opened and customers often comment how much they enjoy coming in and how welcoming we are.

Have you ever had anything scandolous happen when showing someone around a house? Many years ago at the very start of my career,  I was selling a house used as a weekend retreat by a London couple. The couple popped in on a Saturday lunchtime to say that they were heading back to London, Mr first and Mrs  a short while later, any viewings were fine and to just go ahead. Well a viewing was booked in at short notice for mid-afternoon and all was going well until we reached the master en-suite shower room and entering found Mrs in the shower and not alone…..but it was not Mr with her. Needless to say both the buyers and I retreated and could not stop giggling.

Do you have any advice for first time buyers? I am currently advising my younger sister on her first purchase, she had done plenty of research on the areas she wants to live in and prices. However, she had not considered the costs of moving for such things as professional fees for solicitors and surveys, stamp duty and had only seen her bank rather than speaking with a fully qualified mortgage broker who can search the whole of market and provide advice. The more preparation you undertake the smoother the process is likely to be….and don’t forget to ask for advice and clarity when you don’t understand something. Buying your first property should be exciting and not filled with trepidation.

 How long have you been in the property industry? – I have worked as an estate agent since 1999

Top tip for selling your house? Property, position, price……align these three together and you are giving yourself the best chance of selling.

I rent because I don’t have the deposit for a house, a situation I’m sure many other people are in. I know my mortgage payments would most likely be less than my rent payments but without a deposit do first time buyers have many options to get out of renting and into their own home? It is incredibly hard for first time buyers these days, however the number of first time buyer mortgages given in 2018 was the highest for 12 years. There are schemes such as Help to Buy, shared equity purchases, government backed first time buyer ISA’s and a number of lenders who are offering mortgages with a 5% deposit.  Also, don’t be afraid to look in areas you have not considered before or are cheaper, once you are on the ladder and paying the mortgage your equity is building.

Tunbridge Wells has some stunning houses, what’s your favourite area? The hardest question yet, how do I answer that??? There are so many great areas of town… no object, then somewhere like Bishops Down Road would be ideal… favourite house in the town is located there!

What should people look out for when viewing a house? The devil is in the detail, look closely at parts of a property which are out of your  normal eye line and make sure that you ask direct questions.

InterviewsHope Marshall