Christmas Holidays

December 23rd, 2014

We will be closed from 1pm 23rd December and will re-open Friday 2nd January 2015.  If you are a tenant and have an emergency please telephone 028 90453319, leave a message and we will come back to you asap.

Stamp duty changes to blow away the barriers!

December 4th, 2014

Previous to the new Stamp Duty announcement, if you paid up to £125,000 there was no Stamp Duty liability but by paying over £125,000 it would cost you 1% or at least £1250 in tax, a significant amount which had the effect of sellers pricing houses at £125,000 which could possibly have been marketed at a higher figure.  The more significant threshold of £250,000 would result in an extra tax burden of £5,000.  Many houses that could have been worth more were sold at £250,000 as the purchasers were unwilling to pay an extra £5k for literally offering an extra £1 for the house.

With the changes you will pay 2% on the amount over £125,000, so a £130,000 purchase would now only be liable for £100 stamp duty.  With a house at £260,000 you will pay 2% between £125,000 and £250,000 and 3% between £250,000 and £260,000, the total liability for Stamp Duty being £2800 rather than the whopping £7500 payable previously.

How annoyed would you be if you had just completed the purchase of a house yesterday before the changes came into force?



Pooler PA has been launched!

November 14th, 2014

PA for Personal Assistant –

PA for Pro-Active –

PA for Perfect Address –

PA for Privileged Access –

Sign up to your Personal Assistant who will Pro-actively help find your Perfect Address and get you Privileged Access.

Pooler PA is the best property mailing list you will ever sign up to and it is completely FREE.





Do Estate Agents rely too much on internet?

September 17th, 2014

When a property came on to the market before the days of Propertynews and Propertypal the Estate Agent would consult their mailing list then telephone and send out brochures to suitably interested parties.  Now this all happens automatically where anyone signed up to the websites receives property details matching their criteria immediately.  It means that one of the agents most important tasks has been taken care of by a machine.  I think Estate Agents have grown to rely on websites too much and a more pro-active approach has to be taken to match buyers up to sellers.  Pooler Estate Agents will soon be launching Pooler PA, a service for house hunters which could best be described as a pro-active mailing list!   Full details will be launched Early October.

‘Close to amenities, of interest to first time buyers and investors alike’

June 20th, 2014

Sitting at my computer contemplating the description for a new property coming to the market I started to think of all the cliché words that Estate Agents use to describe their properties.  ‘Of interest to first time buyers and investors alike’ is a favourite so I put the work ‘alike’ into the search bar on  – Result 502.  Bustling 236.  Eateries 23.  Amenities 3857.  You might think by reading this blog that the market must be quiet and I have nothing better to do but I can assure you the market is pretty good, maybe not just as ‘buoyant’ (another agents favourite word) as it was earlier on in the year.  Christopher Pooler



Cut-price Estate Agents cut corners

June 6th, 2014


Nobody likes to hear an Estate Agent whinge, especially if it is regarding the amount of commission earned per sale but I have noticed recently a trend for Estate Agents to be advertising low cost fixed price deals in local free newspapers and magazines.  In one publication alone there were five separate companies in East Belfast offering commission from £500 to £950 for selling a house.

Where’s the problem, I hear you ask?  Healthy competition and all that! 

Competition is fine but what we have discovered is you get what you pay for – the cut price agencies have to cut corners in order to make money.  We’ve heard cases recently of vendors never being contacted by their Estate Agent even after a year in one case, sales being agreed to totally unsuitable buyers where a bit of time and thought would have highlighted the shortcomings of the offer.  If there is early interest in a house and it is a straightforward sale then I would imagine they can do no wrong but you would be as well selling your own house rather than paying an ineffectual Estate Agent.  Some of these advertisers are basically mortgage brokers who since the downturn have started selling houses to try and make ends meet but their core business is still in financial services.

It is difficult to convince a prospective house seller that a good sales service really can make the difference to your sale both by means of a potentail higher price and a less stressful journey but we can convince them in time if they will entrust us with the sale of their property.  We will now quote two commissions to our clients, one will be our standard commission and the other will be to match the cut price fixed fee agent.  If the standard of service has lived up to the clients expectations we ask them to pay the standard fee and if by any chance they are not totally satisfied and feel we have fallen short, then we are happy to accept the lower commission in full payment.  Can we say fairer than that?

Lack of supply will lead to price increases

March 6th, 2014

The headlines earlier this week were how 41% of Northern Irelands homeowners are in negative equity.  In comparison to the north of England at 16%, this is a huge figure and must have consequences for our local market.  Estate Agents and househunters are finding  precious few houses coming on to the market and most Estate Agents’ stock levels are very low.  This is an obvious consequence of the negative equity issue but due to the laws of supply and demand, prices are likely to be pushed up as more and more confidence returns to the market.

New Year increase in potential buyers

January 24th, 2014

January has seen the predicted increase in potential buyers but we are still experiencing a shortage of properties coming on to the market.  This is having a very positive impact on the saleability of all houses and their prices.  Our advice,  if you thinking of selling in the next few months, is to consider putting your house on the market now and take advantasge of the lack of supply/ higher demand situation.