It's been quite a ride since our mother and son team of Christine and Ed Harrison founded the Deakin-White real estate agency in 2015. The conventional wisdom at the time suggested that it would be optimistic at best and reckless at worst to launch a start-up in the property market when the UK was only a few years out of the depths of the 2007 economic crash.

But entrepreneurs never really got very far by being cautious, so we went ahead anyway. The three counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire are beautiful places individually and united by a shared sense of welcome to home buyers and rental tenants alike. We know what a great place it is to live because we live here. We also know the market, the people and how to sell property. Deakin-White did not exist but we felt it essential to invent it.

And now, just a few years later, the success we've enjoyed and the service we've provided to countless satisfied customers means we're more than ready to expand. We've worked from our headquarters in Dunstable's Quadrant Shopping Centre since we started but the Deakin-White project is getting too big for one office. So we've opened another one.

Deakin-White have launched in Hatfield because it's time we had a physical presence in Hertfordshire to reflect our cross-county status. Like the Dunstable operation, the Hatfield office will make full use of the very latest technology, which has been designed and developed to speed up and simplify the buying and selling process and achieve the very best sale prices.

The new office will be in the endlessly capably hands of Scott Willmott, our St Albans and Hatfield partner. Naturally, we asked Scott how he felt about his new responsibility and he told us:

'Helping people move successfully and with clear communication is my passion. I also pride myself on my commitment to helping the client from start to finish. I'm proud to be a partner and it's my mission to send every satisfied customer away with a smiling face. Buying and selling a property doesn't have to be the headache so many people expect. With the help of an agent who really cares about the process in human terms, it can be an exciting, positive experience.'

The time is right for an expansion which represents the logical next step in our business's growth. The local market is solid and sound, with property price rises running at up to 4.5% over the past year. Prices are well above the national average, but still entirely realistic and well within range of first-time buyers as well as those planning to move on up the ladder.

Scott's brief, on which we know he will deliver, is to extend and strengthen Deakin-White's network and profile in this highly desirable region. All the resources of the agency are at his disposal.

This is a very exciting development for our agency and we welcome any and all new enquiries as well as returning clients. Our services cover both residential and commercial sales, lettings, auctions and mortgages. We are accredited by both the Property Ombudsman and the Trading Standards Institute.

If you are looking to sell, buy or move in St Albans, Hatfield and the surrounding areas then please call Scott Willmott today on 01727 620131 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


When moving home, it’s always a kind of chicken and egg situation, you will no doubt have been nosing online for your potential next home, but you’re also curious about the value of the home you already own.  But when you own a property and are looking for another, is there a right way round to do it?  Should you buy or sell first when moving home?

Buying First

For some people, the idea of moving forward is only possible if you know where you’re going. Why on earth would you consider selling your home when you have no idea where you will be moving to?  You may have a clear picture in your mind of the kind of property you’re looking for, and until you find it, there is no way you’re going to place your home on the market.  For sentimental reasons you could be struggling to say goodbye to your current home and there is a kind of comfort in knowing what home you will be moving to.

We completely understand all these emotions. Moving home is a huge thing and you want to make sure you get it right but buying a property before you have sold your home is not the right move to make.

For Financial Reasons

You may have an idea of what your home is worth, or even had your home valued, so when you start to look at homes on the market, you will have a sense of what you can afford.  A valuation is not a sold price, and property markets rise and fall over time. The figures you are basing your finances on could be completely different to the actual figures that apply when you start to go through the process.  If they are too far apart, you could potentially lose the home you are looking to buy as well as a few pennies along the way.

Puts You in a Weak Position

When someone makes an offer on your home, you want to ensure that they are in the best position possible so that things move quickly and smoothly.  As a seller, you are looking for someone chain-free, or in a small chain, who has their finances in order and their home has been sold.  How would you feel if someone made an offer on your property but they hadn’t even placed their home on the market yet?

Because Time Doesn’t Stand Still

We would love to tell you that that we can stop time, but that’s one skill that even us estate agents and unable to achieve.  Whether you’re wishing to move before the stamp duty returns to normal to take advantage of a discount, or you want to be in before the new school year starts, the speed of the process is always something that concerns buyers and sellers alike.  The process in the UK is not swift, as we know, and anything that feels like it’s dragging its heels can make things seem a thousand times worse. 

Even if your offer is accepted by a seller, how long would they be willing to wait for you to sell your home? How long would you wait?  Nothing is more frustrating in a move than delays and waiting for someone to sell can be one delay too far for many, which sadly can see chains collapsing.

Shattering The Dream

You have set your heart on your chosen new home and you’re spending your evenings picturing how you will decorate, where your furniture will go and what your life will be like living there.  Dreaming about your new home is what’s making leaving your old one so much easier, to the extent that  emotionally you’ve already left your current property.  It’s now on the market and you’ve made an effort to make sure it’s looking good for potential buyers, all you need is one buyer to see what a fantastic house it is.  Yet things are not going according to plan. Viewings are getting less, the sellers of the house you want are getting nervous and you can see the dream of your new home shattering all around you. Who needs that stress?

Get it Right From The Start

SELL YOUR HOME FIRST! There is only one right way to move and that is to sell your home first. This way, you’ll be putting all your energy into your current home to make sure it isn’t just looking good for buyers but looking amazing.  You will be in a better position financially, because you’ll know exactly what monies you have to play with when you start to look for your next home, and you’ll be in a stronger position to get your offer accepted. 

We understand the lure of wanting to search for a new home before you sell, but please be patient, you will get to that part of your move quicker if you take our advice and sell your home first. Finding your next home will feel even more exciting when you know you can actually move forward rather than waiting in limbo.

Thinking about moving? Get in touch with our team at Deakin-White and we’ll get you on the first steps to getting your home on the market and promptly sold. 

Deakin-White are delighted to announce that we are now working alongside Boomin - the next generation property site. You probably haven't heard of Boomin yet, so allow us to explain what it's all about.

Boomin was launched in 2021 to transform the property market, while making the lives of clients and estate agents easier. Boomin's powerful property site aims to reduce the stress and burden of moving home, as well as provide inspiration to home buyers. Too often, buyers feel left out of the loop of property buying, but Boomin aims to engage them and empower them.

So what is it that makes Boomin so special? Read on to find out.


Secret Properties

Boomin allows you to discover Secret Properties that aren't available to see anywhere else. Secret Properties are properties that are not yet officially on the market. In some cases, they are still being valued by estate agents, meaning that no one else even knows they are going to be listed for sale. With Boomin, you can register your interest long before anyone else even knows the property is available. This allows you to be first through the door when the property comes onto the market, giving you the opportunity to get your offer in before anyone else.

Sneak Peek

Think of Sneak Peek as being like a movie premier: you get to see something before anyone else. Boomin enables you to jump the queue by booking viewings for properties days before details are posted online or anywhere else. This means that you can be the first to view an available property and, if you like what you see, can get your offer in long before anyone else has even viewed it.

Property Playground

Property Playground provides inspiration for your new home. Buying a property can be stressful, but Property Playground is all about having fun. Get tips and advice on creating your perfect home decor and making your property work for you. See hundreds of photos of aspirational homes and view collections carefully curated by industry experts and people just like you. Follow collections you particularly like to help you put together your dream home.

Book Viewings Online

Boomin understands that when you see the perfect property appear online, you want to book a viewing immediately. The most desirable properties are snapped up before you can blink, so to be in with a chance, you need to be one of the first buyers through the door. Boomin allows you to book property viewings online, 24 hours a day. So when you see your dream home appear, you can book a viewing immediately without having to wait for the estate agent to open or for your call to be returned.


This means now we advertise all our properties not only on but on all the major property portals including Boomin, Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and

We hope you're as excited about Boomin as we are. We'd love to tell you more about our work with Boomin and answer any questions you might have. You can get in touch at any time using the following details:

Tel. 01582 343 548
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


No matter what you’re advertising, whether it’s a product, a service or even a home, you want to capture a buyer’s attention.  To get results you need to put in time and effort to ensure your property is looking its absolute best.  You don’t need to own one of grandeur, any sized home has supermodel potential, which is why at Deakin-White we’ve put together some tips to show you how to prepare your home for its photoshoot.

Understanding The Value

When it comes to selling your home, you only have seconds to make a lasting impression. Buyers will be flicking through the online property websites hardly even giving some homes a second glance.  A photograph may not sell your home, but it can open the door to the possibility and prompt a viewing.  The more importance you place on getting things right for when your home is photographed, the better the potential outcome can be.  Buyers want to feel a connection with your house; the way it’s marketed is the draw and ‘that feeling’ tends to happen the moment they step inside. Yet if we don’t market your home correctly, we will struggle to get buyers to view it in the first place.

If you follow our tips you can transform your property into the next top model. We want buyers to be focused on your clean and bright home, not pondering over what work it would take to get it looking its best.  With your preparation and our investment in photography and videography, together we can dramatically impact buyers’ opinion of your home.

1. A Clean Kitchen

When we talk about a clean kitchen we don’t just mean literal cleanliness (and we know you will be cleaning vigorously before the shoot) but also a clean ‘look’.  Worktops are fantastic places to store and house things, all those wonderful gadgets that we buy and rarely use, but by minimising what you keep on your worktop your kitchen will look so much cleaner and larger.  Just leave a couple of decorative items, such as a bowl of lemons and a vase of flowers and find a place to hide the practical bits whilst your photoshoot is taking place.

2. A Clean Bathroom

The same principle should be applied to the bathroom.  We all have bottles, soaps and paraphernalia decorating our bathrooms, but does a buyer really need to know what shampoo you use?  A bathroom that has been cleaned and cleared of lotions and potions is a lot more attractive than one where the bath has various items on display.  Again, by clearing things away for the photoshoot you will make your bathroom look bigger and also give it more of a ‘sanctuary’ feel, a place where your buyer can see themselves relaxing in and enjoying.

3. There Has to Be Light

One of our little niggles as estate agents is when we are in a property and the owner has neglected to check and change lightbulbs.  Light is always a big selling point for buyers and we want your home flooded in it, so check the lightbulbs of all your ceiling lights and lamps before your photoshoot so we have as much light as possible.

As well as lightbulbs, raise any blinds, open all curtains fully and remove anything that could be blocking natural light from a window.  With this in mind, don’t forget to get those windows clean too!

4. Less is More

We all have personal tastes, especially when it comes to how we decorate our homes. One of the most challenging requests we have for sellers is to remember that less is more. Removing large and bulky furniture is going to be challenging but if it’s eating up all the space in a room then it’s a must-do task.  Many buyers will find it difficult to visualise the room without this piece of furniture within it, and so their focus could be on that particular piece rather than what the room could offer them.  You want buyers imaginations running wild when they look at photograph of your home and thinking about the potential space it offers.

5. Remove Floor Mats

Lots of us have floor mats and runners (not rugs); they are fantastic at protecting our floors, especially when we arrive home all wet and muddy from a walk. As wonderful as they are, they can make a room and even a hallway look smaller and a bit cluttered. It will only take a couple of minutes to remove bath mats, door mats and runners for the photoshoot, to give these rooms clean lines and a greater sense of space.

6. Fridge Design

How many of us are guilty of cluttering our fridges with magnets, notes, reminders, children’s artwork… you name it.  It’s a little piece of your family life, but as much as you love it, it’s not so alluring for buyers – in fact, it can be extremely distracting.  Removing all these items will make your kitchen feel tidier and cleaner, but also, and more importantly, keep personal information away from prying eyes.

7. Make the Beds

Yes, we know how obvious this sounds, but it can often get overlooked, especially in rooms you may not be using.  Fresh clean bedding with a neutral design always works best, accented with pillows, a throw and a couple of finishing touches. Look at hotel rooms and flick through home magazines for inspiration if you get stuck for ideas.  One thing we know you will agree on is that walking into a room with an unmade bed doesn’t give you a warm feeling.

8. Remove Yourself

This is a tough one, as this is your home and ‘you’ are everywhere throughout it. But when buyers see your home, they want to see themselves there, which is hard to do if you’re staring back at them.  By removing your family photos and personal items, a potential buyer can focus on the house and not you and your family.

9. Clear Surfaces

From the coffee table, breakfast bar, bedside table to chest of drawers, we all have places where clutter congregates whether that’s a book we’re reading, chargers, tissues, essential bits and pieces, it’s amazing how quickly a space can be filled.

You want any surface to have minimal items, maybe a book on your bedside table and, if big enough, a decorative item. A coffee table could be staged for a morning coffee on a little tray, and your breakfast bar is perfect when completely clear.

10. Remove ALL Pet Items

We’re not being harsh, most of us have pets too, and we know what an integral part of the family they are, but the truth is not everyone has pets and some people are allergic.  The last thing you want is a buyer who is allergic to your home due to the smell of pets.  It’s essential to get this right so hide bowls, beds and toys and give your carpet, and furnishings a deep clean to get rid of any ‘nose blind’ areas of your home. 

Camera Ready?

It’s always easy to spot the homes where the owners have really spent some time getting it ready for its photoshoot.  In this buoyant market where houses are selling quickly and often at asking price or above, the more you can do to bring out your home’s inner top model, the more viewings and potential offers you will receive.

For more advice on how to prepare your home for sale, please contact our team at Deakin-White.

Well, what a week it has been for anyone who loves, supports, or follows football. Less than 48 hours after the announcement of the European Super League (ESL), the six English clubs quit against a backdrop of anger, criticism and disbelief.  News channels highlighted their failure to speak or listen to fans, and to understand the mood of the country.  In truth, it was one big idea that bombed spectacularly with the world watching, but would these clubs have joined the ESL if they had just listened? 

Listening is often something that is taken for granted, and if we’re honest with ourselves we don’t always listen effectively all the time – we could be distracted by something else happening or going on in our lives.  But when it comes to selling homes, listening should never be underestimated. At Deakin-White we believe it is the most important skill we possess, and one that places us at an advantage when selling your home.

From The First Call

We know that when you call or interact with our agency for the first time, this is our chance to impress and your time to judge.  You don’t want to feel like a number, and your house just a commodity – that just makes us look like an ESL-style agent.  Getting to know you on that first call is essential. Yes, we would like to know more about your house, but it’s you and your family that are our focus initially.  “Why?” you may ponder.  Because, simply put, if we don’t listen at the start, how can we know the best strategies to use? If we understand you, the motivations for your move, your circumstances, your plans for the future, we will know exactly how to approach your sale and can start planning a strategy for marketing your home should we be given the honour of selling it. 

The Valuation

You may believe that the valuation is all about a number and in a way it is, as you need to know what value is placed on your property so that you can plan your move.  But there is so much more to the valuation, and Matthew Lindsay from Deakin-White Village & Country explains why.

“Every home has a story. It is easy to find out the facts – number of bedrooms, bathrooms etc – but it’s the tales of people’s lives there that makes this part of my job so fascinating and enjoyable.  They give me a little insight into what it has been like to live in a home, the owner’s favourite spot to sit and read, where the dog loves to snooze as the sunlight hits the spot just perfectly in the morning.  How they upgraded and spent time in their garden over lockdown, and the many treasured memories that each room holds.  It is these stories, these moments in time that make a house a home, and knowing this enables us pass on the love you have for your home to potential buyers on a viewing.”

If we didn’t take the time to listen to you whilst valuing your property, we would miss out on these wonderful stories, and who doesn’t like talking about their house?  Buyers just love to hear about how the current owners spend time in the house, not because they plan to do the same, it just adds another layer for buyers to connect with.

The Offer

When we are conducting a viewing with a buyer, we’re not just listening to what they are saying but also what they are not.  Again, we take time to get to know them as people so that we can point them in the direction of the right property for them.  By taking the time to truly listen to buyers, we can artfully negotiate an offer, as we know what style of negotiation will be best to navigate to a successful outcome.  Unlike the ESL, we believe that listening to all sides involved is the best way to sell a property and get you the highest possible price.

Put Us to The Test

There are many estate agents you can choose from when selling your property but do they all truly listen?  If you’re thinking of selling your home, why not give our team a call today and see the difference a service based around listening can offer you and your family.

We look forward to getting to know you. Call Deakin-White for a premier home selling experience.

The Property Ombudsman Trading Standards