Tag Archive: Agency

Autumn: the perfect time to prepare your farm for a spring market launch

Duncan Clarke, Associate, explains why autumn is the perfect time to prepare your farm for a spring market launch.

The recent publication of the Agriculture Bill has, perhaps, given us some idea of the future of the industry post BREXIT. Whilst many column inches have already been written about the implications of the bill, should it become law, much can change between now and the end of March 2019.

Some farmers and landowners will undoubtedly see the opportunities which BREXIT will present, however, I am almost certain that there will be a squeeze on farm incomes going forward and whilst there are a myriad factors which influence land values, and the direct connection between the value of an acre of land and its earning capacity has long since been largely severed; for some this may be the trigger to put the farm on the market.

Traditionally spring is when farms are launched onto the market; potential vendors looking to do so should be making preparations now and indeed over the winter months, to ensure a smooth launch next year.

Farms need to stand out to attract potential buyers in what can often be a crowded spring market; if farms are not properly presented they can easily be overlooked.  So, what can, and indeed should, vendors be doing now to ensure the best possible chances of success in the spring?

The winter months tend to be quieter on the farm so any spare time should be used to undertake repairs and improvements to property, including redecoration of houses etc. Time should also be taken on having a good tidy up so that, come spring, the farm looks at its best and is in a ‘move into’ condition.

Thought should also be given now as to whether there are any development opportunities that can be exploited to add value to the farm. Permitted Development Rights were extended in 2014 with the introduction of Class Q which means that, since then, it has been somewhat easier to secure the conversion of redundant farm buildings to a residential use. As part of this process the landowner should ensure that they have all the evidence they need to meet the various planning requirements and thus, avoid any uncertainty as to the eligibility of the building during the conveyancing process itself.

The winter months are also a good time to make sure that all paperwork is in order and to prepare sales particulars and marketing literature. Clear, sunny winter days can provide a great backdrop against photographs, videos and promotional material. Many professional photographers now use drones to take wider angle shots of the farm and if these are all taken in the right conditions over winter, they will really make the farm stand out in spring.

Alongside making sure the marketing literature is all in place, potential vendors will need to make sure that any residential tenancies, cropping licences, short term grazing arrangements etc. are brought to an end or at least properly documented so that the farm can be sold with the certainty of vacant possession or, if this is not possible so that vendors know exactly on what basis they will be taking on existing occupiers. Thought will also need to be given as to how existing employees will be looked after.

For more information and advice on launching your farm to the market, please contact Duncan Clarke on 07834 321429 or alternatively, by emailing duncanclarke@georgefwhite.co.uk.

George F. White Agency: A New Beginning

This year, we made the decision to introduce a complete property management service across all of the George F. White offices. Sheryl Sowden, Head of Residential Agency, and Donna Cheney, Head of Lettings, explain the reasoning behind the decision and the benefits to our clients.

Agency

Historically, George F. White’s agency team have offered both residential sales and residential lettings services, however, for the past four years, GFW Letting, a dedicated property management branch of the group, ran residential lettings in Northumberland and Newcastle. The GFW Letting business model has been a phenomenal success therefore; we took the decision to introduce a centralised lettings and property management service to the George F. White brand in order to complete our all-inclusive offering, meaning that we now have dedicated lettings and property management teams in our Wolsingham, Barnard Castle and Bedale offices.

Not only does the introduction of an expert lettings and property management team in these offices benefit our overall service offering, it presents attractive and innovative opportunities to our clients. The prospect of our residential agency and residential lettings team working side by side opens many doors, particularly in regards to knowledge sharing and best practice. Inevitably, we strive to ensure that our clients get the best from their investment, whether that be when they are buying, selling or letting a property.

Sheryl Sowden said: “A prime example of how the two markets go hand in hand, in particular for clients, is to look at reluctant landlords. This is perhaps somebody that has inherited a property that they want to sell but the market won’t accommodate it for various reasons. We have the facility to advise and offer an alternative option within the same branch, with the same trusted advisors. As vacant properties no longer receive any council tax discounts the owner is liable for those charges, and the longer the property is empty those costs actually increase. In addition to this there is the cost of heating the property to ensure that there is no deterioration of condition, meaning that property owners are losing money unnecessarily. In this case we would look into introducing a tenant in order to take the financial weight off the client’s shoulders in the short or long term.”

“If a client ideally wants to market their property for sale whilst it is tenanted, so long as there is good communication between the management team, tenant and sales team this process can also work very successfully, but transparency and a good relationship are critical. This is also facilitated extremely well if the process is managed by one company working closely together”.

Thanks to both our residential agency and lettings teams being housed under the same roof, our clients are dealing with the same people, but the individual that has the most relevant expertise, they receive the same level of service from beginning to end. Buying, selling or letting a property is an extremely significant financial and emotional investment, therefore, professionalism, transparency and trust from all parties is key.

Donna Cheney said: “Now that we have a Head of Lettings and a Head of Residential Agency, we’ve found that it has enhanced our communication and our understanding of how the sectors are increasingly overlapping. A progressive understanding of each area has allowed us to identify our business objectives as well creating a diverse, attractive and innovative service offering for our clients.  We are extremely positive about the future opportunities that this integration and cooperation affords us and our clients.”

For more information, contact your local team or find out more about what we can offer here.

 

Agency: Looking at the bigger picture

Sheryl Sowden, head of residential agency, looks at how our approach to customer service has benefited both clients and the business.

Sheryl Sowden - Agency

Our agency team has not only grown in numbers over the past 10 years, but also in the variety of property and services offered.

From residential sales and lettings, development sites, equestrian facilities, farms and estates or commercial property, we utilise the technical expertise across all of our services along with the wealth of experience from our agency teams to deliver results and exceed the expectations of our clients.

It is not unusual within the business to see residential valuers being accompanied by a planner or chartered surveyor to a possible project or opportunity. Selling your home or land with George F. White is just one piece of a larger jigsaw, that interconnects with our other services such as planning, rural and commercial. We’re not just an agent, we’re consultants, and, as such, provide a bespoke service to each client.

Over the last few years, a drive to expand this approach has seen the business buy, sell and let increasing numbers of properties successfully for clients, both in terms of the typical residential property but also across the development, rural and commercial sectors. Our multi-discipline approach means that we can offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ service where our team manages your project from start to finish, avoiding the situation where several different agencies are involved, which often creates a complex and disjointed project management issue.

What initially might seem like a simple sale or purchase of a property, can turn out to be much more, following detailed discussions with clients, we often realise that they’d benefit from talking to one of our architects, planners, or rural management consultants and see projects evolve from there. It’s such an exciting time at George F. White and we have such a great variation of clients with us, who each use our services in different ways.

For more information about our residential offerings, and how they interlink with our other business services, please contact your local office.

Alnwick: 01665 603581
Barnard Castle: 01833 690390
Wolsingham: 01388 529579
Bedale: 01677 425301

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