Tag Archive: Estate Agent

Estate Agent Jargon explained…

Estate agents, like many other professionals, are completely guilty of launching into explanations using all the terminology we are used to, and to us, it makes complete sense.


Whilst we are always happy to explain the freely used ‘jargon’, if you are thinking of selling your property the following list of terms used, together with a brief explanation may help you be one step ahead…


Terms of Business

This is the contract that an estate agent will ask you to sign in order to formally set out the terms that they will act on. Among other important components, this contract will agree exactly what the agent will and won’t do and what the agent will expect from you. This must be signed by the owner(s) of the property.



This is another word for seller.



In summary, this is when you instruct us to start work on marketing your property for you and we are always delighted to hear these words!


Take On

This is what we call the visit we make to your house to note down all the information to allow us to prepare a brochure and take the photographs.



Another name for the sales brochure. We prepare this carefully to present your property in the best light to the market.



We use this acronym because the full name is rather long. It stands for Energy Performance Certificate and every property, though there are some exemptions, requires one before it is marketed. It is a basic survey to determine the energy efficiency of your property. A good estate agent will be able to arrange this for you.



This relates to whether you own the property and the land it is set upon (freehold – the majority of houses). Or, just the building, effectively renting the land long term (leasehold – the majority of flats). ** Please note there is a huge amount of detail surrounding this topic and we are always happy to answer questions or clarify matters where needed, on a case by case basis.


Sealed Bid

Often when there are several offers made on a property an Agent will sometimes suggest that every party is given the same opportunity to come forward with their ‘best and final’ offer. Usually the offers will be submitted together with proof of funds to enable you to make a decision on which offer is the strongest.



This is when your buyer is also selling a property and they need the sale of their property to complete to enable them to use the funds to purchase your property. This appears relatively straight forward until the buyer of your buyer’s property also needs to sell their property. The more people in this so called ‘chain’, the more transactions there are which could potentially slow down the process, or worse still, cause it to fall through completely.


Many people have never sold a property before, either that or it was a long time ago. Here at George F. White our mantra is that you don’t just pay us to sell your property but you also pay us to guide you through the process and we are always happy to answer questions even if you are yet to become our client. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and proactive team at one of our local offices:

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

Honestly? Choose your agent wisely…

The buy-to-let sector is a thriving industry. Becoming involved in the private rented sector is a serious business. Landlords need to ensure that they’re able to find and retain good quality tenants and handle maintenance and repairs issues efficiently. Choosing the right agent to guide, advise and support them in a way that helps them to best manage such situations, and create a profitable property portfolio, is therefore vital.


There are so many inadequate and, at best mediocre, agents out there. They’ll agree to market and manage properties on behalf of landlords but don’t provide the service behind this, which is the most important aspect. Agents will simply put a property on the market with no plan, or even discussion with the landlord, about how it would market better and, essentially, be leased much quicker at a rate the landlord desires. Questions every landlord should ask themselves include:

  • Has your property been on the rental market for more than a few weeks?
  • Has your agent discussed how your property could be more attractive to potential tenants?
  • Have they had an honest discussion with you about the wear and tear of your investment and whether it’s time to make some improvements, so that it can be tenanted quicker and potentially let out at a higher rate?
  • Are you an out of area landlord who has rarely or never seen your investment?

Honesty is the best policy

Being honest with landlords and upfront about the improvements they need to make in their properties, to secure tenants and a good return on investment, is something all agents need to do but many simply don’t.  A rental property needs some TLC every now and then and we recommend a landlord budgets for allocating 10% of their annual rental income back into the property for its upkeep such as decorating, new flooring, and furnishings where required.

Unsatisfied landlords often get in touch with us to appraise their properties that have been on the market a while. When appraising them, we have discovered some very basic issues that can be fixed easily. For instance, some are dirty, or need painting, or are overpriced for the current market. I recall one visit to an apartment recently which had been on the market for three months with no interest from viewers.

Following our assessment of the property, we advised the landlord to complete a deep clean and carry out some minor decoration work, which all cost less than £200. Within two weeks, after we had put it back on the market, we secured tenants on a 12-month lease. This landlord lost over £2000 due to no occupancy, which could have been avoided if the right agent advice was given from the outset.

If an agent is not honest with you about current market trends, the condition of your property, or the correct rental amount, then they are costing you money in terms of a void period and the monthly outlay of Council Tax on your vacant property.

At George F. White, we are focused on providing a professional, friendly but ultimately honest service, ensuring landlords are given the best advice to let out their property, even if it involves spending some money upfront, so that their property stands out among the rest in a fast moving, highly competitive sector.

For an honest conversation about your property contact Leanne Emerson on 01833 690390 or email leanneemerson@georgefwhite.co.uk

Housing Market: A Fresh Approach to Marketing…

Victoria Linsley, Branch Manager at our Barnard Castle office, looks into the best recipe for success when entering your property onto the Housing Market. 

Most businesses strive to do things differently, or will certainly profess to, but often it is about achieving the perfect blend of an old and new approach that really writes the success stories.

I wholeheartedly stand by the theory that the initial launch to the housing market is the best one. It is the exposure of a fresh new property to buyers who are out there looking, that will, in the majority of cases, achieve the best price in the most reasonable time frame. This is because there are no preconceived ideas about the length of time it has been advertised or assumptions about why a sale may have fallen through and people buying with their hearts are excited by a new offering and the competition this may generate. However, on occasion, a niche property will require a ‘few and far between’ buyer. A cheaper price for a quicker sale is not necessarily the right advice.

Housing Market

Reading through extensive research however, we understand that the modern day buyer will shortlist many properties online before even picking up the phone to a human being (are estate agent’s human I hear you ask!?) in one of our offices. Therefore an effective combination of an ‘old fashioned agent’ making outward bound telephone calls to a ‘hot box’ of people we know are looking in the area together with a state of the art approach to photography and an appealing, informative and interesting listing on a website or property portal will make all of the difference to a client trying to sell or let their home.

A driven and proactive team of people who care about the service they provide, together with the technology behind them to make sure a property is seen in the housing market is absolutely key in delivering the task set by a Seller or Landlord.

With this in mind even properties which have gone unsold with an agent can have the marketing regenerated and be pushed out to a new audience and a sale or let achieved by just using an agent with a fresh and enthusiastic approach following tailored advice to the client.

A blog I read recently quoted that nearly half of the properties advertised will go unsold and sell with a second agent. Therefore, your choice of agent is vital from the outset and it is always good to examine the ratio of properties they list to that of those they have under offer and also to question their means of keeping the property listing and sales approach rejuvenated and fresh.

If you are thinking about selling or letting your property or would like to chat through a new approach feel free to speak to one of our team at Barnard Castle on 01833 690390 with no obligation.

The Housing Market – The Right Time is Now

Each agent will report a slightly different stance on the market at the present time of asking. Whether it be a direct reflection of events taking place within their branch at that time, a view that they wish to share as part of a wider strategy to ignite the market or hard cold facts regurgitated from the latest Land Registry Housing Market report.

With this in mind, I have tried to share a brief view in this brief article that encompasses all three of those perspectives.

Housing Market

To give a flavour of what the averages look like… within our region the average house price is £132,999.Wider within the UK the average house will set you back £226,185. Nearly double.

Our region has seen a 4.1% annual increase in the average property price next to a UK average of 5.1%. A refreshing statistic that for once puts the North East on trend with the rest of the country.

It is even more exciting to hear is that the North East has seen the highest rise in average house price of all the regions this month where the average property value has risen 3.3% in comparison to the previous month that was analysed. The statistic although very positive does not mean that all current marketing values need to be lifted as the increase is in sold prices and not market values which can sometimes be different.

The Land Registry have collated information from other industry data and surveys and reported  that the expectation of vendors is declining, undoubtedly due to the incessant doom and gloom often reported.

This may well also be linked to the decisions of vendors deciding to delay putting their property on the market, which we see day to day. For the 17th month running there has been a reported lack of new stock coming to the market.

Contrary to this common view, there has never been a better time to sell which is shown with the increased buyer activity (viewings up 20% in the last fortnight) in our Barnard Castle office. Having agreed many sales in the last few weeks there are a wide variety of buyers waiting for the right property to come onto the market as stock levels are still very low.

There is a huge amount of information available in the full Land Registry Housing Market report which is updated on a monthly basis, however, to speak to one of us in person about the market in the immediate locality or if you are interested in knowing more about selling or letting your property, please contact our professional and friendly team at Barnard Castle on 01833 690390.