Tag Archive: property sales

Residential Sales: 40% increase in sales despite national decline

The Residential Agency team in George F. White Alnwick, have experienced an increase of 40% in year-on-year agreed residential sales despite there being a decline on a national scale for a 10th successive month (May 2019: Residential Market Survey, RICS).

A regional breakdown shows that property transaction volumes have picked up in the North of England and Wales.

Residential Sales

Why the increase in residential sales?

Discussing the increase in sales in Northern England, Gemma Miller, Residential Sales Manager at George F. White in Alnwick, said: “We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of residential sales year on year. Much of the buyer interest has been from people involved in North East business, investing within the region, which is encouraging.

There has been a huge influx of investment in the North East from major house builders such as Taylor Wimpey and Bellway and this has been recognised by national retailers looking to move into an area that is becoming more and more popular for young families. If we take Marks and Spencer as an example; despite looking to close 100 stores by 2022, they are going ahead with their move into the market town of Alnwick, perhaps partly due to the residential development and perhaps due to the plans to dual to A1. When a high profile retailer moves into an area, others tend to follow.”

In a competitive market, the team have focused on providing a tailored service to be centred around offering a quality service to the buyer and seller and introducing them in accordance to their demands, meaning they are often able to sell prior to marketing.


Online agents

Gemma continued: “We have recently seen an influx of enquiries from people who have tried selling their properties online, only looking to return to the traditional high street estate agents. This is particularly true to those selling more expensive homes. We understand home owners have been persuaded over the last few years by the online estate agents with a promise to sell homes quickly, and at a fraction of the cost of their High Street rivals. But, as hundreds of people put their homes on the market this summer, some internet agents are struggling, and their share of the market has stalled. E-Moov went into administration in December 2019 followed by House Network in 2019.

Often online agents operate from nationwide call centres so in reality have limited local knowledge and often don’t know the specifics of the local market. Traditional Estate Agents, like George F. White, are dealing with more properties and more buyers and we have a firmer grip on the buyer demand levels and what buyers have very recently offered on (and paid) for similar property.”

With more buyers lined up, George F. White are always looking for more quality properties and have recently recruited to ensure they continue to meet client needs. If you would like to discuss the sale of your property or are looking to purchase in Northumberland, please contact our Alnwick agency team on 01665 603581 or visit their website www.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.


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.


A Market for All Seasons

With winter catching up with us, some sellers consider delaying selling their property until the spring, and historically most agents would agree with that tactic. It is certainly not our advice, and necessity sometimes dictates that moving over the coming months is essential. Here we look at several pointers for those still trying to sell their property or looking to go to the market in the next few months:



General garden maintenance

Giving lawns their last cut and edging the borders together with clearing fallen leaves is an easy and cheap fix. This can transform a garden with very little expenditure, something that will last through to early spring.


Clear away garden furniture

A crisp autumn day will give the perfect opportunity to stain wooden furniture prior to storing it in order to protect it from the weather. It is also worth tidying away children’s outdoor toys which all helps to present the garden in its best light.


Dress your property

Have the fire blazing and central heating warming the place through together with candles lit, lamps and lights switched on in all rooms prior to a viewing to make your home as appealing and welcoming as possible.


Hold off with seasonal decorations

Whilst we appreciate people more often than not live in the property they are selling, we advise our clients to leave festive decorations until the last minute. Decoration free homes often look more spacious and less cluttered enabling viewers to clearly see the property and appreciate the full potential.


Clear all guttering

A sometimes tricky or taxing job but also highly important. Clearing the moss or fallen leaves that have gathered in guttering or roof valleys together with checking all round for general leaks or drips will prevent issues with the drainage of rain water that can sometimes cause damp or water ingress.


Exterior lighting

Outside lights will guide people to your door safely and depending on the style can be very effective in presenting the property now the nights are drawing in. We do however, advise staying away from extravagant Christmas lighting displays if at all possible.


Be safety conscious

Deal with slippy paths and decking by using a pressure washer and/or installing non slip matting. Clearly mark or identify any high ledges or steps to help when conducting viewings at the end of the day when light is limited.

Contrary to many reports we are still experiencing strong activity in the market and urge vendors to come to the market at the time that suits them rather than delaying the process until things are greener in the spring and according to some agents the market turns for the better.

There are undoubtedly properties that will benefit from launching during better weather months however in general if the property is well presented and correctly priced it will sell without undue delay. With the autumn/winter period being our most successful of the year for the last 2 years running we say that now is as good a time as any, be settled in your new home or booking removals before the first daffodils of spring break through!


If you are thinking about selling or letting your property, feel free to contact our friendly and professional team at George F. White.

Alnwick: 01665 603581
Barnard Castle: 01833 690390
Bedale: 01677 425301
Duns: 01361 883488
Shiptonthorpe: 01430 876010
Wolsingham: 01388 529579


How Long do Property Sales Really Take?

When it comes to property sales, finding the right buyer at the right price is one thing, the art of negotiation is another! The next critical stage is getting both parties to exchange of contracts, making the sale legally binding.

It’s fairly well known now, that property transactions are taking longer to go through which is frustrating to both the buyer and the seller alike. Our office is seeing an average of 10-12 weeks at the present time.

Especially since the market experienced the down turn in 2008, conveyancers and solicitors are under pressure to carry out additional work and mortgage companies require more and more information to ensure the mortgage is ‘affordable’, surveyors seem to have a backlog of appointments and standard mortgage surveys, if sent to a panel, can take up to 2 weeks to book in.How Long Does it Take to Sell Your Home?

As estate agents, our role is in many cases to facilitate the transaction with all parties to get to the point of exchanging contracts as soon as possible. The longer the transaction takes, the more chance there is of the property sale falling through – on average 20% of property sales fall through for a variety of reasons.  A good choice of agent at the outset is vital; it is not just marketing that counts, it is the ability to see the deal through and with this, an experienced negotiator will make all of the difference. In our office a significant amount of our negotiators time is utilised progressing property sales and this part of our role is equally as important as the initial marketing. Should an agent not provide this service, or offer a ‘better’ priced package that does not include progressing the sale through to completion then it may be worth considering other agents that do.

So how can you help matters? Remember you are the client so expect to be updated regularly, but equally, try not to have unrealistic expectations. When asked for documents such as ID, get them back as quickly as possible. Return forms and answer enquiries as quickly as possible and include as much detailed information as you can. Prior to selling, it is useful to gather any relevant documents relating to works carried out to the property such as planning permission or guarantees.

Don’t despair if you are considering selling and are worried about the process; choose the right agent to competently manage from start to finish.

We are always happy to advise on the marketing price for your property and the sale process, if you are thinking of selling of letting your property, call our friendly and professional teams at your nearest office:

Gemma Miller – Alnwick, Northumberland – 01665 603581
Lindsay French – Wolsingham, County Durham – 01388 529579
Victoria Linsley – Barnard Castle, County Durham – 01833 690390
Sheryl Sowden – Bedale, North Yorkshire – 01677 425301