Tag Archive: residential

The Guild: George F. White complete prestigious training

George F. White is celebrating an exceptional achievement after all of the team from our Barnard Castle team succeeded in gaining an advanced professional qualification from The Guild.

The Guild

A huge well done to:

The entire team have completed enhanced sales training through The Guild of Property Professionals – the UK’s most prestigious network of independent agents to which George F. White is delighted to count itself the exclusive Member in Barnard Castle. Each office is carefully selected on the basis of its professionalism and commitment to highest standards of customer service.

To pass the examination, candidates are required to demonstrate thorough knowledge and understanding of some 40 modules. These are organised into four key components; Fundamentals of Effective Selling; Valuing and Property Appraisal Skills; Marketing and Property Promotion and Developing your Estate Agency Skill Set.

Congratulating his staff on their achievement, Robyn Peat said: “We are really proud to belong to The Guild, which represents the highest standards in independent estate agency. Now, through their individual efforts in successfully gaining Guild Advanced Associate status, which recognises their knowledge, skills and professional competence, we know we have the best-trained team in the area.”

When instructing an estate agent to sell your home, it is crucial that you have trust and confidence in their professional abilities. Following its success in achieving Guild qualifications, George F. White is now, more than ever, fully equipped to guide you on your journey through the property market.

For more information, please contact George F. White on ​01833 690390 or visit their Barnard Castle office at 14c Redwell Court, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8BN.

Spring Property Market: why wait?

Victoria Linsley explains why you shouldn’t wait for Spring to sell and why our advice is that now is the time to launch your property to the market.

We’re hoping that there’s light at the end of the wintery tunnel and that spring is within reach. Flowers are breaking through, the grass us turning and we live in hope of brighter weather. However, this year’s no different from other years… again, we ask sellers holding out for the magic of Easter/spring; why wait to compete against a flood of new property in the market?


Our general advice is that now is as good a time as any to sell your property. However, we still hear the same comments from cautious vendors. They feel the best time of year to market their property is the spring.

What’re are keen to stress is that buyers don’t wait until the spring before starting their search. Generally, buyers will also be selling, and will tend to move for reasons other than because they fancy a change. The most common reasons we see for house moves, in the present climate, is to be nearer to family, relocation due to work or up/downsizing because the property no longer meets their requirements. These factors are present at all times of the year, which tells us that there’s no particular merit in waiting for good weather (if indeed it ever arrives!?) especially when that’s when you will have the highest levels of competition.

There’s a certain amount of caution in the market, given the political situation, however, whilst funding is still readily available, buyers will still move and we’re experiencing a lot of activity day-to-day in terms of enquiries, viewings and offers.

That said, we do acknowledge how important it is to wait for the right time for you. If you rush your property to the market without preparing, it may not be presented in the best way and when the point comes to agree on, or complete, a sale you may have a change of heart, delaying or damaging the marketing process.

We’re amazed by the amount of scaremongering in the media when it comes to property prices and state of the market! This often stems from reports on the London housing market; something quite different from that of which we are accustomed to. Even though there’s a slight decrease in viewing numbers, the number of offers being received is still comparative to this time last year and there’re a number of people enquiring on a daily basis who can not find what they are looking for due to a lack of properties being offered for sale.

We’re always happy to chat over ideas and give general advice if you are thinking about selling or letting your property, please feel free to contact our friendly and professional team at George F. White, Harmire Enterprise Park, Barnard Castle on 01833 690 390.

Getting the Right Value

We sat down with Andrew Entwistle, partner at George F. White, to discuss the importance of getting a correct valuation on an asset.

I am firm believer that any business or individual cannot make a rational or informed decision without knowing the value of an asset, or the cost consequences of a particular action. In fact, understanding value is the under pinning basis on which professionals advise their clients on a particular course of action.


We have seen, over the last six years, the introduction of Automated Valuation Models (AVMs), particularly into the residential sector. Will we ever see AVM’s being used to value agricultural assets and farmland? I doubt such models could ever achieve even a modest degree of accuracy for farmland. Simply put, rural assets are too diverse for a computer to handle, particularly in the market that we are in. With low supply, demand can be high yet market conditions are showing a distinct patchiness with hot spots where land prices greatly exceed expectations, contrasting with similar quality land in low demand areas struggling to sell at below average guide prices.

I have the perception that most people consider valuations are only needed for either selling or when a bank wishes to take some security for a mortgage. There are many other good reasons to get a written valuation which are often overlooked, or simply guessed at.

The frequent scenario I come across is the case when a farmer dies. In the course of obtaining probate estimates of value are submitted, particularly in the case when Agricultural Property Relief or Business Property Relief applies and there is no inheritance tax to pay. A death forms an important tax point on the value of a farm and subsequently used as a base for future events such as calculating capital gains tax. More often than not, agricultural value is underestimated or simply not recorded.

Dealing with capital gains tax cases, another important relief that is often overlooked in Principle Private Residence Relief, where a main dwelling house can be free of Capital Gains Tax including up to 0.5 Ha of gardens, grounds, and outbuildings. A formal valuation at this point should have some analysis which attaches value to the garden and grounds from the rest of the farm that can minimise a Capital Gains Tax bill.

Another misunderstood concept I come across is Hope Value, where clients attach large values to land on the basis it will developed in the future. Market Value is the standard definition that is used for bank security purposes and reflects the price that the market will pay for an asset at a specific point in time. Research carried out by George F. White shows that developers are unlikely to pay significant sums over existing use value if the land has not got planning consent. A client will view the value of their land with Hope Value differently, taking into the “worth” of the development opportunity in the future them. The “worth” and “Market Value” of land is often significantly different.

Different valuation purposes often have different bases of value, for example tax valuations are have subtlety different valuation base to security valuations that in certain circumstances can give rise to very different values. In the case of matrimonial valuations Market value may not be an appropriate as it would not reflect the existence of a special purchaser.

So will a professional Valuer ever be replaced by an Automated Valuation Model? Only if an AVM can talk to clients and understand their objectives, decide the correct valuation base to use, and work as a team with an accountant and solicitor. I can’t see that happening in my lifetime.

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