From 22 November 2017 first time buyers paying £300,000 or less for a residential property will pay no Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). First time buyers paying between £300,000 and £500,000 will pay SDLT at 5% on the amount of the purchase price in excess of £...


Strong negotiation produces results

Negotiation often begins with conflict of some sort - different points of view where both sides have strong and seemingly entrenched initial opinions about what each wants. This stage is the “argument”. Negotiations can't proceed if both parties don't move...


When is an expert, not an expert?  Knowledge is the key

We know that the internet hybrid agents are calling their valuers ‘Local Property Experts’. But how do you define ‘an expert’ in the eyes of the buying public? And if someone fails to meet that definition, should there be some form of recourse or sanctions...


Recent research shows that just one in five Brits (22%) lives in their dream home, and higher value ownership doesn’t always bring home happiness - almost two thirds (62%) of those who live in homes worth more than £500,000 say their current house isn’t their...


Time changes our needs and requirements

Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, thinks that we overestimate the amount of change which will happen over two years, but underestimate the amount of change over ten. This certainly seems to be the case with housing. Our tastes move on hugely over a decade as new materials...


Stamp duty - perhaps a necessary evil

At last, a report that doesn’t blame estate agency fees for increasing the cost of moving. In fact fees or commission as it is known, has not risen for many years in percentage terms. It has only been house price increases and volume of sales that keep agent’s...


Solar panels- do they increase value?

Installing solar panels on your home may make no difference to how much it’s worth, according to two thirds of estate agents.  Research for consumer group Which carried out by NAEA Propertymark, questioning 1,252 estate agent businesses, reveals that just eight per...


Experienced negotiation is vital and financially beneficial

There is currently a lot in the news about negotiating. In Europe the Brexit negotiators are sharpening their pencils while on the other side of the Atlantic President Trump would have us believe that he is the best negotiator who ever walked the earth. In fact selling houses...


If the hat fits--follow your heart

Many of us know about the Sorting Hat at J K Rowling's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When a new student puts on the hat it tells he or she to which of the four houses - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin - they are most suited. A property is just...


Let's end indecision and move the market forward

I have been in the property profession for 50 years and have seen many elections, economic turmoils, national tragedies and international conflicts. They have one thing in common- they cause the public who would normally enter the maket without hesitation to “wait and see&...


Housing needs to be higher on the political agenda!

What will dominate the 2017 general election? The economy, Brexit, and the NHS for sure. Energy, education and defence should also get a strong look-in while the devolved governments over the borders will be trying to get as much air time as possible. We invite them all to spare...


With or without an election, "the people" control the market

The best response to the news that a general election will be held in June was spontaneously provided by Brenda from Bristol who stole the headlines when she said to the interviewer on television 'you are joking - not another one'.  I had to agree, but then my...


Home may be where the heart is, but with conditions!

A recent survey of 1,000 British home owners asked what led them to fall in love with their homes and which factors they consider non-negotiable when buying a property. It seems buyers are swayed by more than an attractive price tag. This new study reveals what it takes to get...


Improve your home to sell or simply set a fair price?

It’s a fact that some properties sell quickly and some do not.  The usual answer to this is price and perceived value.   A property that has remained on the market for longer than the average time is probably overpriced, but it is not always the end of the...


Modern Techniques with Traditional Standards

So who does one turn to when the going gets tougher, when selling is harder and when finding a great buyer can’t simply be left to the internet (as if it ever could)?  Like most things in life when you need someone to show you the way it’s best to find someone...


Sound advice can save money and stress

Recent research has suggested that a lack of sound estate agency advice could potentially cost homeowners thousands of pounds. A nationwide study found 41% of homeowners, who have sold a house in the past five years, said the price they finally sold for was lower than their...


Resolve to do something new or different

What would a New Year be without a resolution or two or three, but can you, will you keep them. The most common resolutions are surely dieting and smoking, but there are many more. Here are a few to ponder. Be social, not just social networking   -   Contact people you...