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13May

The 23rd annual West Country property exhibition organised by Webbers and Webbers Fine & Country, proved the West Country still has the ‘wow factor' when it comes to making a lifestyle change or buying that second property following its success at G Live on Saturday the 7th of May.

The event was hosted by Seymours Estate Agents who have 14 offices across Surrey in partnership with Webbers, the original founders of the event, with their 16 offices across the West Country.

The event welcomed buyers from across Surrey and gave them the opportunity to browse a range of stunning properties from across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. With such an impeccable standard of properties the West Country has to offer, including rural homes, inland village settings and ever-popular coastal homes, and with a large variant in property prices, £200,000 - £2m+, the West Country roadshow once again proved it had something for everyone.

Paul Rickard, Director of Seymours in Guildford, comments: "We are delighted by the success of the 23rd annual West Country property roadshow. Seymours Estate Agents cater for both those who wish to move within Surrey and those who wish to relocate further afield. We understand the attraction of the West Country and believe there's nothing better than having a face-to-face conversation with a property expert who knows the local area and local market. This is why exhibitions such as this one prove to be the perfect solution for those looking to relocate or buy a second property."

Napoleon Wilcox, Director of Webbers and Head of Webbers Fine & Country (Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, London) started the exhibitions back in 1994. On this year's exhibition he adds: "Another great year in Guildford and whilst we directly market to Guildford, Surrey and Home Counties buyers week in and week out, the exhibitions continue to add another dimension and I think most people enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that there is no pressure, plenty of complementary refreshments and that we are just happy to let people browse if that is what they want or help them with any questions and that no question was too silly or too difficult to ask" "Having attended every exhibition personally for the past 23 years it's always interesting to see the different dynamic each year. Will coastal property see more enquiries than rural living. Which county Somerset, Devon or Cornwall will see the most interest? What types of properties were buyers looking for, Permanent homes? Holiday homes? Investment properties? Homes with annexes or letting cottages? Or is the mixture reasonably balanced?" Recent years had seen a shift to Coastal homes but it was noticeable that there was at the weekend a big shift back to more rural living (but still wanting the coast within an easy drive), but there was a continued demand for homes with cottages and annexes for families and certainly good interest for homes with adjoining letting cottages, continuing the trend for the past few years. Having organised these events now for such a considerable time, it never ceases to amaze me how many people we have in that time helped moved to the West Country, indeed one wonderful example only last week, was a couple instructing us to sell their home in the West Country some 10 years after they moved down from the Guildford area (now wanting something smaller in the West Country) and that if it had not been for an exhibition 10 years ago, they may never have actually moved to the West Country as they were just curious about making a move at that time. They actually purchased a home through another agent but when it came to sell they knew who had helped them and given them good advice on their move. I am pleased to say, that their home will be on the market within the next few weeks.

Applicants have already popped down to the West Country since the exhibition to view property and we are expecting our first "offers" to come in any day now as a direct result.

Most buyers were seeking properties between £400,000 and £1.2 Million. There were a good number seeking bungalows for retirement under that price, but in the main, the majority of interest was for period property in rural locations (within half an hour drive of the coast), with large accommodation for extended family or for a home with letting accommodation. Whilst there were enquiries for right across our region, this year saw particular interest in Somerset, particularly between the eastern edge of Exmoor and over to the Quantocks and the Blackdown Hills. Almost all of the buyers were seeking homes for permanent use and looking to fully relocate to the West Country. Our teams are actively in contact with those that attended the exhibition and will continue to receive enquiries from Surrey post event and from the network of 14 Seymours offices across the region.

FOR YOUR FREE VALUATION or for general advice on the marketing of your home, please contact your local Webbers or Webbers Fine & Country office.

Napoleon Wilcox - Director of Webbers and Head of Webbers Fine & Country napoleon.wilcox@webbers.co.uk telephone 01398 324666

12May

What an exciting year it has been for our Customer Care department. Since launching last year in May we have helped over 4,227 buyers and sellers throughout the UK move, when other agents have simply gone home.

Being available until 8pm Monday to Friday has had a huge impact on customer care here at Webbers. It essential that our vendor clients are able to reach us at a time that suits them and that they are able to talk to a trained, local, Webbers professional about the selling of their home.

Many national Estate Agents are also offering extended opening hours but have taken the route to outsource this to a third party. Here at Webbers, we are keen to keep this in-house which is why my hand picked team based in head office are all local, experienced and understand the "Webbers Way". I feel this ensures our clients have the best customer experience possible throughout their home sale journey.

For our vendors, not only are we there to handle any questions or queries they may have, but we are able to discuss their property with potential buyers and book in viewings on the spot, ensuring we are maximising on every opportunity.

We understand that most buyers look at property throughout the early evening and want to discuss the property with someone there and then; which of course they can do when looking at Webbers Properties.

Overall we've had some fantastic feedback from clients who call out of our normal office hours with many surprised that when calling at ten to seven on a Wednesday evening, they are able to talk a member of the Webbers team.

For me it's a privilege to be able to offer this level of super service to our clients. Something I am very passionate about. 

Watch this space for even better availability coming soon.

Karlie Baker Customer Care. Karlie.baker@webbers.co.uk 01271 347891

11May

The best Estate Agents are always looking for different ways to market their clients homes; every home is different and every seller has a different set of circumstances and an individual list of needs. As ‘their agent' we have to recognise the best way to help solve that particular client's problems and, very importantly, achieve them the best possible result in the current market conditions.

What do I mean by the best possible result? It really does depend on the client and various factors such as the timescale and reason for the move. Some sellers have to move very quickly because they have seen their dream home for sale and don't want to lose it or maybe it is because of some financial issues or a marriage break down. Many move for job reasons or maybe it is simply time for a change or a larger property to cope with a growing family. Not all sellers have to move quickly, many are happy to fully test the market and are content with ‘hanging in there' to see what transpires. However, for most sellers the best possible result is ‘the best price possible in the least amount of time with the least amount of fuss and bother'. I'm sure that would sound familiar to most people?

At Webbers we have many ways of helping our clients and customers through our extensive marketing, expertise and knowledge; we can tailor a marketing plan specifically for a particular client and the type of property they have to sell. Market conditions have generally been very favorable in recent times and there have been plenty of good, willing and able buyers around. In a lot of cases more than one buyer chasing one particular property. Now it would be really easy for me as an Estate Agent to go to a particular seller and say to them ‘we have already got a buyer for your home' without really giving much thought about whether they are the best buyer or the one that would pay the most money - but believe me, there are many Estate Agents out there that do adopt that strategy and are content with just another ‘quick sale'. In truth, if that is what the client wants then that is fine but I strongly believe, and it has been my experience over many years, that there aren't that many sellers that have to ‘sell tomorrow' in favour of getting the best price and best buyer.

So, here's a thought. There are a lot of properties out there at present that will sell quickly if they were to come to the market. If that is the case and there are potentially multiple buyers why not give them all a chance to view the property in a controlled and planned way? The solution - organise an OPEN HOUSE.

What is an Open House?

An Open House allows us as Estate Agents to launch the property for sale giving every potential buyer out there an equal opportunity to view the property. We would usually set a date and time for the Open House event, typically a Saturday morning as this tends to be the most convenient time for viewings to take place as people are generally off work as it is the weekend. It is best to condense the time for the Open House down to about 2 hours, so let's say 11am - 1pm for example. The event is then extensively promoted and I would recommend a lead time of a good 10 days to two weeks to allow the event to be fully advertised in the press and online, our data base of buyers canvassed and bespoke invites sent out to suitable potential buyers, a social media campaign to be set advertising the event and so on. We have special ‘Open House' for sale boards erected at the property as well giving the date and times. All of this then should create plenty of enquiries and should attract a good number of viewers to the property at the event. We do not allow any viewings to take place prior to the Open House launch as we want to event itself to be as successful as possible and to be the real start of the planned marketing campaign.

When conducting an Open House we alway make sure the property is sufficiently staffed so we can manage the viewers as they come through the door. Security is of paramount importance so we ensure we note down the name, address and contact details of all of the people entering the property and we also want to know a little more about their buying ability and position to proceed should they like what they see. The idea of an Open House is to get potential buyers viewing at similar times to one another as that will heighten the sense of ‘competition' to secure the property and show that it is a popular choice with people. The more people at an Open House the better!

Once the viewing period has taken place there will (hopefully) be plenty of expressions of interest in the home, hopefully some offers and ideally more than one offer. At this point it is very important for us to discuss with our client the next stage of the process. We could choose to proceed to closing offers quite quickly if lots of interest has been shown or we may opt to keep the property in the market for a bit longer to see what other interest may occur. Either way there will need to be a plan as to what happens next and all interested parties can then be informed accordingly.

If we have picked the right house with the right guide price I would usually expect there to be plenty of early interest and offers and therefore we have regularly moved to a process that allows all offers to be made and considered in the fairest possible way. We only have the one property and can only sell it to one person but as I said at the start of this blog it is about finding who the best buyer is. Of course, at this stage the seller can simply choose an offer to accept if they so wish, it is there property and ultimately their decision. But, when we have multiple offers it does make it very hard to chose the best way forward especially if those offers are from buyers with similar abilities to proceed. At this stage and with these circumstances we would generally recommend bringing bids to a close by way of ‘Best & Final Offers‘ (Informal Tender). A date and time for the best bids to be submitted will be set and official ‘bidding forms' sent out to all interested parties with the ‘rules of play' carefully outlined so all bidders know the terms under which their offers are to be put forward and how they will be considered. The offers are submitted in writing and proof of funding and ability to purchase is always required in every instance. Once we have all of the bids we can sit down with our seller client to discuss the merits of each bid received and decide who ultimately we all feel is the best buyer to move forward with.

Very occasionally there might not really be much interest shown in the property; that can happen. If that is the case the Open House has still been worthwhile because it is an indicator that something is wrong and buyers for whatever reason aren't keen. This is an early warning sign that maybe the asking or guide price has been set a bit too high or there is another issue stopping the interest. Whatever the reason, it is important that this is looked at and a plan of action taken to achieve a more positive response moving forward. So there are always positives to come from an Open House - they do work!

I thought I would finish this blog with some real life examples of our successes in recent months with Open Houses. As you will see all have produced a great outcome for our clients and I am confident we can say, with hand on heart, that we found the BEST BUYER AND ACHIEVED THE BEST PRICE for them at that time in the market. The results show that, typically, the selling price achieved was 10% - 15% higher than the advertised guide and evidence produced by the purchaser to ‘back up' their claim as a worthy buyer always helps the seller make the right choice.

Here are some examples

4 Orchard Close was placed on the market with a guide price of ‘offers in excess of £155,000'. We had 22 viewings and sold the property for nearly 15% more than the guide price. image 3 Weld Park Avenue, Ilfracombe - 3 bedroom terraced house

3 Weld Park Avenue was placed on the market with a guide price of ‘offers in excess of £140,000'. We had 24 viewings and have sold the property for just over 10% more than the guide price. image Mountsea, Mortehoe - 3 bedroom detached bungalow on a 1/2 acre plot

Mountsea was placed on the market with a guide price of ‘offers in excess of £300,000'. We had 16 viewings and have sold the property for nearly 15% more than the guide price.

Open Houses are an innovative way of marketing your home. If you are interested in finding out more please contact me on 01271 869119 or lee.hussell@webbers.co.uk or visit us at www.webbers.co.uk

11May

From the beginning of your search, purchasing your property, finding a quality tenant and managing your most valuable asset.

 

"Mr & Mrs J came into the Bideford office with a cut-out of my editorial, from the North Devon Journal, 23rd October 2015. Inspired by the article they wanted to discuss the possibilities of becoming an investment buyer something they had not considered before.

I was pleased to go through some relevant properties that we have available in our sales portfolio which were within their budget and which could provide them with a good rental yield. They also wanted to consider that they may want to live in the property themselves in the future.

That same day we were able to show them around a beautiful, modern property that matched what they were looking for. They returned to the office, excited and made an offer which was accepted. The purchase exchanged and completed 8 weeks later on the 23rd December, just in time for Christmas. Once the sale was tied up I was instructed by the new owners to market the property for rental and an application was accepted by them on the 19th January. All references have been approved and the tenant moved in on the 4th March and is now happily settled in his new home.

Mr & Mrs J will receive a very healthy yield/return of 5.69% far more than their savings were accumulating in their savings account, they have a good investment for the future and a very desirable property to move into when the time is right for them. I also introduced Mr & Mrs J to Adam Gregory our in-house independent financial advisor from Together Financial Services, who was able to set up the right policies for their requirements.

Mr & Mrs J quoted; "As clients, the service we received from Webbers, Sarah in particular, was most acceptable. We appreciated the friendliness of the staff who were always pleased to see us and helped us through our queries. We feel reassured to have their letting department acting for us in this new venture."

Our Bideford Office has several suitable investment properties on the market at the moment with very competitive asking prices and a high rental yield. Here are just two examples from our extensive investment stock; Watkins Way, a two bedroom ground floor apartment, £124,950.00 with a yield of 5.52% and Brookfield Street , a three bedroom terrace house, £142,000 with a yield of 5.7%.

 

If you are planning on investing in property, or just want to know more, please contact me on (01237) 426015 to discuss your property management or investment buying requirements or ask to speak to Adam Gregory our in-house independent financial advisor from Together Financial Solutions. 

23Mar

This former Railway Goods Shed a is Grade II Listed Building that was used as a Coach Store. The premises face the main road opposite Morrisons Supermarket and adjoin Bideford Football Club. Webbers Commercial have completed on a successful Letting at a quoted rent guide in excess of £13,000 per annum. The premises offer about 3,360 sq.ft. of open plan storage premises and were suitable for a variety of trades. Tony Foster Associate Director at Webbers Handled the deal for the Landlord and said "A great many people viewed the premises and would be tenants had all sorts of ideas from retail to places of owrship and Car related business outlets. The new use remains confidential but all will be revealed in coming weeks" For expert advice on letting any type of Commercial Premises or Industrial buildings contact Webbers Commercial on 01271 347888.

17Mar

Webbers has been awarded the highest commendation in an esteemed ceremony hosted by The Guild of Professional Estate Agents , in association with The Telegraph.

Held on Thursday 28 January, 2016 at the Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, London, The Guild's Annual Awards recognise outstanding levels of customer care and industry expertise in its 800 strong network of independent estate agents.

As well as achieving the Gold Award for the South West Region, Webbers of Devon, Somerset and Cornwall won the overall award and was selected as The Guild Agent of the Year.

Marcus Whewell, CEO of The Guild noted, ‘Webbers encapsulate the very best of independent estate agency; a standard to which we all aspire. All the judges were unanimous in awarding them our ultimate accolade because they consistently deliver a memorable service by combining intelligent innovation with strong, fundamental core values. Webbers has also made a major difference to the community in which they operate and this positive impact is especially commendable'.

This year, The Guild has teamed up with The Telegraph to deliver its most prestigious awards to date. The new partnership greatly demonstrates the ever-growing strength of The Guild network and its influential position in UK estate agency. The awards also included two new awards categories, Best Lettings Agent and Best Newcomer, which recognise the expanding proficiency of its membership and changing nature of the market.

Hosted by TV Presenter, Melissa Porter, and sponsored by The Telegraph, the awards ceremony was a highly important event with over 250 attendees. Webbers was presented with their trophies by Christopher Middleton from The Telegraph and Marcus Whewell, CEO of The Guild.

The judging panel consisted of well-renowned industry experts Marcus Whewell, Jon Cooke, Susie Crolla, Katie Griffin and Bill McClintock. They commended Webbers on its consistently high levels of customer service, outstanding expertise and use of unique marketing tools. Marcus Whewell commented, ‘Everything we undertake at The Guild is intended to help raise standards in estate agency, and all of our winners have shown a tremendous commitment to this ethos. This year's entries were the strongest to date, reflecting the growing breadth and quality of The Guild network. It is such a privilege to be able to reward our members' hard work and dedication to providing a superior and valuable service that also makes a positive impact on local communities. We would like to thank The Telegraph for being such enthusiastic supporters of our awards and for joining us in our celebration of success in the network. Our heartfelt congratulations and thanks go to all of the winners who truly deserve their awards'.

Malcolm Prescott, Managing Director for Webbers, added, ‘Receiving this award is a huge honour to all of us at Webbers. We work very closely with The Guild to improve the service that we offer our clients and this award is proof that our endeavours have paid off. I would like to personally thank all of our staff for always striving to go above and beyond what is expected to provide our clients with a personable service. 2016 promises to be an extremely exciting year for us and we're confident that this award is the first of many successes'.

16Mar

We have seen a remarkable change in the market conditions over the last twelve months.

Two figures that demonstrate this well are our viewings for February 2016 which were 65% up on February 2015. To top this, our sales in February 2016 were a whopping 125% up on last February!

These figures demonstrate the high level of demand for property and an environment where prices will inevitably be rising.

With the vast amount of on-line data now available you could be forgiven for thinking you don't need a professional agent's valuation. However, if you ask Webbers to appraise your home we will value it for free and we will always have the most up-to-date picture of the market. With the market changing monthly and even weekly with demand, factors such as school holidays, mortgage availability, government tax changes and even weather and sporting events, we will always have our finger on the most accurate and current information as it happens. This will beat the on-line data hands down, which is at least three months old when published. In this fast paced environment, that could make all the difference to your home's true value.

Please contact the office and we will be happy to help 01823 322666

Edward Thorne Manager

09Mar

Tony Foster MNAEA, MICBA Associate Director at Webbers Commercial has been selling businesses in the area for over 35 years and he shares some useful tips on the best way to plan for your business sale.

In his many years of handling business sales of all kinds from a Family Adventure Theme Park in Somerset to a Tea Room on Exmoor and everything in between. Here are some useful tips on preparing for your business sale:-

1. Kerb Appeal As with houses the first impression is always the best, If it is a general store you are selling make sure the shelves are well stocked and the shop window well illuminated and clean. Likewise if it is a Hotel or Guest House why not redecorate the outside and tidy the garden and Car Park before buyers arrive.

2. The very important matter of trading accounts When your valuer arrives present him with an up to date copy of the last three years adjusted profit an loss sheets, take out any individual expenses or excessive wages so the figures are presented in the best light. Have projected figures available as well as monthly activity so buyers are well informed. These matters are now crucial for arranging finance.

3. Legislation Ensure your business is up to date complying with all government legislation such as licences, food hygiene and fire regulations.

4. Preparing for the sale Your Agent will recommend matters such as Asbestos Audits, Energy Performance Certificate. Work with your Agent in preparing the sales particulars, define a marketing budget and advertising plan, carefully consider how you wish to market the property. For example are you prepared for your customers and staff to find out about the sale or do you want a discreet sale.

5. How to sell Decide with your agent a method of sale, private treaty, tender or auction. Your agent will give best advice to achieve the best price.

6. Do you want a board The Agents For Sale board sells 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is a clear signal on the location of the property for passing footfall and traffic, as well as an identification for viewers. This often works even for going concern sales.

7. Stock At Valuation Have an accurate estimate of the extra Stock At Valuation the buyer needs to pay.

8. Inventory Are any items of fixtures, fittings and equipment on rental or lease purchase agreements. Prepare a full inventory of trade fixtures, fittings and equipment which will be attached to the sales contract.

9 Advise your Solicitor Best to be well prepared in advance. Ask your solicitor to open a file as soon as you place the business on the market so that they are ready to produce a sales contract and answer any pre-contract enquiries.

10. Speak to your accountant It is always best to seek you accountant's advice regarding matters such as Capital Gains Tax as soon as possible.

11. Be ready at the viewing Be prepared to answer questions about opening hours, staff levels, Gross and Net Profit, the seasonality of the business, promotion and advertising. If you are in the hospitality business you may well be asked about occupancy rates, advance bookings, future advertising and the like. Present the property well, keep all lights on, heating up and a warm fire in the hearth.

12. Your Business Web site This is often viewed well before the buyer visits the property. Ensure your on-line presence is up to date and fresh.

13. Be Informed Keep in touch with your selling agent. They will provide you with invaluable feedback on viewings and once a sale is agreed will carefully monitor the transaction keeping all parties in touch.

14. Best time to sell We are often asked this question and the truth is that businesses sell throughout the year. However with tourist related businesses most buyers are seeking to take over early or late in the year. Added to this property always looks best in Spring and early Summer.

15. Leasehold sales Have all lease documents available. If deemed appropriate advise your Landlord. Ensure all rents are up to date. Be prepared to pay for the assignment costs.

16. Keep accurate records Matters such as licensing, fire regulations, building regulations, any relevant planning permissions, all these facts should be at your fingertips ready to be passed on to your buyer.

Webbers Commercial have been established for over 40 years and have sold hundreds of businesses in the region. They specialise in all aspects of Commercial Property and business sales. Call Tony on 01271347888

29Feb

Local award winning agents Webbers are extremely pleased to announce a merger with strong local Barnstaple based lettings agency Anthony Turner & Co.

Managing Director of Webbers Malcolm Prescott explains: "This is a very exciting merger with a well-known and respected local letting agency which has been practising in the North Devon area for over fifteen years. Anthony has built up a loyal following in the area and offers a professional and personal service which is in parallel with the Webbers ethos." Malcolm goes on to say: "We look forward to welcoming Anthony and his team into the Webbers fold to add to our expanding lettings team based in Barnstaple. Anthony will continue to look after all of his customers in the area and spearhead the further growth of our lettings business in Barnstaple".

Established in 1995 Anthony Turner & Co is often referred to as "a friendly, locally run independent property lettings and management company". The business covers the whole of the North Devon patch and this merger will significantly increase the Webbers register of fully managed properties from around 700 to well over 900. In recent years Lawrence Williams (Lettings Manager Webbers) has developed this expanding business to provide a unique service for Landlords in North Devon. Lawrence explains: "It has been my priority to develop new and robust strategies to offer a service that is second to none. I am now confident that at Webbers we can do just that, and we look forward to offering our service to all the new valued Landlords who have engaged Anthony's services in the past".

Anthony Turner comments: "I am not only proud but delighted and excited at being given the opportunity to merge my property letting and management company with a firm that I have both admired and respected for over thirty years. This is unquestionably a new chapter in my professional career and one that I am very keen to develop within the Barnstaple and surrounding area. I have been very moved and encouraged by the overwhelming support I have received not only from Landlords but also Tenants. Having started this business originally from nothing in 1993 it is now time to move forward as a strong and highly efficient lettings business providing a level of service second to none".

Established in 1924, Webbers have sixteen offices across North Devon, West Somerset and Cornwall with specialist Departments in New Homes, Commercial, Land and Auctions and a dedicated Customer Care team. Webbers are founder members of the Relocation Agent Network and The Guild of Professional Estate Agents; they are "Investors in People" GOLD recognised. Awards in 2016 include The Guild of Professional Estate Agents' Regional winners South West (GOLD) and "Overall UK Winners".

17Feb

Raleigh Mead, South Molton, Devon 

 Asking price ranging between £152,500 and £165,000

 The new houses at Raleigh Mead, South Molton are a small exclusive development of just 9 high quality modern houses being constructed to a good specification by well known development company Profive Ltd. 

Click here for more details or call 01769 573181

 

Exeter Court, Exeter Street, Launceston, Cornwall 

Asking price £122,500

Ideal investment or first time purchase, this spacious modern two bedroom maisonette is situated just a stone's throw from the centre of the town and is offered for sale with an allocated off road parking space and sunny balcony. An internal viewing is highly recommended. EPC rating C. 

Click here for more details or call 01566 776211

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