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Welcome to the February edition of our intelligent newsletter! We aim to keep you up to date with our latest news, give you top tips from industry professionals and provide interesting and helpful articles relating to the property industry and much more. You are able to update your preferences so you only receive articles which are relevant to you. If you like what you see, please be social and share our newsletter via social media. To ensure you don't miss out, just add this email address to your Safe Senders list.

Carver Staff Swim for a Great Cause

As most of you know, here at Carver Residential we are always keen to support charities and have recently raised money for great causes including Herriot Hospice, TFM's Cash For Kids, MacMillan Cancer Research to name a few.


Following an article in The Northern Echo in January about Darlington man Ken Longstaff who was struck down with a rare neurological condition more than two years ago, leaving him 'locked in', we wanted to put our efforts into helping raise money to further his recovery.

Ken's wife Beverley is raising awareness of his condition after he was discharged from hospital without the physiotherapy she believes is vital to his recovery. The condition, the rarest form of Guillain Barre Syndrome leaves him 'locked in' , wheelchair bound and with limited limb function.

His family are hoping to raise &4,880 needed to buy a specialist bike that will allow Ken to pedal from his wheelchair and exercise his arm muscles, in the hope that it will stave off muscle wastage that could make further recovery difficult.

One of the fundraising events being organised is a swimming gala on 25th January. Carver Residential took part and had a team of staff competing in a 50 minute relay. They managed to swim a total of 104 lengths and came second in their relay. They each raised money to do this and the funds raised will go towards the money needed to purchase the bike.  

The Carver Team managed to raise over &500 for this wonderful cause. If you would like to help, please contact or to donate please click here.


New Year, New Challenge!

As award winning estate agents, we don’t like to rest on our laurels, so this year we are investing heavily in training our staff so you receive the highest levels of service from them. This approach is what has allowed us to become one of the leading estate agents throughout County Durham, Tees Valley and North Yorkshire, winning two national awards in 2014.


All of our valuers are fully qualified members of the National Association of Estate Agents and 2015 sees 11 of our sales team embark on a study program to join them gaining qualification with NFoPP Level 3 Technical Award in the Sale of Residential Property.

The study program will cover all relevant legislation and working procedures that our industry must comply with and covers four key areas:

  - Health & Safety, Security and General Law

  - Law Relating to Residential Property Sales

  - Practice relating to residential property sales

  - Property appraisal and basic building construction/defects.

I am sure you will join us in wishing them the very best of luck with their studies, resulting in us being the most qualified agents in the area.


The benefit of using a sole agent!

Property expert Sam Ashdown discusses why vendors should only use one agent to sell their property and how she reacts when people ask her "Should I use more than one estate agent to sell my house?"

'Once upon a time, this strategy made perfect sense. After all, before properties were advertised on the internet, how else could you make sure that buyers across different geographical areas would see your home, if you didn't use two, three or more agents to market it?

But then came the portals - Rightmove, Prime Location and now On the Market - and everything changed. Almost all buyers (93% at last count) look online to find their home, often browsing a couple of portals, then simply call the relevant agent to book a viewing on a home they like.

So is there any point these days in instructing more than one agent? The short answer is 'no'. If a buyer spies your home listed several times online, at best it's annoying, and at worst it's misleading, because if the agents involved have used different photographs and descriptions to advertise the property, a buyer could be forgiven for thinking that the adverts belong to different houses.

When a buyer enters a search criteria on one of the property portals, properties appear in a list, in descending price order, ie with the more expensive houses showing first. Any properties that are marketed at exactly the same price will appear in a random order, to be fair and not favour any particular agent. However, one agent I know gets around this rule by adding a pound to his prices, so that his properties will show first, and therefore you'll see property prices like &300,001 from him!

Another factor to bear in mind, is how does it look to a buyer if you as the seller have instructed several agents? Desperate perhaps? In need of an urgent sale? This could have the effect of generating some very low offers from those buyers looking for a bargain, whilst genuine buyers may stay away completely, fearful of being stuck with a property that they themselves can't sell when the time comes.


Finally, there's the question of cost. If you instruct more than one agent, depending on the type of agency agreement you have, you'll either pay the standard agency fee, but only to one of the agents; sometimes called 'winner takes all'. Or else you'll pay a higher fee, and it'll be split between the two agents, typically 2/3 1/3 or else 50/50. The average uplift for a joint agency agreement is around 25%, meaning that if the average fee in your area is 1.5%, you will be paying 2% - 2.25% for a joint agreement. This could be an extra &2250 on a &300,000 house - a considerable amount, particularly if it doesn't actually net you any higher a sale price!

When you decide to sell your home, my advice is to choose your agent very carefully, and focus all your efforts on making that relationship work. Ultimately it will serve you well and give out the right signals to instill buyer confidence. So pick slow and pick wisely!'

Click here to see why we are the best estate agent for you!

Source; Sam Ashdown,

Carver Part Exchange - What is it?

We have helped numerous people move from one home to another by simply matching and/or publicising the type, price and location of what they wish to buy, thereby attracting enquires from people owning such property who may in turn be interested in buying their home.




e.g Vendor of home A (3 bed detached house in the Darlington for &170,000) wants to buy a (5 bed detached house in Darlington for &350,000). By publicising vendor A's requirements we hope to attract interest from owners of 5 bed detached  houses in Darlington who want to downsize.



If you would like to register your property as a part exchange or want to view properties that would consider a part exchange click here!


Britain's most expensive one-bed flat on sale for £10MILLION!!

Britain's most expensive one-bedroom flat has gone on the market for £10million. The luxury flat at One Hyde Park has been dubbed the ultimate 'pied-a-terre.


Click here to read Britain's most expensive one-bed flat on sale for £10MILLION!!.

Review of the Mortgage Industry 2014

Adam Swalwell from Carver Financial Services comments on 2014 and how introduced changes affected the housing and mortgage market across the UK.

2014 has certainly been a busy year in the housing and mortgage market. With the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review, the Stamp Duty and pension reforms and the ongoing mortgage rate war between lenders, it has definitely been a year of recovery and growth.



Coming into force in April, the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) was introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to prevent the reoccurrence of the ‘careless’ lending that had been seen in the pre-credit-crisis days.

Under the new rules, potential borrowers now have to face ‘stress tests’ where their monthly outgoings are put under scrutiny to see if they can cope with future rate rises.

The general consensus is that the industry has been deemed successful in implementing the MMR, with the amount of lending growing by more than 15 per cent in 2014.

Stamp Duty

There were a few surprises in George Osbourne’s Autumn Statement– and not least was the reformation of Stamp Duty. In what was his last statement before the General Election, Osbourne announced that there was to be a complete overhaul of the system. Under the new system, the amount of Stamp Duty owed will work in a graduated way, much like income tax.

For example;

If you bought a property worth &130,000, you would pay &100 Stamp Duty - 0% on the first &125,000 and 2% on the remaining &5,000.

If you bought a property worth &255,000, you would pay &2,750 - 0% on the first &125,000, 2% on the next &125,000 and 5% on the remaining &5,000.

This all means that you would pay a total Stamp Duty amount of &2,750 on a property worth &255,000.

The new rules will save 98 per cent of homebuyers thousands of pounds, with the buyer of an average family home bought at &275,000 saving &4,500. However, homes that cost their buyers over &937,000 will see their Stamp Duty increase.

Pension Reforms

Savers have always been able to take 25 per cent of their pensions in a tax-free lump sum, but from next year, they will be to do whatever they like with their pension pot.

From April 2015, savers over the age of 55 will be given the option of taking out a number of smaller lump sums instead of one large one, with 25 per cent of each lump sum being tax-free.

Mortgage Price War

With the introduction of the MMR and the uncertainty of when the Bank of England bank rate would eventually rise,mortgage rates began to rise in the middle of the 2014.

But, once the impact of the MMR had settled down, banks and building societies began to gain confidence in the market and offer lower deals again, as a means of meeting their end-of-year targets.

Deals included ten-year fixed rates and variable rates as low as 0.99 per cent. Record price cuts have brought rates to their lowest levels since 2007 and, as the rate war continues into 2015, we may see even further discounts from lenders in the months to come.

Bring on 2015!


The Government have already announced the new Starter Home initiative which will see 100,000 new homes built for first-time buyers under the age of 40, and we can only anticipate that this will be the first of many new schemes brought in to help boost the number of properties built.

With the market showing continued signs of returning to normality, 2015 will no doubt prove to be yet another year of economic recovery.

Adam Swalwell is from Carver Financial Services. For further information please call: 07872 822720

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There will be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1%, but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

The spotlight on......Claire and Laura

Find out a little about 2 members of our team each month!


Claire Folwell - Sales Advisor


What is your favourite food? A really good Sunday lunch

What is your favourite holiday destination? It's got to be India, but Croatia for closer to home as the people and culture   

are amazing

Who would you most like to meet? Russell Brand - Funny and pretty, need I say more

Favourite band or artist? Rise Against or the Marmozets

Favourite drink? Gin and tonic, or jagerbombs depending how many other drinks have been consumed

Favourite film star? Liam Neeson, because he's a legend

Hobbies/sport? Anything baking and cooking related 

Favourite quote? 'You'll only regret the things you don't do in life, never the things you do'


Laura Lineton - Sales Advisor

What is your favourite food? Steak with a stilton sauce

What is your ideal holiday destination? West Coast of France

Who would you most like to meet? Dr Christian Jessen because he's extremely handsome!

Favourite band or artist? Coldplay

Favourite drink? Shiraz

Favourite film star? Sandra Bulloch

Hobbies/sport? Weightlifting/Crossfit

Favourite quote? 'Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.'