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Trade secrets

Ours is a fascinating job, in which we get to help people move to and from wonderful houses. But property is so much more than just a home. Put the word property into Google and there are immediately one hundred and thirty two million results. The word property derives from an Anglo-Norman French variant of the old French 'propriete', which in tern can trace its roots to the Latin proprietas, from proprius 'one's own, particular'. The modern definition has two meanings, the first of which has four contexts, which in house terms is ' a building or buildings and the land belonging to it or them'. It is in this definition, that we differentiate ourselves from others. When I am asked to appraise a property, I look at it as an asset and make my recommendations for the best route of disposal as a whole. By best, I do not necessarily mean either the quickest or the least costly but I do mean the route which will yield the maximum price for my client in the short to medium term. Beyond that, as they say in farm sales "it is important to leave some profit in it for the next person". Due diligence is also the pre-requisite of a sucessful sale. As with house building or the preparations made before decorating a room or finishing a gun stock; the end result will only be as good as the quality of the prep. Woodworking is much like a house sale, in that you can only tell if the everything was done properly at the end - when the finishing oil is applied, or a sale is completed. In looking at my clients properties as assets, I can advise that planning consents are applied for to enhance the result (a recent example demonstrates this beautifully), or that title is regularized to ensure the smoothest sale. Tax triggers are often overlooked by agents advising their clients, but why' Surely, we are being asked to dispose of an asset on behalf of a client but without correct tax planning, the sum achieved may differ significantly from the one our clients are left with. Certain pieces are so much part of a property that a buyer will always want them but without a professional valuation beforehand, is the sum agreed for a dining table or garden ornament correct and within the tax guidelines' London buyers of country houses rarely have tractors (or ride on lawnmowers) but their value can get lost if it is not properly assessed before negotiations take place. In an instant world of images, presentation is everything. But why is some property photography so old-fashioned' It has to be more important how a property feels than to make a room look as large as possible. Light and shade create the mood of a room, yet so often images are over lit and feel less inviting as a result. Ultimately, we sell homes and it is the lifestyle on offer that counts. As an asset class, property is unique in that it is where we spend some of the happiest and most comfortable moments of our lives. The secret to good property agency, other than good preparation, is hard work. Only by constantly casting a fly can you hope to catch a fish and the same is true for houses. In nearly thirty years in the business, I have observed that in bull markets many do well but in bearer times, when the going gets tough, it is only those with tenacity that can continue to serve their clients well. If prices soften, it creates opportunities for the next property. Whether selling high and buying high or selling lower and buying lower, so long as the differentials are similar, surely no-one is worse off' In many ways, the transactional savings in a softer market allow for improvements, and there always seems to be an offer to be had in kitchens and bathrooms when the housing market slows. Winkworth has been at the forefront of London agency for the better part of one hundred and eighty years. We bring an enthusiasm and joie de vivre to property and a deep understanding of the needs of our clients. Call me boring but I would rather spend hours in preparation for the best result than to leave that, less glamorous side to chance. We only ever get to sell a house once for a client, it has to be right. In the words of Sun Tzu, some five hundred years BC "“Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” By preparing the best way to maximise the result achieved for our clients property assets and ensuring the legal framework is in place to make this a reality, we are really only doing our job, and that's no secret. Matthew Hallett Winkworth Salisbury

Ours is a fascinating job, in which we get to help people move to and from wonderful houses. But property is so much more than just a home. Put the word property into Google and there are immediately one hundred and thirty two million results. The word property derives from an Anglo-Norman French variant of the old French 'propriete', which in tern can trace its roots to the Latin proprietas, from proprius 'one's own, particular'. The modern definition has two meanings, the first of which has four contexts, which in house terms is ' a building or buildings and the land belonging to it or them'.

It is in this definition, that we differentiate ourselves from others. When I am asked to appraise a property, I look at it as an asset and make my recommendations for the best route of disposal as a whole. By best, I do not necessarily mean either the quickest or the least costly but I do mean the route which will yield the maximum price for my client in the short to medium term. Beyond that, as they say in farm sales "it is important to leave some profit in it for the next person".

Due diligence is also the pre-requisite of a sucessful sale. As with house building or the preparations made before decorating a room or finishing a gun stock; the end result will only be as good as the quality of the prep. Woodworking is much like a house sale, in that you can only tell if the everything was done properly at the end - when the finishing oil is applied, or a sale is completed.

In looking at my clients properties as assets, I can advise that planning consents are applied for to enhance the result (a recent example demonstrates this beautifully), or that title is regularized to ensure the smoothest sale. Tax triggers are often overlooked by agents advising their clients, but why' Surely, we are being asked to dispose of an asset on behalf of a client but without correct tax planning, the sum achieved may differ significantly from the one our clients are left with. Certain pieces are so much part of a property that a buyer will always want them but without a professional valuation beforehand, is the sum agreed for a dining table or garden ornament correct and within the tax guidelines' London buyers of country houses rarely have tractors (or ride on lawnmowers) but their value can get lost if it is not properly assessed before negotiations take place.

In an instant world of images, presentation is everything. But why is some property photography so old-fashioned' It has to be more important how a property feels than to make a room look as large as possible. Light and shade create the mood of a room, yet so often images are over lit and feel less inviting as a result. Ultimately, we sell homes and it is the lifestyle on offer that counts. As an asset class, property is unique in that it is where we spend some of the happiest and most comfortable moments of our lives.

Drawing Room view 3.jpg resized

The secret to good property agency, other than good preparation, is hard work. Only by constantly casting a fly can you hope to catch a fish and the same is true for houses. In nearly thirty years in the business, I have observed that in bull markets many do well but in bearer times, when the going gets tough, it is only those with tenacity that can continue to serve their clients well. If prices soften, it creates opportunities for the next property. Whether selling high and buying high or selling lower and buying lower, so long as the differentials are similar, surely no-one is worse off' In many ways, the transactional savings in a softer market allow for improvements, and there always seems to be an offer to be had in kitchens and bathrooms when the housing market slows.

Winkworth has been at the forefront of London agency for the better part of one hundred and eighty years. We bring an enthusiasm and joie de vivre to property and a deep understanding of the needs of our clients. Call me boring but I would rather spend hours in preparation for the best result than to leave that, less glamorous side to chance. We only ever get to sell a house once for a client, it has to be right. In the words of Sun Tzu, some five hundred years BC "“Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” By preparing the best way to maximise the result achieved for our clients property assets and ensuring the legal framework is in place to make this a reality, we are really only doing our job, and that's no secret.

Matthew Hallett Winkworth Salisbury

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