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28Sep

Buying a home for the first time can be an emotionally driven experience, especially when you consider the various elements that need to be taken into account. While there are several new and exciting things that go into buying a home, it can be a complicated process to negotiate. Often, it’s easy to focus on the smaller details and lose sight of the larger picture while possibly making mistakes.

Here what you need to avoid along the way:

Not getting a mortgage in principle

Once you have made the decision to buy a property, the temptation to jump into the search with both feet will be overwhelming. However, rushing in before speaking to your bank about the mortgage they are prepared to offer you could lead to disappointment. Imagine you find a house you love, only to learn it is not within your price range when applying for the mortgage. While not a requirement or guarantee, getting a Mortgage in Principle will provide you with a written estimate from a lender, giving an indication of what you can borrow. 

It’s possible to apply for a Mortgage in Principle through a mortgage adviser such as L&C or directly with a lender. They will provide you with the reassurance that you are looking at properties within your price range and they will let the seller know you are serious and qualify to buy the property.  

Not working out what you can afford


There might be a difference between the mortgage you qualify for and what you can comfortably afford in real terms. It is always advisable that you leave some cushioning in the budget. Look at your finances and make a list of your expenses before determining a budget for a property to gain a clear idea of what you can afford. Don’t stretch your finances too thin, as this will make you vulnerable if unforeseen circumstances rear their head.

Focusing on the flaws

You shouldn’t compromise on your ‘must-haves’ but placing too much focus on the home’s flaws might have you miss the things that really matter. Fixtures can be replaced, rooms can be made open-plan or walls can be added to create your dream home with a property that meets your essential criteria.   

Falling in love blindly


On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn’t overlook a home because of its flaws, but don’t completely ignore them either. The look of a home is one thing, but more serious issues such as structural damage are quite another. Often, once a buyer sees a home that they think is the one, their decisions will be based on the emotional connection rather than the facts. Be fully aware of all the property’s issues before you put in an offer. Ask your Guild agent to explain all a property’s past and current major or structural issues, or seek advice from a surveyor.

Waiting too long

It is crucial to make an informed decision when choosing the right home, but don’t take too long, otherwise, you could lose out to a faster buyer. Once you have found the right home, be decisive and take action to avoid disappointment. 

Not thinking about the future


Consider aspects such as the home’s resale potential as well as your future plans. It might seem strange to think about selling the home before you have bought it but much of the home’s potential return on investment is based on decisions you make when buying, not selling. 

Factors that will affect the home’s resale value include:

Location

Condition

Type of property 

Number of bedrooms  

Garage or off-street parking. 

Investments in infrastructure, like HS2

Also, consider whether the home will meet your needs in the future. For example, you may not have children now but plan to shortly - this means needing an extra bedroom or ensuring that you purchase near a school with the desired Ofsted rating. Think about whether the home meets your situation now, but also if it can meet your evolving needs.

Are you looking for your first property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here.

27Sep

On 20th September The Guild of Property Professionals hosted an invitation-only launch event at the iconic Titanic Belfast in Northern Ireland. The event welcomed The Guild’s first Member in the region, Wilsons Auctions, and was a great opportunity to engage with potential new Members in Northern Ireland.

The event kicked off with an address by Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild, who introduced The Guild and highlighted the benefits that becoming a Member could offer independent estate agents in Northern Ireland. 

Since its inception 25 years ago, The Guild of Property Professionals has seen substantial growth in both England and Wales, a pattern that is likely to continue with the expansion into the Northern Ireland region. “The turn out and interest at the event was phenomenal,” said Iain, “We had independent estate agents covering over 30 territories who recognised the advantage membership to The Guild offers and showed serious interest in being a part of our expanding network.”

Regional Manager, Kris McLean, who will be looking after the Northern Ireland Members, spoke on the topic, ‘How The Guild works for you.’ He explained the details of how The Guild’s unique offering of over 38 products and services can help agents to save money and increase their revenue and market share in their local market. 

One of the many benefits of becoming a Member of The Guild is assistance to remain compliant in the often-complicated estate agency industry. This is achieved by providing Members with access to, among other things, Paul Offley - The Guild’s in-house compliance officer. Paul provided the attendees at the event with crucial advice on how to be fully compliant as an estate agent in the UK. 

Rounding off the official speeches before the commencement of the celebratory drinks, Iain McKenzie expressed his gratitude to those who attended. “It is an exciting time for The Guild and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work with estate agents in Northern Ireland. This is a new chapter for The Guild, we are eager to see its growth and development in the future.” 

For more information regarding membership to The Guild of Property Professionals email parklane@guildproperty.co.uk or to see more click here.

20Sep

In celebration of our launch in Northern Ireland today, we spoke with Ian Wilson, Managing Director of Wilsons Auctions, our first official member in Northern Ireland:

How long have you worked at Wilsons Auctions?

Over 50 years.


Why did you join The Guild of Property Professionals?

We joined The Guild in the hope it will offer Wilsons Auctions an opportunity to work closer with Northern Ireland Estate Agents, allowing us to work together and assist each other to help our clients achieve a successful sale. 


Tell us a little about Wilsons…

Wilsons Auctions is a family-owned business, established in 1936, it now has branches across the UK and Ireland. We are delighted to be able to conduct a significant number of auctions across our branches including property and private treaty auctions which we have developed over recent years. 


If you became the Housing Minister for a day, what would you change?

I think I would have to take a sick day!


Can you give six tips for anyone who wants to work in the property sector?

You need to have a love for property, enthusiasm, an eye for detail, good communication skills, enjoy working with people and in today’s market you need to be digitally able.


What is the cheapest and most expensive property to go under the hammer with Wilsons Auctions?

We sold a derelict cottage in Dromore, County Down for £7,500 which has been the cheapest property sold, while a few months ago we were involved in the sale of quarries in the Republic of Ireland by auction which achieved a total of €7.22 million. 


Where are the three best places to invest in Northern Ireland and why?

East Belfast, Glengormley and Lisburn would be the best places to invest as all have high demand for rental properties. Most of our buyers are rental investors or developers looking to upgrade and flip a property.


Any tips for first time bidders?

Do your homework, make sure you view the property you are interested in and do due diligence with your solicitor on the Legal Pack. Research properties in the locality, and get a feel for what is selling, who to and for what price.


What is the fastest you have sold a home at auction?

Often we would sell properties instructed late into an auction, sometimes less than two weeks. We recently completed on a house in Ballymena, Co. Antrim in 14 days, the house had a guide price of £110,000 and we were delighted to say it made £167,000 at the fall of the hammer. 


How can people calm their nerves during auction day?

For the vendor I would say to have full confidence in the agent who is selling the property. For buyers, try and enjoy the thrill of the auction, get to the auction hall in plenty of time to get a feel of the auction before the property you are interested is due to be sold. Don’t be scared to ask any staff for assistance or advice. Preparation is key; come prepared with an idea of your maximum bid. It is important that the auctioneer can see you, so choose your seat wisely and bid early.


What is next for the Northern Ireland property market?

It seems to change on a daily basis when you listen to the news, however, in Northern Ireland we have survived through some adverse times and no matter what’s thrown at us we always get through.


What makes the perfect home for you?

The perfect partner to share it with.


For more information regarding membership to The Guild of Property Professionals email parklane@guildproperty.co.uk or to see more click here.


11Sep

There are several reasons why friendly and sociable Northern Ireland is considered to be one of the happiest places to live in the UK. The country has a lot to offer, from beautiful scenery to a low cost of living and great employment opportunities, not to mention the countless beaches, world famous golf courses and wealth of public parks and forests. All of which make Northern Ireland an amazing place to put down roots. 

In fact, Northern Ireland is so blessed with beautiful regions, dramatic coastlines, castles, landmarks and mountains, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to things to marvel at. 

Here are just some of the reasons that Northern Ireland is an amazing place to live:

Belfast


Considered one of Europe’s most friendly and fashionable regional capitals, Belfast has been described by Lonely Planet as a ‘must-see visitor destination’. The vibrant and thriving capital has undergone an era of regeneration and features a wide array of award-winning restaurants, bars and tourist attractions such as the Titanic Belfast Centre. Belfast is also a short drive from a number of Northern Ireland’s other attractions such as the legendary Giant’s Causeway, which is the number one Irish attraction in the list of the world’s top tourist spots, the Lakelands of Fermanagh, the Walls of Derry, the majestic Mountains of Mourne and the Glens of Antrim. 

Best places to live

According to The Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide, five places in Northern Ireland were named among the best places to live in Britain, with Ballyhackamore in Belfast topping the list in Northern Ireland. A wide range of factors are considered when compiling the list from jobs, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, to compile the definitive top locations to live. Other Northern Ireland locations on the list include Holywood in Co Down, Newcastle in Co Down, Portrush in Co Antrim, and Strangford in Co Down.

Property market

During the first quarter of this year, Northern Ireland led to house price growth across the UK with a 7.9% increase on last year. However, with unemployment now at a 10-year low, inflation falling and wages increasing, property prices remain more affordable in Northern Ireland than in many other regions. 

Economy

Millions are being invested in regeneration and Northern Ireland’s towns and cities are thriving, with the new industries being created giving the economy a new lease on life. Outside of London, Northern Ireland is the leading UK region for attracting inward investment. In fact, Belfast is the world’s top destination city for financial services technologies investments. Business in Northern Ireland is also supported by a strong infrastructure, with the region boasting the highest availability of superfast broadband in the UK.

Outdoor Activities 


The country has not one, but two world-renowned golf courses at Royal County Down and Royal Portrush, not to mention the numerous other golf courses throughout the region. Royal County Down is located in Newcastle, a small holiday town at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne, while Portrush stands on a rocky promontory that juts out into the Atlantic. Both courses offer spectacular views and greens that blend into the landscape perfectly. 

Not a golfer, don’t worry there are plenty of other activities in Northern Ireland to keep you busy, such as a walk along one of the breath-taking beaches. Some of Europe’s most remarkable beaches are in Northern Ireland, with the naturally beautiful formations of coastline providing long stretches of golden sand. 


Arts and culture

Northern Ireland is as culturally rich as it is beautiful. Home to several fascinating museums, the country has also produced a wealth of world-renowned writers, among them Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, C.S Lewis, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett. Northern Ireland has also given the world musical legends such as Van Morrison, Gary Moore, James Galway, Phil Coulter, Brian Kennedy, The Undertones, Ash, Stiff Little Fingers and Snow Patrol.

During more recent years, the country’s film industry has enjoyed much success as the base for a number of large-scale productions which include Game of Thrones, Dracula Untold and the BBC drama series ‘The Fall’. Northern Ireland’s scenic locations and host of talented actors have made it a sought-after destination for production companies. 

Northern Ireland has a lot to celebrate and offer and continues to attract both tourists and settlers alike. In the words of Liam Neeson: “I’ve always maintained that Northern Ireland is the world’s best-kept secret, both in the character of its people and its scenery.”

07Sep

On 20th September, The Guild will officially be expanding to Northern Ireland for the first time. With our launch fast approaching, we are on the hunt for the prettiest places to live in Northern Ireland. We are giving away a luxury hamper from Regency Hampers to the lucky winner with the most delightful submission. Simply message us on Facebook or Twitter with a photograph and the location for your chance to win.



The hamper includes: 

A Hand-Made Lidded Willow Picnic Basket with Leather Fittings (36 x 26 x 15cm)

Two Guinness, Original Irish Stout, 500ml

Snowdonia, Select Extra Mature Cheddar Truckle, 100g

Snowdonia, Select Mature Cheddar With Garlic & Garden Herbs, 100g

Simon Weaver, Organic Cotswold Brie, 100g

Cottage Delight, Caramelised Onion Chutney, 105g

Mondovino, Spicy Moroccan Seed & Nut Crackers, 125g

The Dormen, Zesty Lime & Fiery Chilli Peanut & Cashew Mix, 50g

Four Anjels, Cotswold Luxury Shortbread, 100g

Cottage Delight, Strawberry Extra Jam, 113g

Cole's, Strawberry Steamed Pudding, 227g

Lindt, Swiss Luxury Chocolate Selection, 145g

A Protective Cardboard Outer (480 x 310 x 260 mm)

How to Enter

Message us on Facebook or Twitter with a photograph of your submission and the location.

Important dates

The closing date for entries is on Wednesday 19th September 2018 at 5pm. The winner will be contacted within 24 hours and will be announced on social media when they accept their prize. 

Terms & Conditions

Competition closes Wednesday 19th September 2018. Any entry made after this date will be invalid. 

By entering the competition, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. By entering the competition, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

1. The Guild Luxury Hamper Competition is open to mainland UK and Northern Ireland residents only. 

2. The competition is free to enter.

3. Entrants must be over 18 years of age, or under 18 with the permission of a parent or guardian.

4. There is one step required to successfully enter the competition; to comment below the competition post on Facebook.

Once all steps are completed, you will be entered into the competition.

5. The information explaining how to enter the competition forms part of these terms and conditions. Entrants to the competition are bound by the entirety of these terms and conditions.

6. Winners will be chosen at random by the Guild team.

7. There will be one winner. They will be contacted via private message through The Guild Facebook page. They will have 24 hours from when the message is sent to respond, claiming the prize. Failure to do so may result in a secondary winner being chosen. 

8. The winner will receive one luxury hamper from Regency Hampers delivered to their home address. No cash alternative will be provided, and the prize is non-refundable and non–transferrable. There will not be option of choice between hampers.

9. In the event that the selected prize cannot be delivered, The Guild will attempt to find a suitable replacement. A change in prize value due to reasons beyond the control of The Guild cannot be contested by the winner. Finding a replacement is at the sole discretion of The Guild. 

10. The Guild cannot be held responsible for any issue arising from the fault of Regency Hampers or their delivery service. This includes, but is not limited to, any issues with delivery, damage to the product, quality complaints, or missing products. 

11. Entrants may be required to take part in media activity surrounding the competition. By taking part in the competition, entrants consent to the participation in such activity fully.

12. No responsibility is taken for entries lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete due to server functions or failures, virus, bugs, technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or any other causes outside the control of The Guild.

13. Events may occur that render the competition itself, or the awarding of the prize, impossible due to reasons beyond the control of The Guild. Accordingly, The Guild may at their absolute discretion vary or amend the competition, and the entrant agrees that no liability shall be attached to The Guild as a result thereof.

14. This competition is organised and operated The Guild Limited of 121 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 7AG.

15. In the event of any dispute regarding these terms and conditions, conduct, results and all other matters relating to the Competition the decision of The Guild shall be final and no correspondence or discussions shall be entered into.

16. Contest not open to The Guild employees and their immediate family members.

17. The Guild Luxury Hamper Competition is bound to The Guild’s terms and conditions, which can be found here: https://www.guildproperty.co.uk/legal/terms 

04Sep

With a growing network of almost 800 independent estate agents, The Guild of Property Professionals has enjoyed a strong presence in both England and Wales for 25 years and now believes that its unique offering will perfectly compliment the best independent agents in Northern Ireland. In June this year, The Guild signed independent auction company Wilsons Auctions as the first Member of its expansion into Northern Ireland. Their connections and extensive reach throughout Ireland will greatly enhance The Guild’s referral network and create many business opportunities for Members.  

Membership to The Guild of Property Professionals focuses on three principles. Saving them money, making them money and helping them remain compliant. This is achieved by giving Members access to a range of marketing solutions, additional revenue generators, such as the nationwide referral programme and Paul Offley, The Guild’s compliance officer. 

The growth also has huge benefits to the consumer. With more than 73,000 listings within the network, buyers should always bookmark The Guild’s own portal as part of their property search. Also, if they are moving out of their immediate area, we are able to refer them to a Guild Member in the location that they are looking to move to, ensuring that they are dealing with an agent that adheres to the same high standards and ethics. 

We are excited to work with agents in Northern Ireland and will be asking them to help us shape our network, both locally and nationally. Our Marketing Committee and National Advisory Council will have Northern Ireland representation. It is an exciting time for The Guild and we are delighted to be embarking on a new journey into previously uncharted territory. 

The Guild is thrilled about the expansion into Northern Ireland and will be hosting an invitation-only launch event at the iconic Titanic Belfast at the end of September. 

For more information regarding membership to The Guild of Property Professionals email parklane@guildproperty.co.uk or to see more click here.


24Jul

Most property viewings happen in the first month of marketing a property. What can you do if your home isn’t attracting much attention? 

Here are five tips to make sure your property has more viewings in 24 hours. 



1. Run a social media campaign 

Ask your agent to boost your property on Facebook. They will be able to target people who live in your local area to generate attention. Make sure people can easily book a viewing from the post. 


2. Host an open house 

Set a date for an open house and invite interested people to attend. Most open houses run from about 11am to 1pm on a Saturday. You could get up to 30 people through the door on just one day. 


3. Stage your home 

Are your interiors inspiring? Hire a homestaging firm to help declutter and present your home in the best possible light. This is particularly important if your property isn’t furnished. 


4. Reduce the price 

This is a big decision, but a reduced price will get a lot of new attention. If you need to sell quickly, this is a good option. 


Are you looking to sell your home? Contact your local Guild Member for help through the moving process.

23Jul

When you step into a house there is naturally one room which buyers gravitate towards. The important question is, which room convinces you to buy? If you’re looking to sell your home it is useful to know which room to prioritise for open houses, images of the property or facts about your home. 

Read what some of our Guild agents had to say about their experiences of which rooms convinces people to buy.


Simon Davies, Branch Manager of Norman F Brown said: “I believe the kitchen is the heart of a home. The current trend is a space where everyone can be together. Historically this was the sitting room, but recently there is a shift to living kitchens, especially if there is an open-plan design with the sitting room. The best kitchen I have seen interlinks the garden with French Doors or Modern Bi Folds to bring the outside in and make the garden more inclusive.”


Simon Bradbury, Managing Director of Thomas Morris said: “The room which I believe most convinces a buyer to purchase a home is the hallway, although it’s not technically a “room”. Normally, it’s the very first internal part of a property that a buyer will see. Therefore, the hallways establishes the tone for their experience with the rest of the property by setting a positive or negative level of expectancy. The hall should be bright and feel warm (or cool depending on the time of year) and inviting. Clutter should be put away to make the area appear more spacious. Air fresheners, diffusers, scented candles or flowers are simple, but effective methods to enhance a buyer’s first impression of a property.”


Simon Miller, Partner of Holroyd Miller said: “Open-plan kitchens create the lifestyle of family and friends coming together in a space that can accommodate eating, drinking and socialising. The kitchen is normally the most expensive and time-consuming room in a home to decorate or renovate. A kitchen already supplied with good quality appliances and high-end worktops are favourable. Buyers are usually looking for minimum effort, focusing on moving in and opening a celebratory chilled bottle of fizz.”


Steve Wayne, Director of Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents said: “The centre of any home is often thought of as the kitchen. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it can often be the social hub of any home. It is where loved ones come together and a space in which you can get creative, both in design and culinary delights. The advantage of an eat-in kitchen allows for communal meals and socialising. Good food and communication makes for a happy household.”


Jenny Owen, Head of Marketing for Sawyer & Co. said: “A room with a view is always a great selling point for buyers. A well-fitted, spacious bathroom is really popular and at the moment.” 


Pav Lotay, Account Manager for the Guild of Property Professionals Head office said: “For me, the living room is the most social space in a property and the area which I spend the most time in. This is the room that stands out the most and would convince me to buy. I look for a homely property: a spacious living room where I can see myself having guests to visit and putting up a Christmas tree.”


Are you looking to sell your property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here


11Jul

Between packing your things and preparing for your first night in a new home, moving house takes a lot of organisation, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are some tips to take the stress out of from moving. 



Stay organised 

Pack by room and decide when and how you will organise your things. Organise your belongings into boxes and plan how they will fit in the moving van. 

Start packing as soon as you can. Choose non-essential items first, then pack your essentials like furniture and kitchenware on the week of the move. 


Take your time

Feeling rushed will make your stress levels skyrocket, so being slow and methodical is the best way to combat moving worry. 


Have a backup plan

When you’re planning your move, take a small amount of time to think about the things that could go wrong and write them down, then think of ways to overcome these problems.


Enlist help

Ask for help from your friends and family to take the pressure off on moving day. 


Take care of yourself

A healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help take the edge off your moving stress. Taking care of yourself also means that you deserve a treat every now and then, so consider a takeaway on your first night in the new home to reward yourself for all the hard work!


Do you want to move house? Talk to your local Guild Member today at guildproperty.co.uk/find-a-guild-member


04Jul

Converting a derelict property into a beautiful home is a dream for many. But what do you need to know before embarking on a renovation project? 



Renovation projects can be few and far between. When one comes on the market, many people may try to snap it up to make a profit or create their dream home. 

Register your interest with your local Guild Member to hear about suitable properties as soon as they come on the market. Also, check your local auction house. 

If you have seen Grand Designs, you know that building projects often go over budget. Plan realistically and have a large contingency budget. 

There is a lot of legal work to do before starting a build. Check building restrictions in the area or on the property itself and apply for planning permission. 

Conduct several surveys before building starts to assess the building and work out exactly what you need to do. 

Who is going to project manage the build? A professional could do everything for you, or you could do it yourself. From coordinating tradespeople to liaising with the planning department, arranging inspections, organising paperwork and get everything signed off. 

The Guild is a network of the best 800 independent estate agents around the country. Find out why you should choose them to sell your home. 


Click here to find your closest Guild Member.

28Jun

The Guild of Property Professionals is launching in Northern Ireland for the first time.

The Guild carefully selects independent estate agents to join their network of almost 800 Members across England and Wales, and now in Northern Ireland.

Wilsons Auctions are the first Members in Northern Ireland. They are the largest independent auction company in the UK and Ireland. The company auction everything from land to cars, commercial vehicles, plant and machinery and prestigious items from super cars and planes to high-value watches, designer goods and much more. 

Peter Johnston, Group Operations Director at Wilsons Auctions said: “We are thrilled to be the first Member from Northern Ireland to have been signed by The Guild. This is a fantastic opportunity for Wilsons Auctions to be part of such a prestigious network of members across the UK and to lead the way for estate agents in Northern Ireland to benefit from their expert services.” 

The Guild operates on an exclusive basis, so there can only be one Member in each territory. The agent is selected on their quality of service, so it is a great way for customers to decide which estate agent to instruct. 

“We are delighted to have launched in Northern Ireland,” said Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild. “It is a milestone in our development and marks an exciting opportunity to expand in a country we have not reached before.” 

The Guild will host an exclusive event at Titanic Belfast to launch The Guild in Northern Ireland to local estate agents.



22Jun

To celebrate The Guild’s 25th birthday, we are running our first competition! To celebrate the anniversary, we are giving three people the chance to join our birthday celebrations with a delicious cake from the English Cheescake Company. 

Simply like and share our pinned competition post on Facebook or Twitter to be in with a chance of winning a delicious cake. 

Are you looking to move home? The Guild has been a mark of excellence in the property industry for 25 years. Find your local Guild Member today. 


How to enter: 

On Facebook - Share the competition post pinned at the top of the page AND like The Guild’s Facebook page

On Twitter - Retweet our pinned tweet about the competition AND follow @GuildProperty


Important dates

The closing date for entries is on Thursday 19th July 2018. The winners will be contacted shortly after, and they will be announced on social media once they have collected the prize. 



 

Terms & Conditions

By entering the competition, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

1. The Guild’s Cake Competition is open to residents of mainland UK only. 

2. The competition is free to enter.

3. Entrants must be over 18 years of age, or under 18 with the permission of a parent or guardian.

4. There are two steps required to successfully enter the competition; to share the competition post, and to follow/like The Guild page. To participate, you need to either;

a.       Retweet on twitter or share on Facebook the competition post that is pinned at the top of the page.

b.    Follow us on twitter or like the page on Facebook

Once all steps are completed, you will be entered into the competition.

5. The information explaining how to enter the competition forms part of these terms and conditions. Entrants to the competition are bound by the entirety of these terms and conditions.

6. Winners will be chosen at random by The Guild of Property Professionals team.

7. There will be three winners. They will be contacted via private message through The Guild of Property Professionals Facebook and/or Twitter pages.

8. The three winners will each receive one birthday cake with approximately 10 servings posted to their address. The prize will be delivered on a weekday (Tuesday to Friday) in July or August. Please note that cakes will arrive frozen and require eight hours of defrosting in a fridge before they can be eaten. No cash alternative will be provided and the prize is non-refundable and non–transferrable. 

9. The Guild of Property Professionals cannot be held responsible for any issue arising from the fault of English Cheesecake. This includes, but is not limited to, a faulty cake being delivered, allergic reactions as a result of consumption, and the cake not being able to be delivered to the home for any reason (including delivery to remote locations and failed delivery resulting in a spoiled cake). 

10. Entrants may be required to take part in media activity surrounding the competition. By taking part in the competition, entrants consent to the participation in such activity fully.

11. No responsibility is taken for entries lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete due to server functions or failures, virus, bugs, technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or any other causes outside the control of The Guild of Property Professionals.

12. Events may occur that render the competition itself, or the awarding of the prizes, impossible due to reasons beyond the control of The Guild of Property Professionals. Accordingly, The Guild of Property Professionals may at their absolute discretion vary or amend the competition, and the entrant agrees that no liability shall be attached to The Guild of Property Professionals as a result thereof.

13. This competition is organised and operated by The Guild of Property Professionals of 121 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 7AG.

14. In the event of any dispute regarding these terms and conditions, conduct, results and all other matters relating to the Competition the decision of The Guild of Property Professionals shall be final and no correspondence or discussions shall be entered into.

15. Contest not open to The Guild of Property Professionals employees and their immediate family members.

16. These terms and conditions also include the full terms and conditions found at https://www.guildproperty.co.uk/legal/terms. 

 

The Guild of Property Professionals Head Office

Tel: 020 7079 1515 Email: mediacentre@guildproperty.co.uk. 

14Jun

The home you purchase isn’t always your dream property, but you can turn your property into the home of your dreams with a few quick fixes. Here are some tips to upgrade your home for less.  



1. Paint your kitchen cabinets 

Freshly painted cabinets give the kitchen an update without the cost of a full renovation. Choose light colours to brighten the space. 


2. Add mirrors 

Mirrors can make any space seem larger and are an easy way to ‘open up’ a room.


3. Invest in landscaping 

Consider adding some landscaping to the front of your property. A tree or two works well in a more rural environment, and never underestimate the power of a few potted plants in an urban home. 


4. Add wooden floors

Wall-to-wall carpet is no longer a popular choice, as homeowners now prefer wooden floors that they can choose to put a rug on. Consider vinyl flooring in a wooden pattern to get reclaimed wooden floors for less. 


5. Freshen the front door

First impressions count, so choose a front door in a neutral glossy shade or pick a bright colour with personality. 


Do you want to find a home to spruce up? Contact your local Guild Member today.

07Jun

To make your home appeal to the widest range of buyers, identify its strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most common property weaknesses and how you can turn them into strengths. 



Weakness: The windows are outdated.

  • Hanging new curtains is an easy way to update your property. Install a simple metal rod and hang a neutral curtain with metal rings. 


Weakness: Your kitchen needs an update. 

  • Purchase new white goods for your kitchen to avoid the cost of a complete renovation. When you’re updating, think stainless steel as these appliances are popular and modern. 


Weakness: There are small, ‘awkward’ spaces in your home.

  • Hang a large mirror. Mirrors can make any space seem larger, so they’re especially important in an entryway or narrow hallway. 


Weakness: Your house looks old.

  • A fresh coat of paint and a top-to-bottom clean can work wonders to turn a rustic property into a character-filled dream. Highlight the period features of your property so the house becomes historic, not just ‘old’.


Weakness: There’s no furniture in your property. 

  • Have furniture in every room to demonstrate what it could be used for. 


Are you selling your home? Contact your local Guild Member today.

31May

Many people forget the first impression comes from the garden. Watch the video to get ideas and tips to help sell your home this summer, as well as make your garden a more enjoyable place to be. 



1. Decluttering the garden can add value. Always start with tidying and give your lawn a fresh mow and tidy up any weather damage before a viewing. 

2. Add some seasonal colour, like plant pots filled with flowers. This will add perceived value.

3. Start in the front garden, because this is where your potential buyer will start. The first impression counts. 

4. Add a key selling point, like a summer house, play park or a jacuzzi if you want to turn your garden into a fantastic reason to buy the house. This requires major investment, but it could secure your sale. 

5. If you’re looking to spend less, don’t underestimate the impact of a coat of paint on fences and sheds. 

6. Style your garden with furniture. You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs on the decking or patio?

7. If your home is overlooked, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots. 


Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Contact a Guild Member today. 


24May

Are you thinking about putting your property on the market, but aren’t sure when or how? We’ve identified some of the best times to think seriously about selling your property.



1. Your family needs more space. No matter if your family is growing or if the people in your house are growing restless, it’s time to consider a change.

2. Look to the seasons. The autumn and spring are known for being good times to sell your property.

3. You’re not excited to go home at the end of the day. Can you rest, relax and feel safe in your home? It should be a place where you feel comfortable, and anything less should have you looking elsewhere.

4. The local property market is flourishing. Speak to your local agent and look around your neighbourhood. More activity means it is a better time to sell.

5. You’re considering buying a new property. If you’re thinking of moving house, put your own home on the market first.


Contact your local Guild Member today to find out more about selling your home. 

18May

Have you ever thought of being an estate agent? There are some skills that will help you in the field. Here are tips from Guild estate agents.



1. Experience in customer service and sales will be a useful asset. Time working in hospitality or retail can give the confidence and skills needed to be an estate agent.

2. Good knowledge of the local property market will be very useful. Think about starting as an administrator to get an idea of the business, build customer relations and to discover if this is the right career for you.

3. Buying and selling houses is a stressful process that can result in emotional clients. Estate agents need to be patient with their clients because this will be one of the most important decisions of their lives.

4. There is clear progression in estate agency, providing you with clear goals and chances to move up the ladder.

5. Estate agents will juggle a lot of tasks, like visiting clients and landlords to do valuations, arranging viewings, and negotiating between buyers and sellers.

6. It is often required, but not necessary, to be able to drive to appointments.


Are you looking for a career in estate agency? Contact your nearest Guild agent today to see if they have positions available.

11May

Are you dreaming of building your own home? It can be a complicated process, so here are some top tips.



- Carefully consider the land’s location, size, and surroundings. Would the property fit in with the neighbours? This will be crucial to get planning approval.

- Always do a land registry search. It’s affordable and can tell you a lot about the land you’re considering. The search will tell you if the property is registered. Unregistered land can take time to get papers in order.

- There are many checks to do before you build. Depending on the scale of your project, you’ll need a bat survey, an asbestos test, and a geotechnical survey. Check there is no Japanese knotweed on the property, and ask the Council if there are any tree protection orders. Without these, unexpected building costs can arise, which can add thousands of pounds to your build cost.

- Put an inquiry into the planning department for £140 to see if they will grant full approval to build. It’s good to do this before you buy to guarantee approval.

- Employ an architect or an architectural designer. Visit the RIBA website to find a list of local firms.


Are you looking for land? Contact your local Guild Member to find out what is on the market in your area. 

27Apr

So you’ve completed on your new home and can’t wait to move. You’ve even started thinking about how to decorate. Although there’s one thing you might have forgotten... you’ve got to move out of your home first. Between packing your things and preparing for your first night in a new home, moving house can seem overwhelming. However, moving from one property to another doesn’t have to be stressful! We have put together a few moving house tips, to remove the stress from your moving experience. You can also read our blog post on ways to stay calm when moving house.


1. Stay organised 

As with any daunting task, staying organised is key. Pack by room and decide when and how you will organise your things. Once you’ve assigned items to labelled boxes, consider the moving van. How will the boxes go inside? Will you need to take multiple trips? Once you’ve worked these things out, you’ll have a plan for your moving day which should give you peace of mind. 


2. Pack early

There’s nothing worse than having a moving van booked and realising that you’ll need to pack all night to be ready. Start packing as soon as you can. Choose non-essential items first (decorations, etc.), and pack your essentials like furniture and cutlery the week of the move. 


3. Take your time

When you’re moving house, be sure to allot more time than you actually need. Feeling rushed will make your stress levels skyrocket, so being slow and methodical is the best way to combat moving worry. Extra time allows you to be more careful when you’re packing and unpacking, and it also takes into account the inevitable moving day setbacks. 


4. Be flexible

There are sure to be bumps in the road when you’re moving house, so remind yourself to stay flexible. Having a plan is a great way to stay organised, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it when circumstances require. 


5. Have a backup plan

When you’re planning your move, take a small amount of time to think about the things that could go wrong and write them down. Once you’ve got your list, think of ways that you could overcome these problems. A backup plan will help take stress out of your move, because you’ve already thought of potential solutions. 



6. Enlist help

Moving house is a huge task, and it becomes even bigger when you have to do it all yourself. Ask for help from your friends and family (most of them will be willing to lend a hand for a few slices of pizza) to take the pressure off. You’ll be finished much faster, and the more people that are involved, the easier moving to your new home will be. 


7. Say goodbye

You’ve lived in your old property for some time, so give yourself a moment to think about all the good memories you associate with the space. If you’re in the mood to entertain (and you haven’t packed all the plates and glasses), have a party and invite your friends to say goodbye to your old home in style. 


8. Take care of yourself

Purchasing a new property and moving into it can be extremely draining, so be careful to take care of yourself throughout the process. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help take the edge off your moving stress. Taking care of yourself also means that you deserve a treat every now and then, so consider a takeaway on your first night in the new home to reward yourself for all your hard work!


Are you looking for your dream home? Contact your local Guild Member today to get started. 

24Apr

The home you purchase isn’t always your dream property. However, you can turn your property into the home of your dreams with a few quick fixes. Some property additions can even add value to your home. Take a look at our best tips to upgrade your home for less. 

Paint your kitchen cabinets

If you’re looking for an easy way to update the look of your home, paint your cabinets. Freshly painted cabinets give your home the update it needs without the cost of a full kitchen renovation. Choose light colours to brighten up your space, but don’t be afraid of colour: light blue or pale green both look fantastic in a kitchen. 

Update your fixtures

New cabinet door handles or knobs on the sink can make a surprising difference in any room in your house. Choose modern door handles to update your kitchen, and you can even consider painting your sink knobs to give them a much-needed facelift. 

Add mirrors 

Mirrors can make any space seem larger and are an easy way to ‘open up’ a room without knocking down a wall. Hang a large mirror on an open wall, or consider a gallery wall of smaller mirrors for a room that’s tricky to decorate. 

Invest in landscaping 

Kerb appeal is king, so be sure that the outside of your home is attractive. The entrance to your home should be neat and tidy, and consider adding some landscaping to the front of your property. A tree or two works well in a more rural environment, and never underestimate the power of a few potted plants in an urban home. 

Add visible storage

Adding storage is a great way to add value to your property, and visible storage is an extremely easy way to make use of the more awkward spaces in your home. Look for spaces like nooks in corridors, eaves, spaces under stairs, space above sinks, and wall space for mounted cupboards. Adding visible storage in these places is a great way to showcase your personality as well as cut the clutter.

Add wooden floors

Wall-to-wall carpet is no longer a popular choice, as homeowners now prefer wooden floors that they can choose to put a rug on. Many types of wooden flooring are available on a budget, so consider vinyl flooring in a wooden pattern or get reclaimed wooden floors for less. 

Freshen up your front door

First impressions count, and there’s nothing less appealing than a front door with peeling paint. You can stay classic and choose a front door in a neutral glossy shade, or pick a brighter colour with some personality. 


Are you interested in finding the perfect home to spruce up? Contact your local Guild Member today. 


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