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The Chancellor has announced that stamp duty is to be abolished for all first time buyers on properties bought up to £300,000. In addition, first time buyers purchasing properties up to £500,000 will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000.

In his Budget, Philip Hammond announced that 80% of first time buyers would pay no stamp duty at all. With 358,000 first time buyers in the last year, this means that at least 24% of all sales in the UK’s housing market are set to be charged 0% tax. Once other exempt sales under £125,000 are taken into account, this figure will be even higher.

Two thirds of properties bought so far this year across the country have been under the new threshold but there are large regional variations. In Wales and the North East, over 90% of sales in the last year have been over £300,000 while just 17% of sales in London were for less than £300,000.

While good news for first-time buyers, this will further squeeze investors in the sub-£500,000 market who are already suffering from increased taxes. What's more, it does not, give any encouragement to owners higher up the chain to downsize.


Our Christmas Colouring compeition has now launched - download your entry form here or call in to one of our offices ! Don't forget to collect your free chocolate when you deliver your completed entry !Our Christmas Colouring compeition has now launched - download your entry form here or call in to one of our offices ! Don't forget to collect your free chocolate when you deliver your completed entry !

Email us for your entry form or download it here.



NAEA Propertymark offers advice for sellers putting their property on the market this winter

During the winter when the days are shorter, the housing market is renowned for being quieter, as many sellers postpone marketing their homes until the spring. However, house hunters are looking all year round, so buyers should do everything they can to market their property in the best possible light in the colder months as well as the rest of the year.

NAEA Propertymark has put together top tips sellers can follow to ensure success by taking advantage of the unique opportunities that winter can bring:

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark said: “It’s widely believed that sellers should hold off from marketing their homes in the cooler months because ‘it’s a challenging time to sell’. However, with fewer properties on the market and growing demand from buyers, winter can be the perfect time to market your home and get a head start before the traditional New Year rush.”


First impressions count.

The first seconds upon arriving at a property really impact the buyer’s decisions, so make sure it looks well maintained and cared for from the outside, with windows and walls freshly washed to remove any dirt brought by the winter weather. Clear the path of leaves and make sure there isn’t any ice around which could cause potential buyers to slip.


Be flexible.

With less daylight hours available for potential buyers to view your house, you should be as flexible as possible with viewings, so prospective buyers can see it when it’s convenient for them. Your estate agent should help you work around these tricky daylight hours.


A warm welcome.

Making sure a home is warm and well-lit can encourage potential buyers to stay longer and help them to envisage themselves living the property – especially during the winter. Additions such as welcoming garden lights to enhance the entrance to your home can appeal to buyers’ imaginations. If you have a gas fireplace or a clean woodstove, light a fire to welcome visitors and create a warm and cosy ambience. If your home's wood-burning fireplace leaves a smoky smell in the room, hold off.


Feeling festive.

You should decorate for the Christmas period but don’t go overboard; a house that is over cluttered with Christmas décor can deter buyers. They should be able to envisage themselves living in your home, so it pays to make it as inviting as possible. A few festive fairy lights, cinnamon scented candles and a decorated Christmas tree can enhance a homely feel and paint a positive picture for potential buyers. 


Garden space and showcasing all season.

An unkempt garden can detract buyers, as it looks like lots of work needs to be done. It’s worth spending a few hours trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, and removing fallen leaves and dead plants to make a tidy outdoor space. It is also a good idea to trim back overhanging branches, to prevent any from blocking the windows as you want to encourage as much light into the property as possible. Increased rainfall over the winter months take its toll on guttering too, make sure they are well maintained and clear of any debris and fallen leaves, as leaky gutters and pipes cause damage and are unappealing. Viewings on dark winter nights fail to show the potential of your garden, so have photos available to show potential buyers what the property looks like during warmer weather too.


Tackle the DIY jobs you have been putting off.

Make sure all the small maintenance jobs have been finished before you put your home on the market – such as fixing leaky taps or painting over cracks on the walls.  Despite the fact you might not notice it, potential buyers will and fresh internal décor and paintwork goes a long way.


Winter break.

If you are planning to jet off for a winter break, don’t forget to leave the heating on at a low temperature (minimum of 15°c) to prevent the pipes from freezing. If you are away for a long period and don’t want to keep the heating on 24/7, set it on a timer. This will ensure there are no problems upon your return to be dealt with before showing your home to prospective buyers.

For a FREE Valuation contact us on 01364 652652


Do you know about the different ways to sell your home? There are lots of different ways to sell your home, but the main two options are paying a flat-fee up front, which is favoured by DIY models, and the 'no sale, no fee' model, that you'll find on the high street. 

There are different types of estate agent model out there, but at The Guild, we recommend the 'no sale, no fee'. This means that you don't have to pay until your house is sold, so there is no risk of having to pay for no results. 

Watch our video to find out more: 

The 'no sale, no fee' model is used by nearly all 'traditional' estate agents, which means your friendly local estate agent who has a shop on the high street. Be sure to look for this when you decide to sell your home. 

When you choose the 'no sale, no fee' option, it means that your estate agent wants to sell your home as much as you do - they won't get paid if they don't! 

What are the differences?

DIY model 

  • Payment is due no matter if the agent sells your home or not
  • Pay a flat fee up-front 
  • Usually conducted online 

'No sale, no fee' model 

  • No commission is taken until the sale goes through 
  • Agents are paid on commission, so they want the same as you: to sell the home 
  • Usually has a high-street office, giving consumers an in-person point of contact 

The choice is yours, and you are free to pick the model that best suits your needs. At the Guild, we recommend the 'no sale, no fee option because agents with a commission-based fee structure aren’t paid until they get results, meaning their priority is the same as the homeowners: to sell the property. 

Contact us on 01364 652652 to find out more.  For a FREE instant online Valuation click here.


Lots of people become property developers, where they can take a neglected home and turn it into a beautiful house that lots of people will want to buy. Keeping to a strict budget can mean that there is a lot of profit to be made here, but getting carried away can mean that the developers do a lot of work for little or no reward. 

Doing a property renovation can be more work than people anticipate. Plus, you need to get the property for the right price, no matter if that is buying it from an estate agent or bidding at auction, to make sure that you sell for a profit. 

Sawdye & Harris are part of The Guild network which is made up of the best 800 independent estate agents around the country. Find out why you should choose us to sell your home

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