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The latest from Flick & Son with properties for sale and to rent in Benhall, Southwold, Orford, Aldeburgh, Halesworth, Leiston, Frostenden, Yoxford, Darsham and Saxmundham. For our full selection across Suffolk’s Heritage Coastline, please visit our website.
Qualifications to look for in your estate agent

Welcome to the latest newsletter from Flick & Son.

We believe it is worth you putting in a little research to help you find an estate agent to represent you in the sale your home. 
 
Very surprisingly, despite the sale of your home being probably the biggest transaction you will ever make, estate agents do not have to be either qualified or regulated to practice - and many are not.
 
How do you know whether an estate agent works within the legal framework which governs estate agency? How do you know that any particular estate agent will act with integrity and will do his or her job properly for you?
 
The answer is to select a qualified and well established agent to represent you. Their expertise in property and its marketing and the advice and help such an agent can give throughout the process can be crucial to the success of the sale of your home.
 
It is wise to beware of self-anointed ‘property experts’ so check an agent’s qualifications before you make your choice.  To help you choose, here is a quick guide to the qualifications to look for:


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

RICS membership is the gold standard of property professionalism. Membership of the RICS requires degree level education involving at least five years academic and practical examination as well as continual lifelong learning after qualification.

Chartered Surveyors working in residential property are acknowledged for the authoritative advice they provide on all aspects of property condition/repair, valuation and transactions as well as in the fields of property letting and management.

The Royal Charter requires RICS members to protect consumers and to develop the profession for the public advantage. Its members and their firms are highly regulated and highly knowledgeable and membership comes with an assurance to the consumer that members and their firms uphold the highest standards of professional competence, service and integrity.

The National Association of Estate Agents

NAEA membership is a mark of professionalism in residential property agency and is available through a series of technical awards designed to develop and test knowledge of all aspects of estate agency.

Membership ensures professional competence in both the practice and law of Estate Agency and all NAEA members agree to comply with the professional standards outlined within the National Federation of Property Professionals’ Conduct and Membership Rules demonstrating just how dedicated members are to ensuring that they provide professional advice and a professional service to property sellers and buyers alike.


The National Association of Residential Letting Agents

ARLA is a specialist qualification for residential letting and managing agents and other than the RICS it is a critical qualification to look for when choosing an agent who will be handling rent and deposits for you and who will be accounting to you for their safe handling.

As with the NAEA, membership requires technical qualifications and ARLA is regulated by the National Federation of Property Professionals’ (NFoPP) Conduct and Membership Rules. NAEA members are backed up by the NFoPP client money protection scheme to prevent either tenants or landlords suffering financially if things should go wrong (subject to limits and criteria).


The Property Ombudsman

Whilst not a qualification, an agent’s membership of The Property Ombudsman is something to look out for too. The Property Ombudsman offers consumers a free, impartial and independent dispute resolution service when a complaint by anyone using an Agent’s services can’t be resolved satisfactorily with the Agent.

The TPO publishes a Code of Practice for Residential Agents by which it considers complaints and it can fine or expel members who break its Code. It can also require that agents pay consumers awards of up to £25,000 if an agent is held to be in breach of its Code. Alternative dispute resolution and complaints handling services exist but the TPO is probably the best known of them.

It is a large collection of initials, but these organisations educate, regulate and discipline the profession hence membership is very important for peace of mind when choosing the right estate agent.

Peter Watson FRICS MNAEA MARLA
Director, Flick & Son

Featured properties this month

Benhall House
Benhall  |  £650,000
An charming six bedroom Grade II Listed period detached house situated in the popular East Suffolk village of Benhall on the outskirts of Saxmundham.

The accommodation is arranged over four floors and retains many period features and beam studwork throughout.  There is a large farmhouse style kitchen with an oil fired two oven Aga and a large inglenook fireplace with wood burning stove.  The garden has a large timber barn with hayloft, wood store, potting shed and a walled vegetable garden.  

More details
Southwold

Southwold  |  £525,000

A delightful two bedroom single storey cottage tucked away in a peaceful location yet only a few paces from the sea front and market place.  Pretty cottage garden.  EPC Rating D. 
More details
Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh  |  £350,000

A detached two bedroom bungalow with off road parking and separate garage, a spacious west facing rear garden and modern conservatory.  EPC Rating B. 
More details
Leiston

Leiston  |  £150,000

A charming Victorian three bedroom end of terrace house, close to the centre of Leiston, a short drive to the coast at Sizewell and Aldeburgh.  No onward chain.  EPC Rating E.
More details
Orford

Orford  |  £525,000

A charming Grade II Listed four bedroom extended terrace cottage located in the popular peninsular village of Orford.  Period features and substantial garden.  No onward chain.   
More details
Halesworth

Halesworth  |  £347,500

A well presented three/four bedroom detached house built by Hopkins Homes in Rectory Green close to Halesworth town centre.  No onward chain.  EPC Rating D. 
More details
Frostenden

Frostenden  £495,000 

A detached period house standing in secluded grounds of one acre (sts) in a rural yet highly accessible location 6.5 miles to the renowned coastal town of Southwold.  EPC Rating G. 
More details
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Property news

Property transactions slightly up in 2016

Despite changes to Stamp Duty and the vote to the leave the EU, the number of property transactions remained low but resilient according to figures released by HMRC.

Provisional data shows there were more than 1.2 million transactions in 2016, an increase of just 0.45% on the previous year.  Demand remains strong in the face of low supply and industry experts continue to point to a retreat in the buy-to-let market which is likely to have an overall negative impact on the market.

Government to consult on proposed lettings fee ban

A consultation on the government's plans to outlaw charging tenants lettings fees will take place in March or April.  Housing minister in the House of Lords, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, said they will consider the views of property agents, landlords, tenants and other stakeholders before introducing legislation.  Flick & Son will be heavily involved in the process.

The move to ban lettings fees has been criticised within the industry who believe the new proposed new regulation will ultimately push up rental prices as landlords will have to pick up costs of carrying out administrative checks required by law. 

Featured properties this month

Yoxford

Yoxford  |  £199,995

A charming two bedroom period end of terrace cottage located on the outskirts of the popular village of Yoxford.  Cottage garden, detached studio and field view.  EPC Rating D. 
More details
Darsham

Darsham  |  £950 pcm

Spacious period detached unfurnished house.  Freshly decorated & new carpets.  Parking, garage & gardens.  OFCH & two wood burners.  EPC Rating F. (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
More details
Saxmundham

Saxmundham  |  £775 pcm

Three storey three bedroom/three bathroom modern town house with gardens & parking.  In excellent order.  Sorry no pets/smokers.  EPC Rating C.  (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
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Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh  |  OIEO £365,000 

A well presented three bedroom detached bungalow with enclosed rear garden, garage & off-road parking, located in a quiet cul-de-sac.  New fitted kitchen & wet room.  EPC Rating D.  
More details
Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh  |  £810 pcm

A large unfurnished four bedroom terrace house close to the beach and town.  Two reception rooms, two bath/shower rooms and courtyard.  EPC Rating E.  (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
More details
Saxmundham

Saxmundham  |  £545 pcm

Two bedroom mid-terrace unfurnished modern terrace house, gardens & off road parking.  Good order throughout.  In popular residential location.  EPC Rating D. (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
More details
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