Q&A With Gemma Caulfield
We recently caught up Bramleys residential branch manager and senior surveryer Gemma Caulfield, you can vist their site here: Bramleys Estate Agent
Here is what she had to say.
- When and how did you first get into working in the property market?
After studying my A Levels at Huddersfield New College, I secured a job in retail which served me well until I managed to obtain a role in the property industry which was the career I wanted to pursue. I was employed in 2013 as a trainee by an Independent firm in Halifax and worked my way through the business, completed various qualifications before becoming property valuer at one of their village branches. I joined Bramleys in October 2020 as Senior Valuer and quickly undertook the role of Branch Manager of their flagship office.
- Where do you currently work and what do you enjoy about your current role?
I value properties for sales purposes across all of Kirklees and sometimes parts of Calderdale. I enjoy meeting our clients to discuss their requirements, seeing all the different types of properties and the unique way clients modify them. Don’t get me wrong, I see my fair share of not so nice ones too! But it comes as part of the role. Most of all, I enjoy knowing that I have made a difference to someones life. Either by helping them climb up or down the property ladder, or assisting those who have inherited property and require guidance on the best strategy to sell it.
- From your own personal opinion how would you feel the property market is currently in your local area and what changes do you see in 2022?
Since the re-opening of the property market after the first initial lockdown in May 2020, the market has truly boomed. We have seen house prices in the Kirklees area increase between 10-15% and in some cases, properties have exceeded expectations. Most houses when priced correctly are achieving near to asking price, and in a lot of cases, we have recommended going to best and finals, pushing prices over the advertised price. It is difficult to determine how the market will be in 2022 but while there is still a shortage of houses coming for sale, there will be a high demand from buyers wishing to jump on the ladder or make their next move.
- First impressions count when it comes to selling a property, when it comes to the exterior of a property what would you say are the top 3 points to a potential buyer considers?
Without a doubt, the top external selling point that buyers look for is parking. If a property does not have parking but has provisions to create, it would be worth investing in forming an area for vehicles, even if it means ridding of the front garden.
The second point purchaser look at are the gardens. Having a garden that is in proportion to the house is a big tick off a purchasers wish list, and larger than average outdoor spaces are even more premium. However, there are some buyers who prefer a smaller, low maintenance space that is easier to manage whilst giving a space for sitting outdoors.
Finally, it would have to be the properties overall appearance. It is so important to get the kerb appeal of the property right to entice as many buyers as possible. This includes touching up paintwork, cleaning uPVC fittings such as windows, doors and fascias, pruning the garden and jetwashing the patio areas.
- In your experience when negotiating with customers on a property, how important is a well installed, practical driveway with kerb appeal?
Buyers certainly prefer a practical driveway as most households these days have two or more vehicles. Where the driveway is rugged and needs replacing, this can massively affect the kerb appeal. Surveyors will sometimes comment on the condition of the driveway if they feel it needs replacing and this is a cost that a potential buyer may need to factor in. By far the most attractive driveways are Resin. They serve their purpose well, are durable and enhance the overall look of the properties.