Valuing property - Graham Bowcock

Tamsin speaks to Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer Graham Bowcock. They discuss instructing a valuer rather than an estate agent, how a Single Joint Expert works and whether they might change their valuation.

Graham Bowcock is a Shropshire farmer’s son (but points out he was born in Chester) who studied Rural Estate Management at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. He returned to Cheshire to work in land agency before spending three years with Co-operative Group, advising on their extensive rural estate and farming portfolio across the UK. He subsequently established A G Bowcock and Co in 1992 and after various mergers became part of surveyors Berrys in 2001, retiring from the Partnership in 2018. He has now created Oakwood Valuation Surveyors to specialise in valuations and associated professional work in the north West and North Wales. Graham has significant property experience and has undertaken hundreds of property valuations in his career. His clients include private individuals, family enterprises and household name organisations.


Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at or arrange a free initial meeting using She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…

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(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)

Tamsin Caine 0:06
Hello, and welcome to the Smart Divorce Podcast. I'm Tamsin Caine and I will be your host during this our series 6 of the podcast. We're delighted that you're joining us again, and hope that you really enjoy today's episode. During series 6 we'll be speaking to other divorce professionals who help in perhaps some of the more unusual ways. So we will be speaking to lawyers who deal with international divorce. We will be speaking child inclusive mediation to name a few. I really hope that you enjoy today's episode. Let's jump right in. Hello, and welcome to Smart Divorce Podcast. I'm delighted to be joined today by Graham Bowcock. who I've known for a little while now. I think it will be at least 10 years.

Graham Bowcock 1:02
Good be yes, yeah.

Tamsin Caine 1:05
So Graham is a Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer. He regularly acts as an expert in matrimonial property valuations, which is what we're going to talk about today. Graham's been practising in the Northwest region for over 30 years. Crikey?

Graham Bowcock 1:26
No, it really is that long.

Tamsin Caine 1:27
Okay, I'm not even adding up anymore. I've stopped, I think I'm going to start counting backwards. So welcome. Thank you for joining us today. So we're going to talk today about about valuing property in matrimonial divorce and civil partnership dissolution. And then now you work not just on the family home, but quite often it could be an investment portfolio of different properties as well, is there is there a particular type of property that suggests we should bring you in rather than rather than using a different type of an estate agent, for example,

Graham Bowcock 2:13
We cover a range of property types within the business, myself and my colleagues, we tend to get them where they are perhaps a little bit more complex. In terms of using an estate agent, that's it's a slightly different discipline. What an estate agent does the first thing I have to say that is not binding on court. So what we do is an expert report, usually as what's called a single joint expert in SGA, where we're acting between the parties, but our duties to the court, and estate agent doesn't have that level of liability. Now, if the parties have just a matrimonial home, and it is perhaps a modern house on an estate and similar houses being traded, they're happy to get a couple of estate agents in and agree things between themselves, that's fine, there's nothing to stop them doing that at all. So that might be for many a cost effective way of doing it perfectly amicable if they're all happy with it. Where we come in is where the property is perhaps a bit more complex. Perhaps there might be issues with leases or planning. On the other issue that we've seen, certainly, since the end of lockdowns in 2020, is value certainly in this area have risen massively. So if you don't, the average value of a property generally is about 260,000 pounds in our area will be slightly higher. So a 10% increase, you'll see could we best buy and 30,000 pounds 20% of £60,000, so suddenly, there's more at stake, and more, more driving for the parties to get it right. If that's the correct the correct phraseology for it,, there's more more to more to challenge.

Tamsin Caine 4:02
Okay. So let's, let's go backwards. A little bit in some of the things that you've just talked about. So you've talked about a single joint expert, can you just explain a little bit more about what that is and about how you as an expert, would be instructed?

Graham Bowcock 4:23
Well, the single joint expert what it means is, I would be the only expert in the matter and the only value in the matter and the appointment. I mean, the first contact usually comes from the local solicitors. Sometimes parties directly if they're a litigant in person not represented. But generally it's solicitors that would contact us and check on our fees and ability and they asked receive a we haven't keep a professional CV to hand and we have a formal process for quoting the fees. And we will often mentioned in the court order, so it would be made, it's a personal appointment. So it's not my firm, and my colleagues get appointments in their names. So we put forward whoever is most appropriate for the particular property type and availability and so on. And the court order then says Mr. Bogart is to be the single joint expert in this matter. So that's the, how we get the instructions. Occasionally, we might act as an expert for one party, perhaps if the parties can't agree on a single joint expert, because there is a fundamental requirement that the appointment is agreed. But sometimes it can't be agreed, and we represent one party hourly. But it doesn't matter that because our duty is always to the court as an expert, we are duty isn't whoever pays us or to the individual that appoints as our duty is entirely to the court and to make sure that to help the Court essentially, come up with the do to assist in the distribution of the assets.

Tamsin Caine 6:06
Okay, so think or don't act, but generally, you're appointed by the both sides. So both lawyers, and even if you're only approached in the first place, by one of them, you will be appointed by both lawyers, or a lawyer and the other party if they were a litigant in person, which is why you're acting for yourself and you don't have a lawyer that have I got that. Right. Absolutely. And generally, this happens once there's already if there's the court processing in the mid, so, for example, we've been through with this appointment, and a judge has said you need to go off and get it an expert in this area. Is that right?

Graham Bowcock 6:53
That's right, yeah.

Tamsin Caine 6:54
Okay. Do you? Do you ever get instructed by the two parties, where there's no court process where where it's the mediation process, for example, or the lawyers negotiating between themselves?

Graham Bowcock 7:10
Yes, yep. Absolutely. And we can do that. And we can drafted a report as, as as an expert, valuer, we can write it however, the parties instructors, to be perfectly honest. But the duty change if we're not on record order than the duty manager, but we would still professionally be acting as the of the parties that come to his jointly, we'd be acting on exactly the same basis as though it's something called FPR 25. We have you might be familiar with it. The family procedure rules, or if it's, we, it's the same as the CPR 35 civil procedure rules, which is non non matrimonial, if we're doing a partnership, dissolution, a business district fusion, then that's this the same principle? Yeah. So we were treated the same, whether or not there's actually a court order, because sometimes people come to us in the early stages just to try and help themselves sort things out quicker.

Tamsin Caine 8:10
Yeah, absolutely. So I'm thinking of clients that that I work with or have worked with. And generally, they go down the route of at that stage estate agents, usually, and I know you mentioned before, but if there are complexities and you mentioned it leases, and also planning, what what impact did those particular things have on the on valuing a property? And are there any other complexities that you can think of where a couple might be better off, coming to yourself rather than getting an estate agent to to do a valuation of the property?

Graham Bowcock 8:56
What an estate agent does is a marketing appraisal. So what you will get back and you've probably seen them many times is a letter. So the letter Dear Mr. Mrs. Smith, we if we were going to sell your house, we'll be asking for 300,000 pound and it's as simple as that. Our duty a was Chartered Surveyors, registered valuers and the duty to the court is more rigorous. So we interrogate the property a little bit more not a building survey by any stretch demand. So we're not too interested in the structure of the pathology of the building. But the but as you say, leases and planning so if if there's an extension built with no planning consent, for example, that would give rise to us considering how how to treat the value, it may impact on the value. It may not and that's something we consider and leases if the family have an investment portfolio. Are the leases robust? What do they mean? What's the impact on the on the value again, by the fact that these leases are in place? It's welcome. Up to the investment portfolio, a good lease should be adding value. But we do see them where they're poorly drafted. They don't do quite what the parties intended. And at this point, they start thinking, right, the value was compromised, because they're not actually very good rent review provisions. You know, good lease should have rent reviews should have repairing obligations clearly set out, ideally, with the landlord doing as little as possible insurance being all these sorts of things. But if if they don't have those, the correct documentation in place, then that can impact on the value of the property. The other thing that comes up quite often is access rights. For example, we deal with a lot of farms, and rural property. And access is often an issue that people haven't thought about. They say, Well, I've always used that access. But actually, it might not be their access, or it might limit development of the land in the future. So we it's very much a paper trail to make sure everything is in order with with those properties and that the value is is assessed correctly based on the facts of what we're what we can find out.

Tamsin Caine 11:12
Yeah, you mentioned rural properties and farms, quite often the types of properties that you might value, I guess, if it if it's the kind of one off that there aren't very similar properties in the in the area that makes the estate agent less useful and someone like yourself more useful if there's not good comparable evidence? And would that be right?

Graham Bowcock 11:37
Yeah, I mean, we have our reports that we do here, I don't, would they, they include the comparable. So it was a we will stay what evidence we've looked at. And in fact, we're quite deep, and we write a methodology as to how we've assessed them. And you know, in some places it can, can be a challenge to find good evidence. Because we were looking two things. One is geographically close, and two is time close. So if something sold 20 years ago, isn't going to be very helpful to as assessing value today, something that sold six months ago would be, but sometimes we do have to go back a little bit longer in time and a little bit wider geographically, then it becomes the job of the expert to take that evidence and work out what does it mean. And at the very least, it will give us a tone of the market, you know, are all the, you know, is land selling did to give you an example at 15,000 barrel, an acre or 20,000, Moneda or 5000. Man an exhibit would give us a tone of the market. And we can see what other stuff is happening at the time. But then the expert has to ask to rely on their experience. And we have to be careful about accepting things where we're not an expert. And I always have this barristers, all the judge on my shoulders when I'm doing a job. You're going to be quite nerve racking. You know, why did you say that? Why didn't you? What does it mean? What are the implications of it? Which challenges me quite happy to be challenged in that way. But it does. But when I'm reaching a conclusion, I'm always thinking, Well, is it right, you know, and I have to swear a statement, that's part of the FBR 25 rules, I'm swearing to say that I believe everything I've written in my report is correct. Now, ultimately, there was some subjectivity in valuation, because do people may have a different view, but depending on the type of property depends on the use case or on percentage sort of tolerance. So if you're looking at terraced houses in an area where there's 1000s terraced houses, you should be pretty close to within 5%. I think there's a case law, but that can be expanded for something that's a little bit more unusual. I won't use the word unique because every property is unique in some way. If only by the fact that is two doors down from another one. But yeah, we have to make that assessment. And they were all the rhetorical tolerances as to what how accurate we should be. But it depends on the type of property you know, if it was something like a cinema, for example, very unusual, they don't get traded very often. But if a family happened to own one, you know, your tolerance of value would be different than if it's the say the semi detached house on the state of bottom somebody does houses.

Tamsin Caine 14:41
Yeah, no, that makes sense. But what happens if the guy guess it won't be the lawyers but the what happens if the clients that firmly disagree with your viewpoint on the value of their property? Did they have any Come back.

Graham Bowcock 15:01
Yeah. Well, it really does happen, of course, because they quite quite simply because you we are dealing with people's money and their livelihood. So for whatever reason, people may think that we are wrong or misinformed, misjudged whatever word. Some are more robust in their sort of views than others. But what happens is when we submit a report, as I say, we try and be as robust as possible in the evidence, the methodology. But the parties, when they get the report they are then they can then submit to me supplementary questions. And usually, in the order, there's a timeframe for submission, 1014 days after the report delivery, and I have a period then to respond again, 1010 or 14 days. And within those timeframes they, within those questions, either they can submit to me. Other evidence, it may be that there's something wrong with the with the property, you know, maybe maybe something was missed, or, you know, not inspected? Or, again, back to the paperwork, perhaps has something come to light in terms of leases or planning that wasn't made available to me earlier. So the supplementary questions deals with all that, because bear in mind, the parties often have far better knowledge of the properties than than I do. And also, if we're dealing with a portfolio, that could be quite a lot to actually get through. And they may say, Oh, well, actually, you you weren't aware of this, or we need to make you aware. But that didn't can include value. So maybe they've got evidence of other property that's been sold that we haven't, you know, we have various databases, but we've not, we don't have access to absolutely every sale that's ever occurred. So it may be that they have some some idea of other property. Or maybe they just considering something in in a different way. Well, if you if you think about this, you know, Have you have you really made allowance for the fact that it's got parking, or it's gonna pile on in the back garden, or these sort of things. Our duty remains to the court, and we will look at what the party is saying. And we're happy to do that. And I think it is fair to say that as an expert, the one thing we would never do is disregard what the party is saying, because it's a it's somebody's livelihood. And it's fundamentally important, and we shouldn't be scared of, of changing our minds, if something important comes to light. So I don't hold myself out to be the expert who's news who stuck on a point of view, that point of view can be flexible, provided I always have good reason, because my duty remains to the court. So just because one party says that they think it's the value is overstated by 10,000 pounds, doesn't mean I agree with them, or would change my report. But if they popped something to me that perhaps I wasn't aware of before, then I am duty bound to look at it and be morally would would look at it. And then I issue a formal response to supplementary questions. And there's a supplementary response. It references the report that I've done. And it says, I was then asked by party a, these questions. And sometimes the parties actually agree the questions between themselves, or sometimes they come from just one party. But I was in my supplementary report, I would say this is what I was asked. This is my response to those questions. And that may or may not alter the values that I report, but as long as I'm always honest. That is that's my fundamental obligation.

Tamsin Caine 18:58
Yeah, absolutely. And that supplementary report presumably goes to both parties. Yes, yes.

Graham Bowcock 19:06
Yes. In terms of those who say sometimes, the two parties would agree the questions and offered to pay for them and jointly 50% each. More often than not, the questions come from one party and the party then pays for those questions. But all correspondence has to be between both parties. There should never be correspondence. And to be honest, sometimes when we're dealing with litigants in person that's one of the niceties of the process that they either aren't aware of or they disregard, and we get emails written just to me. Everything we have is seen by both parties. So there's never anything which is which is hidden from them. We would never do that. And if a party if you for example, wrote to me privately on behalf of Have a party, which I'm sure you'd never want, I would immediately send it to the other side as well so that they've got a full record because we shouldn't we should always avoid conflict and things being sent to you know that. Did you say that? Well, if it's if it's absolutely clear, in correspondence, then there's nothing hidden.

Tamsin Caine 20:18
Yeah, absolutely. So whether when you're going up to to value a property, what what do you need to see when you get there

Graham Bowcock 20:32
As much as possible. Absolutely everything. And I mean, in terms of the inspection, we do what the parties want, in terms of the arrangements we have, I've done everything where sometimes I pick up the keys from a solicitor and I don't meet the people at all. Other times when they both want to be there, and they follow me around very closely to make sure you're pointing out, you know, damaged windows or dampness in the hallway, that sort of thing. Or sometimes they're more relaxed and they're just happy but if there's one party living in the property for example, or one one of the managers the investments that they have, then then that party just meets me and shows me around and so I get everything from say from nobody to everybody to one one of them in the middle. But in terms of what we look for Yeah, we do like to see everything we you know, we have to go in the bedrooms, the bathrooms, the bathrooms, the the outbuildings, it should be thorough, there's no doubt about it. And I usually have an associate with me who accompanies me partly because two eyes are better than one

Tamsin Caine 21:58
4 eyes are better than 2

Graham Bowcock 21:59
... two sets of eyes because then you know we can chat about it afterwards as to make sure we've covered everything but also we do get cases where parties will - how do I phrase it - will try and engage as in a discussion about the property or about values and or but we have no interest we have no interest in the in the divorce or the separation itself that is of no interest what party aged under party B or hasn't done or shouldn't have done might have done so we have no interest in that our interest is purely in the property but also in the property as we see it on the day so the fact that they bought it in 1950 and you know they've they've done all this work to it and spent all this money is irrelevant all we want you know has it got double glazed windows or not has it got a nice kitchen or not has it is it got central heating or not. So we're dealing very much in the fact so when we're looking at the property we actually have very little engagement with the parties something I find difficult because I'm do like I have to switch off and we are very practical you know has it got where is the boiler has it got a modern boiler, has it got a modern consumer unit and questions like that which all are things which which pain we have to see and report but below the things that give rise to value. So the inspection is you know, I won't say it's frosty but it's managed professionally to make sure we you know we're not chatting away to people and and so on.

Tamsin Caine 23:40
Okay, when you say you need to see absolutely everything and go absolutely everywhere. Are you are you going up in the loft? Have you got ladders are you on a you're looking at the roof, you know, how far does everything gets?

Graham Bowcock 23:56
No, we don't do lofts. Interestingly. I mean, if there was easy access than we then we might but we don't we're not we're not obliged to actually and that's actually come out of mortgage valuations as well that we don't have to go up in the loft in terms of the building we were looking at general condition so the roof we would view it from ground level can be difficult if it if it's a flat roof but if it's a standard pitched roof or slate or tiles we will we will be commenting from ground level so our in terms of repair our valuation is relative or inspection is relatively superficial. We're not onto the onto the detail of the pathology the Do you know, something needs an absolute roof for x pounds. We're just looking at if somebody was coming to buy that house today, how much would they pay for it? And in fact, it is something that sometimes comes out the supplementary questions that there may be sort of more significant repairs and there's a quote, lying on a file somewhere to repair the roof. For 20,000 pounds. How's that to be managed factored in? And we wouldn't factored in initially. But we might factored in do supplementary questions if it's a valid concern, because they we could only ever look at it from a, from a valuation point of view, which is a ground level stood on the, you know, we don't we don't move carpets, we don't move furniture or anything like that. It's not a pathological Building Survey.

Tamsin Caine 25:33
Either we talked about bands before, if somebody don't have enough land as such, with the property that they own, are you do you walk the entire stretch of land? Are you measuring it? What how? How does that work?

Graham Bowcock 25:53
Well, we don't measure, we we would measure the internal property dimensions of a property, we do that with a laser. But land we don't measure we but we have mapping systems in the office. So we would like to see the title plan. So again, it's a basic requirement that we will either get it, hopefully, it's registered, not all lenders, but the vast majority in the UK is registered. So we would get the get the type of plan, and then we can map it on our systems. And we would know whether a field is two acres or one acre, so we're not measuring it our ourselves How much do we walk? It depends on what we're looking at, you know, if it's a small farm five or 10 acres, then yes, we would walk in, particularly walking the boundaries, just looking for things that might be unusual, or, you know, we need to be considered. If it's a larger property, then we might do it by sample. So if it's 1000 acres, we would not necessarily walk every every square inch of it, that would be somewhat on economic. But we do have a Landrover so we could check that we could get to most of it. But we like to zoom in the role of all evaluations is we should see everything. And we should report everything in our field notes. And we should get it down into our report. So there shouldn't be any doubt. If we don't look at something that can be acceptable, provided we reported, you know, we didn't, we didn't access his bedroom, because in the house because it was locked, there was a shed that was locked. We were asked not to go in a particular building for whatever reason. So we come then, that just comes down to quality reporting, really, as to how much we report on what we've seen. But to answer your question, what do you do? How much do you see? Well, it should be everything is the ideal. But scale back, you know, sometimes they might ask us not to look at things. Could you do it on a desktop basis, you know, particularly if it's a portfolio and a lot of houses that are the same, they may have access with tenants difficulties gaining access, for example. So they say, Well, we're gonna get you into three out of five, but the two, the other two, we can't get you in there. But they are the same. So we would it's all about communication, really tonnes and just making sure that everybody knows what we're doing, and why we're doing it. So that in 12 months time when they come to court, you know, it they don't believe we looked at a house we didn't or property we didn't. Because it's clear in the report, we didn't look because there was no access.

Tamsin Caine 28:39
Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. And then you mentioned a few different types of paperwork that you'd expect to see. So leases and planning and the plan of the property? How does that paperwork get to us that I'm assuming that's not what you wouldn't inspect that when you go to the property? Is that something that's sent to you with the instruction?

Graham Bowcock 29:05
Yes, ideally, and it comes down to quality instructions in the first place, but not planning documents are on publicly available so we can get those and we try and get as much before we go. So that we're not just turning up particularly as Oh, yeah, so you've got an extension or you've got a shed or a new house in the garden that we weren't aware of. Yet the planning documents in advance EPCs, which you don't legally have to have an EPC unless you're going to sell all that the house. But they they help steering the value because it affects mortgages and so on. But those again, are publicly available. leases are not unless they're actually ready to do so depends how long they're for. So if it's for more than seven years, it wouldn't be registered that will land registry, so we can download those. If it's a short term lease as you get for a house or maybe just a shop for three years by is, we would ask the parties to send us those documents, again, ideally in advance just so that we know what we're dealing with. And anything else is relevant than maybe other documents or, you know, access being a common one. They've agreed with the next door neighbour to take access over their land, because it helps to get around the back of the house and that sort of thing. So just as much as the parties can send us, and we try and coordinate it, ideally, before we go, but sometimes we were not fully aware till we get there, what it is we're looking at. And we it's only then by by doing the forensic investigation that we find that there is a problem or or there is some documentation that we need. Bear in mind, not everybody knows what we need until we try and steer people through it. But sometimes, actually being out on the ground gives us other parties a better idea of where we're, where we're going, and what what we do need.

Tamsin Caine 30:56
Oh, that makes sense. And when you're, when you're valuing a property, property, we we talked before about comparable evidence, though, geographically and then and then kind of recent sales? And how do you go about collecting those that sort of evidence? And is there anything else that you look for? To help you to value? Maskin for secrets now, Graham?

Graham Bowcock 31:30
Yes, yeah. Well, we actually pay quite a lot of money every month for a database, which, which records a lot of market activity, particularly commercial property, but he's got quite a wide variety of property. And then it couldn't be as simple as just phoning around the local agents. Because one issue with recorded sales, and particularly, and it's going to be quite a challenge over the next few weeks with what's happening in the market. Because evidence by the time we get it is historic. The best evidence is a recorded sale at land registry. Because you've got a willing buyer willing seller, and usually a willing lender. We're moving into slightly uncharted territory now, because you've got, you might start a willing buyer and seller, but you might not have a willing lender the way the right products are being pulled. So objectivity is our first aim. So a house that was sold a couple of months ago and reported. That is a fact that's an absolute matter of fact, the subjectivity then is what has the market changed, and it is possible, I won't say likely, but it's possible that the market has changed, because it changes every day to be to be frank about it. You know, it's never, never, never the same. But we get trends as to whether the market is rising or falling. But at the moment, we we've just got this slight difficulty, because we are in the unknown. Now where we are in North Cheshire, we haven't yet seen great evidence of a massive change, there might be a plateauing. And I suspect at some point values might may well fall, but the activity still seems to be there. ticularly if you're looking at residential property, demand has been massive, and outstripped by supply. And the evidence we're getting now from agencies that the supply is just got even tighter. So people are wanting to sell it just not selling, they just hold it so. So that's going to stabilise prices. Now, that's our area, it'll be different elsewhere. And they'll be places where the prices values are falling off the cliff. So what what the experts should be doing is getting getting as much intelligence as they can from the local marketplace, the agents that are day in day out dealing with the buyers, the sellers, the properties. And so we just saw you this a bit with the buyers and sellers, and we should be recording that. And we can rely on that. I mean, hopefully it's consistent. So if you if you get the eternal optimist and the eternal pessimist, somewhere in the middle, there should be a little one, one or two agents telling you how it really is. It's back to communication. As long as we're recording all this, we can rely on it because we have to you know, that's part of part of the job that we do for all valuations is is an assessment of local market. And obviously we have our own views on things from the work we're doing day in day out. You know, when when we're valuing, you know, the volume of property we do. You get a trend you get to see all the banks coming to us for instructions. Are they still lending money? Are there still buyers on our agency side and, you know, our buyers pulling out a seller's pulling out on this Nothing so. So there is an element of subjectivity. But, you know, initially we're database driven by actual facts. And you know, we will get landbridge, three titles and so on to find out how much property actually soulful, not what not what people think it's sold for, but what it actually is not the pump talk.

Tamsin Caine 35:22
What just thinking about market conditions as they are at the moment? And I know it's gonna be difficult to make comments on them. But if you were, if we were experiencing a falling market in the area that were read, would that make new value of property on the lower side? Just to be on the safe side in a falling market? Or does that not massively? Does that not impact your your professional valuation?

Graham Bowcock 35:55
I think it'll depend on the property type. To be honest, I mean, as I said, we were guided by the absolute evidence to start with, and then we would people talk about down valuations, it's a very common phrase in the press, they don't value the property, well, no, they probably just valued it correctly, and you wanted it to be higher. That's my take on down valuations. So we would hopefully be reflecting so to sort of turn the question around, we would hopefully be reflecting where the market is. As I say, normally, the trends are more consistent, but to say, since the mini budget a couple of weeks ago was might be reversed today. But the mini budget cut has caused instability. But if we were looking, for example, at residential property, again, in our area, and all Cheshire it's always a robust market, I've been here 30 years, and it's robust. If we were looking at Town Centre, property towns in the retail, I'd be concerned, you know, because and have been since COVID, you know, the way the market has changed. And secondary retail actually survived quite well, you know, your parade of shops, in areas of how these days because because the dynamic in the market has changed where people they want the convenience store, they want the chip shop, they want the barbers and that sort of thing. But your towns into retail cities under retailers struggled. Same with offices, in city city centre offices, more than domain are one of my partners here, but you know, that they are struggling in some places. So we're we're absolutely property by property. That's where we come in, in our role as an expert to make sure that we know where the markets going as best we can, you know, in these in these difficult times, but but if we start with the absolute evidence, and then move forward to the subjective view as to what, what what appears to be happening in the market and what the feedback is currently,

Tamsin Caine 38:03
Fantastic Graham, we're coming to the end of our time together, I'm afraid. Hmm. Is there anything that I should have asked you that I haven't?

Graham Bowcock 38:12
No, I think there's been a pretty thorough review without making it over complicated. You know, it's, it's something we like doing we work on myself and colleagues, we enjoy it, we enjoy the the exam question type scenario, but equally, we're happy. If it's just a straightforward house, we don't mind that. But if it's more complex, and that's challenging for us, and say, we, we don't find it difficult to act as experts, because we just understanding the duty is the key thing. And that's where the parties need to understand as well that our duty is not to them. It's to the court. And I think that's that's that's the that's got to be the key key takeaway from it.

Tamsin Caine 38:54
Yeah, absolutely. And if our any of our listeners need somebody who has your skills to help them with their divorce, how can they contact you?

Graham Bowcock 39:09
Well, we're, well, my job was Oakwood Property Services we're undergoing a rebrand. We are have been out with valuations of areas but we're undergoing a rebrand to Oakwood Property Services. But if you Google either of those, you'd find as we got a website, we're based here in Altrincham. In terms of the patch we cover, it really depends on the property. It's, you know, if it's a larger property or a big farm, for example, you know, we'd go up into Lancashire or north Wales, but we wouldn't necessarily go to go to real for for terraced house depends on the extent of the property. And where we've got a fully manned office here all our value is everyone is employed by them. We don't have external consultants doing and doing valuation work. So yeah, just just look at Oakwood Property in Altrincham

Tamsin Caine 40:00
Fantastic. Thank you, Graham and we'll put your contact details in our show notes as well to make sure that people can get hold of you. Thank you so much for joining me. It's been a real pleasure to talk to you this morning. And thank you for listening or watching and we will catch you in the next episode.

I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website Also if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn't mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It's called 'Separation divorce and dissolution UK.' Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we'd be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care!

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