Chalky Carr and 7 year old Isla bound together by Cancer

On the face of it, former All Blacks Logistics Manager Chalky Carr and 7 year old Isla Lunn don’t have a lot in common.

But they’re bound together by Cancer.

Chalky is fighting Pancreatic Cancer; and little Isla’s solo parent, her Mum, Kellie has just died of Breast Cancer.

Chalky thought he’d kicked his “rust” into touch last year after surgery and chemotherapy but a recent scan has shown the cancer has returned and he has been given a terminal diagnosis. The former Royal Marine Commando and Royal New Zealand Navy Officer, loving husband and father, has been forced to retire from work with the All Blacks and is in the midst of further, grueling chemotherapy.

He’s mentally strong and brave; he was awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal by the Governor-General for his actions saving lives at the CTV Building in the Christchurch Earthquake in February 2011.

Chalky wants no sympathy, but he does want to do something productive and meaningful while he can – and for Chalky that’s helping someone else impacted by Cancer.

Just a few weeks ago, Kellie Lunn died of Breast Cancer. She was a solo mum to 7 year old Isla and wanted to give her little girl the best life she could. When Isla was 3, Kellie trained and became a Vet Nurse. But Kellie’s Breast Cancer diagnosis at the end of 2016 changed everything.

Sadly, Kellie became so sick, so fast that she and Isla never got the chance to fill her photo albums and memory boxes with exciting adventures and special times together. Instead, Kellie spent a great deal of time in hospital, in incredible pain. Isla fought through her own fear of hospitals to visit her mum every day and Kellie fought hard to stay with Isla, but in August, Kellie peacefully passed away.

Isla is being raised by Kellie’s parents, Jennie and Alan. Both work hard to support Isla while coping with their own grief and Isla misses her Mum terribly. Just like Kellie, she adores animals! Horse riding is her big love and she’s desperate to pat a lemur one day. She’s just returned to dancing and is back into school life at Harewood School, though when the class sing “You Are My Sunshine”, “I’ll Stand By You” and “The Daffodil Song” her usual smiles give way to quiet tears. She has spent her free-time of late “bedazzling” the box for Kellie’s ashes in pink and purple jewels, heart breaking moments, but ones Kellie would have found hilarious.

Chalky has been so touched by Isla and Kellie’s story. He’s all too aware of the drive parents have to make sure their children are provided for, right through to adulthood. Kellie never got the chance to create that nest egg for Isla, so Chalky wants to instead.

On Wednesday 20 September, Chalky and his sons, Jamie and Josh, will have their heads shaved by Crusaders Captain and All Black, Sam Whitelock. He hopes to raise $100,000 for Isla and her family.

Create that nest egg for Isla which will help her to live the very best life she can – just as Kellie wanted.

We aim to raise $100,000 for Isla’s future. Any other funds will be part of The Chalky Carr Foundation, giving a hand where it is needed.





Propertymark, the go-to consumer organisation which helps people buy, sell, rent and let their homes, has launched its first national television advertisement to highlight the importance of using an agent who is ‘Propertymark Protected’.

The advert will appear across popular channels such as More 4, Home, Good Food, Eden, Discovery, Sky Sports News and Sky Living reaching approximately 30million adult viewers.

Paul Carr Estate Agents is a member of Propertymark, which unites the know-how and experience of the five leading membership organisations1 for services in lettings, sales and auctions. The organisation creates a single voice which promotes professionalism and integrity among those working in the property industry. By holding its members accountable and by empowering consumers with knowledge and advice, Propertymark protects consumers and their money during their property transactions.


Mark Bentley from Paul Carr Estate Agents comments: “By displaying the Propertymark logo in our agency window we’re letting consumers know they’re in safe hands and their money is protected. The launch of the television advert will help to raise further awareness of the work Propertymark is doing to support consumers and we hope as a result, people will proactively look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo when choosing an agent in the future.”

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, and Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: “At present, consumers don’t know where to go for property advice or can’t be sure if they are dealing with a professional. Propertymark is changing this by acting as a stamp of approval for consumers when they seek property expertise. With the help of our members, some of whom participated in the filming of the advert, we’re encouraging consumers to look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo. This means they’re dealing with a professional who has opted for regulation in an unregulated sector and will ensure their money is protected.”

1 Propertymark’s membership organisations – the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers (NAVA), NAEA Commercial, and ARLA Inventories

For further information contact:
Propertymark Press Office
Tel: 020 7566 9777

About ARLA Propertymark
ARLA Propertymark is the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for letting agents; representing over 9,000 members. Our members operate to professional standards far higher than the law demands and we campaign for greater regulation in this growing and increasingly important sector of the property market. By using a ARLA Propertymark protected agent, consumers have the peace of mind their agent will provide a professional service and their money is safeguarded by Propertymark’s Client Money Protection scheme.

About NAEA Propertymark
NAEA Propertymark is the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency personnel; representing members who practice from over 11,500 offices in all aspects of property services. We are dedicated to the goal of professionalism within all aspects of property, estate agency and land. Our aim is to reassure the general public that by appointing a NAEA Propertymark Protected agent to represent them, they will be safeguarded and receive the highest level of integrity and service for all property matters.


What are your top keywords when searching for property?

When you are searching for property, what are your top keywords and is everyone looking for the same things?

A recent survey by Zoopla has revealed that having a garden has fallen down the top ten list for potential buyers when searching for homes.

In our now car obsessed world, it is no surprise then that having a garage is now the top keyword.

The top ten list for the first half of 2017 is:


Compare it with the list from 2016:


As you can see, freehold has made it into the list for 2017 so far, and it didn’t even appear in the list in 2016. This could be due to the increased coverage on leasehold terms.

And the poor conservatory has disappeared from the list completely.

Whatever your top keywords are, our full portfolio is available 24/7 on our website. Head over and have a search now.

Top tips for selling your home this summer

NAEA Propertymark has put together some advice for sellers putting their properties on the market this summer.

Summer can be a tricky time to sell a property, especially if it is a family one, due to the summer holidays.

While getting ready to put your home on the market, there are a few simple things you can do to maximise the saleability of your property.

Tidy up the exterior
First impressions are key and they can really impact on a buyer’s decision. It is therefore important to make sure that your property looks well maintained and cared for from the outside. Make sure to wash the windows and walls to remove any dirt.
A front door can say a lot about the rest of your home for buyers viewing it for the first time. A lick of paint or at least a quick wash down can do wonders to improve the overall look and feel of your property.

Neutral decor
House buyers have varied tastes in decor and when they are viewing properties they need to be able to imagine themselves living there. Anything that is too over personalised can be a turn off, so keeping colours neutral will make the property more appealing.

Tend your garden
A well tended garden can give your home the wow-factor, especially during the summer months when many lovely flowers and plants are in season. It is important to make sure your garden is tidy and clear of litter, the lawn is mowed, weeds are removed and trees are cut back. If you have the time, you could try potting some brightly coloured plants to make the space look even more attractive.

Kitchen makeover
Giving your kitchen a quick freshen up can go a long way. By giving the cabinets a quick lick of paint, or replacing the doors and handles, the room will instantly become more attractive to potential buyers.

Let air and light in
Rooms that smell musty are a huge turn off for buyers. It is important to open your windows well in advance of any viewings, particularly those in rooms that are rarely used. It is crucial to maintain a good level of lighting in your home to make the space feel inviting. The summer is the best time for natural light, so make sure all blinds and curtains are wide open.

Katie Griffin, President, NAEA Propertymark says:

If you put your home on the market during the summer, it’s important to understand your target market and who will be the most interested in buying your home. Your local NAEA Propertymark estate agent will be able to guide you in the right direction if you’re unsure and help you put your home on the market at the right time to increase your chances of a speedy sale.

Paul Carr Estate Agents are proud members of NAEA Propertymark and our Exclusive & Rural Homes Director Mark Bentley is the President Elect of NAEA Propertymark.

Tricks to make over each room in your home

You may not know where to start when you think about sprucing up your home, but there are a number of simple tricks and tweaks you can make to transform each room and add value to your home.

Dining Room
Using overhead pendants is the easiest way to add some drama to your dining room. Think about your favourite restaurant and they will mostly have a lower hanging pendant in the middle of the table.
There are many glamorous and affordable pendant lighting options and an oversized, metallic one would just scream, Drama Queen! Or how about a cluster of pendants arranged at various heights?
To add value, consider connecting your living and dining room spaces. Open plan living is in vogue and joining the spaces can add a feeling of lightness, and free-flowing.

Current trends are all about block colours, pastel tones and cushions – lots of cushions!
Block colours can be used to draw your eye, Scandi tones are still hot – soft pinks, charcoals and light blues. Layering of colours helps achieve a big impact. Just make sure to reflect it through all the soft furnishings, artwork, etc.
Changing the soft furnishings seasonally will make it look like the whole room has been redecorated, with the minimum of effort and fuss!

To keep longevity in your kitchen, and keep your potential resale appeal, neutral cupboards and worktops are the best bet. Add the colour to the space with the accessories, lighting and appliances.

Cushions play a big part in making our bedrooms feel stylish, snug and visually appealing. Match tonal cushions to your throw or pick out colours from the wallpaper or artwork in the room.
The space above the bed is important and can be highlighted with artwork, wallpaper or a mirror.
And another easy addition to any bedroom is a headboard – how about making your own from some MDF and covering it in fabric?

Modern, clean, luxe bathrooms are all the rage. Think of recreating the feel of a luxury boutique hotel. Metallic accessories, scented candles, bowls for soap, funky lighting instead of the usual boring bathroom lighting.
It may be a step to far for some, but how about changing all your taps? Gold, black and rose gold are the latest on trend colours – sorry chrome!
Don’t forget that towels and flowers can update a plain bathroom quickly and easily and can be changed to match your mood.

Gardens are often overlooked but should be considered as an extension of your living space and clever planning can ensure they can be used whatever the weather.
Add some seating that fits your needs, it is not all about single chairs, there are great choices for outdoor sofas that are comfortable and practical. Add some colour with – you guessed it – cushions!
Plant pots don’t have to just be terracotta anymore. There are a great variety of glazed ones that you can match to your soft furnishings – or vice versa.
The front of your home is the first thing visitors will see. Make sure it makes a good first impression – even more so when you are selling your home.
Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door, clean the windows, polish the door furniture and make sure you have fixed any damage, such as broken fencing, guttering or outdoor lights. Try to create a path to your front door.

A few quick fixes could make a big difference!

If you are looking to sell your home, contact us and find out how we are committed to getting you the best price for your property in the quickest possible time.

Changes to the Inheritance Tax system

On The Market have produced the following guide about changes to the Inheritance Tax system.

Changes to the Inheritance Tax system could have far-reaching implications for homeowners.

Recent post-Budget analysis may have concentrated on the U-turn over National Insurance for the self-employed, but another tax change introduced on 6 April 2017 could have far-reaching implications for homeowners.

This tax change means parents and grandparents are able to leave homes worth up to £850,000 to their children and grandchildren without them paying inheritance tax. This tax-free allowance is set to rise to £1 million by 2020. This was originally announced by George Osborne, not Philip Hammond, as part of his long-term plan to reduce the impact of Inheritance Tax (IHT) on ordinary families.

But what are the thresholds, rates and allowances? Here is our guide to Inheritance Tax.

How does Inheritance Tax work?
Under the old system, inheritance tax is charged at 40 per cent on the portion of the deceased’s estate worth £325,000 or more. This means no inheritance tax is charged on the first £325,000 (per person) of someone’s estate. This is called the nil-rate band.

Spouses and civil partners could pass all their wealth to each other without tax. However, tax may be payable when wealth is transferred down generations. Nil-rate bands can also be passed between spouses. In other words, the surviving spouse can inherit the entire estate without having to pay Inheritance Tax. Couples could leave a home worth £650,000 without it attracting inheritance tax (singles £325,000). This remains unchanged. Above the threshold, the charge is 40% of the value of the property.

What has changed?
A new IHT Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) was introduced on 6 April 2017. This is better known as the family home allowance. It is a new allowance of an extra £100,000 per person to use against the value of their home and a further £25,000 will be phased in every year over four years, rising to £175,000 by 2020. This will be added to the existing £325,000 nil-rate tax band. In other words from April 2017, an individual will be able to pass on £425,000 without paying Inheritance Tax as long as it includes the family home and passes directly to children or grandchildren and not via a discretionary trust. And by April 2020, this sum will rise to £500,000.

The changes mean the maximum that can be passed on tax-free is £850,000 for married couples or those in a civil partnership, £425,000 for others.

For singles, this is made up of the existing £325,000, plus the extra £100,000. For couples, when the first one dies their allowance is passed to the survivor, so that £425,000 is doubled to £850,000.

The new RNRB only applies if an individual dies on or after 6 April 2017, if their estate includes a property that they own or part own, and if their direct descendants such as children or grandchildren inherit the property or part of it.

Who will benefit?
– Those who are passing the family home to children, grandchildren or surviving spouses.
– Those who have an estate below £2million.
– The RNRB could still be reclaimable in situations where a property has been sold, perhaps because the owner has downsized or moved to a residential care home – provided it was sold after July 2015. This is another area where it is important for homeowners to clarify their situation.

The government’s website also includes information on this area:

The RNRB will be transferable between spouses and civil partners on death, just like the existing nil-rate ban. Thus the unused RNRB from the estate of the first to die can be claimed on the second death, raising the total RNRB to £1million. For a couple, this means a £1million family home can be left tax free to their children.

One likely consequence of the change may be to encourage retired homeowners to hold on to large properties rather than sell up and rent.

Who might miss out?
– Those with estates worth in excess of £2million will see little or no benefit from the new RNRB, which will be reduced by £1 for every £2 that the deceased’s net estate exceeds £2 million.
– The RNRB could potentially be lost if a property has been placed in a discretionary trust for children or grandchildren. But not all trusts fall foul of the new rules, so it is important to seek legal advice on this point.
– Only one residential property can qualify for the purposes of the new RNRB. – Properties which were never residences, such as buy-to-lets, will not qualify.
– The new rules may make it harder for homeowners not domiciled in the UK to avoid paying IHT on UK residential property.

The changes in IHT are so complex and far-reaching that those in any doubt about their position should review their wills as a matter of priority and consider taking appropriate advice, to ensure that they maximise the benefits to their estate.

Content provided by is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.

Are you on Instagram? Check this out.

If you love property as much as we love property, you are going to want to check this out.

Our Exclusive & Rural Homes team have their own Instagram feed.

They are sharing beautiful, inspirational images of interiors, exteriors and much, much more.

Instagram is the home of visual storytelling so what better way for our Exclusive & Rural team to show off some of their favourite images, their personal design inspirations and more.

Exclusive & Rural Homes is a premier branded service tailor made for homes valued in the region of £600,000 or more and those properties set in village and rural locations in all price ranges such as cottages, converted barns, equestrian properties, halls, farms, etc.

Exclusive & Rural Homes is headed by Director Mark Bentley FNAEA who has over 40 years’ experience in the property market. He is President Elect of the NAEA and will take over the Presidency in 2018.

The Exclusive & Rural Homes approach means going above and beyond, in both service and marketing, giving you the best opportunity to sell your home for its maximum value.

You can contact the ERH team on 0121 308 5511.

And, if you are not on Instagram, we suggest you join right now!

Pop over and give them some double-taps. We can’t be held responsible for the amount of time you may then lose looking and interacting with our feed!

Eye-tracking technology tested during viewings

Do you want to know what prospective buyers pay most attention to during viewings?

A recent study using eye-tracking technology has revealed the critical differences between what male and female viewers pay most attention to during viewings.

During the study, for Anglian Home Improvements, viewers agreed to wear eye-tracking spectacles and what they looked at, what disrupted their naturally movements and what they lingered on were recorded.

The results showed that 27% of the viewers’ focus was spent on furnishings, 24% was spent on looking at personal effects and clutter and just 4% was given over to the layout of the property!

Female viewers found personal effects and clutter the most distracting and they spent 28% of their viewing time focusing on them, compared to only 20% of the male viewers.

The results show that, even when potential buyers do not mention clutter or mess to the agents in the viewing feedback, their eyes were repeatedly drawn to it during a viewing.

Men spent more time looking at the structure and features of the grounds and building, 32% compared to 22% of women, while women focused more on the personal elements, decoration and furnishings.

A statement from the company said:

Photos were a big element of this. The data showed that house hunters often made eye contact with specific photographs, which distracted the viewers from other elements of the room.

Only 4% of viewers time was spent looking at repairs or structural features, for example, checking door frames, sliding doors or light switches.

Exterior features and the garden accounted for 22% of their focus with 17% of the viewing time spent looking through the windows!

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

Mark Bentley becomes President Elect of NAEA Propertymark

On 16th June 2017 at the NAEA Propertymark AGM, Mark Bentley became the President Elect of NAEA Propertymark.

Mark has spent the last year as Vice President and he will become President in June 2018.

During the next year, Mark will be supporting the new President, Katie Griffin, and will be heading across the country and to the upcoming Masterclasses.

Katie is director of Sawdye & Harris, an award-winning agency based in Devon. She is a qualified chartered surveyor and has also worked for a global property consultancy in London. Griffin also sits on the National Advisory Group for The Guild of Property Professionals.

Mark is Director of our Exclusive & Rural Homes division and has over 40 years’ experience in the property market.

Exclusive & Rural Homes is a premier branded service tailor-made for homes valued in the region of £600,000 or more and properties set in village and rural locations in all price ranges.

A major strength of Exclusive & Rural Homes is their experience over many years selling luxury and rural property. Marketing exposure is vital, ensuring prospective purchasers from all over the world are able to fully appreciate their portfolio of properties for sale.

The Exclusive & Rural Homes approach means going above and beyond, in both service and marketing, giving vendors the best opportunity to sell their home for its maximum value

Pictured above are Mark and his wife Jo arriving at The Savoy in London for the Presidents’ Dinner.

Top high street agents significantly outperform online sellers

If you are looking to sell your home, then new research from a consumer group will make interesting reading.

The HomeOwner’s Alliance (HOA) findings show that top high street agents significantly outperform online sellers.

Whilst they admit that online brands have shaken up the industry in recent years, the top 1,000 high street agents achieved an average selling price of 100.35% of their value, in analysis undertaken by the HOA.

Sellers can therefore maximise their home’s potential by selecting the correct local agent.

Local agents also have a far higher success rate, selling 82.42% of homes listed with them, compared to 51.98% among the online sellers, according to the HOA analysis.

The HOA based its findings on the average final sale price of £234,000 set out in the government’s ONS house price index dating from February 2017, and uses Which? data to set a typical high street estate agent’s commission at 1.3%. For their analysis, they also took a typical online agency fee of £849.

Paula Higgins, of the HOA, said:

Sellers who look carefully at their local market before listing their home for sale will probably still be better off instructing the best high street agent in their area.

Paul Carr Estate Agents are the largest independent estate agent in the West Midlands. With 19 networked sales and lettings branches, Paul Carr Estate Agents has established a reputation for quality customer service. Our ethos of being with you every step of the way remains across all disciplines within the Company and is the driving force behind every decision.

If you are looking to sell your property, please contact your local branch and find out how we are committed to getting you the best price for your property in the quickest time.