An update from our wonderful trainee Solicitor Chloe

My name is Chloe and I am now in the second year of my traineeship with Blackwood & Smith.  

You might remember reading my previous blog in 2021 where I provided an insight into a day in the life of a first-year trainee at the firm. Fast forward to now, and I am now less than 10 weeks away from qualifying as a Solicitor! Time really does fly and much of my day to day work has changed in the last year or so.  

Welcome to the team Katie!

Blackwood and Smith are always delighted to welcome new members to our team. Our people have always been our biggest asset and we aim to hire the brightest, friendliest and best we can. Today we are thrilled to introduce Katie Brydon.

Katie is our newest recruit and has just joined Blackwood & Smith as a Residential Conveyancing Paralegal. Katie attended the University of Dundee where she completed a Honours Scots Law (LLB) degree in 2021.

Good Luck Sally, we will miss you!

We are saying goodbye to our Senior Partner Sally Swinney after 27 years of service with the firm. Sally first joined the firm in 1996 as a trainee solicitor under the mentorship of partners David Fyfe, Alan Blair, Donald Strathairn, Particia Watson, Morris Anderson and Andy Crawley. Current partner, Fiona Fleming joined the firm a few years later and both Sally and Fiona were promoted to partners at the same time; they have worked together for the last 20 years. Partner, Struan Ferguson who also joined Blackwood & Smith in 2011 as a trainee has worked alongside Sally as a partner for the last 6 years.

House Valuations Explained – Why did I receive different valuations from different agents? 

Selling your property is a huge step and choosing the correct estate agent is an extremely important decision.

Why have I received different values from different agents?

Whilst it might be tempting to shop around for an agent based on their valuation of your property it is worth noting that an agent's valuation is just their personal estimation of the value of the property. The actual price will be determined by the surveyor as part of their Home Report valuation. This surveyor’s valuation is independent of the estate agent’s valuation so in reality the value given by the estate agent has no real impact on the initial sale price of the property.

Why might you seek to improve your home’s energy efficiency?

With increased awareness of our impact on our planet many people will want to do their bit to reduce their carbon footprint. It turns out that one of the best ways of doing this is by improving the energy efficiency of your property. The UK’s housing stock is one of the oldest in the entire world with 38% built before 1946. While this does mean that the UK benefits from more characterful properties it also has resulted in our houses being amongst the least efficient with many of our older properties requiring retrofitting of insulation which can be expensive. According to the National Housing Federation our homes are producing more carbon emissions than all the cars on our roads combined. Therefore, if you wish to have a positive impact on the environment looking at how you can improve your properties energy efficiency is a good place to start. 

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