About Us

About John Couch The Estate Agent

Being an Estate Agent may start with property, but that is only the beginning, we are passionate about property and our aim is to provide a level of service beyond expectations. Under John's watchful eye, we have become one of the leading Estate Agents in the South West, our reputation allowing us to open the doors of many of the areas finest homes.

Torquay Office
43 Ilsham Road, Wellswood, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2JG

01803 296500


Beverley Masey - Sales Negotiator

Beverley is a sales negotiator and has been with John Couch for over thirteen years. She is also responsible for producing the floor plans we use when marketing property. Beverley enjoys the variety of her role, both in and out of the office and describes her greatest achievement as having originally been “headhunted” by John. One of Beverley’s career stories is that whilst out handling a viewing, the property owners dog got out of the house. Beverley spent hours handing out “missing dog” leaflets and posting them around the area. The property owner then went out and bought a new puppy only for the original dog to return safely a few days later! In an earlier career, Beverley used to be a fishmonger and claims to be able to fillet any fish. As a valued member of our team we certainly believe she knows her plaice! Beverley is happily married and leads an active life away from the office involving squash, racket-ball, surfing and kayaking. She is a member of the Torquay Squash and Leisure Club and has been the Devon Ladies Doubles Squash Champion. Together with her partner and a rottweiler called Pyper, Beverley lives on the outskirts of Torquay. A “bucket list” ambition is to buy a camper van and travel around Europe.

Claire Stahlmann - Sales Negotiator

Claire joined John Couch in 2015 after a year in Canary Wharf in London. Claire is a sales negotiator and also handles our in-house photography and social media content. Claire says she loves meeting new people and helping them find their dream home. Her funniest moment in estate agency to date was finding a couple in an intimate situation when on a viewing. She says she rings the bell and knocks more loudly on the door now! An artistic lady she has a degree in drama and theatre arts, has performed with Bonnie Tyler (who still talks about it!), is an excellent mimic and has won awards for the bridal headpieces which she makes in her spare time. Recently married, Claire and husband George enjoyed a wonderful Greek wedding and live in a cottage by the harbour. In her spare time, Claire enjoys long walks with her husband and their dog, Pickle. Her favourite places visited are China and Thailand.

Eileen Lovering - Sales Progressor

Eileen has worked with John Couch for twenty-seven years and fulfils the vital role of sales progressor, working hard to ensure that all parties achieve the sales and purchase outcomes they desire. Eileen particularly enjoys helping clients and customers move on to the next chapter in their lives with as little stress as possible. Her funniest moment in estate agency was when she entered what she thought was an empty property, shouted hello and got a reply back ‘Hello!’ – it was a parrot! Eileen lives in Torquay and nothing makes her happier than being with her grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, going to the cinema and seeing family and friends. Her secret claim to fame is that she was once on stage with Billy Fury and, continuing the showbiz theme, was at her brother’s wedding with Frank Carson and is friends with the Krankies who are Torquay’s resident celebrities.

Geoff Gooding - Sales Negotiator

Geoff enjoyed a successful career spanning 25 years in Asset Finance before moving effortlessly into the world of property which is something he had held a strong interest in for many years. Initially buying, improving and selling on his own account and then becoming more involved and hands on with his good friends here at John Couch. Initially Geoff was focused on specific projects but more recently his role has extended to all aspects of estate agency. Having lived in Torquay for many years, Geoff has excellent local knowledge and clients and customers, who frequently become friends, seek his advice on many aspects of living locally and property matters, long after they have bought or sold.Away from the office, Geoff enjoys Formula 1 motor racing and spending time in London.His secret claim to fame is knowing effortlessly how to get from A to B which, together with his love of London, makes us wonder if he was a taxi driver in a previous life and has done the knowledge!

John Couch - Founder

John has been in the property industry for nearly fifty years and, together with wife Susan owns and runs the business.Property is John’s passion and he always has a story to tell with a perfect memory for people and places. With so much experience of Torquay and its property market, John gets considerable pleasure from meeting the hundreds of sellers and purchasers that he has helped over the years. Still driven and ambitious, John continues to set high standards in order to maintain the position of Torquay’s leading estate agent. When asked for his favourite property tale his answer was, ‘Wait for the memoirs!’ An accomplished musician of both wind and stringed instruments, John also likes getting away on holiday with Susan and their son and family. A secret claim to fame is that as a Royal Artillery Bandsman John marched at Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965.

Lesley Clayton - Administrator

Lesley has been with John Couch for over fifteen years having worked for another estate agency previously. As secretary and PA, Lesley plays an important role handling administration for the team. She is extremely honest and says that one of the things she enjoys most is that, handling all the administration, she doesn’t have to go out in the cold and wet like her colleagues and can stay in the warm cosy office! Lesley is happily married and enjoys walking and playing with her German Shepherd (we are assured this is her dog!) and taking holidays. A mean quiz player she is also an expert at making coffee cake which is another reason that makes her extremely popular with her colleagues!

Susan Couch - Office Manager

Reliable, supportive and fun, Susan has been with John Couch for thirty years (she says she started when she was five!) and is a partner in the business and office manager. She lives in Torquay and is, of course, also married to the man himself! Susan enjoys the diversity, challenge and satisfaction of being part of a successful team. Her funniest moment in estate agency to date was suggesting viewing upstairs having forgotten that the property on offer was a bungalow! Susan describes her greatest achievement to date as her 29-year-old son and watching him become the man he is today. Susan has a passion for travel, particularly in France and she also loves musical theatre. This latter passion has seen Susan chaperone over 100 performances of the professional tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. When asked about future ambitions, Susan didn’t hesitate in giving two answers (1) Never to lose enthusiasm for my role and (2) to be French, rich and skinny!

John Couch Blog

John Couch

March 2021 Market Update


The first quarter of 2021 has been an interesting and sometimes challenging one for the property market here in Torquay.

The stamp duty holiday introduced last year had served its purpose and created greater sales activity in the market but fears over a “cliff edge” ending on 31st March had seen activity and urgency slow as the deadline came into sight and it was clear that many people would be unable to complete their transactions in time.

However, the budget on 3rd March saw the Chancellor extend the deadline on the current £500,000 stamp duty holiday by a further three months until the end of June.

This could be seen as kicking the “cliff edge” issue down the road but it has at least served to reduce some of the pressure on the system and will allow the majority of transactions underway to benefit from the reduced tax position.

In an effort to alleviate further the “cliff edge” end of the stamp duty holiday, it will extend beyond the end of June for another three months (until the end of September) but at a reduced zero rate level of £250,000. This may now encourage further activity in the market which had seen a slowing over recent weeks, with sellers in particular, holding back from listing their property for sale which, in turn has added fuel to the fire of property prices. 

It was forecast that on 23rd March the Government would announce future reviews and changes to both Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty but the treasury has decided, at least for now, to leave things where they are. (This must be seen as good news for investors or those looking to realise assets in particular).

There were some announcements around the tax liability on holiday lets although these are largely to close a loophole where second home-owners were gaining financially even when they were not genuinely offering holiday lets.

Overall, demand for properties on the English Riviera remains strong and, as the vaccination programme continues apace and many people reappraise their lives there is an increasing number of people looking to move away from London and the major cities. This is where our affiliation with both LonRes and the Mayfair Office provides our seller clients with a huge boost by making their properties readily available to both London and international buyers and we have secured many sales as a result.


With an end to current restrictions planned and limitations on the ability to travel abroad this year looking likely, the popularity of Torquay and the South West is likely to increase further and will provide a boost to helping the economy recover quickly during the summer and beyond.


We hope you enjoying reading our insight into the current market and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call and we will be delighted to talk further.


41 days ago


@john_couch John Couch

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