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We’ve been helping people buy and sell properties across our region for 150 years, and we’re proud to be a local success story. 

It’s a story that began back in 1856, when Charles Butters began trading in Hanley, Stoke on Trent as a property agent and auctioneer. In those days, photographs were unknown and each property was meticulously described on handwritten sale particulars produced with a quill.


As technology moved on, so did the way we sold properties. By the end of the 19th Century, printed auction catalogues replaced handwritten notices. It was common for houses to be auctioned with all its contents included, and sales often took place at the property itself. 

Charles Butters firm continued to expand, and auctioneering became a major part of the business. Sales back then included plant & machinery, occasional rare artefacts, valuable pottery and even a steam train! 

After the turn of the 20th Century, the business developed considerably. Mr Butters passed away and new Partners were now running the well-established firm of Charles Butters and Sons. Meanwhile in Crewe, Cheshire, the fledgling firm of John A Bee and Company was formed, specialising in the sale of residential property, surveys and valuation. 

Over the years, each business grew as did technological advances. Photocopiers were now used to produce printed particulars with polaroid photographs glued on — cutting edge for the time! 

At the turn of the millennium, these two firms merged to become butters john bee, with the aim of becoming the best regional property services company in the country. National awards followed from The Times & Sunday Times, Estates Gazette and ESTAS, recognising the achievements of our team. The philosophy of great customer service remains our primary focus in today’s fast-moving, technological environment.