Some clients this week have raised the issue that previous Estate Agents did not undertake their own viewings and instead relied on the owners to perform them instead. On paper this opinion looks a fair one. Certainly when Estate Agents fee’s are as considerable as they are, the Agent should be doing everything possible to sell there Vendors home’s as effectively. There is no hard and fast rule in this regard though. I had a chat with my Mum about this as well and although they have always used Estate Agents to sell their houses, Mum always undertook her own viewings by choice (I’d like to state they haven’t moved since I have been in the business but watch this space!). Not only did she do this but my parents homes always sold very quickly.
You see sometimes, but not always, the owner can make an impression that the Estate Agent cannot. The Estate Agent can present in the third person how a family “could” feel in a house or what fun “could” be enjoyed in such a lovely home where the owner, if confident and willing, can present a “do feel” and “do enjoy” sensibility. This, allied with the fact that the applicant may well have viewed countless other houses by Estate Agents who simply opened a door and let you look, would present a much more attractive proposition to them. So the answer here is that if the seller is confident, comfortable and able, they can do as good a job if not a better one than even a good Estate Agent. If they are not, then the viewing representative employed by the Estate Agent must be knowledgeable, courteous, understanding and as good a listener as possible. This is how relationships develop and when your first meeting with an Estate Agent is through a viewing appointment, the Estate Agent is certainly responsible for making it a positive one.
A potential Client dropped into our Office yesterday and we had a pleasant chat. As a home owner and developer he certainly knew the trials and tribulations of the industry and offered an interesting perspective on the services many Estate Agents provide in the City. He was frank which made the conversation easy. The subject of Estate Agent Fee’s and the justification of them was his main area of concern. He expressed no loyalty to any Estate Agent in particular. As the service levels fluctuated so wildly and the fees they charged, even for below stamp duty properties, were often excessive, he kept trying new agents.
I explained, clearly I hope, how every business has a point which they cannot reduce fees or services below and the question to ask is not “How Much Do You Charge?” but “What Do I Get for My Fee’s”. It was certainly obvious to my guest that “Service” was his issue, not just “Fee”.
I showed him an array of sold properties, in our office and also the fees we charged. I showed him the brochures and floor plans that we invest in for each property, I discussed the way we undertake feedback whilst the viewings are taking place and he made it obvious that the fees we charged were way below the image we portray. “I’ll be certain to tell my family and friends”, he stated, “We just presumed you’d be a lot more expensive”.
What we offer is the very best presentation and sale of your home at a price that others may charge for a nonchalant service. When instructing an agent, ask not “What Price?” but “What Do I Get for The Price I Pay?”. We’d be delighted to show you and think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
For want of paraphrasing Roy Bartell, a marketing author and influential sales speaker of note, “Most people think “selling” is the same as “talking”. The most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job”. Well, this week, I think I’ve been victim of possibly
“listening” more than “talking”. Twice, potential sellers have been let down from securing there ideal home because they are not yet on the market. Twice, despite polite advice, have two vendors expressed there disappointment that the home they wanted to buy has been sold to proceed able purchasers.
At the valuation stage of my job and having explained and offered examples of why this scenario was likely to occur the client presumably thought “He would say that, he wants to sell my house!”. I think the mistake we see here is that of “generalization”.
The reality in retail, whether it be an Estate Agent selling a house, a Sales Advisor selling a Car or my Father selling Bedroom Furniture, is that the “seller” must overcome the customers preconception that all they want to do is “Sell!”. The “seller”, in this instance the seller of a service, must be aware that the customer (vendor) does not initially trust their intentions. Sometimes this is clearly valid. Many Estate Agents have targets to meet and bonus’s to earn whether they sell a house or not. At Elizabeth Davenport we do not earn individual commissions, we are not driven to achieve a high level of instructions to please the “management” or achieve a “target”. The only way we can earn is by selling our clients properties. The advise we give is genuine advice but on rare occasions it only reveals itself as truthful when what could happen, unfortunately does happen.
So yourself and your partner, husband, wife, goldfish or dog think it’s time for a change of scenery. You’ve outgrown your apartment. Your children’s feet are touching the wall in the box room. The neighbours heated debates have graduated to a verbose equivalent of guerilla warfare!
Whatever the reason, the decision is made and it’s time to place a value on your property. This value or appraisal could determine, in part, the choices of new home available to you. If the information you receive is misleading in the extreme and your home is overpriced then your property could remain unsold for a considerable time. You have to watch, powerless, as the Smiths move into what, by rights should be your dream home. If the information you receive is misleading and your home is under valued then it could be sold for less than it’s true worth and your dream home could be just another stop gap. If it’s priced correctly and you understand the way your home has been valued then you will have a fast or steady flow of viewings and your property will sell for the asking price, very close to it, or as in the case of a recent example , slightly higher.
We offer you our opinion based upon facts (there’s a multitude of denominators here connected to your home, area, market conditions e.t.c) and will back these up. To prove how effectively we can work for you let us show you why we sell houses, on average, faster than any other agent in Coventry, Kenilworth and the surrounding villages We don’t employ “Listers“, as “Valuers” are referred to by many Estate Agents. We don’t want to List your home. We want to sell it.
It’s a question that gets asked many times. “How can I add the most value to my property with the least amount of effort?”
Add an extension? Refit the Kitchen? Convert the attic, or perhaps landscape the garden?
All of the above are of course are very good ways to add value to your property. However they all take a lot of time and planning and require an up-front significant expenditure or outlay. Today I am going to reveal a way to instantly add value to your home without spending a penny or lifting a finger.
“Impossible!” I hear you retort. But it’s not impossible. In fact it’s very easy and very simple.
It’s a statisitical fact that when you put your property on sale, the more hits your property gets online, the more people will call the agent up and request a viewing. And it’s basic economics that the more buyers that come and view your property the higher the demand and the higher the selling price. So when you come to sell you need an agent that will get you the most online hits and the most viewing requests.
According to rightmove statistics Elizabeth Davenport are regularly top of the tree for hits on our properties. Our properties consistently get the highest “click-through rate”. This translates into a higher number of viewings for each property and therefore a higher selling price. In fact many of our properties sell for the full asking price because they are in such high demand.
So to add instant value to your property, give us a call today and request your free valuation.
The New Year has already been a record breaking one and 2014 is set to be a very healthy year for the property market in Coventry and the surrounding areas.
We are seeing lots of new properties come to market and have buyers queueing up for them in their droves. One new property that came to market in the last week at our branch had an offer of the full asking price within 24 hours. This was before the buyers had even visited the property!
The much increased availability of finance is the driving factor with much smaller deposits now required from many of the big lenders. This means that first time buyers have returned to the market place in large numbers and it’s these guys that prop up the housing market.
So if you’re considering making the move this year, call our office on 02476 010105 and arrange for a free, no obligation valuation and appraisal of your home. According to Rightmove statistics we are the fastest selling agent in the Coventry area so pick up the phone today and get moving.
Again our speed of sale has put us in the number 1 spot in Coventry with a current average of just 7 weeks from promotion to sale!
After agreeing a sale on a large four bedroom Semi Detached house on Baginton Road, the owner, already very happy with the volume of offers received, was understandably delighted. This led me to value another property on Baginton Road and in doing so my research drew me to review asking prices and actual sale prices in the surrounding areas as well.
Armorial Road, where a recent sale of ours became one of the highest sold on the road in many years provided the Smoking Gun I needed. Since 2010 there have been 8 sales on the road with a mean average price of almost £375,000. In the same period the mean average asking price has been £420,000. At present there are properties for sale for £475,000 and £465,000. Not since October 2006 has a house sold on the road for over £450,000 and in the last three years sales have ranged between £280,000 and £440,000. The property we sold had been on the market with other agents for over 6 months at an asking price that was nowhere near correct. It was poorly marketed and overpriced. That is why it didn’t sell. The asking price was simply too high.
As purchasers you have the same access to property records on www.landregistry.gov.uk , www.rightmove.co.uk and www.nethouseprices.com as we do. Possibly more importantly, so do mortgage lenders! So when an agents wow’s you with a price that is above your expectations do a little research yourself too. You’d be amazed how may agents have a punt figure just to make you say yes. You’d also be amazed how many agents can earn commission’s without even selling your house and just listing them. It’s a bad trait and one that gives the industry a poor reputation. It will also lead to your house sitting on the market without interest whilst others may sell around you. Our website www.elizabethdavenport.co.uk carries google + reviews and www.allagents.co.uk also features really positive feedback form our venders and purchasers. We’d be delighted if you have the time to read a few!
By Mark Walmsley.
We are confident that we remain the only Estate Agent in the Region to have successfully sold an HS2 “Blighted” property to a private buyer in Burton Green. We have also successfully sold property to HS2 themselves. Our conversations with the local press, the Guardian Newspaper and the BBC led us to being the Coventry Estate Agent chosen to reflect upon the differences between our Cities property prices and those of the Big Smoke. Maybe Monaco and Milton Keynes or Singapore and Stoke on Trent could have led to similar conversations, but if the BBC asked for professional opinion, we were only too happy to offer one.
The crew were professional and there questions were all valid and sensible. However it was no surprise that so little was aired. It will remain true what Frederick Wiseman, the distinguished Documentary filmmaker of the 60’s and 70’s alluded, “If you wish to tell a lie or misguide the general public then Documentary is the medium to do so”. Suffice to say, when asked by the director how the property market in London affects activity in Coventry I might as well have countered “How does Fiona Bruce presenting the 6’0 Clock News as well as The Antiques Roadshow affect your role at the BBC?”. One does not affect the other. Edward Lorenz’ Butterfly effect is not at work here either. You could almost drop an “Eden Project” dome over the city to uppercase it’s microclimate status.
An astronomical 25% hike in Central London a nationwide housing boom does not make.
The reality in Coventry and hopefully it will continue, is that of a steady affordable rise with a variance in those suburbs more favoured by quality schooling and prestige. But all sellers must be aware that there is a “lust” factor playing it’s part in property prices too. This will create anomalies in whichever area you live. This is where the seller, the buyer and the agent can make a difference. Place the national statistics in a draw for a moment and make a sigh of relief! If you want to emulate the Big Smoke’s Housing Boom then present your property for sale with elegance and style, practicality and cleanliness and your property sale could certainly be the New York of your Neighbourhood rather than the Northampton!
By Mark Walmsley.
As 2013 draws to a close there could not be a better time to “take stock”( if you’ll pardon the pun), of the housing market in Coventry and it’s surrounding areas. Before that, 2013 has been a landmark year for Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents. Not only have we opened our first, prominent High Street Office and employed our first non director staff, we have been consistently ranked either 1st or 2nd place for the click through rates on our website and the speed of our sales! With over 85 Estate Agents in competition with us this is something we are obviously very proud of. 2014 will see no resting on our Laurels (Christmas Pun intended) and we are investing in dramatic new sign boards that really compliment the nature of Agency and most importantly will get your property noticed first! We plan to further recruit and are constantly improving our website. We have invested further in professional photographic equipment too which is evidenced within our brochures and proven by way of our number 1 “Click Through” ranking by Rightmove. Highlights of the year for us include the dramatic amount of viewings and sale of “Whitegates”, a characterful and unique cottage residence in Keresley that had sat on the market gathering dust with other agents for over six months. We sold this within 4 weeks. “Armorial Road” is a similar success story with us having a number of offers and plentiful viewings when other agents had again failed. The sale of “Cannon Close” was another proud moment. A number of agents had valued the house and many unusual tales arose from these valuations too which quite honestly don’t depict Estate Agents well at all. Myself and the owners got on really well and the offers we received came thick and fast. It was certainly lovely to deal with a seller with such moral virtues. We had offers from investors and owner occupiers but they wanted the house to sell to family who would cherish and develop it over the years and that’s exactly what happened. The seller, as it transpired, was attracted to us by the quality of our photography which was certainly saying something as that was his profession! He kindly photographed George and I outside the house as a memento. For us it was great. For him probably a step down as he’s previously photographed Prince Charles, Mick Jagger and a host of real talent!
So what can we expect of the housing market in 2014? Firstly throw away the crystal ball and think about your own needs first. Don’t get excited or depressed by national statistics or the media’s declaration of a new housing boom with property prices increasing 6% per annum. In the West Midlands property prices are still considerably lower than they were at peak and only London and the South East are showing above inflation linked asking prices. However the “West Midlands ” statement is also not specific enough. In Coventry alone the growth in one area has been substantially greater than another with property prices literally at the end of one road remaining quite static whilst the other end see’s growth. This is why the only real monitor of worth is to the buyer. We need to put ourselves in there shoes when valuing correctly. In 2013 despite record instructions our stock levels remain low. When we price and market a property it sells very quickly. So for every new instruction a sale also occurs. This is an unlikely business model that must be retained. Why would any agent want a stock of 100’s of unsellable houses because they haven’t addressed the real reasons as to why they are not selling? If we can keep marketing to the precedent we have set then we will keep selling. We just need more, because there are buyers waiting, as my earlier examples proved. The stock level will then always remain manageable allowing us the time to productively work for you in finding your perfect buyer!
So let’s hope for New Year’s Health and Happiness and continuing the success of 2013. Thank you to all of our Customers and Christmas best wishes to all.
We will be closing for Christmas at Midday on 23rd December 2013 and opening again between 10 and 4pm on December 28th, Saturday 29th and Monday 30th December. Normal office hours will resume on Thursday 2nd January 2014.
Monday night’s “Dispatches” program on Channel 4 revealed some real problems in the Estate Agency industry, especially in regard to corporate and large chains of Estate Agents.
Sharp practices were revealed in the program with illegal methods of mortgage selling and many instances of not acting in the clients best interest. For thoses that didn’t see the documentary here are some of the problems that were uncovered:
Only allowing buyers to view a property if they bought a mortgage through the same Estate Agent. (this is illegal)
Only considering offers from buyers who took a mortgage product at the same time. (this is illegal)
Advising buyers to take out a buy-to-let mortgage when they intended to live in the property (this is illegal)
These practices occurred in environments where agents were pressurised by the company they worked for to achieve high sales targets and where commission based wages were in place. This is the typical set-up at corporate and large chain Estate Agencies.
So how as a seller or buyer do you avoid these pitfalls? By using a small independent Estate Agent that always acts in the clients’ best interests and where selling ancillary products is not a priority. At Elizabeth Davenport, our priority is to our client and our goal is to sell all of our properties for the maximum price possible. This can only be achieved by making the properties available to the widest audience possible (REMEMBER: the higher the demand, the higher the price.)
So don’t get caught out. If you want the best sales service or the best buying experience then give us a call today.