The Best Service Does Not Mean The Highest Fee & The Same Applies Backwards!

Did you know that the last Calendar year has seen us sell more houses in excess of £190,000 than any other agent in the Coventry area. We didn’t. Not until we received communication from Rightmove directly expressing there congratulations. Our stock levels are often considerably less than our competitors but from this smaller stock we are selling a higher percentage of homes. We were delighted with this. Selling more from a smaller stock means more client care and better service. Clearly the marketing, photography, office staff and viewing representatives are all doing their job properly too!

However, this success is only is only one half of a very different story!  There is a massive market of property that we often don’t get the opportunity to work with. Market research has shown us that the reason our instruction of properties under £185,000 is a lower percentage is due to the publics perception that our agency only deal with “expensive” homes. Will our fees be “higher” than other agencies? We are pleased to tell you, they are not!

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Our ethos, when we launched our business, was to provide “every seller with the opportunity to have the very best of service and presentation but with very much an “average” fee”.  

Last year one particular month saw us sell a home for £625,000 and another for £75,000. I am pleased to tell you that both sellers received the same level of service, the same quality of brochures and photography, accompanied viewings and full sales progression support. The most interesting point for myself was that the sellers of the Willenhall apartment reviewed our services on Google expressing there satisfaction.  They also stated they loved their home above and beyond that expressed by the sellers of the Detached home in Styvechale.

 

Truly every home is a castle and every seller deserves the best possible service. Nowhere does the legend state that they have to pay the most for it!

Property Sales Fuelled By New Coventry Jobs?

2015 has seen Coventry benefit from new employment in a variety of roles and locations. Many of these locations have seen properties sell to those new employees who in many cases are also new to the area. What with Coventry University also hitting The Times Top 15 list, the resurgence of Coventry as a City of investment and progress, has also seen us achieve record sales over the first nine months.

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With Whitley, Cheylesmore and Styvechale serving Jaguar Landrover we can also see Travis Perkins set to employ 300 new staff at it’s new multi million pound distribution centre at Whitley Business Park.

Metrocab and The London Taxi Company are seeing over 1100 new jobs being created between Ansty Park and Tile Hill. Unipart and it’s new division, Powertrain Applications, being based in Holbrooks, will see a need for 150 new roles to support it’s growth.

Sainsburys also sees new roles within digital design and development bringing a further 300 new jobs to the city spread between Walsgrave and Ansty.

With The University Hospital, Warwick University and that ever so simple Coventry – London Euston commute, Coventry with a wealth of property stock to suit all pockets, seems to be driving the market from strength to strength.

We’re really happy to be part of it.

Why Too Many Estate Agents Can Spoil The Broth

Just last week we received instructions to sell a property in Coventry. The agreement was for 2 agents (Elizabeth Davenport plus one of our competitors) to market the property simultaneously. CooksThe idea of appointing 2 agents is to get a quicker sale for the client and because of the extra competition, presumably obtain a higher price for the property.

Sadly the arrangement soon became counter productive. The other agent involved received the first offer on the property. Their immediate response to this was to suggest to the owner to quickly accept the offer and remove the property from the market. Under any circumstances this is not the best advice to give especially when an offer has just been received and there are several other viewings booked in. Higher offers could well follow from other buyers so to accept the first offer instantly is questionable.

As it happened our agency subsequently negotiated a higher offer with a second buyer, well in excess of the one received via our competitor. By then though a deal had been struck and the original offer firmly accepted. The owner of the property, true to their word decided to stick with the original deal. They have now been left substantially out of pocket.

If one Estate Agent had been appointed then a different outcome would probably have prevailed and I suspect the owners would have now accepted a substantially higher offer on their property. Using multiple agents to sell your home is often NOT the best way forward.

Elizabeth Davenport specialise in sole agency and will get you the best results bar none. Call our office to day and arrange a free valuation for your property.

Great Time To Buy Or Sell

The housing market in Coventry and  the surrounding areas has moved up a gear in the last 3 months or so with a flurry of activity from buyers and many properties selling very quickly for full asking price. iStock_000014885905_Medium

The demand seems to be driven by the healthy job market in Coventry with many new positions being created by large firms such as Jaguar LandRover. This is leading to an influx of people moving into the area and adding heat to what was already a healthy property market. Speaking to an RICS valuer the other day, he was of the opinion that prices have risen in Coventry around 5% since the beginning of the year which is considerable by any standards.

There still remains a shortage of stock for sale though and this is adding further upward pressure to prices as well as meaning that we are currently without doubt in a sellers’ market. Great news then if you are a seller. Good news also if you are a buyer, despite the fact it may be more competitive and trickier to purchase a property, once you’ve found somewhere the long term growth prospects look excellent.

So overall it’s a win win. If you’re about to buy or sell a property (or both) then contact Elizabeth Davenport for expert technical advice and friendly support. We’re waiting for your call and are available on 02476 010105.

 

Accepting An Offer On Your Property

Once you’ve marketed your property for sale and received viewings (all being well) the offers will start to flood in.

It’s easy at this point to play buyers off against one another in order to drive the sale price as high as possible. However this is also an ideal opportunity to cherry pick the best buyer that can proceed to completion in the smallest time frame with the minimum amount of fuss.

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There are a number of factors that drive the suitability of buyers and these include (in no particular order):

Finances: does the buyer require a large mortgage or are they a cash buyer?

Chain Details: Does the buyer have a property to sell and if so how long is the chain?

Solicitors: Does the buyer already have a solicitor. If they do is it an established local practice or a cheap conveyancing warehouse found on the internet?

Your Estate Agent can advise you on the suitability of any particular buyer. The amount they have offered is clearly an important factor but you should strongly consider the buyer’s circumstances and sometimes it may be better to accept a lower offer if the underlying circumstances are superior.

Having the luxury of multiple offers often depends on how good your Estate Agent is at attracting buyers in the first place and this as always comes down to the quality of the marketing materials and setting the correct asking price. Elizabeth Davenport are experts at maximising the number of viewings on a property and this in turn often leads to multiple offers and finding the best buyer. Call us today on 02476 010105 to arrange for your free, no obligation valuation.

 

 

 

Why Asking Price Is So Important

If your property has been on sale without success for more than 3 months then this probably means something is wrong with the marketing. This could be any of a number of things, perhaps the photos aren’t up to scratch or maybe the property isn’t being advertised through the right channels. Just as likely though is the possibility that your home is on sale at too high an asking price.

I hear many homeowners say to me that “If the price is too high then people will just make lower offers.” Unfortunately this often isn’t the case and in reality overpriced homes often receive few viewings and often don’t receive any offers at all. The reason for this is simple.iStock_000002696243XSmall

An RICS report showed that 70% of buyers pay 20% more than they originally set out to spend. This means that if your property is worth £150,000 the most likely buyers will have been searching for properties advertised between £120,000 – £150,000. So if you put your home on sale at £160,000 the most likely buyers won’t be coming to view it. In fact all of the WRONG buyers will come and view and when they do it won’t live up to their expectations and they will be disappointed. So you won’t receive any offers.

So asking price is critical in attracting viewings but even more crucially it’s very important in attracting the RIGHT viewers. In Coventry right now there is generally a shortage of property for sale so if your home goes on sale at the correct price and is marketed well by your Estate Agent with good photos and floor-plans then you should be able to find a buyer in a matter of weeks.

Call Elizabeth Davenport today for more expert advice on selling your property and for a free valuation.

Why Your Property Is Worth More Than Next Door’s….

I recently dealt with 2 identical properties located just yards from one another. Theoretically they were both worth the same amount, there was nothing in it. Both went onto the market within a few weeks of one another and both were sold. BUT…………

One of them sold for significantly more than the other. How on earth did this happen?iStock_000014885905_Medium

The first property was valued by our agency and subsequently marketed with our usual high quality details and at the correct market asking price. There was a brilliant response and lots of buyers flocked over to view, with several offers being quickly received and very soon a buyer was selected. Job done.

The second property was also valued by our agency, but subsequently went on sale with a low-budget Estate Agent at an inflated asking price. The house sat on the market for several weeks attracting little interest. The photos that appeared online were of poor quality, some were blurred and out of focus, others were very dark and the house looked unappealing. Some weeks later the asking price was reduced to the correct level, however by then the property had gone stale on the market and buyers were suspicious. Three or four months later the (by now) desperate owners reduced the asking price further and eventually accepted an offer some 5% below the figure achieved by their neighbours.

They saved several hundred pounds in Estate Agency fees but lost several thousand pounds on the sale price of their home. As someone once said “The cheapest option often turns out to be the most expensive…….”

Elizabeth Davenport don’t claim to be the cheapest in town but we do have a track record of achieving excellent results for our clients. If you want to work with a High Quality Estate Agent then please call us today on 02476 010105 and we can help get your home sold.

Mortgage Surveyors Should Not Dictate House Prices, Let The Public Decide!

Board ImagesAs soon as the Christmas Tree took home in the loft space and our bums hit the hot seats back at Warwick Row, we have seen month after month increases in sales results, instruction levels and viewing figures. Interestingly we have seen a few other repetitive patterns emerge that aren’t so favourable.

If we accept that the way we market a property attracts a greater number of Online Click Throughs than competition then we must also accept that is one of the reasons we have a greater volume of viewings. This in turn should create a wave of offers. When this occurs we find it sensible to set a date for “Best and Final Offers”. The Vendor is happy, the buyer is happy and we did all we could to ensure fairness for the parties who weren’t successful.

Then a Mortgage Valuation is booked. Is it Santander? Is it Natwest? Is it the Coventry?

Then, more familiar than ever, certain lenders are undervaluing the properties we are selling. The Vendor is not happy, the buyer is not happy, my colleagues are not happy.

What next? Renegotiation? Compromise? A scratch of head?

Stop! A pattern has formed and it’s one that seems to victimise the success our marketing has created. If we have a volume of buyers wanting to pay more than the mortgage valuation suggests, then are the buyers wrong? They viewed countless other houses they deemed not of value. When the Mortgage Surveyor attempts justification, “Have you had other offers on the property and what were they?”, we can safely state “Yes! Here they are! What does that tell you?”.

The answer? Should we reduce the value of the houses we are selling? No. On at least four transactions this year the answer has been to appoint another lender who offers a free survey. The result? Four houses that were not down valued a second time.

The Vendor was happy. The Buyer was happy. My colleagues were happy and I didn’t have to scratch my head again.

Interpreting Viewing Feedback

Once your home is on the market and buyers have been to view, your Estate Agent will start to send through feedback from each applicant explaining exactly what they thought of your property. There are opportunities here to try and make sense of the comments that come back and possibly act upon them if no offers are forthcoming. Sometimes feedback can be very revealing and point to a specific problem that needs to be addressed or overcome.

estate-agent-valuationIf a buyer has one particular objection about a property then this is often a positive sign. So if they are worried about the busy road but like the property generally then it’s the job of your Estate Agent to sell them the positives and try to persuade them to make a compromise on this particular point, perhaps by mentioning that similar properties on a quieter road would cost that much more. Or maybe if the garden isn’t quite as big as they hoped, the generous living space will make up for this and again, the buyer may be prepared to compromise.

Of course if the buyer reels off a whole list of reasons why they’re not interested or says that they simply “didn’t get the right feel” then it’s unlikely that they’ll be making an offer. Similarly if the house itself is too small for their needs or the location just isn’t right, it’s unlikely things will progress.

On average you’ll probably need around 8-10 viewings to receive an offer. If you’ve had umpteen viewings with no offers and lots of negative feedback then this is the market’s way of telling you that the price is probably too high. Similarly, no viewings at all after several weeks usually either means the price is too high or that the marketing details produced by your agent are not up to scratch. Take a look at the photos your agent has produced. Are they crisp, well composed and brightly lit? If the photos are poor then buyers will assume the house is poor so don’t put up with poor quality marketing from your agent.

Finally be prepared to act upon feedback and liaise closely with your Estate Agent throughout the process. If buyers keep pointing to that damp patch on the ceiling or that peeling paintwork on the front door,  then you really need to get it sorted. Communication is key and if you listen to what the market is telling you then you’ll be well on the way to finding that right buyer and achieving a sale.

 

Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Property Viewings

The question we get asked the most on this is “Should the agent or the homeowner conduct the viewings?”

The short answer is that either of these methods can work well. A confident homeowner can do the job very well, the key is simply not to try too hard. You have to understand that you can’t hard sell a home to someone. They will often get a feel within a minute or two of entering the property and if it’s not for them then no amount of sales tactics will change their mind. So if you are orchestrating your own viewings, simply be friendly and helpful when buyers come round to look. Happy young couple walking into their new housePoint out things that may not be obvious to a potential buyer such as underfloor heating or proximity to good local schools. DON’T point out the glaringly obvious (“This is the toilet”) and DON’T bore them to death with the technical details for the boiler.

Take the opportunity to tell the buyers exactly what you have enjoyed the most about your time living at the property. Be honest and sound passionate and don’t make it sound sales like.

If you do not fancy the prospect of watching strangers nose round your home than ask the Estate Agent to do the viewings on your behalf. If you go down this route then it is very important to let the agent do their job and make yourself completely scarce. That means you GO OUT prior to all arranged viewings. There is nothing more off-putting to a potential buyer than being shown around a nice property by the Estate Agent, only to walk into the Living Room and find the homeowner lounging on the sofa with a bowl of peanuts watching Jeremy Kyle! As you can imagine this creates a very awkward atmosphere and at this point many viewers will feel obliged to engage with the owner of the house (or vice versa) through a sense of politeness. A confusing exchange then normally takes place during which the homeowner often contradicts everything that the Estate Agent has previously mentioned and the whole viewing process becomes very disjointed.

If the buyer leaves the house feeling awkward then that is exactly what they will remember about the property………..it felt awkward. So you can rest assured they won’t be making an offer.

REMEMBER. If the price is set correctly and the marketing details are spot on, then most properties will sell themselves. Buyers simply need to be given the opportunity to look round un-rushed and unhindered and fall in love. Then they will make an offer…………..