“On The Job” Hits The Right Buttons!

Quite often the last thing an Estate Agent would choose to do in their own spare time would be to watch a television series about Estate Agents but “Under Offer: Estate Agents On The Job” was a different beast. I suppose the voyeuristic nature of the docudrama spiked a sense of  impending dread. I better watch it so I know what  I’m faced with tomorrow! Would we Estate Agents be further tarnished? Would we be mocked? I was pretty confident that the show wouldn’t instigate a surge of job applications but I hoped for the best and I think we got it.

First and foremost it was fun. We are great fun you once you get to know us.

Secondly the show was littered with classic quotations that that Messrs Scorcese and Tarantino would have been proud of. “Mass Murderers would be greeted with a better response”, “If you want to be an Estate Agent, you just open a shop”, “Most Estate Agents are Posh and Blond and I’m Irish and a Redhead”. It was great. The show on a more serious note clearly highlighted the canyon between London and the rest of the country something that we certainly have written about before. What clearly works in one region won’t  necessarily work in another but certainly what shone through is that energy and enthusiasm go along way. Together with a moral compass pointing North, Estate Agents should come out of this smelling of roses rather than manure! Still, we are only on  Episode Two!

Dont’ Put Your Money Down The Drain!

The case for selling your property through an established locally based Estate Agent has been given extra credence recently with the announcement that TV’s Sarah Beeney had re-launched her “free to list” property portal as an “Online Estate Agent”.

Beeney’s website “Tepilo” had been launched several years ago with the strapline “Ditch the Estate Agent”. After 4 years of failure, the embarrassing about-turn meant that in effect she became an Estate Agent herself. Tepilo now charges £912 up-front to list a property and this is their “Best Value Deal” (this generously includes a For Sale board, photography, a floor-plan and a rightmove premium listing). The £912 is paid before you go on the market and is non-returnable if you don’t find a buyer.

Let’s think about it carefully. Throw Money AwayYou hand over 912 (nine hundred and twelve) of your hard earned notes to an “Online Estate Agent” based at the other end of the country and they upload your property details to their website. You have already given them their fee so what is the resulting motivation for them to find you a buyer?

ANSWER: Big Fat Zero. You might as well put your money down the drain!

By contrast if you market your property through Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents you get all of the above, PLUS you get professional bespoke brochures, accompanied viewings AND you get expert local knowledge on setting the correct asking price for your property.  We will be highly motivated to find a buyer because that’s how we earn our fee. You don’t pay us a penny until the day the property is sold. Now that’s what I call a great deal!

Call us today for expert, honest, free advice on selling your property.

 

 

Extraordinary Practice Does Not Make Perfect

What a week that was!

A record level of instructions and a record level of sales agreed. It seems that the Coventry buyer really has grown in confidence and together with Mortgage lending we are seeing sensible purchases facilitated by sensible lending. Let’s hope it stays that way. Last week three quarters of the new stock was sold with either asking price offers or above. Most importantly this completely satisfied our clients but it also reinforced the mentality that ” if you don’t overprice a house it will have enough interest to reach it’s own natural level”. That natural level will always be above the asking price (or as the London market now exemplifies,” The Guide Price”!).

From satisfied clients to the shocked and offended . “All fair in Love and War” and “We’ve all got mouths to feed” are just not justifiable hyperbole for ignorance and misleading information.

A potential seller requests multiple valuations or appraisals. Each agent presents their research, their service, the costs and the figure they would like to market the property for. This is how the process works. If you do the job correctly then in far more cases than not you receive the instruction to sell your clients home. We have been witness this week to our clients being approached by agents they haven’t instructed to a) “Dual Market” from day one, b) dis-instruct the chosen agent and c) be told they have made the wrong choice. These same clients have all sold through us within a few days of instruction, we have achieved a superb volume of viewings and the offers have been asking price or above. With our Click Through Rate consistently number 1 in the region and our speed of sale equal to it, I would suggest that some of these “established agents” get their own ships in order to avoid this sort of embarrassment being launched upon them. Extraordinary Practices like this only enhance the poor reputation that many Estate Agents have and that others are, unfairly, often tarnished with.

Market Back in Full Swing

At time of writing (Tuesday) our Coventry office had already agreed 6 sales for this week alone. Three of those were for the full asking figures and one went for substantially over the asking price. Buyers are desperately competing for the best properties and trying to outbid one another in order to secure purchases. Confidence has returned to the local Coventry housing market in no uncertain terms. There does however remain a shortgage of stock generally and this is increasing the “buyer frenzy” whenever good homes come onto the market.

If you are a buyer then you have to be in a good position when you start searching otherwise you will be wasting your time. This means that your own property must already be sold or you must be chain free. You should already have a mortgage agreement in principle or even better, a suitcase full of cash!!

If you are selling then your property needs to be appealing. This means it should be priced competitively and marketed in the correct way. We can advise you how to do this and also advise on setting your asking price at the correct level. This will help to create the “buyer frenzy” that will get you the best price for your property.

Those homeowners that are badly advised usually set their asking price too high and get the marketing all wrong. This leads to only a small number of viewings and little or no competition between buyers. RESULT: Few viewings, few or no offers, no buyer frenzy and definitley not the best price for the property.

Call us today for expert advice on buying or selling property on 02476 010105. We’ll be delighted to help.

Nothing is Unsellable if Presented Properly.

Every House Will Sell. Put quite simply, every property has a market value and can be sold in a matter of days or weeks. This may sound incredible, especially if you have been on the market for months (or even years) but it is absolutely true.

On Saturday this week we agreed a sale on another property that had been unsuccessfully marketed for many months with another agent. It was a lovely home. Definitely a property worth more than the square footage it presented, the house was certainly a difficult one to value.  Many are. If they are then the key is to not let them “sit” on the agents books. The agent can’t be allowed to forget your property and just wait for interest. That interest won’t come. Proactive agents have the ability to engage new interest and they need to be on the ball to do this. We sold the house  for a price the owners were happy with and the buyers were also delighted.

If a property is stuck on the market then it is for one of three reasons. Firstly, the vendor is not motivated to sell, secondly the property has not been marketed correctly (i.e poor marketing, brochures, presentation, lack of information etc) or thirdly the property is not being advertised at the right price. There is no other reason why a home will not sell.

Bad neighbours, busy roads, railway lines through the garden, poor decoration, old fashioned kitchens, not enough bedrooms, pink bathroom suites, unfinished extensions, holes in roofs, lack of parking, too many bedrooms, no heating system, poor location……………………….. THESE ARE NOT VALID REASONS FOR A PROPERTY TO BE STUCK ON THE MARKET. They are simply factors that negatively affect the value of a property.

So if you have a property that has been stuck on sale for a long time and you think it’s not selling because of the motorway at the bottom of the garden, think again. Look at the three reasons and work through them. Your property will sell with an agent who cares.

Let Your Purchase Be Crystal Clear!

Sometimes when you meet the right people opportunities arise that enable your business to move in a direction quicker than you anticipated! George and I met Ian Shaw, an experienced financial consultant and we got on even before he explained the full capacity and opportunities his business offered. Ian has the ability to independently search over 5000 mortgage products for potential clients, many of which, due to his companies partnership with Legal and General are unique to their company.

Crystal Clear Financial Planning can meet our customers and those we introduce, at our clients convenience, whatever the time or location. The research and proposal of a suitable mortgage for our clients will cost nothing. Ian, together with Graeme Lewis and the director Darren Burdis all follow our companies “Client and Customer First” ethos. Buying a house is not about us and it’s not about them. Buying a house is about the customer and selling a house is about our client. We don’t want to push a mortgage in front of our customers.

We are Estate Agents (I tried to think of another title but I suppose I can’t completely reinvent the wheel!) and we have no interest in which mortgage product you choose. We simply want what is best for you. The way to do that is to offer you the ability to discuss financial matters with a truly independent expert who can listen, advise and satisfy your needs.

Don’t Get Bored! Get Boards!

A common discussion with absolutely no rights or wrongs is the value of a “For Sale” or “To Let Board” at your home. “To Let” Boards are more straightforward as the emotional factor of telling your neighbours and the passing public that your house or a house you own is “available” is far less relevant. The percentage of owner occupiers renting there own home is obviously less than the number of  investment properties on the market. The issue regarding security though may still be a relevant one. If the property you own is empty then does a board signal “Empty! Easy Opportunity”. Well, Ne’er-do-wells don’t burgle empty houses.  So a Board does not a burglary make. These security issues are the most common negatives that a seller or buyer will concerned about, and quite fairly too.

The positives though can of course can be great. Desirable areas will lead potential buyers to drive around and research where they hope to live. If there is no “For Sale” board then they may not see your house. No matter how impressive the brochures and web details, no one should buy a home without seeing it in the light of day. A “For Sale” Board isn’t just helpful for the seller of course. It’s an immensely powerful marketing tool for the Estate Agent too.  If your agents For Sale boards are faded, in bad repair  or remain fallen down or broken, what does this say about them as well?

Viewings! To do or Not to do! That is the Question!

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.

If You’re Going To Pay, Then Get What You Pay For!

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!

Please Don’t Miss Out!

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.