Category Archives: Selling Property

A Different Nicholas Arrives This Festive Season! It Pays To Be Ready!

Without further Ado and with the Festive Bells ringing as my pen hits parchment, Elizabeth Davenport are really pleased to welcome Nick “Not just for Christmas” Luntley to our burgeoning office on Warwick Row! Having started his Estate Agency career in 2005, Nick has truly worked his way up through the business. Tea was soon sitting cold and biscuits stale as his desire to become the best Estate Agent possible become reality. Leaving a successful position as Sales Manager of a much respected Coventry Estate agent means a lot to us.  St Nick, you’re welcomed with open arms!

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2015 has been a very busy year for everyone. Our office has grown dramatically. So, when volumes of business increase,  the key is not counting the profit (Scrooge, take note!) but retaining and further improving our customer service levels by employing the right team.

With Rightmove actively marketing the fact that the Christmas period is the busiest for Online viewing,  promoting your house now, rather than later can be a positive and genuinely beneficial decision. As the interest in your home grows, decisions to view are made and in the New Year they happen!

Of course no one will want to view over the Christmas weekend, but they’ll be getting excited! So, if you get a knock on the door on Christmas Day it won’t be me. It might be St Nick though!

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.

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…………..

Exactly What is www.OnTheMarket.com and Why Should We Even Care?

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This morning one of our clients received a letter from a competitor stating “Did you know your agent have made the commercial decision to reduce our property on line by removing us from Zoopla? “. I read this a few times before realising that the statement wasn’t even English. Once I’d dealt with this I then replied to our client with the facts. Agents try and use any tool for an advantage.  This one was a bit clumsy. If you’re going to state an advantage make sure it is one. I’ll try and explain before they send another letter stating “Did you know your agents car has got a dent on nearside wing and mine hasn’t”.

OnTheMarket.com” should, at the time of going to press, be all over your televisions and in many quality publication’s as well. Many of the features that have made Zoopla and Rightmove “clunky” are not prevalent with “OnTheMarket.com“. If we look at this very simply then the website adapts seamlessly to fit the screen of any device being used to view it. As a “user” as well as an Estate Agent that’s good enough for me to start with. The property search at “OnTheMarket.com” is also slick, simple, fast and state-of-the-art whilst being compatible with all of the latest technologies. There is no clutter from irritating and distracting third party adverts, nor any spam email. The phone number you see will be our own. Users of “OnTheMarket.com“will also have access to “sneak preview” properties exclusive to them for 48 hours!

Even more importantly buyers that register with Zoopla register with Rightmove. Buyers that register with Rightmove do not always register with Zoopla. Why therefore retain the duplication?  If we removed ourselves from Rightmove I would have questioned our commercial decision as well.

Elizabeth Davenport are one of the first of a forward thinking set of Coventry Estate Agents that will be listing on this new agent driven portal from day one. I don’t think I’ll worry about sending  any letters to our competitors clients asking “”Did you know your agent have made the commercial decision to duplicate your listing and not use OnTheMarket?”. They’ll most likely be on it themselves in a few months anyway!

Want To Sell or Want to Sit? There is a Choice!

Well,  Autumn ‘s here and the leaves are falling. Thankfully house prices aren’t. Indeed, thankfully for many, they are not soaring either. Forget London’s Boom, the reality all around us, is that the reports of a Boom have heightened the expectations of sellers throughout Britain.

I had a Seller last week tell me that the agent they were marketing with in Coventry had told them that house prices had risen 10% over the height of the market in 2008. He was bullish about this too by all account. This same agent had not sold the Vendors house. It had sat on the market without viewings for 6 months. That’s because the Agent was talking nonsense. He/She just wanted an instruction to sell the house. Maybe the individual was being pressured by targets. Whomever’s fault it was it wasn’t the sellers yet they were the ones that suffered. You shouldn’t play games like this. You get found out. 

Robin King a Director at “Move With Us” has just compiled a survey of over 100 Estate Agents. “Reports of a housing bubble may be pushing home owners to set unrealistic asking prices,” he said. “Putting a property on market with an accurate valuation is paramount. Our advice to home owners is not to always believe the hype and to listen to their local property expert, the estate agent”.

Good advice if you can trust your Estate Agent. If you can’t your house is going to sit on the portals and no one is going to come.

We have just compiled a list of every Estate Agents current stock and sales performance in Coventry. How much are they selling and how quickly? The results are shocking. Many of the “market leaders”, the household names, the old families and the aggressive corporates, are sitting on stocks of your houses with only very low proportions being sold. They’ve overpriced and for fear of admitting mistake they won’t approach you to discuss it.  They won’t request the reduction in case you decide to venture elsewhere. They’d rather your house just sit there. With that mentality, you will too so don’t wait for that non-existent call. If you’d like to know the statistics just let us know and we’d be happy to show you. We’re not all bad..

How To Cash In Your Family Gold

The largest investment most of us make is the home that we live in. The value of your property investment is driven by a number of factors including current demand and supply of similar properties. So when you decide to cash in on your home how do you claim back the true value of your investment?

If you decided to sell your family gold you would take it to a specialist gold buyer and they would weigh it and work out an exact value and you would receive the correct amount. Simple. But for bricks and mortar this method isn’t available. A house cannot be weighed. There is no prescribed value per kilogram. There is no formula for working out the correct figure.

Instead the value of your property investment is decided by potential buyers. They visit your property and make offers to you, at which point you either accept or reject their figures, but eventually it is the buyers (or market) that decide the value. The higher the demand (more buyers) the higher the value, the lower the demand (less buyers) the lower the value.

So the biggest risk to the value of your property is a poor Estate Agent that cannot attract enough potential buyers. Budget Estate Agents will offer you a low fee but by definition they will offer a poorer service and provide you with less potential buyers. This translates into a lower property value and a poor return on your lifetime investment. You may save a few hundred quid in fees by using a budget Estate Agent but the huge danger is that they will undersell your property and cost you many many thousands of pounds.

Elizabeth Davenport are High Quality Estate Agents and are able to provide the maximum amount of potential buyers for your property, neutralising any possibility of it selling for below market value.

Don’t take a risk with your lifetime investment. Call Elizabeth Davenport for expert advice, a high quality service and the maximum return on your most valuable asset.

New Home Shock and Pre-Loved Favourites!

Researchers at Cambridge University have recently undertaken a study revealing British new homes to be amongst the smallest in Europe. New homes being built at sizes potentially detrimental to our health are  one of the claims the research suggests. With the average new build in the UK being measured with 76 sq metres of living space comparing to Ireland at 87.7, Germany at 115.5 and Denmark at 137 sq m the evidence does appear to overwhelmingly support the findings as well.

Pre loved, second hand, used or nearly new are not phrases associated with house buying or owning but every house has a tale to tell and older properties have assets all of their own. Mature Gardens with trees and hedges rather than seeded rubble strewn turf  are the external equivalent of high vaulted ceilings versus energy efficient light fittings. The emotion evoked when purchasing a period building cannot be replicated in other than the most bespoke new build. The space available in many a 1960’s detached home together with it’s driveway and traditionally generous plot should always compensate for it’s not so aesthetic façade. Two up two down Victorian houses, found abundantly throughout Coventry offer two terrific double bedrooms and two reception rooms and can be easily modified to incorporate two bathrooms if the mood takes. You’ll have period features, more floor space and real character for less than your average starter home! Look around, take your time and use your imagination. You don’t have to own a Castle for it to be a lovely home.

Come on Down! The Price is Right!

I’d like to think that Leslie Crowther and I have little to nothing in common. I was alive in the 1980’s but I didn’t present any game shows.  The famous “Come On Down, the Price is Right” catchphrase did though come to mind  after 4 new instructions were under offer within 24 hours of being launched to the market this week. We did not offer these house for sale less than others had valued them. In fact two of them were higher valuations than any other agent. The properties  were not being given away by any means. One of them was actually valued over 30% higher than our competition!

Research, market analysis and a working  knowledge of remedial and installation costs from Lighting to Lofts, enable us, we believe, to price sensibly for both the seller and the buyer. After all, however long the process of selling a property, the  reality is that the price will be justified by external forces anyway! The Mortgage Survey, The Home Buyers Report and The Building Survey will all aid (or band aid, pardon the pun) the correct and actual sale price.

A market leading trainer whose course we attended showed how vital the “asking price” was within the first few weeks of marketing. To achieve the highest “actual” price, the volume of viewings is no accident. If the “asking price” is incorrect the viewings will not occur. If it’s correct they will. In fact if the “asking price” is less than the “market price” then for goodness sake don’t panic. The house will simply attract a greater volume of viewings and the price will rise to it’s “correct” value. Remember if you are the seller then the property for sale is yours. No one can steal it from you. If the offers that come in aren’t to your liking then don’t accept them. If they continue to come in without much variance then rethink. A house on the market for a long time very rarely gets sold for what it could at the beginning.