An interesting fact about a leading online estate agent recently came to light. Financial specialist, Anthony Codling of Jefferies, calculated that between November 2015 and March 2016, only 14% of homes listed with this particular online-only agent in three sample areas - Bournemouth, Southampton and Birmingham - had actually completed (by comparison our branches are completing on up to 90% of properties). It shows that pre-qualifying buyers and sales progression – the hard work that happens once an offer has been accepted – are vital for a successful sale. These figures are likely to be an indication of what’s happening across the country, as our own agents can testify with these stories:-
Steve Mason, Branch Manager at Lewisham A vendor came to us after an online agent failed to secure him any viewings. We took the property on and conducted two open days – a service generally not available with online agents - that culminated in 44 viewings. The sad thing is the online agent still charged the vendor, despite not getting anyone through the front door. In our experience, multiple viewings will always lead to better offers! All 44 of our viewings were pre-qualified potential buyers – not time wasters. It’s a stark contrast to a client of ours who had previously tried an online agent. The ‘hot prospects’ sent to him were poor – in fact one ‘buyer’ turned out to be a tenant. The online agent had failed to ask the viewer a vital question – are you looking to buy or rent?
Neil Smith, Branch Manager at Bexleyheath We took on a bungalow that remained unsold by an online estate agent – it had had just three viewings and one offer below the asking price. We knew it was a desirable property so while the details were being prepared for our own website, we offered it to our registered waiting list of clients. We generated many viewings and an offer followed at £10k over the asking price without any online exposure - proving High Street agents are pro-active and can sell a home even without the internet.
or extension, therefore revealing scope and a future vision.
lots of time. Why leave it to chance when there’s a whole
Our staff will probably also know a local contractor who can
sales team on your local High Street waiting to help you find
provide a building quote and offer advice about planning
the perfect property?
permission. When viewings are organised online - cutting out
“When buying or selling a property it is not like buying a bike
the skill of the estate agent - both the buyer and the seller miss out, as the true potential of a property is not discussed.
from Amazon, where there’s an immediate transaction and no associated ties. A buyer for a property might have one
When suggesting alternatives, Simon’s staff often choose from
time frame, while the seller another. They may both be reliant
a selection of ‘fresh to market’ properties that haven’t even
on other properties in a chain. Adverts online do not reveal this
made it online yet. “As we leave the office, it’s quite normal to
but, in the hands of a good sales negotiator, the timings of one
grab an extra set of keys for another property that only came
party can be married to another. Without due diligence, the
onto the books that day. There is nothing quite like seeing a
conflicting timescales might only come to light after an offer
buyer’s face light up when they see something they instantly
has been accepted. Sadly, hopes of a dream move unravel
fall in love with. It would be disappointing if these emotions
if either party pulls out, and both the buyer and the seller are,
once again, left disappointed. Offline communication - face
Surprising and delighting buyers also relates to mortgages.
to face advice and discussion - is so vital in smoothing out the
Many buyers think they know what they can afford and will
nuances when buying or selling a property.”
search according to their own figures. However, once they
“Selling isn’t always about the quick sale – it’s about the
meet a mortgage adviser they may find they can widen their
secure sale, and that’s what a High Street agent will always
options. Our independent mortgage advisors – available in all
pursue,” concludes Simon. “Estate agency has always been
24 of our branches - can provide a more accurate budget,
about presenting unique opportunities and making dreams
and it’s wise to meet with one before you start looking. With a
come true. It may sound corny but it’s in the hearts of every
more defined budget and even a mortgage offer in principle,
salesperson around The Robinson Jackson Group.”
our sales team will point buyers in the right direction and save