Stepping over pounds to save pennies. That’s how I feel about home owners instructing online agents to assist in the sale of their home. That may come across as harsh, so let me explain exactly why I’ve said it.
There’s no two ways about it – the London property market is high stakes and requires a competent agent to see deals through to completion. I spend my life keeping deals together for the benefit of my clients and of course, to get paid myself. I’m often at my desk until midnight bouncing ideas back and forth with my business partner trying to find a solution to a problem.
When you decide to sell, what’s the reason you compare agents? I’m guessing your answer is one of three – time, money or service. Often, it’s all three. So why on earth would you choose an online agent who may take longer to sell, won’t add value and will often provide a sub-par service? I’ll admit, without understanding all that an estate agent’s job entails, a 2% fee can seem astronomical. Let me give you some insight that will show you how the value a good agent can add will more than cover a 2% fee.
Valuation – For the valuation, I will not just do the basics – research comparable data and those currently on the market in the area, assess condition, size and locality – I will go many steps further. I will look at ways in which to maximise the value and saleability of your property. Whether it’s through styling, planning permission, re-decoration or marketing, the sale will be thoroughly thought through. I’ll look at all angles to help you achieve the best possible price.
Marketing – We will always bring your property to market with a boom. The first few weeks on the market are always the most important. It’s imperative that the property is presented beautifully, and the marketing is bang on. By working with London’s top interior stylist’s & photographers we ensure your property looks as good online as humanly possible. We can often add tens of thousands to the value of your home through styling – a massively overlooked area of estate agency. It’s a tried and tested method of adding real value and dramatically increasing the saleability of most properties. Basic wide-angle photography simply doesn’t cut it either. We’re opting for still life and interior photographers who will capture images similar to that of an interior design magazine. Using furniture, art, plants, accessories, tableware, lighting, the aim is to create a memorable experience buyers love; a neutral, inviting space which enables any prospective buyer to envisage their lives in the home. This is the future of property marketing.
Sale – Our work is certainly not over once we’ve found the right buyer, negotiated the best price and agreed terms. I keep a close eye on the progression of the sale until the day of completion. This may sound simple, but I can honestly say it’s the most challenging yet rewarding part of my job. Isn’t it all too familiar hearing about your friends’ sale taking ‘forever’ or ‘dragging on’ for ages and ages? That’s either because their agent isn’t competent or isn’t incentivised to see it through to completion. Keeping a deal together is what I do and it’s what brings me joy. It’s all too common for a deal to fall through because a solicitor went on holiday and didn’t tell anyone or both parties can’t agree on something simple. Sometimes it comes down to small amounts of money to pay for surveys or insurances. Trust me, if there’s a £500 invoice that needs paying to save a deal, I’m paying it!
Let me now try to summarise my ramblings. Put simply, paying an agent to list your property before it’s sold only encourages them to put no extra effort into actually selling your property. Their job is done, they’ve been paid their £799+vat and they’ve moved on. The real agent is motivated to see the deal through to completion as he or she won’t see penny one from you until they do. When listing your property, online agents don’t have much interest in what price you decide to list it for, however realistic or unrealistic that price may be, as they get paid the same amount either way. You see, we work on a no win no fee basis and personally, speaking on behalf of my company, we earn our fee. Using a cheaper, online agent may have seemed appealing, but hopefully I have dispelled that myth and convinced you that unfortunately, it’s a false economy.