Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mary 'Queen of Shops' Portas Does Estate Agents

Mary Portas 'Queen of Shops' does Estate Agents

Well done Mary! You succeeded in finding the rare dinosaur firm of estate agents that choose to use cliches to describe property and whose sales staff know nothing about the property they are selling! How have they managed to get away with it for so long? Especially with Trading Standards having the power of the Misdescriptions Act to defend the public from agents not telling it like it is.

We try to be factual, clear and honest and I believe over the last 20 years in business in Ely we have never stretched the truth. Having staff who don't know anything about a property they're selling or showing someone round, is counter productive. Several people and Ms Portas herself banged on about how much they were paying an agent to sell the property. Exactly, we only get paid if we sell it, no upfront fees, no abortive fees, no withdrawal fees. So we don't send people on viewings who know nothing about the property as we are very unlikely to make a sale - just increase our costs!

Our sales particulars are factual , but I will admit to not going into extreme detail about minor negatives as our vendor clients would not be impressed. So a property has no garden - would you not mention this? Just so you could conduct dozens of viewings to no purpose? I think not.

We sometimes produce digital video which we host on YouTube and link to our website. Last year we had a 3 bed semi at a keen price but needing lots of work. Rather than show dozens of people round we got them to view the video first then arranged viewings with those who felt they could cope. It took 6 viewings to agree a sale!

Mary used the tour guides to 'teach' the agents how to conduct a viewing. I suppose it illustrated a point but the tour guides were showing one property, 5 days a week and all day! I'd hope they did know their subject in depth. You would expect the seller to have the best knowledge of their own home but many are guilty of overselling a feature or benefit to a prospective buyer and it is not always possible to give the seller a complete 'brief' on the person(s) coming to view their home.

The business owner made a valid point that it is not just agreeing a sale that you pay your agent for but their ability to oil the wheels of the sales process as it trundles towards exchange of contracts. That's a different type of knowledge and skill and one that comes with experience and the ability to liaise with local legal and mortgage professionals to keep it on track. We have a low fall through rate which we believe is testimony to our proficiency in this area.

We'd like to value and Market your home, we'd like to show you round a property that will meet your needs. Give us a try and bring Mary with you if you like!