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Why you need a good estate agent

In general any professional estate agent who does the job well makes it look very easy; therefore there lies the real problem with the view anyone can do it, that is when fingers can really get burnt. In the rush to try and save ourselves money, many fail to take a step back and perhaps look at the bottom line, the acid test.

House prices are driven by market demand; a house is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. A savvy agent is responsible for ensuring their client obtains the best possible price in the open market and will use all their skills, experience and expertise available to them to do so. It is not just getting the horse to water it is to ensure that buyers are shown the appropriate properties, encouraged and gently cajoled into offering.

What do buyers want? Generally they want a speedy sale at the best possible price. How do we at Peter Illingworth Estate Agents go about doing that? First and foremost it is to price the property to attract interest; this comes from experience and expertise learnt in the local market place. The next step is marketing; this is made up of quite a few facets. Firstly, the putting together of a beautiful brochure, sharp colourful photographs and floor plans are essential, a vendor’s view is a very powerful statement and used whenever possible. The brochure is not just to please the seller but also the purchaser, the better it is presented the better the house looks and of course hopefully this will reflect in the final sale price. The brochure buys the viewing and puts the prospective purchaser on a journey of discovery. Too detailed a brochure will serve to spoil the viewing or perhaps lose the viewing altogether. This information should also be treated similarly when dealing with internet portals as well as press and magazine advertising.

Every agent worth their salt should keep a comprehensive well managed digital database of buyers as well as a postal mailing list. In establishing the best price all mediums should be tackled early to create maximum demand within the market place, generally the hottest point for getting the best price is within the first three weeks of marketing.

The next step is the viewing. It is essential the viewing takes place in a relaxed atmosphere. It is not ideal to have both the agent and the seller at the property at the same time, this will make prospective purchasers feel uncomfortable and pressurised. If the vendor is doing the viewing they should always answer questions honestly, but when it comes to the prospective purchaser making an offer they should speak to Peter Illingworth. Using the agent is vital in the negotiating process separating the buyer from the seller, enabling time to gather thoughts, think, take professional advice and avoid any rash choices that might later undermine the sale.

The offering stage. Generally when offers are made the purchaser provides very little detail unless asked. It is essential the agent establishes the strength of the buyer’s position, e.g. are they in a chain? Do they require a mortgage? Is it subject to a bequest or perhaps a divorce settlement? Tied up funds? Planning consent? etc. If the buyer states they are ready to proceed then the agent must gather all relevant information together to qualify the purchase, e.g. They the purchaser requires a mortgage, but there is no proof of a mortgage offer in principle. Where there is more than one interested purchaser the highest bid is not always the best option. There is where the professional is required to analyse the situation and come up with a clearly thought out plan of action, thus avoiding a very stressful and possibly angry situation. For instance bids could be made from buyers in the following circumstances e.g. from a cash buyer; from a buyer subject to mortgage; a buyer with settlement funds from a divorce: or even a chain with a number of properties involved. At Peter Illingworth we will advise you what we think are the best options to take. In many cases we may well have dealt with buyers before and know their track records in seeing deals through.

Putting the agreed deal in the hands of solicitors is far from the sale being done; at Peter Illingworth they will keep a very close eye on the process. Solicitors will quite rightly do what they are instructed to do by their clients, so the agent needs to ensure the go slow button has not been triggered for any reason. For example searches can be delayed because a decision has been made not to commission them until the mortgage survey has been carried out and the mortgage offer is in place; combining this scenario with a chain can prove to be a nightmare and very time consuming for the agents chasing solicitors and connected parties. Keeping a close eye on the chain Peter Illingworth can ensure that the chain has not been broken. Variably when a chain breaks agents are not notified thus buying time for the buyer to find another purchaser on their own, but leaves the chain broken.  Therefore properties may need to be returned to the market immediately if no other suitable remedy can be found.

It is said buying and selling property is as stressful as getting married or divorced and Peter Illingworth can certainly agree on that, as once a house is on offer all connected parties lives are on hold. So if you are looking for a smooth transaction then all at Peter Illingworth will do as much as they can to make the process as seamless and stress free as possible.