This video talks to you about the Open House approach and why a personal dedicated estate agent can make all the difference to selling your house.
Video: Open House for a Personal Dedicated Estate Agent
The personal dedicated estate agent – a unique approach
Our approach to selling and letting properties goes above and beyond what the typical high street agency can offer you. What makes us so different?
First of all you have just one point of contact that you deal with right from valuation up to completion of the sale. That’s anything from taking your initial enquiry, doing the research on your property, coming out to meet you, valuing your property, taking the measurements, writing descriptions, and actually listing the property for sale. The next step for your personal agent is to take the enquiries from buyers, carry out accompanied viewings and secure a sale for the property – basically the whole lot!
Your personal dedicated estate agent gets to know your property and so will make sure that anyone booked in for a viewing is a good match for it, can answer any questions during an accompanied viewing, and can negotiate a favourable deal for you.
How does a personal dedicated estate agent stack up against the high street?
The reality is that a high street estate agent will have different people dealing with different aspects of the process so none get to give you the personal touch that really makes a difference.
They have hundreds of properties on their books which means they simply can’t give you the same level of attention that a personal dedicated estate agent will. With us, you’re not just a number in a database, you are the whole focus of our service.
We build relationships with both sellers and buyers so that we can make the best match for both. We are in regular contact with you to keep you updated on our progress and when you call us we know instantly who you are.
Because your personal dedicated estate agent is the person who engages with you from the start and the one responsible for selling your property you won’t get any false promises from us, just honest feedback on what we can and cannot achieve with your property.
If that sounds like the way you’d like to sell your house, give us a call on 0116 243 7938. One of our personal agents will be happy to talk to you.
There are a lot of online estate agents popping up pretty much on a weekly basis at the moment and they can actually be really good for you if your property is one that can achieve a reasonable price and would pretty much sell by itself.
Video: Should I use an online estate agent to sell my house?
How does an online estate agent measure up on price?
Online agents are known for being very cheap. You can actually sell your house for less than £800. But when it comes to a more complex sale or a situation where you have been struggling to sell your property for some time, an online state agent will probably not meet your needs.
Watch out for those online estate agents that ask for an upfront payment. It might seem cheap but there is no guarantee that they will make a sale so you need to think about that risk.
How does an online estate agent measure up for service?
Some online estate agents offer a full service and will take professional photos and measurement and draw up floor plans. Others will expect you to do a lot of the work, such as taking photos, yourself. So they can be a mixed bag. Always check what level of service you are going to get from them.
Bear in mind that online estate agents typically work from call centres with staff who are great at taking calls and fixing viewing appointments; however they generally do not bring a personal touch to the sales process. As they are not part of the viewing procedure – that will be down to you – there is no one to help with answering technical questions or watching out for crucial buying signals.
If you have ever dealt with an estate agent you’ll recognise some of the things they all say to try to win your business. What should you look out for – and question – when you’re listening to estate agents’ sales pitches?
Video: Estate Agents’ Sales Pitches – what to watch out for!
A database of interested buyers looking in this area
Yes, estate agents have these lists but this is only of value if those people are currently looking for a property. You need people who have been house hunting in the last month in your area. If they’ve been on that database for much longer then it’s highly likely that their circumstances will have changed or that they will already have found their new home.
An assurance that the property will be sold within a week
With the best will in the world this is over-optimistic to say the least. We’d all love to get that sale for you that quickly but in the real world it just doesn’t happen that quickly. Look for an estate agent who is setting realistic expectations – ones that they can actually meet for you.
An attractive valuation
Be aware that it is the valuer’s job to get you to sign up with that estate agent – not to sell your house – so there’s a danger that they will tell you what you want to hear – and who doesn’t want to hear a generous valuation for their property? Once they’ve secured your business, though, it will be up to someone else to try and sell the property for that price – and if the price is unrealistic, they are bound to struggle.
Advertising in local newspapers
They might well do this but just how much is it worth to you? Look at the property pages of your local paper and you will see a tiny picture of a house with a one-word description and a price. What is that actually telling a reader? Not very much. The reader will need to pick up the phone to the agent or get online to look for more information. The advertising is at least as much about maintaining the estate agent’s own profile to gain new business as it is about selling a house.
After you’ve heard the estate agent’s sales pitches
When you’ve heard that sales pitch, what should you do? Get another, and another. Don’t just sign up with the first estate agents that you meet. Always get two or three different agents come out to meet you even though that means listening to two or three estate agents’ sales pitches. I know it can be a little bit daunting to have somebody in your lounge trying to sign you up but it’s your house and it’s your decision so make it wisely and take your time.
Never feel under pressure by any estate agent – and always question what you’re told in their pitch.
If you need to sell a property quickly and for cash, it’s not as difficult as you might think to make a quick cash sale for a house in Leicester and still get a reasonable price for your property.
How do you get a cash sale for a house in Leicester?
Selling on the open market is not necessarily going to give you the quick sale you need. It’s a process that can have built-in delays as a buyer applies for a mortgage or is affected by the circumstances of other people further along the buying chain.
Instead, what you really want is a guaranteed sale within an agreed time period. And, to achieve that, you need an estate agent with a pool of cash buyers who will be interested in your property. These buyers will not be constrained by the need to seek funding or by anyone else in a chain – if your house is what they are looking for, a quick sale for cash is assured.
Why might you need a cash sale for a house in Leicester?
There are all kinds of reasons why someone might want a quick cash sale for a house in Leicester.
A cash sale because you need to move house
There are different reasons why you might need to move house quickly and not want the delays you might find by putting your property on the open market.
Perhaps you need to relocate for your career. A move to a different part of the country, or a different part of the world, hardly helps if you want to sell a house in Leicester so a quick cash sale can take one challenge off your to-do list.
Alternatively, if you need to move closer to family or into care for health or age reasons, a cash sale can free up finance to make your arrangements more smoothly.
A cash sale to repair a broken property chain
You think things are going to plan with your house sale and then something unexpected happens to break the property chain. When you need to get the situation back under control, a quick cash sale can be the answer.
A cash sale to avoid repossession of your property
Nothing could be more stressful than the prospect of having your home repossessed, together with the threat of court proceedings and the daunting future that might lie ahead. A quick cash sale of your house can help you achieve the best price possible and remove some of the worst of the pressure of these circumstances.
A cash sale to clear your debts or get yourself out of financial problems
If your debts are such that drastic action is needed then a quick cash sale of your property can put you in a position where you can pay your debts and start to get back on your feet.
A cash sale to sell an inherited property
Settling probate and meeting inheritance tax obligations can be a long and drawn out process at the best of times. If a property is part of the inherited estate then selling that property on the open market can add significantly to the time it takes and to the associated stress. A quick cash sale for a fair price is a good way to keep the probate and tax process moving.
A cash sale in case of divorce or separation
Divorce or separation is another stressful period that will only be made more so through the process of selling a once-shared home. A quick cash sale can ensure that you can close this chapter in your life and move on with cash in your bank account.
A cash sale because it’s just less hassle
I’ve you’ve had a poor experience of dealing with another estate agent using the open market then it might be one you don’t want to repeat. In this case, using an estate agent who has a pool of local cash buyers can take all that hassle away.
The benefits of a cash sale for a house in Leicester
Whatever opportunities or challenges you are facing when selling your house, a cash sale can be a distinct advantage. We can help you benefit from:
A guaranteed sale for a fair price in a set time period.
No hidden costs or surprise fees to pay.
No time-wasters as we will only match you with genuine buyers.
Cash in your bank account when you need it.
Any house considered – we can find a buyer if you want to sell.
Whatever your situation, our portfolio of local investors will include someone who wants to buy your house. Whilst the purchase price will most likely be below market value we will always aim to gets a reasonable price that meets your needs.
Selling your house is a significant decision and you need to be certain that you are working with the right people to help you achieve your goals. When choosing an estate agent to sell your house, talk to a few to find the one that you can be confident has your best interests at heart.
There are seven top questions that you will want to ask your estate agent. Watch the video or read our advice below.
Video: seven things to ask when choosing an estate agent to sell your house
How well do you know the local area?
Your ideal buyer will have a lot of questions of their own. They will be looking for a house that meets some important criteria and many will be related to the local area. They might have quite detailed concerns about the quality of the local schools, facilities such as shops, libraries, doctors, dentists and so on, as well as wanting to know about transport links such as bus routes, how close the railway station is, and what local traffic conditions are like.
Not every estate agent will have grown up in your area but you at least want to know that they can answer these kinds of questions confidently – it can make all the difference to the buyer.
How will you market my property?
High street shop windows and local press listings might still have their place but if the estate agent is relying too heavily on them, beware. Over 90% of active home buyers go straight to the internet so your estate agent must make sure that your property is listed on the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Different portals offer different things to prospective buyers so you need to be sure that your estate agent has covered off the important sites.
For people who prefer a visual description of a house rather than a lengthy written listing, a floorplan is essential and second only to good photos in helping them decide whether to view your house. It helps them get a better idea of whether the property will be suitable for them and whether the layout will suit their needs or could be easily adapted.
Importantly, floorplans are a great time saver for a busy home seller as they minimise wasted viewings. This means that you only hold viewings for people who are genuinely interested in the property.
Who will be carrying out the accompanied viewings?
Most estate agents carry out accompanied viewings which saves you the time and inconvenience of being at home yourself.
The key thing you need to ascertain is just who will be carrying them out. Will it be someone who is simply there to open the door and let the viewers walk around? Or will they be accompanied by someone who knows your house well and can actively identify the ways in which it will suit the viewers, answering their questions there and then. A well-informed sales agent will be far more likely to close a sale for you than a “door opener”.
Do they ask for any up-front payment?
Be careful if the estate agent asks for money up-front. Many, especially online estate agents, do this. The problem is that once your money is in their account there is less motivation for them to proactively sell your house. Choose an estate agent who will stay keen until the job is done.
What will the length of our agreement be?
Most contracts are between 12 and 16 weeks, a reasonable timescale that should enable them to find the right buyer. Some, though, want to sign you up for between six and ten months and if you are tied in for that period of time there is nothing you can do about it. Think about why they feel they need that long and how it will affect you if they prove to lack the proactive approach that you’d prefer.
What are your opening hours?
Your buyer will certainly not be confining their home searching to office hours so an estate agent that only works 9-5 (and perhaps a few hours on a Saturday) is likely to be missing opportunities for you.
You need an estate agent who is available to take enquiries and hold property viewings in the evenings and at weekends. Responding to buyers’ needs in this way is more likely to get you the sale you want.
I had seen this property on the market for about four months during 2014. After this length of time it seemed clear that the seller must be having difficulties generating interest despite the property having a lot of potential as an attractive family home. Concerned that their estate agent was not doing the best possible job of selling a house in Birstall, I knocked on the door and introduced myself.
It appeared that I was not the only one with concerns as the vendor invited me in for a chat during which I was able to establish the history of the property and the difficulties that they had experienced to date. It turned out that the house had been on the market for nearly a year; for six months with a well-established agent that focuses on higher end properties and then with a popular local high street agent. Viewings had been few and far between and there had been no offers made.
I identified a number of factors that had not been effectively addressed.
Getting the pricing right
The price had originally been set by the first estate agent unrealistically high in relation to the condition of the property and the prices that similar properties nearby had sold for. After some time the price was dropped.
The second agent followed the same pattern: setting too high a price at first, dropping it later to £325,000. Whilst the seller needed to achieve a minimum price of £320,000 there was still some concern about pricing at this level.
I explained that the way Open House typically achieves a quicker sale than other agents, is our practice of setting a realistic price from day one. The vendor took this on board and we were instructed to sell the house at a further reduced price of offers over £320,000.
Getting the property description right
It was important to be honest in the description of this property. Whilst bungalows are often attractive to elderly people or those with walking difficulties, this property has a staircase leading up to the front door making it unsuitable for the traditional bungalow buyer. It was important that we made this clear to avoid creating interest from people who would not turn into buyers and wasting time on viewings that would not turn into sales.
I made sure that the staircase was detailed on the listing and that photos of the properties showed this feature clearly.
The previous agents had described the property as being in excellent condition and having no further works required – this was not entirely the case and such a description would be likely to lead to disappointment on viewing. Instead, I emphasised that the property required some work but that it could be an excellent family home with some refurbishment.
Regular contact with the vendor
There was no interest in the property during the first couple of weeks of Open House listing it – something that is common when a property has already been on the market for some time. I called the sellers on a weekly basis to keep them up to date with my activities on their behalf.
By week three, I received a call from someone who had seen the property listed previously but who, because of our description, was now interested in booking a viewing. To ensure this would be a warm enquiry I established:
Their position in any chain.
Their financial position.
The extent of their interest in this property and the Birstall area.
An accompanied viewing
During the viewing we talked about what improvements they could make to the property to turn it into their perfect home. I could see that they had a serious interest in the property but, rather than push aggressively there and then and risk putting them off, I wanted to let them think about it over night before asking for an offer.
A persuasive conversation
The next day I phoned the viewers to ask for their final feedback and received an offer of £300,000. I knew this was considerably less than the seller wanted but put the offer forward anyway. The seller was very grateful to have had a serious offer but, as I expected, advised that it was below the level they were able to accept.
Most estate agents would leave it at that and look for other buyers. However, because I had been on the viewing myself, seen the viewers’ enthusiasm first hand, and established a good relationship with them I thought it was worth having a further conversation with them.
I made a suggestion: “Why don’t you come back for another viewing and see if it might be worth a bit more to you? After all, this will be your long term dream home once you put your personal stamp on it.”
The couple agreed and I met them again the next day. I said they could take as long as they needed, take notes and measurements, and ask any questions they needed to.
At the second viewing, I was with them was again for a whole hour and let them walk around freely to really get a feel for the property’s potential. By the end of the viewing I received a confirmed offer of £325,000 (£25,000 more than their first offer), and was thanked for my time and my service. We shook hands and I was able to accept this offer on behalf of the seller as per their instructions.
Selling a house in Birstall – a great result
The seller was amazed that in just three weeks I was able to sell the property after it had languished on the market for nearly a year.
The purchasers were thrilled and felt very confident they had made the right decision as a result of the second viewing.
I liaised with both sides throughout the conveyancing process and was always on hand to help and give advice. We achieved a smooth completion within three months and even today I keep in touch with the buyers as we established a friendship as well. The purchaser actually said to me as I handed over the keys to their new house “Rahul, it if it wasn’t for you and Open House, we probably would never have bought this property, thanks so much for everything.”
“After many months of fruitless use of other agents in the area, we put our house on the market with Open House. Rahul Jain did a first class job in honestly assessing our slightly unusual property and demonstrating its quirky attractiveness perfectly, with nicely worded descriptions and highly effective photography. Consequently the pitching was excellent and a reliable buyer found almost immediately. Throughout the sale procedure Rahul was constructive and supportive in every direction. My genuine recommendation of this agent is 100%.”
Getting the price for your property right is probably the most important factor in ensuring a prompt sale. Setting a price that is too high will deter buyers and drag out the process of getting your house sold – not necessarily a problem if you have all the time in the world but if you need to keep the momentum going then a realistic price will help.
Early interest in your house is vital
A new house on the market is always of immediate interest to buyers so it is important that you appeal instantly and your price is an immediate indicator of how attractive the property is. Price it too high and it can put off potential viewers but a price that is too low can also set alarm bells ringing.
Professional advice from someone who knows your local market is invaluable in pricing your property and ensuring that you get a good deal in good time.
Valuing your Leicester property – the inside track
If you have ever experienced the disappointment that comes from having to drop the price of your house it is useful to understand why this has happened.
Perhaps you and your estate agent have just been over-optimistic. But a good estate agent really should have great local knowledge and ought to be able to help you pitch your price at an attractive level.
More likely, you have initially spoken with a Valuer from the estate agent who is rewarded on their ability to bring in your business – not on a requirement to be able to sell your house. An easy trick in this case is to tempt you in with a valuation that, ultimately, does not reflect an attractive yet realistic market price. The result is that you wait an awfully long time to NOT achieve a sale. Hardly a great outcome for you.
So what should you do?
You’ll get the best result from combining your own research into what is actually happening in the market with professional advice from someone who is going to be involved in actively selling your property. It’s in their interest to ensure that you get off to a flying start. Our three top tips are:
1. Use popular property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove to see what other properties are on the market at – but remember that these prices will always be open to negotiation so don’t take them too literally.
2. Compare like with like – this applies to the property itself and also to the attractiveness of the local area and amenities.
3. Check with a trusted estate agent who knows your local area and who will be the person responsible for making sure your house gets sold.
If you are aiming to sell a property in Leicester, then we are happy to give you a free valuation, provided by a dedicated Personal Agent who would be with you throughout the sales process from start to finish. Contact us today to see how we can help on 0116 243 7938.