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Wed 29 May 2019
For many vendors I speak to the most important aspect of their sales journey is the ability to pick up the phone or walk into an office and speak to a person.
When a sale flows swiftly through the online offering is fantastic. As the need for sales progression is left at a minimum which is just as well.
When a sale encounters problems this is when a real person or an office to walk into becomes the most important aspect. Having an ear to listen. Moving is stressful at the best of times so why would you place your most expensive asset you own with an online, email only don’t call us option?
We have encountered a number of hugely problematic sales recently where our sales progressor has been the difference between losing a sale and getting it across the finish line. I lay below some examples of what we have recently contended with however the content is toe curling – read with caution!!
Prior to accepting the buyers offer we ring the agent below for chain details to confirm the buyer is indeed proceedable.
Agent below ‘PB’ - we call for chain details, the operator states the after sales is closed please call tomorrow. Next day we again call for chain details, the ‘expert’ acknowledges the question with ‘and what do you mean by chain?’ Wow! This is the most basic element how will this sale get anywhere? The start was rocky it was staggering to get to the finish line however Beth had to become the sales progressor throughout the chain to get anywhere. She had to go above and beyond to ensure for our vendor their journey was as smooth as possible.
On a normal transaction each agent speaks to the agent below so that we have a weekly update on what progress the sale is making. We are keen to understand how fast or slow the whole chain is moving, are there any obstacles which could prove a real problem. Where we have an online agent our job is far harder as it is difficult to ascertain any information relating to a downward chain. We then rely on Solicitors for updates and pray the Solicitors being used are a local experienced firm.
Sale agreed agent ‘PB’ once more, chain checked ‘sold to a cash buyer’, and we are cooking on gas!
6 weeks down the line it becomes apparent that a chain has appeared below us – we delve deeper, agent ‘PB’ has indeed given incorrect chain information and we now have a much longer transaction ahead of us.
Vendors make an informed decision whether they accept or decline an offer based on the price they achieve and the buyers’ ability to proceed.
The definition of cash is in fact does your buyer have cash in the bank? Can this be proved by way of a bank statement? If the answer is no then they are not a cash buyer.
Selling a house and using proceeds of sale is not a cash buyer. There is still a chain involved.
The list of examples is endless. We are always there to pick up the pieces but what appears to be a cheap offering to commence often ends as an expensive way out.I spotted in today’s Daily Mail the article titled ‘Are the walls crashing down on online estate agency?’ which looks at the online offering and makes for an interesting read.