Finding a good buyer

by Celia Triggs

Many estate agencies simply act as a broking service that matches people to property. However, we are acutely aware that there is far more to successful selling than this alone.

Attracting buyers in Petersfield is not difficult. As we know demand for property in this area outstrips supply. But securing an offer is simply the beginning of a process which can, if not managed carefully, end with the sale falling through and the property back on the market.

Indeed, over 30% of property sales in this country fail to reach completion, due to a variety of reasons. Perhaps the buyer is offered another property which they prefer, or the buyer may lose their job, or get a promotion. They might decide to get married or divorced; they might inherit or win a fortune, or their business may be experiencing difficulties.

Whilst these types of issues are generally unavoidable and naturally have a profound effect on people’s decision to move, the main causes of a sale breaking down are due to surveys and searches revealing unforeseen issues. Buyers can be put off by property issues such as damp courses that are failing, subsidence, roofs or windows that need replacing, chimneys that need rebuilding, wood worm, dry rot and wet rot. On top of this extensions or loft conversions that have been built without the relevant planning consents and that don’t have a completion certificate issued by the relevant local authority, can derail a sale.

Prospective vendors should do everything in their power to provide their agent with accurate information about their property, including any guarantees and consents for work undertaken. This enables the agent to market the property as transparently as possible and manage the expectations of prospective buyers.

However, very soon such a high level of transparency will not be a choice but a legal obligation.

This year the Property Misdescriptions Act, will be repealed and replaced by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Practices Regulations and The Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations.  These new regulations will impact Estate Agents and vendors alike as they represent a move away from buyer beware to put more responsibility on both the seller and the selling agent to reveal any information about the property that could cause a potential buyer to change their mind about the purchase.

We go to great lengths to help our clients move and seek to become very familiar with their circumstances and plans. In fact so far this year, nine out of ten of the properties we’ve put under offer went on to complete, making our fall through rate extremely low.

We aim to offer our clients a single point of contact from instruction through to completion. This is why we do not have a separate “sales progression” department. We find our clients appreciate the level of personal dedication and accountability provided by a single point of contact, which in turn leads to understanding, trust, and a speedy conclusion.