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Falling at the last hurdle! Is your branch guilty of neglecting current listings in favour of winning new business?

A month into her house being on the market, Megan Jones, Senior Marketing Executive at tmgroup, explains how her estate agents have left her feeling like she might as well take her business elsewhere – despite getting off to a strong start just a few short weeks ago.

Let me start by saying that we didn’t plan to move house this year – or in fact, ever! The house we’re currently living in is a “fixer upper” that’s come a long way in 4 years. We’ve always wanted to make it our forever home – with the icing on the cake being an extension to address the small kitchen and bathroom that compromise its appeal as a family home. 

That’s why our world came crashing to a halt when our planning application was refused back in July.

Ok, so with hindsight the extension was definitely a bit on the big side, and our architect certainly didn’t do enough to manage our expectations or work around any possible issues the planning department might have in advance*, but nonetheless, there we were… our forever home, architect drawings in hand, and no planning permission. Frustrated at the situation and tempted by the stamp duty holiday, we decided it was time to move on, and quickly found ourselves signed up with a local Gloucester estate agent. 

Could you be turning viewing enquiries into appraisal opportunities?

So, how did they win our business? Well, with a rather simple (but effective) technique of offering a double appointment – not just to show us round the house we were enquiring about, but also to do an appraisal on our house in the same afternoon. (For the record, they were the third or fourth estate agent we’d spoke to that week to arrange viewings, and the only one to find out more information and invite an appraisal.) It was all very convenient. As time went on, they continued to “wow” us by taking the photos for our property and getting the house listed on the same day. Everything was off to a great start and we felt confident our house would sell quickly – particularly as we even had a flurry of viewings in the first week. 

Are you doing enough to keep momentum up on the properties already on your books?

But what happened next? Nothing! 

We’re almost a month in now – with no offers or viewings in sight. We even got in touch to let them know we’d put in an “offer subject to sale” on a property we liked (as we were so confident our house was going to sell quickly) and ask if there was anything that could be done to help things along. We didn’t get much of a response or see any action, and we’ve since lost the house to another buyer in a “progressable” position. It’s all been incredibly disappointing. 

Needless to say, it’s not only left us waiting by the phone with a bitter taste in our mouths, but also given us a push to explore other options. As it currently stands, we’re looking into alternative estate agents, as well as the possibility of part exchange on a nearby new build estate – none of which we’d be doing if we felt confident our house sale was in hand. And it really wouldn’t have a taken much either! Just a short conversation about proactive plans for the coming weeks could have made all the difference, but right now, we’re tempted to jump ship and their chance of securing their commission is hanging in the balance… 

* For anyone who is interested, apparently the refused outcome of the planning application was a shock to our architect too as, prior to coronavirus lockdown, drawings would have been tweaked and negotiated within the scope of the original application (albeit adding delays). However, outright refusals have (apparently) been increasingly common since the outbreak as a means of clearing the backlog of cases. Sadly, forcing architects and their clients to submit new applications (and find their way to the bottom of the pile again) in order to address any necessary revisions for getting the application approved. 

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