We regularly speak to our buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords after they have sold or let through John Curtis, to see how they rate their experience of dealing with us.
Last week we presented the results of the latest seller and buyers surveys and without wishing to boast, I have to say the feedback was excellent – with 97% of our buyers and sellers saying they would consider coming back to us when they decide to sell in the future.
However, the purpose of my blog isn’t to tell you how much our customers enjoy dealing with us - it’s to share an interesting bit of feedback. I appreciate that it’s unusual (if not unprecedented) to publicly share negative comments, but the feedback struck a chord - and I felt it was an interesting and useful point for discussion.
Several respondents expressed some concern about 'false offers' by other interested parties on the property they were buying. They were sceptical of the sheer number of competing offers coming from our offices. It’s not a new phenomenon in the current market – being gazumped will always be a contentious issue with buyers who are nervous of losing a property they have their heart set on. And believe it or not, agents hate gazumping too. Cynics will point out that we make more commission. Whilst this is true, it is usually a small amount extra and pales into insignificance when compared to the anger and disappointment we then encounter from the disappointed buyer who holds us responsible.
But, regardless of the fact that we are employed to achieve the best possible sales price for sellers, we are also legally bound to inform our client of any other interest prior to exchange of contracts. Failure to do so is an offence which could lead to us being banned from practicing. In the same vein, presenting fake offers is illegal and would undoubtedly have similar consequences for both the negotiator and the agency.
Perhaps I’m sensitive to the subject, having just heard the feedback, or perhaps it is more likely a reflection of the current property market. As it is, even if it weren’t completely illegal, estate agents in this area don’t actually NEED to make up offers.
The market is fierce. With so little property on the market – and so many keen buyers, there is no shortage of offers. Just last week, we sold a cottage in Cravells Road within a few days of it coming onto the market. Within the first day we had booked 16 viewings and by day three, over 12 prospective buyers had seen it. A number of asking price offers were made and the property went for more than the marketing price by day five. Quiet market in Hertfordshire – not so……
If it’s a property that 'ticks all the boxes' it’s very likely that a good, proactive agent will conduct a very extensive marketing campaign and already have many buyers on their database who will want to view.
So, as tempting as it is to believe the conspiracy theories that all agents simply make up offers, I hope this gives a clearer picture of what is actually currently going on in our patch right now.
Likewise, beware of not exposing your property to the market fully; some firms offer ‘low key marketing’ schemes but often these are dangerous tactics to employ because unless you market the property fully, NO AGENT can guarantee to have got you the best price possible. We fully understand that occasionally, for personal reasons, a client may wish a ‘below the radar’ service which we can offer BUT as long as the client is aware of its drawbacks.
Easter is now upon us and with it the start of our traditional busy season. If you’re thinking on selling or letting, we’d love to hear from you.