Hi my name is Tom Solomons and I am a Sales Negotiator at the flagship Rickmansworth branch of Sewell & Gardner.
I feel that often people decide to sell or buy a home without really understanding the process, so my blog today is about the importance of great sales progression – that’s the part of the deal which happens once you have found a buyer for your home, or you have found the house you want to buy. Having recently been through the process of buying a house myself, I hope that my personal story of poor sales progression will help you to ask the right questions of your own agent, before you commit to using them for your sale or purchase. If, like me, you find the house of your dreams and are not convinced that your agent is doing their best to get the deal through, hopefully you will have more of an insight into the issues which can slow down a deal and create a lot of stress for all parties, and hopefully with some insight you will be able to assist the progress yourself:
So, when I had my offer accepted on my new house, last September, I had hoped to be in before Christmas, but sadly my sale didn’t complete until late January. Unfortunately I wasn’t buying through Sewell & Gardner, and my estate agent wasn’t proactive at all, they left everything to the solicitors and did nothing to speed things along. If I hadn’t intervened, I’d have been lucky to move before Easter!
One of the main issues was with the seller’s solicitor being very slow and not responding to enquiries. The agent I was purchasing through was not effectively communicating with their vendor or putting any pressure on her to chase up her own solicitor. Eventually the exchange deadline was missed, the seller couldn’t re-arrange her removals and completion was then delayed by a whole month. Ultimately, I had no choice but to bypass my agent and speak directly to the top of chain. Luckily my insider industry knowledge allowed me that privilege and definitely assisted with my purchase, but, I appreciate that not many people are in this position and, to be quite frank, nobody should have to be!
So what should a pro-active agent be doing to speed along a sale?
Firstly the agent should work with the clients to set a timescale for the sale or purchase and ensure that no hidden surprises crop up along the way ‘Oh I forgot to mention we are going on a cruise for 6 weeks over Christmas’ etc! It is important to work hard every day to keep things on track, never just sit back and let things happen, that is a disaster waiting to happen.
Secondly it is important to keep solicitors focussed on acting quickly and fully understand all of the steps in the process and where things can get tricky. Sales progression can get competitive between solicitors and it is important for a good agent to be able to defuse these situations and keep all parties focussed on getting the deal through, in the timescales agreed at the outset. That’s why it is always advisable to choose a solicitor recommended by the agent, they will know the ones who are focussed on getting a sale across the line, and those who simply aren’t.
There are often unexpected issues which come to light throughout the process, so it is important for the agent to be ready to put in the extra effort where needed. This could mean jumping in the car to travel across the country in order to get deeds collected or contracts signed; or to accompany the surveyor to the property or even to work from a clients home for a few hours on the laptop whilst contractors carry out urgent works! All of these examples have been carried out by myself or members of the Sewell & Gardner sales team and have resulted in deals getting through quicker, when the alternative could have been a huge delay or a sale breaking down entirely. You would be surprised how many agents think that the moment the sale’s offer memorandum has gone out to the solicitor, they have done their job and just need to wait for the phone call to say the deal has exchanged…. I can categorically state, that is just the start of the work for a good sales agent!
For more information on the Sewell & Gardner sales progression service please contact me on 01923 601404 and for more property news subscribe to our youtube channel by clicking here.
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