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What should you look for when choosing your estate agent?

PUBLISHED: 10:35 25 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:35 25 August 2015

Morris and Bott showroom

Morris and Bott showroom

Archant

Adam Bott Director of North Devon’s newest estate agent, Morris and Bott sets out what you should look for when choosing your agent.

Office Photo Office Photo

When mulling over how to stand out in the estate agency market, Simon Morris and Adam Bott, Directors of Morris and Bott estate agents in Bideford, simply went back to basics.

‘For us, it’s a case of stripping out the fluff and offering what home owners and potential buyers want and need when taking that step on or up the property ladder.’ Says Adam.

With over 30 years’ property experience between them in the Devon and West Country property market, and both directors of the award winning holidaycottages.co.uk, Adam and Simon’s expert knowledge now informs their new venture.

If you’re selling your most cherished possession and biggest asset, you need an agent who you can trust and who is willing to work literally day and night to ensure that you get the best return. You need your property to be shown to the maximum number of people, to ensure it is seen by that one perfect buyer waiting for this exact home.

From a buyer’s point of view, they are looking for guidance from people who have been to the property, with clear concise descriptions and photos that are honest representations. All importantly, they need to be able to contact the agents and arrange and carry out viewings at times and days that suit their busy schedules.

Adam explains ‘We thought, first things first, we have to be there when people need us, so we open seven days a week and on weekdays we are open until 7pm. We can not only be contacted every day, but can also conduct viewings to fit in with people’s busy schedules. Over the last month we have had five sales agreed when other agents wouldn’t even have been open.’

But you just put it in your window

You could offer the greatest property at the most stunningly low price, however, if that property is not in front of the right people, then it simply won’t be sold. How we shop for properties is evolving with people wanting to have information at their fingertips 24 hours a day, so we can no longer simply rely on our shop frontage to sell your home. At Morris and Bott, we ensure that all properties feature on the biggest property portals, including the nationally and internationally recognised portals of Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location, as well as working with key titles such as Devon Life and its sister brands.

Customer service: a forgotten art?

Having a high street presence is as essential as ever, with people still wanting to talk face to face with property professionals who know the area inside out and can help the buyer find exactly what they are looking for. Our team at Morris and Bott have been hand selected for their knowledge of the local market, their professional yet personable approach, and their willingness to go that extra mile for buyers and sellers alike. Tess Wright, Sales Negotiator says ‘We have the ethos that each sale is a partnership from the word go, so we take the time to understand their requirements, and we never forget that we are working for our clients; you’re never simply a number’.

Area knowledge and getting to know your client

Being lucky enough to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world, we can appreciate why people want to relocate and retire locally for this more sedate pace of life. We regularly receive calls from people looking to view certain properties over weekends, and it isn’t until we find out what they are looking for that we can advise them which areas to consider and perhaps suggest alternative properties that would suit their needs. That’s why here at Morris and Bott all our team go out to visit each and every property so they can speak with knowledge, ultimately saving time on wasted viewings.

Key Partnerships

Investors also see the potential with the buoyant holiday market in the area. Some great returns can be made over short periods with properties being let to tourists enjoying this stunning part of the world. Our unique partnership with holidaycottages.co.uk allows us to work alongside the holiday letting specialists to offer potential income returns on properties, as well as advising on most sought after holiday locations and specifications desired by guests. With our properties gaining the additional exposure of their 7 million visitors a year to their award-winning website.

An offer is just the start of the journey

It’s one thing being sold in by low commission rates, high valuations and sharp pin stripe suits, however a good agent will make sure that they not only find you a potential buyer, but find you one that will actually complete the sale. With on average 1 in 3 sales not proceeding to completion across the UK housing market, it is essential that the agents you choose have the correct proactive support in the office.

How can we improve these figures?

‘Calling a spade a spade’ - It’s amazing how many ‘sought after areas’ there are according to some estate agents. If a property is advertised correctly this will help negate the issues down the track.

Qualifying your buyers - ‘Cash buyers’, we’ve all heard the term in the past. You’re thinking brilliant, they have cash, no problem, only to find out later down the track that they’ll only be cash buyers when their home which has been on the market for 6 months sells, by which time you could have missed out on other buyers in better positions.

Proactive Sales Progression team - With solicitors being known to work with caseloads of 200+ sales at any one time, you need to ensure that your sale is being kept on top of and not simply drifting along, which could cost sales if you have buyers looking for tight deadlines.

Ultimately a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. In London, you may be able to put an advert in a paper privately and get six offers the very same day, however that simply isn’t the case in the majority of the UK. Speak to the team at Morris and Bott to find out more. Call them seven days a week on 01237 459998 or email info@morrisandbott.co.uk

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