As independent estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge, at April Homes we were interested to read recent reports of solicitors lambasting online agents for slowing down – and in some instances even scuppering – property transactions.

Specific criticisms of some well-known online agents included their lack of rigour and project management skills, evidenced by in some cases not making sure that mortgage offers had been issued and building surveys carried out. These failings were particularly damaging to deals involving new or inexperienced buyers, who invariably need a degree of handholding and guidance from start to finish. Delays are inevitable if no-one is reminding everyone in the chain of their responsibilities and the paperwork they need to have completed at various stages of the process. It was also reported that some agents glossed over conveyancing, which they deemed to be an irritating box-ticking exercise rather than an invaluable service that could identify potential problems with a property.

As April Homes partner Gareth Scourfield-Thomas confirms, property transactions can take long enough, without the adverse effects caused by inefficient agents. ‘We pride ourselves on offering a meticulously efficient service throughout the process, all the way from initial valuation and instruction through to the handover of the keys, and even beyond that,’ says Gareth. ‘In our view, it is our role to ensure that the transaction is as smooth as possible, and we often find ourselves working with the seller and buyer chains, as well as both parties’ solicitors, to keep everything moving along.

‘We take a genuine interest in all our clients and make ourselves available to answer queries and resolve issues in order to achieve the best outcome. Not only that, we’re completely committed to providing a thorough after-care service, which is resulting in a high level of recommendations and repeat business from our clients. At first glance online estate agents might seem to be the perfect solution, but we believe that property is a people business and that it’s therefore all about the relationships you build and nurture with your clients.’

April Homes are estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge, so if you’re looking to put your property on the market, why not contact us for an initial discussion? For us it’s as much about the people as the property…