As estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge, at April Homes we pride ourselves in offering a highly personal service and we like to think that this case study perfectly demonstrates our integrity and commitment to our clients. Gareth Scourfield-Thomas, April Homes’ partner and co-founder, takes up the story:
‘We were recently invited by a couple living in a four-bedroom detached house in Balsham to carry out a market appraisal meeting at their property as they were considering their options as to whether to stay or move,’ says Gareth. ‘During our initial discussion on the phone and via a follow-up email I obtained some basic information about the property, which we then used to draw up an idea of the kind of property I was going to be valuing.
‘Once I’d determined the type of property I was going to assess, I accessed our agent-exclusive research tools to review the market. This involved looking for comparable properties, which most closely matched the nature of this couple’s house in terms of property type, style, age, size and, finally, location.
‘I took notes on these properties, including details on when they most recently came up for sale and, where possible, on what date the sales completed. I also noted the final sale prices, as it is common in the current market for properties actually to sell for a price which is different to that originally advertised as the asking price.
‘Within 24 hours I had researched the market and was armed with some comparable properties to use, along with some property market trends for the local area. I visited the couple in the comfort of their own home and chatted about their situation before inspecting the property and taking detailed notes (including measurements) of the accommodation on offer.
‘Having carried out the inspection, I used my comparable properties research to estimate a valuation range for the property based on current market asking prices, recent sale prices and general market conditions. I presented my valuation range – along with a suggested asking price – to the couple, advised them about the property market and provided feedback on what I thought of their property.
‘I then discussed our three tier service table, which sets out the three different services packages which we offer all our clients. I advised that we do not tie clients into long agency contracts as we only request a sole agency of four weeks, with any additional weeks agreed between us.
‘I did not attempt to persuade them to sign up there and then, but rather reminded them that our fees do not change, regardless of whether we are instructed during the initial market appraisal appointment or at a later time. I followed up within a couple of days with a proposal and formal valuation letter and then called them a few days later. Sadly this did not result in an instruction on this occasion because the couple actually decided not to move, but we believe that the feedback below demonstrates that, at April Homes, it’s as much about the people as the property.’
Dear Gareth, We thought that you provided an excellent service in every respect. Extremely professional, pleasant, courteous, and extremely efficient. Excellent idea to give options for cost and service provided. We would be very happy to promote you in any way in our area. Kind regards to you and your Dad.
So what are the key messages from this case study?
- At April Homes we carry out thorough valuations and market research
- We take the time on our market appraisal appointments to understand the prospective client and provide a good valuation based on a detailed inspection of the property
- We communicate in a professional yet friendly way in order to provide objective advice
- We do not pressurise people to sign up there and then, and we don’t discount our fees
- We follow up a few days later with a formal report and then with a call or email.
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?