Take the best ad­vice and put your prop­erty in the pic­ture

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Tim Waring

I MIGHT be a char­tered sur­veyor but I am cer­tainly not an econ­o­mist. As such it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to sug­gest I can pro­vide any mag­i­cal so­lu­tions to the prob­lems cre­ated by our Euro­pean friends in the blue skies of south­ern Europe.

How­ever, it has prompted me to re­flect on what might ap­pear to be muddy wa­ters in this un­cer­tain world. As I of­ten say, you do not have to be a rocket sci­en­tist to be an es­tate agent but you do have to un­der­stand the psy­chol­ogy of in­di­vid­u­als when buy­ing and sell­ing houses given the whole process does not al­ways bring out the best in some peo­ple.

As an agent you have to be diplo­matic and un­der­stand the pres­sures placed on buy­ers and sell­ers alike. I might do it for a liv­ing, but many ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness peo­ple have only moved two or three times in their lives and that in­cludes some who are ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment. They need guid­ance, and if it is pre­sented prop­erly they will hope­fully un­der­stand and heed the ad­vice. If they don’t, a good agent needs the tenac­ity to keep go­ing and this does not just ap­ply to as­sist­ing those who are sell­ing, buy­ers need guid­ance as well. We all take ad­vice from solic­i­tors and ac­coun­tants, there is no rea­son to think the pro­fes­sional opin­ion of es­tate agents and valuers is any dif­fer­ent.

In the world of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy even those with the most savvy IT knowl­edge do recog­nise that it can only ever sit along­side, but never re­places, the mer­its of ex­pe­ri­ence. It is a ques­tion of achiev­ing the bal­ance be­tween the two, and any­body in­volved in the res­i­den­tial prop­erty mar­ket ac­knowl­edges that com­put­ers will never re­place the per­sonal touch.

So, on one hand, the abil­ity to search across the web for res­i­den­tial prop­erty has been an amaz­ingly ef­fec­tive tool that has trans­formed the mar­ket­place over the last 10 years with Google maps, Street View and the plethora of prop­erty por­tals avail­able through Smart­Phones and iPads, all mak­ing the process of buy­ing and sell­ing prop­erty both ex­cit­ing and to many, a more plea­sur­able ex­pe­ri­ence. I do not be­lieve this means our in­dus­try has trans­formed for ever, but there is no doubt that the most suc­cess­ful of prop­erty trans­ac­tions are where buy­ers, sell­ers and the pro­fes­sional ad­vis­ers in­volved all use the very best of mod­ern and tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing tools.

First im­pres­sions, be they on­line, in a news­pa­per or the ubiq­ui­tous sales brochure are still es­sen­tial.

I might be a lit­tle old fash­ioned, but when a pic­ture “paints a thou­sand words” ex­cep­tional pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy is a pre­req­ui­site to en­cour­ag­ing po­ten­tial pur­chasers to view and is why my own firm has a pho­tog­ra­pher who works ex­clu­sively for us in York­shire. But words also play their part in en­tic­ing po­ten­tial pur­chasers. It can be wrong to de­scribe a house as be­ing “to mod­ernise” when per­haps more ap­pro­pri­ate words would be “el­e­gantly tired”. This can give a hint to po­ten­tial buy­ers of what may be re­quired with­out caus­ing of­fence to the own­ers. In which case if a prop­erty is pre­sented in this guise I would like to think that buy­ers bid for it ac­cord­ingly and would not try to take ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion.

You might think that this is a col­lec­tion of ram­bling thoughts, but what I am lead­ing to is a sur­vival list for those in­volved with the res­i­den­tial prop­erty mar­ket, be this buy­ers, sell­ers, agents, valuers, solic­i­tors or fi­nanciers.

Use the best of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, but do not be a slave to it.

Cost does not nec­es­sar­ily equal value.

Early in­ter­est, if sell­ing, if of­ten best in­ter­est.

The mar­ket­place is ul­ti­mately the fi­nal ar­biter on price.

You can ex­change con­tracts in less than four weeks.

Tim Waring is a part­ner in Knight Frank and is based in Har­ro­gate, from where he heads their es­tate agency busi­ness in York­shire.

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