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The Pring Perspective

June 2016Perseverance pays off! (…but not necessarily financially!)

Stephen PringMany years ago, I once asked a highly respected colleague what the most memorable moment was in her career. She told me that her proudest moment was that she had once sold a house that took her 3 years to sell. Well, that wasn’t what I expected to hear! I had assumed she was going to tell me about a property that she sold in 12 hours…or 12 minutes! Or maybe one of those amusing estate agent anecdotes about showing people round a supposedly empty property that doesn’t turn out to be empty upon opening a bedroom door – if you know what I mean!

But no, she reflected on how a certain property took 3 years to sell and she was most proud that “my client never lost faith in me”. And I can relate to that. I recently completed on a property sale that took exactly one year to complete from the initial instruction and I completely understand why the swift sales aren’t always the most satisfying or memorable ones…and I’d like to share the story with you.

I was instructed to market a very straight forward 2 bedroom bungalow on 27th April 2015. It was correctly priced, well presented and in a great location. It was the right time of year and the market was very strong for just such a property… it should have sold very swiftly. Expectations were high and marketing commenced.

Fast forward to 22nd April 2016, one year later, and completion finally took place with the fifth buyer! FOUR sales were agreed and fell through. There was no fault with the bungalow (or with my clients) – each sale fell through because a chain collapsed or a buyer’s finances didn’t pan out and in one instance the buyer was taken seriously ill the week that contracts were due to be exchanged and couldn’t proceed. Sometimes, with the best will in the world, things just happen and everything does not run smoothly.

Throughout the year of marketing, and in spite of a constant and veritable forest of leaflets and touting letters from other estate agents (rising to a crescendo each time a sale fell through and the bungalow was re-marketed), my clients remained faithful to me and confident. In the final analysis, in addition to all the internet marketing, I placed 34 newspaper adverts, carried out 32 viewings (if each viewing averaged 30 minutes, that’s 16 hours alone spent in the property showing people round) as well as countless hours on the phone dealing with solicitors, surveyors, estate agents, chasing chains and so on, not once but five times of course! Ultimately, my total fee was just shy of £2,500 – not the most cost effective sale I’ve had - but ultimately it is one of the most satisfying, especially when my clients wrote to me with the following:

“Steve, we couldn’t have got through this without you and you have our deepest gratitude. You have not only given us consistently brilliant service regarding selling the bungalow but have boosted our spirits when things went wrong, kept us up to date with every move and gone loads of extra miles to find us 5 buyers! You have been exceptional and most of all thank you for caring and for following through on everything that you promised. Unfortunately there are not enough people with those qualities these days and I think someone was watching over us when we were choosing our estate agent! Your personal approach and open communication has made the whole process so much less stressful than it could have been and we do appreciate that. It has felt more as if we have had a good friend helping us rather than just a third party. Needless to say we will not hesitate to recommend your services”.

So there you go – a property sold not in 12 minutes, 12 hours or even 12 weeks…but 12 months. Not usually an accolade in the property world is it but from my client’s kind words, it’s certainly another memorable moment of selling homes in and around Nailsea over the past 34 years and a letter from my clients of which I am very proud.