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The Pring Perspective

Sep 2014 Selling houses… Back to basics!

Stephen PringIt’s hugely tempting to get carried away with wonderful sounding new initiatives & fancy ideas. I am contacted daily it seems, by people telling me that if I subscribe to this or sign up to that, my sales will sky rocket and apparently, next year, I’ll “be a millionaire”!

Some ideas can be brilliant; some turn out to be meaningless hype. The secret is sorting out the wheat from the chaff… and when an idea is adopted, it has to be used to its full potential. Someone once told me that he was really excited when he got his first mobile phone and swore he was going to use it only for important calls…but he chuckled as he told me that it wasn’t long before he found himself in the supermarket phoning his wife to see if she wanted skimmed or semi skimmed milk! Full potential? Maybe…you decide.

In the world of estate agency, there really is nothing new under the sun. There are tweaks in marketing and developments in technology that assist in putting your house out to the widest possible number of buyers of course, but revolutionary new ideas? Well, there really are only ideas which hit the mark at different times. In the property market, and more importantly, the marketing of your property, experience is the key. There can be no substitute for the experience of the person whom you entrust with the careful handling of your greatest asset. They need to know which ideas to employ, and when, and how best to execute them to maximum effect. The secret is to know what to do in different phases of the property cycle to get the best results and that can only be achieved through personal experience over the years.

At its purest of course, selling houses is simply about matching the right people with the right property but there are so many subtleties that come into play when you are dealing with people’s emotions… and moving home is a very emotional time! It’s about empathy and understanding people’s needs and aspirations. Sometimes it’s about managing their expectations when the budget doesn’t quite match up to their desires! At the end of the day it’s all about putting yourself in their position and looking at the world through other people’s eyes.

So when you are selling, you will want to be dealing with an estate agent who is “supportive” and “professional”. You will want to be dealt with “sincerity and respect”. Maybe you will want someone with a “very calming presence” and someone who “kept me sane” and you will certainly expect your estate agent to be “prompt, polite and courteous”. You would expect them to be “pro-active, persistent and diligent” and of course, they should be “enthusiastic” and above all “100% trustworthy”.

Why the speech marks? Because I’m very proud to say that I’m quoting from letters that past clients have written to me and when I reflect on those kind letters, it’s obvious that successfully selling houses is fundamentally about getting back to basics.

Since leaving school, estate agency is the only path that I have ever followed. It has taken 32 years of estate agency experience to get these greying hairs, so if you are thinking of selling please let me know and I would be more than pleased to share them!