There’s an old Reeves & Mortimer sketch in which a couple go to view a house and the estate agent answers, ‘I don’t know’ to every question, right down to the most basic queries. It might be absurdism, but for Phil Wragg, owner of So You Property, it’s well-observed comedy.
“The worst thing for the viewer is getting there and the estate agent not having the answers,” he says. “We make sure we know everything that is knowable about the property so the potential buyer will know it too. The best way to sell your house is for me to give your viewers an excellent experience. And you won’t need to chase information because I will have already given it to you. By proactively keeping everyone up to date, the sense of panic is removed.”
With a background in retail lending, mortgages and property leasing – and time on the board of a community housing association – Phil says running his own local estate agency was the point his professional and personal life had been heading towards for many years.
“With two kids, I’m in the dad’s taxi years, and it’s hard to take them to cricket and netball when you’re stuck in a motel in Swindon.”
Based in Hoylake on the Wirral, So You specialises in making sure that vendors and buyers have the best possible journey through what can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of a lifetime.
“On any given Friday there will be people all around the country thinking they’re supposed to be moving today but then finding out they’re not. Finding out completion is delayed, not having their calls returned, wondering how it came to this. It’s that sense of helplessness. We will always get back to you, always do what we say we’re going to do. We take that vacuum of stress and fill it with confidence and assurance.
“With us, every step is important, from when we’re first at your home to talk about valuation and marketing, right through to moving day. We are offering a unique ‘best of both worlds’ mix of local personal service and online value”
So what can the seller do to increase the likelihood of a sale?
“You can’t underestimate the importance of kerbside appeal,” he says. “The gutters, the garden, the window frames being painted. Those first impressions are key, so you’ve got to make sure they’re as good as they can be before going on the market.”
And is the old cliché about the kitchen being the room that sells the house really true?
“For sure, people are moving away from the idea that the lounge is the centre of the home to a sense of family life centred around the kitchen and the cooker.”
And what about baking bread and making coffee when the viewers arrive?
“Well it won’t do any harm if there are there great smells coming from the oven”, he laughs.
“To me it’s critically important that the viewer has the best experience possible because that’s the key to selling your home. Sellers and buyers are much happier when all the stress and uncertainty is taken away via good communication. I promise to do this and I always keep my promises.”
So You Property, 89 Market Street, Hoylake, Wirral, CH47 5AA, Tel: 0151 5590779, www.soyouproperty.co.uk.Members of the Property Ombudsman Service