I’ve just taken on a beautiful riverside apartment in Bath and, whilst paging through the (interminably boring for the most part) lease details, I came across a tiny little footnote to say all residents have fishing rights on the Avon from the acres of riverside gardens. Wow! As a fisherman myself, I would happily pop down to the garden for a spot of casting rather than trudge along some muddy track laden down with loads of kit so this started me wondering – what other extras might a buyer be pleasantly surprised by and is there a place for an estate agent to help out in this regard?
Imagine the scenario – you’ve got a potential buyer for a house in a terraced suburban Coronation St type area but they need an extra garage for tinkering with motorbikes. We’ve all been there – you probably know the locals that rent lockups nearby but do you offer the info as standard? We’re probably all competent at briefing the viewer on bus routes, local schools etc but do we think of the smaller things that make life fun and how to help buyers achieve the very best out of their home?
I’m a keen gardener and, in my last house, the garden wasn’t more than a postage stamp. Unknown to me, my wife put my name on the local allotment waiting list and (2 years later!) was able to surprise me with an allotment for my birthday. That little gesture meant the world to me and gave me many happy hours in the evenings after work pottering around (especially after the kids were born and I needed the peace & quiet!). After that point, I always chat to buyers about gardens and have put several in touch with the local council parks department – in fact, I met a client in town the other day who’d finally been given a plot in Victoria Park and he was chuffed to bits.
I suppose what I’m driving at is that we as estate agents have long lists of contacts (or lots of local knowledge) and it should be part of a gold standard service to find out what really matters to the buyer then do our best to help them achieve it. Sometimes that means finding out the OFSTED scores but sometimes it might be the nearest model aeroplane airfield (asked that a week ago by a buyer!) or whether the local gym opens at 6.30am. If you don’t ask what really makes them tick, you’ll never know!