When we start looking back at 2021, one word leaps to mind – exceptional!
Ask any Estate Agent how their year has been and they would all have to agree that it’s been very unusual compared to normal. The housing market has been very busy. Properties have been “flying out the door” often within days of coming onto the market. The end of the the stamp duty holiday has had little impact on demand or lowering house prices.
Looking back to this time last year, it’s hard to remember that as 2021 started, the UK was in lockdown due. Despite being in a similar situation currently, it does look as though, for the moment at least, we will begin 2022 without a lockdown in England. However, keeping people safe and reducing the possibility of spreading infection is something we are very much committed to.
We will continue to only conduct viewings on properties with people that are able to make an offer. This is inline with Government and industry guidance. We believe this way of working, not only keeps everyone safe, it also works much better for our clients. They want to know that everyone walking through their door is in a position to make an offer, and they do. With the market being so busy and this method of conducting viewings, we are currently tying up sales within 16 days.
If you are thinking about moving and are looking to find to find a home before you put yours on the market, we are happy to provide you with video tours and any information you may require. But, we would really recommend you list your home for sale before you physically view anything. With homes selling so swiftly, you are likely to be very disappointed if you find without having an offer agreed on your own home.
An exceptional year for Harrisons Homes Estate Agents
Looking back at 2021, it’s hard to pick out the highlights, there have been so many! We started the year with a brand new fresh image, following a major re-brand. With our new look we have sponsored local events and we hope to do more in 2022. We also introduced Thank You hampers for our buyers and clients. That are packed for of gifts from local suppliers, including our own Harrisons Beer!
In May this year we were over the moon to hit our target of raising £10,000 for local children’s bereavement charity Holding On Letting Go. We achieved this figure through a combination of fundraising and by donating £50 from every sale we complete. We have been very moved by the work this charity does. Their services have been really stretched as we have adapted to living through a pandemic. Children and many families have struggled to cope with their grief when restrictions have limited visits to the dying, or being able to attend funerals. Therefore, we are committed to continuing our support and as of today, we have raised a total of £14,250
Laptops for Schools
With successive lockdowns and home schooling. The shortage of technology available to schools has been highlighted over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, there has been no support from government to make these accessible to schools. Step in Stephen Brown from SJB Consulting, who following the tragic death of his wife, Sam, wanted to fundraise in her memory. Stephen came up with a computers for schools fundraiser, backed by Agents Giving. For every 20 houses sold by Harrisons, we will donate a laptop to a school in Swale. We are delighted that this has been matched by Shore Way Marketing, meaning that we are able to donate a laptop with every TEN houses sold.
Innovative Estate Agency
For too long the property industry has been stuck in a rut, with many agents just replicating what other agents are doing. There is too much focus on winning instructions from competitors. An over reliance on portals and poor sales progression due to their focus being on listings rather than sales. This approach is not in the interest of clients or the industry in general.
We believe the industry is changing, we are committed to changing people’s perception of the industry and improving the image of estate agents. We are proud to be members of The Federation of Independent Agents, which is an organisation made up of the best independent agents in the country. Members all work together, supporting each other, sharing ideas and providing training. We believe this collaborative approach will drive up standards, and is very much the future of the industry.
Gazeal Reservation Agreements
Currently in the UK one third of every property sale agreed falls through before it gets to completion. With the current way we buy and and sell houses in England there is no commitment from either buyer or seller to complete on a sale. They can drop out at any time, without a genuine reason. Having a reservation agreement in place makes the sale more secure and this is why Harrisons have one of the lowest sale fall through rates in the UK.
We believe in 2022 reservation agreements will become more commonplace as the government currently recommends them in their “How to Sell” guides and they are re-visiting organising pilots of using reservation agreements with a view to making them a legal requirement in the UK. Harrisons were one of the first agents to embrace and recommend using reservation agreements and we have used them on over 100 sales this year
You don’t even have to be local or a client of Harrisons. We can arrange a reservation agreement on any property sale in the UK. Call out team for further information on 01795 474848.
Heads Up Property Alerts
There has been an over reliance on property portals in recent years. As such, we market our properties “behind the scenes” initially. This gives our buyers a chance to view and offer before they go onto the internet. This way of marketing really works. Many houses have sales agreed long before they are due to be published to the portals. By targeting buyers that are able to make a solid offer, we are able to negotiate the best price. This is why we are currently achieving 102% over the asking price on average for our clients.
Due to the success of this method of selling homes we have set up Heads Up Property Alerts, where buyers can register for details of properties that are coming onto the market, before they go live, giving them the option to view before anyone else. To register, simply complete our online form (you can opt out at any time) or join our Heads Up Property Alerts Facebook Group.
None of our successes this year would have been possible without our incredible team. 2021 has welcomed three new members of staff. Viv Parker as a property professional , Holly Mills as our PA and Pauline Clark as our dedicated in house Sales Progressor. All three feel as though they have been here forever. They also all share our ethos in terms of outstanding customer service and values.
All of our staff receive continual professional training and undertake industry recognised qualifications. We believe this is an integral part of raising standards and that qualifications should be compulsory within the housing industry. After all, we are trusted to help sell what is arguably the biggest asset owned by many. We think estate agents should be qualified to do this.
Finally, we couldn’t look back over 2021 without mentioning the awards we have one. It’s been an incredible year for us in this respect. We have won SIX awards and have been shortlisted for one.
Predictions for 2022
So, as we close the door on 2021 and reflect. We have to ask ourselves what our thoughts are for the year ahead and what we think could happen over the next twelve months. If you would like to hear about our predictions for 2022 check out our latest blog
All that remains, is that we say a heartfelt thank you for your support over the last year. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read our posts and blogs. We wish you and those you love a happy, healthy 2022