Estate agents can stand out from the crowd and help consumers through lockdown by providing a more secure sales process, a leading PropTech supplier suggests.
Gazeal, a digital platform which provides Buyer Information Packs and reservation agreements, says the Coronavirus crisis has worsened the problems of fall throughs, deteriorating further during lockdown and with the growing pressure for transactions to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline.
"Unfortunately, fall-throughs are part of the property market, but agents can reduce their frequency by focusing on secure sales. The risk of fall-throughs has been higher than usual this year and is likely to continue well into 2021" says Gazeal co-founder Bryan Mansell.
"Agents can substantially reduce their fall-through rate by encouraging sellers to provide upfront information and carry out checks early in the process so key issues can be identified and subsequently rectified sooner."
Mansell adds that giving buyers and sellers the option to enter into a reservation agreement can increase security, confidence and transparency through commitment at a time when many agents are suffering because of client worries over the economy and Covid restrictions.
He adds that with the furlough scheme extended until the end of March 2021 it may well be that more conveyancing and local authority staff will be away from work, risking further delays in search and legal clearances.
"Although agents can't do anything about under-resourcing due to the furlough scheme, there are certain parts of the process which they can control to speed things up and increase security for buyers and sellers. Good communication and an emphasis on getting sellers to provide upfront information are two key aspects of the process which agents can focus on to have a positive impact on reducing delays" Mansell says.
"A safe and secure sales process reduces stress and increases peace of mind for consumers, while it ensures agents get paid faster and on more properties.The market is crowded and competitive at the moment - agents can differentiate their offering by focusing on security and reducing the chances of fall-throughs" he says.
"Being able to tell vendors you are the safest agency to sell with in the local area due to the processes you have in place is a powerful message that will really hold weight with consumers."
"As well as encouraging increased upfront information and offering reservation agreements, agents can increase sale security by managing expectations and communicating the realities of the market to home movers" Mansell concludes.