Daryl Gray and his wife Heather viewed dozens of properties before they found the sort of home they were looking for – but selling their existing house proved an awful lot easier.
Daryl, 43, who works as a branch manager at City Plumbing Supplies in Kings Lynn, and Heather, 39, realised they would need to move from their small village when their son Ethan, now two and a half, was born.
‘We were fairly isolated on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border and Heather doesn’t drive, so we knew we’d have to move in time for Ethan starting school,’ Daryl says.
‘We had lived in the old house for eight years and if we hadn’t had a child, we probably wouldn’t have moved. That said, even though it was kind of forced on us in a way, it’s probably a good thing.
‘We’d been looking for quite some time, knowing we had to do it but not taking the plunge. We just kept looking at what was out there – we looked at dozens of properties. This was late last year.’
ESTATE AGENT TEPILO HAS THREE OPTIONS FOR SELLING AT SET PRICES:
ESSENTIAL - £645
CLASSIC - £895
PREMIUM - £1,295
And then, all of a sudden, the couple stumbled upon their dream home.
‘We walked into a house and my wife said, “this is the one”. She had always wanted a period property. We went in, and that was it. As soon as we came out, we were ready to put in an offer.’
That initial offer, on a four-bedroom semi-detached in Heacham, Norfolk, was declined, as their house wasn’t on the market yet, so clearly it was time to get things moving. This was in the run-up to Christmas last year, so the couple decided to get the festive season out of the way before putting their home on the market in January.
‘We went to two high-street estate agents, plus one online company, which proved an absolute disaster.’
Daryl explained that the company’s photographs were poor, the description of their property failed to mention positive selling points, such as a new shower room, and the details put their home in the wrong village.
‘The title of our listing was along the lines of “three-bedroom detached house with far-reaching country views” and yet they hadn’t used a single picture of the view – it was amateurish. When I told the company that we weren’t going to use them, the man I spoke to said that if he was in our shoes he wouldn’t either!’
One of the high-street estate agents wasn’t much better. The other one was fine, but Daryl and Heather decided to sell online, largely because it was so much cheaper. And that is when they turned to Tepilo.
‘Getting started on Tepilo was very straightforward,’ Daryl says. ‘We filled in the online form, sent it off and then just waited for them to contact us.’
He continues: ‘Tepilo has three ways to sell. The first is the cheapest – the one we went for. You take the photos, write the description yourself and upload them to the website.’
Option two adds professionally photographed pictures and a floorplan. The third offers even more coverage, with your property included in emails and so on. What this means is Tepilo has a package to suit everybody.
‘We went for the cheapest option so we could save some money and because we thought we knew how to write it up, take photos and so on. It took us all night, but we did it and we were happy with what we did.
‘Then Tepilo sent a representative out to confirm the valuation, verify the property, check our photos truly resembled the house and so on. After that, we had to decide whether to go with them or not.’
YOU CAN TAKE THE PHOTOS AND WRITE THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPERTY YOURSELF IF YOU WANT TO - BUT TEPILO CAN ALSO DO THIS FOR YOU, IF YOU PREFER
Impressed by Tepilo’s service, especially when compared with the other estate agents, they said yes.
‘It took just over a week from when we decided to go with Tepilo, to the details we’d uploaded being approved and going live,’ Daryl says. And so they settled down to wait for something to happen – and it didn’t take very long.
‘The property went live on the internet on the Saturday evening,’ Daryl says. ‘I got a phone call on the Monday morning from Tepilo, asking if they could arrange a viewing that afternoon at 1pm. I agreed and they came round. About an hour later, I got another call from Tepilo with an offer!’
Sadly, Daryl had to decline the offer because of their tight budget, but the Tepilo team worked with the prospective buyers who then came back with a higher offer.
‘I went back to the people whose house we wanted to buy, explained the position and made a new offer, which they accepted – perhaps, I think, because there was no chain,’ says Daryl. ‘Within hours we’d sold our house for the price we wanted and had an offer accepted on a new one.’
Now it’s a question of waiting for solicitors and other professionals to complete their work, before the family can move in May, subject to everything going smoothly.
‘I can’t fault the service we have received from Tepilo,’ Daryl says. ‘It was so simple and so quick. I can’t argue with it at all. Our personal experience has been very good.’
The icing on the cake was the cost. ‘The Tepilo fee was just £645. One of the high-street estate agents quoted us more than £6,000. When you’re on a tight budget, that’s a very useful saving,’ says Daryl.
SARAH’S SIX TIPS FOR a SPEEDY SALE
Be realistic about your price. That doesn’t mean you have to sell cheaply, but the price must be fair. It’s all very well dreaming you might sell a house that’s worth £200,000 for £300,000, but the reality is that it’s more likely to just sit on the market.
Immediately make it clear to viewers that you’re looking for a speedy sale.
Fill your home with life, from plants and herbs to animals and children (if they’re well-behaved and not smelly).
Give your home a personality and ‘re-clutter’. If taxidermy is your thing, it’s probably best to leave that in the cupboard, but don’t hide musical instruments, interesting books or board games. They build the atmosphere and make someone want to live there more.
Write a list of everything buyers might want to know about: local schools, the nearest place to go shopping and transport links.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, set dates for exchanging and completion. An open-ended ‘as quickly as possible’ is much harder for everyone to work to.