We pride ourselves on our refreshing approach to estate agency, and the things which makes us different.
Whilst our fixed property selling fees are the draw for many – we think the percentage- based fees offered by our competitors is a bit “last century” – perhaps it’s our straightforward approach and exceptional market and area knowledge which really sets us apart.
We promise you one point of contact throughout the process, from initial valuation or viewing, through to exchange of contracts, and everything in between.
London is a big place and we can’t profess to knowing everything about every area, so that’s why we only deal with areas which we truly know about and understand.
Whether your property is in Canary Wharf, the Isle of Dogs, Shoreditch, or the areas in between, we can provide the right level of service and expertise for you.
Because we’re local to Canary Wharf, we know it inside and out, and we know the property markets even better than that. And that goes for nearby areas like the Isle of Dogs too.
As a thoroughly modern estate agency, we run our business efficiently, embracing new technologies which reduce costs, and therefore savings we can pass onto you.
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Why it pays to choose an independent estate agent
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Life is full of them.
There are everyday ones like what to have for dinner.
Or slightly bigger ones including which box set to start watching.
And there are the really big choices such as who to settle down with or which career to pursue.
And while deciding which estate agent to sell your property is a big decision it’s certainly not life or death, but it will have an influence on how successful your move is, or how profitable your investment is.
Most people are moving home less frequently than ever (According to a 2017 Zoopla survey people in Tower Hamlets moved homes just once every 15.9 years) so it’s a crucial choice to make the right choice.
You have two main options when it comes to selling your property.
There’s going down the route of selecting a corporate estate agency, which may have branches across London and the UK. Or you can instruct an independent estate agency local to the Canary Wharf area.
Yes, there’s also the online agency option, but if that’s the route you’re considering you probably wouldn’t have read this far.
So, what are the differences between corporate versus independent?
Here are four reasons why I believe that choosing a local, Canary Wharf-based independent estate agency like Proper Local is the best choice for sellers.
1) Local. I will only take on properties for sale in the areas that I know well. Having lived in East London since 1999 I not only know the area, I love the area. I understand the different characteristics in neighbourhoods such as Canary Wharf, Whitechapel, Hackney, Wapping and Shoreditch. This isn’t always the case with larger agencies who move staff around regularly.
2) Experience. I’ve been an estate agent for 13 years. I’ve also bought and sold personally on several occasions, so I have experience on both sides of the fence. This familiarity means there’s hardly any issue or challenge I haven’t had to face and overcome on behalf of my clients. The approach of some corporate agencies is to send out an experienced employee to value the property but when instructed to market the property the transaction is handed over to a junior employee (or in some cases several different people.) This is often frustrating for vendors who feel passed from pillar to post.
3) Personal. I genuinely believe in providing great personal service to my clients. Selling a property isn’t a job to me, it’s my business and what I love to do. Far from being a number on a spreadsheet as is the case with some corporates (I’ve worked in that sector, so I know) each sale I take on matters to me. And when people instruct Proper Local they are guaranteed that I’ll be with them every step of the way from the initial accurate valuation, marketing the property, accompanying viewers, negotiating offers, chasing solicitors and everything else along the road to a successful completion. I guarantee that and I’ve never come across a corporate agency that can offer the same level of total personal commitment.
4) Communication. I’ve always believed honesty is the best policy. And that’s why I always give my honest opinion to clients even when it can be difficult to hear. I’ll never overvalue a property to get the instruction. In the long run it damages the vendors’ chances of getting a successful outcome. Through regular, honest feedback from viewings my clients get a picture of what potential buyers like or loathe about their property and this puts us in a position to act upon that to ensure a sale is made at the best possible price. All clients have my personal mobile and there’s no such thing as office hours with me, I’m there when you need me, not when it suits me.
Our Awards & Accreditations
As a property seller you might roll your eyes and think ‘so what?’ when an estate agent mentions their accreditations and awards.
But this stuff matters and is often the difference between good and bad agencies. The consistent positive feedback we receive from our clients has led to us being given the Gold Trusted Service Award from Feefo.
Feefo is an independent website which collects genuine feedback from clients about their experiences with business. Our current Feefo rating is 4.9 out of 5.
We have no influence over it, but we feel it’s a great way of showing people we care about what we do, we’re good at it and that our sellers, buyers, tenants and landlords feel the same.
And we’re also proud to have been recognised by the Best Estate Agent Guide 2019.
We are one of only a few Canary Wharf estate agents who signed up voluntarily for the Client Money Protect (CMP) scheme which protects our clients’ money.
If you chose an agency who wasn’t a CMP member and they went bankrupt or AWOL (it happens) you could potentially lose monies the agency is holding on your behalf.
We’re also signed up to The Property Ombudsman (TPO) this means we are committed to abide by its Code of Practice which ensures high professional standards among members.
We are also signed up to the Trading Standards Institute Code of Conduct.
Accreditations are a great way for us to show our clients that we take what we do seriously.
And winning awards are external proof that we don’t simply make promises we deliver on them.
Our Marketing Service
One of the biggest myths in the property industry is that because corporate estate agencies are big they have more marketing muscle than smaller, independent agents.
That used to be the case but like so many things the arrival of the internet changed everything.
The property portals - Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location - have levelled this playing field.
They drive buyers and tenants to properties not individual agencies.
Most buyers and tenants now conduct their property search online. Gone are the days where there was a queue of people outside your office on a Saturday.
It’s incredibly important your property’s online presence is excellent, not just in terms of which websites it’s on, but how it looks.
We’ll help you stage your property for marketing photos, and if that means moving furniture around, no problem.
Many other estate agents don’t take enough care when writing property descriptions.
Some agencies tag every property as “stunning”, when they’re not. The Taj Mahal is stunning, a studio flat overlooking a Tesco Express probably isn’t.
Some descriptions are too long, some too short. Many have spelling mistakes.
Buyers just need to know the facts, and the things they can’t see in the photos.
Here’s the seven marketing steps we take for every property we sell or let:
- Marketed on Rightmove, Zoopla & Prime Location
- A featured property box on Rightmove on a rotational basis (it’s a larger, more attention- grabbing advert, at the top of the search page, with 3 photos rather than 2)
- Marketed on our own website, which is an Canary Wharf specific site
- Professional-quality photos (our experience shows between 8-12 pictures is the right amount)
- A detailed floor plan
- A bespoke, carefully worded and spell-checked (!) property description
- Access to our database of ready-registered buyers
It’s true that buyers are searching for a property rather than an agent but it’s becoming increasingly important your chosen estate agent has a good reputation. Some buyers will refuse to deal with some agencies. Luckily for you, our reputation is rather good.
This year we have already been award with the Highly Rated mark from the Best Estate Agent Guide, plus we have the Gold Trusted Service Award from Feefo (from past customers rating us).
We have a track record of selling properties which other agents haven’t managed to, and we believe a lot of this success is down to the quality of our marketing.
If you’d like to hear more, do get in touch, or fill out this form for a free property valuation.
Proper Local Promises
- To treat you as an individual, not as just another customer.
- To give you one point of contact throughout the whole process.
- To only deal with properties and areas which we know and understand.
- To return any missed calls promptly. (If it’s more than an hour, there will be a very good reason.)
- To answer emails, texts or WhatsApp messages promptly.
- Never to be late to an appointment. (And in the unlikely event we are, we will let you know beforehand.)
- To try and make your buying, selling or renting experience as pain free as possible (we really do appreciate that moving, selling or renting can be stressful).
- To work hard, be totally upfront and do all we can to make your experience with us a fantastic one
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost to sell my property?
The costs involved in selling your property consist of:
Energy Performance Certificate - It is a legal requirement to have commissioned an EPC before marketing can start. Proper Local can organise an EPC on your behalf at a cost of £75 including VAT
Our commission - Commission fees become due when contracts are exchanged and are payable on completion.
Legal fees for the conveyancing process - These vary depending on the solicitor you choose and the complexity or simplicity of the transaction. Please ask us to put you in touch with one of our recommended solicitors and they will be able to provide you with a quote.
Are there any additional marketing costs?
Absolutely none. Although Proper Local’s fees are very reasonable, we believe that marketing costs should be borne by us and not by you. Some online estate agents will charge you an upfront marketing fee, regardless of whether they then go on to sell the property for you. We believe estate agency should be no sale, no fee.
Should I redecorate before I put my property on the market?
It’s a very commonly asked question, but there isn’t a simple answer. We would be delighted to visit you at your property and talk you through a bespoke marketing plan for your property.
What are Title Deeds?
Title Deeds are your proof of ownership of your property. They will be held by your bank or building society if you have a mortgage and your solicitor will obtain the deeds and let the buyer's solicitor have a copy.
Who will conduct the viewings on my property?
Proper Local will. However, we won’t just go and let ourselves in. All viewings will be arranged and agreed in advance.
Do I need to be present for viewings?
Quite simply, no. And we’ll go one step further. Potential buyers would prefer it if you weren’t there either… sorry!
If I accept an offer will my property still be viewed?
We try and make the process of buying a property really simple, so what we insist on is complete transparency.
So, the simple is answer is ‘no’ we wouldn’t suggest your property can still be viewed once under offer. However, in some circumstances we would still conduct viewings, if for example the person who offered was not in an immediate position to proceed with the purchase.
Do I have to pay Stamp Duty?
No, the buyer is responsible for paying Stamp Duty.
How can I protect myself from property fraud?
We, as estate agents, and the purchaser’s solicitor, are mutually obligated to perform Money Laundering checks on the buyer.
Do I have to pay Capital Gains Tax on the property?
If you are selling a property that is your main home, you won't have to pay tax on it as long as you satisfy certain conditions. However, if you are selling a property that is not your main home, it is likely you may have to pay Capital Gains Tax.