Last week it was revealed that nationally only 72% of agreed house sales in England and Wales went through to completion compared with 82% for the sales on our books. Similarly, while nationally the length of time between agreeing a sale and exchanging contracts is over 16 weeks, on average our properties take only 10 weeks to complete. How do we do it? We invest a great deal of time, money and energy in progressing sales once an offer has been accepted. We never simply accept the information we have been given from the various parties involved in a sale, but insist on checking everything out to ensure that if we uncover any problems or inconsistencies, we can start dealing with them straight away. We also keep in regular contact with both seller and buyer, as well as professional bodies such as surveyors, lawyers and building societieis, to ensure they they are all fully engaged. A chain of four properties would usually involve some 28 professionals, all of whom need to be spoken to regularly. So if a difficulty crops up, we can understand what it is and move quickly to sort it out. Close contact also makes buyers less likely to try to renegotiate after an offer has been accepted.

Finally, we make sure that all telephone conversations are followed up by emails, so there is an electronic trace of what has been agreed. In short, it's about regular communication with everyone involved. That's why we have a department devoted to sales progression and why we are determined to drive down the fall through rates and the length of time sales take to complete. It's something that makes us stand out and certainly something you do not get with an online agent.