Springbok Properties First Contact
I received a call from an agent 15 minutes after submitting the enquiry (they were obviously satisfied that I wasn’t a money launderer). The agent was bright and bubbly and obviously sitting in a busy call centre, they asked me if it was ok to ask me a few questions to see if they could help and then asked me to confirm my own address, which I passed with flying colours. They then asked me for my circumstances around the sale and if I had had the property valued. The agent then asked me some questions about the property, type of property, number of rooms, condition of the property, gas central heating etc.
The agent then asked me about my timeframes for selling and went on to explain how they work as a company. Informing me that Springbok Properties are the number 1 company in the UK in the fast selling market (it’s funny how many fast sale companies are the number 1) and they are there to help people get a fair price and save the time and hassle that they would experience on the open market.
The agent then went on to explain that there are 2 solutions that they can offer, the first option is for Springbok properties to ‘act as the buyer’ (interesting choice of words), where they would make a cash offer on the property, I was then advised that this is the quickest method but it would get me the least amount of money for my property as they look to resell the property to make a profit.
Then if that doesn’t work there is the second option where they cut themselves out as the buyer but go directly to the buyers that they would resell it to, the agent then went on to explain that unlike agents they mostly deal with investors and cash buyers looking to do a quick deal and they will pay “quite well” and this would take 8 – 10 weeks. Interestingly the agent then explained that they take a deposit from the buyer and if the deal fell through they would split that deposit with me 50 / 50, nice!
The agent then asked me what offers I could consider at this point. Now having explained that I had not had the property valued this was impossible to answer. The agent explained that they are not a valuer and are just here to see if they can help. They then explained that if I am interested a valuer would be booked in to view my property who would then make me a cash offer reflecting my local market conditions and ‘discuss the other options’.
I then went on to ask some questions, one regarding fees, there are none to pay as on a cash purchase the ‘fee’ is the profit they make on the resale and with the investor option, the ‘investors’ pay a ‘finders fee’.
The agent then went on to explain that once they have made an offer it would be subject to survey and asked me if I wanted to book a meeting with the valuer.
The call took just over 10 minutes and ended with the agent promising to send me an email (which never came).
Springbok Properties Sales Process
The Springbok Properties sales process seems fairly simple. There is an initial screening call (as described above) then if you agree a ‘valuer’ will come around to view the property and will try to sign you up to one of their options then and there.
We found some evidence online that there is a strong sales culture in the Springbok office (not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that). People generally enjoyed working at the company but described demanding sales targets and one review from an employee (or former employee) wasn’t on favour of the “misleading” lead generation. I think this could have to do with the “Get a free valuation” feature on the website which is actually just a way to capture contact details and call you back. They don’t even give you an estimated value on the phone.
Springbok Properties Valuation Process
Springbok properties don’t offer any sort of valuation over the phone, which is very unusual for a house buying service. Instead they rely on a ‘valuer’ that works for the company carrying out some research and then coming to your property to view it. The offer that they make is then subject to survey.
Further Reading: How do cash house buyers value your house
What Percentage Do Springbok Properties Offer
This is unknown as it required a valuer coming around to the property, they would not even give me an idea of what percentage of full market value to expect, which is highly unusual but is a theme that is carried throughout the website. The policy seems to be to keep their cards close to their chest until someone comes out to sign you up.
If I were to speculate for a second, I would guess that the offer they make would be on the high side. This would mean that you are more likely to sign up with them which would be the only way to make it worthwhile to send someone around to every property that they are valuing. Although from our own research into their purchase history they are averaging around 80% of the properties resale price so if they do offer more then they are likely to reduce the amount at a later stage.
If you are planning on booking a Springbok valuer to come around, and you have no idea of what your property is worth, it would be a good idea to ask 2 – 3 local estate agents to value the property first. You can then take the average of these valuations (bearing in mind that agents have a tendency to slightly overvalue properties to win business) and use this as a yardstick to measure what percentage the valuer is offering. If the offer works out at more than 80% you know that it is unlikely to be genuine.
Further Reading: Find out more about how much cash house buyers can actually pay
Springbok Properties Communication
On submitting the lead I received an email from Springbok which explained that I would receive a callback in the next 10 minutes (it was actually 15 but close enough) and went through what I was to expect on the call. They even explain that you will not get a valuation on the phone. The email included a 9 page guide on their service and reviews from past happy customers (I guess they are not going to include bad reviews in their own brochure). This was a very useful and informative email professionally done.
I was promised an email after the first call but this never arrived.