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Step-by-Step Customer Service for South West House-Hunters

Posted 27 January 2020 by Keith Osborne

Barratt David Wilson Homes in Exeter on supporting buyers from the moment they find their dream home until long after they have moved in...

We recently met with Nicki Reid at Barratt David Wilson Homes in Exeter, for a first-hand view of the housebuilder’s latest developments in the region, and to get an idea of how buyers are supported from the moment they find their dream home until long after they have moved in.

“The customers’ experience, throughout their homebuying journey, is hugely important to us, and is a contributing factor to the success we have seen here,” she explained. “We know many choose Barratt Homes or David Wilson Homes based on past experience, or because their family or friends may have bought from us before, so we don’t take customer service lightly.

“For us, it’s about understanding the expectations or possible concerns people may have, and addressing them from the outset. For example, some of those who visit our developments have never bought a home before and are taking their first steps into the property market. They are likely to be excited but wary of the process particularly if they don’t understand the schemes that are there to give them a boost, like Help to Buy.

“Our sales advisors are equipped with a vast amount of knowledge about all aspects of buying a new home, and they are hand-picked for their customer service skills.

“The first part of the process is to help people find the best home to suit them – and in the Exeter region we have an array of house designs and developments to choose from. Our David Wilson Homes Tarka Ridge development, for example, is perfect for those seeking spacious three-, four- or five-bedroom homes which are surrounded by beautiful countryside – thanks to its location on the banks of the River Taw in Yelland.

“Or, for golf lovers, Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes offer a range of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes at Braid Park – next to Tiverton Golf Club and just a short distance to the historic market town. There are so many possibilities, depending on lifestyle and circumstances – so that’s where the support from our team begins.

“Once our buyers have their hearts set on their dream home, we provide them with all the information they need to buy the property. That might mean explaining Part Exchange or Help to Buy. Many people aren’t aware of this scheme which is an excellent way for people to get on the property ladder with just a 5% deposit.

“The legal side of buying a home can sometimes seem a bit daunting, but we have advisors at all our developments here in the south west who are always on standby to help.

“We recommend a number of financial advisors who are specialists in all aspects of mortgages and government buying schemes. They are not directly connected to Barratt Homes or David Wilson Homes, so our buyers know they are receiving independent advice from specialists who will establish exactly what they can afford to pay each month and find them the very best deals.

Once the customers have decided on the best option for them and spoken to an independent financial advisor they are able to place a reservation deposit and get the ball rolling.

“Our advisors will keep in regular contact with the buyers to explain when each stage is approaching and what to expect. Once they’ve secured a mortgage, we will exchange contracts within six weeks, and then there will be a notice period for completion. All that this means is that, once the NHBC has signed off to say the property is ready, we ‘serve notice’ to our buyer – giving them 10 working days to legally complete.

“Buyers’ solicitors will also have everything in hand. And that’s another thing our customers don’t need to worry about because, much like with financial advisors, we can recommend independent solicitors who will only ever act in our customers’ best interests.

“The remaining part of the journey is where people can really get into the practicalities of preparing for the move, and buyers can take advantage of the opportunity to go on a special home tour, just before legal completion. This is a chance to go through a checklist – presenting the home itself and how everything works. It means that once our customers move in, they will feel confident and comfortable with their new home.

“On that exciting day of completion, our sales advisor will hand over the keys, user manuals and certificates for the new home – and of course a welcome gift! This is the point at which we take meter readings, to ensure utilities like gas and electric start for our buyers on that day.

“We don’t see this as the end, and our sales advisors are still on hand to make sure everything about the home is just right, and that any teething problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

“The NHBC homebuilder warranty lasts for two years – and our customer care team will be on-hand throughout this time to deal with any issues which may arise. If, in the rare event, there are any defects, they will ensure everything is dealt with.

“Even after that period buyers will have another eight years of their NHBC structural warranty to run – handled directly by NHBC.”

In addition to Tarka Ridge and Braid Park, why not take a look at other Devon new homes developments, including Minerva in Exeter, Lucerne Fields in Ivybridge, Embden Grange in Tavistock and Raleigh Holt  in Barnstaple.

Take a video tour of Tarka Ridge here:

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