The Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) became a local institution from its inception in 1971. It is a membership organisation made up exclusively of Solicitor Estate Agents, primarily for the promotion and marketing of properties, with the vast majority of properties sold in Edinburgh & The Lothians listed on ESPC.com.
Estate agents that have no in-house Solicitors won’t tell you this, but they cannot advertise your property in the ESPC. ESPC and it’s network of Solicitor Estate Agents provide a one-stop shop for property sales and purchases, safe in the knowledge that Solicitor Estate Agents are not only regulated by the Law Society of Scotland’s rigorous code of conduct, but also by our membership agreement with the ESPC. The ESPC Charter takes that membership agreement one step further, with firms committed to it guaranteeing excellence in client care.
Excellence in client care is something we’re familiar with here at Neilsons, having been awarded the Scottish Legal Awards prize for Excellence in 2022 – along with awards for Residential Property Team of the Year for the third year in a row and the Rising Star award for our Aidan Tuohy – so we leapt at the chance to be involved in refreshing the charter for this digital age.
As a membership organisation, ESPC firms like us are familiar with the spirit of collaboration. A rising tide lifts all boats, and by working together we can make the process of buying and selling property in our area a first-class experience for buyers and sellers alike. It is one of the main reasons why the buying and selling process in Scotland is widely regarded to be superior to that in England and Wales. The involvement of Solicitor Estate Agents means the entire property transaction, from initial valuation, through marketing and sale, to the conveyancing and onward purchase of a new property, is all handled under one roof with superb communication at the heart of keeping things on track. In addition to this, home movers are guaranteed considered, independent professional advice at every step of the way. With Solicitor Estate Agents, buyers are submitting their offer after careful advice from their own solicitor, not negotiating directly with an agent, skilled in the art of negotiation, who is really only acting in the sellers’ best interests as that is who is paying their commission!
Property marketing has moved dramatically forwards over the past 20 years, and more so in the past two years than ever before, expedited by the conditions brought about by the pandemic. Gone are the days of short, abbreviated adverts in the papers and lengthy sales schedules detailing every last power socket and describing homes in minute detail, replaced by user-friendly websites with stunning photographs and clear floorplans. And if a picture paints a thousand words, then a video tour brings a property to life, with the ESPC reporting that properties listed with a virtual tour receive four times more hits on espc.com than those without one. At Neilsons, we predict that VR tours of homes will be de rigueur within the next few years. For Solicitor Estate Agents to stay ahead of the curve, it became necessary to update the ESPC Charter for this modern age, which will become a living document, enabling members signed up to the charter to move with the times and to commit to continuing professional development.
Not all members of the ESPC are signed up to be Chartered Members. There are approximately 140 member firms of the ESPC with 25 of us so far signed up, guaranteeing our clients the best home buying or selling experience possible. You can search for a Chartered ESPC Member on espc.com, understanding that by using a chartered firm like Neilsons, your property sale or purchase will be handled with the utmost professionalism and expertise, even if things go awry, as they can do with such a significant transaction. Furthermore, each Chartered firm has appointed a Charter Champion who can communicate easily and directly with other chartered members, so if problems arise, they can be swiftly resolved.
Following months of collaboration and fine tuning, we were delighted that our Property Consultant Amy Howard was invited by the ESPC to participate in their launch video for the Charter below explaining why the charter was updated and what the benefits to buyers and sellers will be. Amy said “Working together with like-minded professionals to produce something that improves the home moving experience for everyone is something that I am extremely proud to be a part of. Moving house regularly tops the charts of the most stressful things you can do in life, but it really needn’t be that way, the ESPC Charter sets out to improve the experience for everyone involved, for home movers and for Solicitor Estate Agents and conveyancers”.
If you’d like to find out more about the award-winning service we offer here at Neilsons, please do get in touch.