Underhill Real Estate Agents
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    About us

    Hello, and thanks for opting to find out more about our company. We are Underhill Real Estate Agents, an award winning Independent Estate Agent with a unique approach to residential property sales.

    Flick through the property pages.... Do you pick the blue agent, the green agent, the yellow agent... they all seem the same! But we are genuinely, and radically, different in how we do business. We think you'll like it, so here's a taster...

    Set your own fee! - No tied-in contracts! - Cash-backed Service Level Guarantee!

    Please read on to find out more.

    We launched in Exeter in 2004, where we have dedicated sales and lettings offices, and we started up in Dawlish in 2007. We specialise in residential sales, lettings and property management in South Devon. We are committed to fairness, integrity and quality of service, and have made that the bedrock of all our business activity.

    You can reach our Exeter sales team on 01392 434172. Our lettings team are on 01392 477775. Our Dawlish office is on 01626 866900.

    Thanks for calling Underhills!

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    What makes us different?

    We are a SERVICE BUSINESS. This might seem obvious, but it is a very different approach to our competitors. Let us explain:

    Almost every estate agency company acts as a sales business. They pay staff in commissions. They fix fees up-front, and often insist on exclusive contracts for a minimum term. Sometimes they even pay staff for referring other services, like mortgage brokers or lawyers. But we don't think that your house is just a commodity. We don't think that 'retail sales' is the best model for estate agency.

    Your house is your home, and moving home can be a challenging and stressful experience. Our job - our duty - is to make it as easy and as stress-free as is humanly possible. Of course we need to sell your home, for the best price and with the least fuss: after all, we don't get paid until the sale is completed. But what we are providing is not just some slick sales rep: we are providing guidance, advice, support, expertise, and peace of mind. That's not something you can chalk up 'commission' for.

    Indeed, in our customer-centred approach, if someone needs a cash incentive to do the right thing for our clients, then we won't be employing them. Our staff are paid salaries, not commissions, and our staff targets are based on service quality, not on sales.

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    Service is our Priority... and we can prove it!

    Now, we know that all of our competitors promise excellent service, and we are sure they aspire to that. But we wanted more than just words and aspirations. We wanted a clear commitment that leaves you, our client, in control. So, we created policies and practices to make it a reality - including our unique 'set your own fee' approach.

    With every other agent, if you choose to instruct them to sell your home, your contract will determine the price you pay. That marks the start of your client relationship. In other words, you set the price before you know what you are paying for.

    'Set your own fee' is completely different. With Underhills, you agree a price range, but you only choose how much to pay once we have sold your house. That means we have to impress you at every turn, and you don't decide on the price until the work is finished.

    We've backed that up by removing fixed contracts altogether. If you aren't happy, you can give us notice at any time. Finally, we will give you a guarantee of our service levels, and if we don't live up to our promises, we will cut even the lowest bill in half.

    It's easy to talk about great customer service - but we are the ONLY business to show that commitment through these unique and extraordinary policies. Our critics said it couldn't possibly work... but we're into our second decade and still going strong!

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    ...but we still have to deliver! Here's how...

    Of course! Market appraisals ('valuations') are free. Listing your property for sale is free. Creating standard details, press and internet advertising - it's all free. We only get paid if we successfully negotiate the sale of your home.

    So - we do all the things you'd expect:

    • an extensive internet advertising to reach a global audience

    • a positive engagement with social media such as facebook and twitter

    • a strong presence in the local press

    • an excellent database of active buyers, whom we call, email and post details to regularly.

    • engagement with various community events and sponsorship

    • prominent

    From our very beginning, we have been a market-leader in adopting new marketing techniques and technologies, and coupling them with good, old-fashioned hard work and local knowledge.

    In our internet age, we sincerely believe that a focussed, committed, local team in a family firm, where every customer is a neighbour and of great importance to the business, can and will out-perform bigger, impersonal, corporations and chains, where each house is just another product on the production line, and the directors and senior managers are remote strangers.

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Underhills - unique 'Set Your Own Fee' Deal
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    A Unique Range of Options
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    Underhills are unlike any other local agent, thanks to our remarkable 'Set Your Own Fee' deal. The details are laid out below... but it's not for everyone, and so we have some more conventional offerings to suit the specific needs of each and every client, too.

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    Set Your Own Fee
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    This exceptional offering is designed to make sure you, the client, is in complete control of the sales process, and to guarantee that our agents are constantly working to impress you.

    Most agencies ask you to agree a fee before they have done any work. Then, if their service isn't up to scratch, there's not much you can do about it.

    'Set Your Own Fee' is completely different. We'll ask you to agree a range for our fee, from the lowest we agree would be fair for the work, to the highest-priced, premium service available in the area.

    Then, after we have sold your house and contracts are exchanged, we'll ask you to tell your solicitor what fee you are paying from within that range. We accept that without question, and we'll send the bill that you ask us to send.

    You might decide from the very beginning that you will pay the smallest possible amount. That's perfectly fine. You might, in fact, expect that EVERYONE would pay the lowest amount... but, in practice, we find many clients are so impressed that they choose to pay a little more. Of course we're delighted when it happens... but there's no obligation on you to follow suit.

    'Set your own fee' makes sure every client we serve gets the best possible service that we can deliver. You are all premium clients to us... until the work is all done, we are constantly trying to impress you.

    There's no doubt that other agents put a store on customer service... but nobody else is willing to put their fee on the line. We have made a promise to provide great service, into a fundamental part of the structure of our company.

    Add in to this: we NEVER ask for a contract tie-in. We back ourselves to provide you with excellent service. If we let you down: sack us. If you're not completely happy, pay us less. If we exceed your expectations, we hope you'll set the fee accordingly.

    But in all cases, we are committed to doing our utmost on your behalf... and we've backed up that promise with our fee structure.

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    Traditional Models - % and fixed fees

    We do occasionally find clients who would like a little more traditional approach to fee structures. That's fine, if that is what you prefer. We're happy to agree either to a fixed percentage, or to a fixed fee, if either of those options are what you would prefer.

    You can be assured that you'll still benefit from our approach to delivering excellence to every client: even with customers who have chosen something different to our 'set your own fee', that way of doing business runs right through the company. You'll still get the best possible service from us at all times.

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    Upfront Marketing Packages from £499 (+VAT)

    Alternatively, if you are confident that you can handle many of the details yourself, such as viewings and dealing directly with buyers, then we are pleased to offer an upfront-fee service, giving you access to our marketing expertise and channels, and taking on the remaining tasks yourself. If this might suit you, we are happy to outline it in more detail.

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    No minimum contract
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    We are so sure you'll be happy with our service, and so confident that we can do a great job for you, that we don't ask for a minimum tie-in period. If you're not happy, you can give us two weeks' notice at any point. And, because all our staff know this, everyone makes sure you are informed and happy with proceedings.

    Some agents seek to tie you in for 8, 12 or 16 weeks, or even longer! Why?? The only point that this would be an issue, is if you want to change agents, but they won't let you because you are locked into a contract.

    Not only is this bad for you, we actually fear that it might encourage some agents to promise the earth on the price they claim they can get for your home.... knowing that if you are tied in for a long time and your house is over-priced, they can persuade you to cut your asking price to something more realistic, because a long contract means you can't go anywhere else.

    So: we leave you in control. No minimum contract - if you're not happy, leave us and get a new agent. We are not afraid of being judged on our work. We are confident you will stay with us until we have sold your home.
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    Internet marketing across the leading portals
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    This is CRUCIAL to getting the best buyer for your property. This site, Rightmove, is the leading portal. Next, comes Zoopla. But what's really interesting is that buyers often use one or the other, but not both. So, if you're not on both, you are missing all manner of possible buyers.

    There are other portals out there... but almost all of those properties are also listed on Rightmove or Zoopla. Those two leading sites have pretty much the whole market covered.

    As you would expect, UNDERHILLS advertise on RIGHTMOVE and ZOOPLA. Ask any other agent you might consider if they do, too.

    Don't even consider choosing any agent that isn't on both.
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    Using new technology to the full

    When we take on a new home to sell, we create details within 24 hours and email our house-hunters that very day. Because we advertise on so many websites, we have a fantastic email list of homebuyers, especially those moving in from outside the area.

    We also use facebook, twitter, instagram and youtube to stay in touch with the market and to promote new instructions. Our communication to buyers is quicker and more effective than any other agent we've come across.

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    We don't pay commission
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    This might seem strange. Why would this be important? Two major reasons. First, it means everyone works as a team. In offices where each person has their own 'viewers' or their own 'sellers', the individuals are sometimes encouraged to work against one another, or against the interests of their clients.

    Worse, if agents get commission for taking new properties on the market, it can encourage them to 'overvalue'... to promise more than they believe your home will sell for, so that they get the commissions now, and the office can worry about asking you to lower the price a little later. This NEVER happens with Underhill, because we don't pay commissions. It means we are an extremely effective team, and that we'll always be absolutely straight with you about price and value.

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    Underhills Guarantee
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    We are so confident of our ability to deliver on our promises, that we have put this pledge into the form of a guarantee. If you take up our 'set your own fee' deal, all these terms apply. If you choose to work to a pre-agreed fee, the first point only won't apply, but everything else will.

    Here is our guarantee to you, as our client.

    1. If you choose our 'Set your own fee' deal, then when we find a buyer, and only when contracts have exchanged, you will set your own fee anywhere you choose between an agreed range. All our fees are subject to VAT where applicable.
    2. We will endeavour to find a buyer for your home within an agreed time-frame.
    3. If we don't find a buyer within the agreed time-frame, we will cut our fee.
    4. There will be no tie-in period in our contract. If you're not completely satisfied with our work, you can give us two weeks' notice in writing at any time.
    5. You won't pay a penny for anything unless we find a buyer.
    6. If you have used our services to sell your home, we will give you £200 every time anyone else sells their home with us because of your recommendation.
    7. If you buy a house from us, and decide to let it out through our lettings service, we will give you a 10% discount on the letting fees for that property for as long as you own it.
    8. If you find any other agent who will confirm in writing to match all of these promises, we will discount your bill by 50%

    Terms and conditions The above guarantee is available on request from any seller, at the time of instruction. Very occasionally, market conditions might mean some variation on these terms is required (eg, if the seller requests additional marketing over and above our regular services). These will be discussed at the time of instruction, and we will provide an agreed guarantee of service levels and expectations with each individual client who so wishes.

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Buyers - we're happy to help
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    We might find your dream home....

    If you are looking to buy, please call us for a chat, and to run through the kind of place you are looking for. You may find somewhere directly by searching our website, but if we know your specific requirements then we can make sure that as soon as anything suitable comes onto the market, you know about it.

    We can often help buyers to clarify exactly what is important to them, and we are happy to offer advice about the benefits and disadvantages of particular properties or areas.

    Please do give us a ring, or pop into one of our offices. We'd be happy to talk over your situation, and to use our knowledge and experience to give you the best advice.

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    ..and we're happy to offer independent advice

    We know very well that you will buy the house you want to become your home.... regardless of which agent is selling it. That's just a fact of life, and because we understand that, we are very happy to offer advice, even if you are not buying from us.

    We know our areas, the schools, the parks, the roads and transport networks. We can advise on price, and can help you to find independent legal or financial services.


    Why? For one thing, we have expertise that might help you, and that is the whole reason that our company exists. We WANT to help. Sometimes we get paid, sometimes we don't, but we believe that if we do the right thing by everyone, then the business will succeed.

    There is, of course, a more direct benefit for us, over the longer term. If you are buying in our area, you are becoming our neighbour. Sure, you may not be buying from us, but you'll make friends in the area, you'll talk about your experiences with agents (including the ones you didn't buy from). One day, if you move house again, you might need a local estate agent to work for you.

    So, if you need an explanation as to why we would want to help... there is it. It's a long term investment in our local reputation.

    Come in for a chat - any time, on any aspect of your sale or purchase. We'll do whatever we can to help you, even if you aren't doing business with us.

    Thanks for taking an interest in our company.

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    Why it matters who owns what...!
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    Often, other estate agencies will encourage you to speak to 'their' mortgage adviser, or to use 'their' legal services company, or will recommend 'their' solicitors.

    Do you think they are recommending them because they are the best?

    Or because they HAVE to??!

    In fact, it's not just that those bigger corporations insist on cross-referring 'in-house'; in some cases, the commission paid to the agent depends upon hitting targets for referrals.

    That can mean that the person acting as your agent has a direct conflict of interest; for example, if a cash buyer offers on your property, as against someone who has agreed to use the in-house Financial Adviser to take out a big mortgage. The cash buyer is clearly the better option for you, as the seller.... but it can mean the agent misses out on their commission for that month.


    Make sure you ask other agents, if their company is connected to the companies they are recommending. Ask if they are getting personal commission for referring those services.

    We can absolutely assure you that our business is totally independent, and our staff are NOT incentivised to refer anyone, and don't get commissions for referrals.
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    Legal Services
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    Following on from that, if you ask us to find you a lawyer, then we will refer people that we know will do you a good service. We work with dozens of legal firms and hundreds of lawyers... in fact, we have to deal with the lawyers throughout a sale. We refer those we know will get the job done, and with whom we have built up relationships of trust and professional respect. Our staff don't get paid for referring you to a good lawyer, but we do benefit from the whole sales process being managed better by those legal teams.
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    The same applies to Surveyors. We don't get paid anything for referring you on to a surveyor, if that's a service you need. But we do get to do our job more easily, because we only refer work to people we know do things properly and in good time.
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    Financial Advisers and Mortgage Services
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    Once again, we have no vested financial interest in referring you to a specialist who can help you get a mortgage for your purchase. We only refer people whose work we know to be excellent.
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    Investment Property - Rental Market Advice
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    One place where we CAN refer you 'in house', is to our dedicated lettings department. If you are a prospective landlord, then our extensive experience managing and finding tenants for hundreds of properties across South Devon, means we can give you a very accurate indication of the rental returns and yields for any prospective investment purchase.

    For our sellers, this also means we have a very large database of Investors, who are that most valuable market - repeat  buyers of property. It gives us a huge advantage over agencies which don't have a large rental roster to manage.
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    Investment Buyers - 'Bird Dogging'
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    If you're unfamiliar with the term, 'bird dogging' means hunting out and signposting what you are looking for...

    ...in this case, if you are an investment buyer, we can bring our Lettings team to your assistance in finding new properties to buy that meet your portfolio requirements, even if we aren't the selling agent.

    Call our Lettings Office for more information, on 01392 272202.
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Meet the team
  • Introduction

    Our local team are here to help...
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    We combine a deep knowledge, built up over many years in the local property industry, with a dynamic and youthful approach from our front line team members. Behind all this, our commitment to customer service drives our business: our role isn't simply to sell your house, but to help you through every step of your move. We are diligent sales professionals.... but also trusted advisers, strong allies, a sympathetic shoulder, and above all, neighbours and friends, to our local clients.
  • Team Member

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    Melinda Fonda
    Melinda is the Managing Director of the company. She's lived in Exeter for two decades. Sydney-born Melinda has over 20 years' experience in property, having learned her trade originally from her parents - property investors with assets in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. She was one of the founders of Underhills in 2005, and took over as Managing Director in 2012.
  • Team Member

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    Felicity Nolan
    Felicity joined the company in 2015, having previously worked in residential care for the elderly. We believe that this says a lot about the values of our company - that the compassionate, calm and measured approach she offers is paramount to us. Felicity has very quickly grasped the detail of the property sales process, and her brilliant organisational skills keep everything on track for our clients and customers, as well as for her fellow team members!
  • Team Member

    Abi Hann
    Abi has just returned to the business after her third maternity. She's a very experienced negotiator, having joined the company back in 2007. Her upbeat and cheery personality are a tonic to clients and colleagues, and her thorough, professional approach is respected by all. She has prior experience in lettings, so well understands the interests of investment buyers, and can speak their language when marketing properties.
  • Team Member

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    Joe Catcheside
    A graduate of Cambridge University, Joe co-founded the company in 2005 after a successful career in the business-to-business conference industry. After a 4-year hiatus in Sports Development, culminating in an organisational role in the Rugby League World Cup, Joe returned to the board at Underhills in 2015. Joe is an investment landlord, with property interests in Exeter, Plymouth, Manchester and London: indeed, founding the company was, in part, a response to the disappointing experiences he had as a customer and client of both corporate and independent agencies.
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    Where we're active

    Our Branch

    Our Branch

    Current Properties

    Recently Sold Properties

    Note: Markers represent the centre of postcodes, not exact locations

    Find us

    109 Cowick Street,
    St. Thomas,
    EX4 1JE

    Telephone us

    Buying: 01392 799122  Local call rate

    Email us

    Contact us


    Don't just take our word for it...
    • Introduction

      Read the independent reviews on allagents.co.uk
      As with any business, the best way to find out what we're really like is to ask our clients and customers. We'd like to invite you, then, to check out the independent reviews we get on the allagents,co.uk website. We have highlighted some of these below... but please, do see for yourselves at the unfiltered and impartial site!

    Testimonials from Sellers

    • Seller Testimonial

      100 % helpful, courteous and friendly
      "We chose Underhills as we prefer to deal with small local firms and are so pleased we did . Underhills Cowick St were 100 % helpful, courteous and friendly . They put up with our numerous visits with smiley faces at all times and sold our house for the price we wanted . Fab !! Worth every penny!"

      (from https://www.allagents.co.uk/review/194596/)
    • Seller Testimonial

      Brilliant agents. Professional. Hard working.
      "Brilliant agents. Professional. Hard working and eager to help in any way that they can to push a sale through smoothly. They worked above my expectation of the service an estate agent offers."

      Martha Chester

    Testimonials from Buyers

    • Buyer Testimonial

      always keeping me up to date, going the extra mile
      A review from the cross-over between our Sales and Lettings team...

      "Nikki has been wonderful, always keeping me up to date and going the extra mile on numerous occasions. She has helped find an attractive investment property for me to purchase, assisted in the purchase process and finally finding a good tenant."

      (from https://www.allagents.co.uk/review/189655/)
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    *Guide Price: An indication of a seller's minimum expectation at auction and given as a “Guide Price” or a range of “Guide Prices”. This is not necessarily the figure a property will sell for and is subject to change prior to the auction.

    Reserve Price: Each auction property will be subject to a “Reserve Price” below which the property cannot be sold at auction. Normally the “Reserve Price” will be set within the range of “Guide Prices” or no more than 10% above a single “Guide Price.”

    Auction Fees: The purchase of this property may include associated fees not listed here, as it is to be sold via auction. To find out more about the fees associated with this property please call Underhill Real Estate Agents, Exeter - Sales on 01392 434172.

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