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Why I choose to pay my mechanic MORE

man being paid more and happy

I'm about to share something with you that I never share outside of my closest circles – I'm one of these weird people who pays his mechanic MORE than the price he quotes.

Why would I do that I hear you ask?

Well, perhaps if I share some background with you, this strange stance of mine will make more sense.

You see, I grew up with a father who spent most of his life in the car game. He was always very hands-on and taught me a lot about cars and the mechanics of how they work. So much so, I was taking engines and gearboxes out of Land Rovers before the age of 10!

I also had the privilege of learning the language of the car game from a very young age – how to talk to mechanics, the questions to ask that demonstrate you know what you're talking about (so you don't get taken advantage of), and the right way to build relationships with them so the garage would always take care of your car and make it a priority over others.

And this leads me nicely onto why I choose to pay MORE. Whenever I watched my father do business with people in the car game, as a regular customer, they always seemed to offer him really good prices. He would count out the cash to pay the bill, then always put an extra £10 or £20 (sometimes more) on the table and say something like "there's a drink for you."

It was those words that stuck with me as a small boy fascinated at the automotive world and its behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing. It was never offered as an any kind of "bribe," but more genuine appreciation that this person had helped him out and he was sincere in his desire to buy them a drink.

Did he have to do it? No. Would his suppliers have treated him any differently had he not done it? Probably not. But when the time came to call in a favour or get some help and support in an emergency, were his suppliers there for him? You betcha!

So I've personally adopted this strategy in my life and found it to be really helpful, particularly when getting my own car serviced. Case in point was this last week - I did the dumbest thing in the world which was reversing my partners car into the house! Yes, it was a complete accident and I felt terrible about it for days, but I also knew my man Sammy could help me sort out the problem.

Taking the car to BMW would have probably set me back £1,500 for what seems like a minor scrape to the back bumper, but it also knocked the parking sensors out which was a big problem. So, the following morning, we pulled up at Sammy's garage and I confessed my faux pas!

After he'd finished laughing, he asked me to leave the car with him for the day – he was fully booked but was keen to help out if he could. And bless him, he sorted the parking sensor problem out and told me it was £80 for the work. I paid him £100 without question and thanked him sincerely for his help.

Yes, I have to go back next month to have the repair done on the bumper, but I know it won't be anywhere near as expensive as the main dealer. But back to the question as to why pay more and how does this help you when it comes to buying or selling a home?

Well Sammy explained to me that he used to work for a big-name franchise garage several years ago, and oftentimes customers would drop their cars off for a service, then come back and pick them up at the end of the day. Nothing strange about that you may think, until you realise more than a handful of these cars had nothing done to them, yet the client was still charged as though a service had been done! He disliked the ethics of the business, so left to set up on his own.

And the reason why I pay more? Because I've had my fair share of dealing with cowboy garages who will try and take advantage or do less than a good job of looking after my car. I want to know that I'm being looked after, and in return I also want the people who are looking after me to know that I genuinely appreciate what they're doing to help me.

Because who else pays a garage more for the work they do? Only those in the know. And only those who know a bit about the car game. And if I need something doing in an emergency, I'd like to think they'll be happy to help when the time comes – and I'll be happy to reward them accordingly.

So how does this help you to move home?

Well the biggest challenge today is getting to exchange of contracts inside of 5 months. And remember that until you've reached the point of actually exchanging contracts, you're completely at risk of anyone in the process changing their mind and pulling out – but you're still going to have to pay out for the work done, even though you haven't moved home!

And the reason why it's so difficult is because a lot of solicitors are doing cut-price volume conveyancing work which means each conveyancer will have a huge number of files to deal with – all of which have their own demands and challenges, and you're just one of a number of other files with little to distinguish you from anyone else. Unfortunately, this is why clients often end up in the position of having to be the "noisiest wheel" in order to get the "grease" - which is the solicitor responding to their calls or emails with an update on progress.

Hopefully if you've been following what I've been suggesting in this article so far, you'll realise where this is going. Why not pay your solicitor a premium to get ahead of the game? Because in doing so, you're asking them to make you a priority over others, but more importantly, they're earning a fee which allows them to dedicate more time and effort to one pay-master, rather than trying to make a profit from four or five other clients.

And let's be honest, I'm not suggesting paying disproportionately more; just remember you're parting with your life savings and spending several tens, if not hundreds, of thousands on a property – so paying an extra £500-£1,000 is neither here nor there.

But I guarantee if you get were to get caught up in the never-ending delays caused by using a cut-price conveyancer, and were suffering the stomach-ulcer inducing stress that results, you'd gladly pay several thousand pounds more just to be free of the anxiety.

The pessimistic personalities then rear their heads and tell me that there's no point because there's still other solicitors in the chain, or acting for the other party, who are still going to move slowly.

And I say why not offer to pay their legal fees too – either in full or make a contribution? Because again, who does that?

And why would you want to?

Again, until you've exchanged contracts, you're at risk of losing a few thousand pounds or more, and experience shows, the longer the deal goes on for, the more chance you have of it falling apart. So, putting two gung-ho solicitors on the job who want to be rewarded financially for their high-performance seems like the smart thing to do. Besides, you can always make the payment of the fees contingent on meeting your timescales – which seems like another smart thing to do if you're in a hurry to move quickly.

Of course, you don't have to do any of this, but trust me when I say there's many property investors up and down the country who do this on a regular basis to get deals across the line asap. And personally, when I buy my next home, I'll be doing exactly this because it just makes too much sense not to.

If you want help fast-tracking your property sale or purchase through faster than you ever thought possible, we can put you in touch with pro-active solicitors who will get you exchange ready within 6 weeks – about two-thirds faster than anyone else.

Of course you don't have to – you have the choice to go with whoever you want and pay whatever you want – I just think you when you're investing your everything in your next home, you need to stack all the odds in your favour. Whatever you choose, I wish you all the best of luck in your home moving adventure. 

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Saturday, 24 February 2024