AN estate agency is closing its Taunton offices at the end of this month.

Wilsons estate agents will go online from December 1 with a new man at the helm.

Owner Chris Willey is stepping back from mainstream property sales to re-introduce his independent appraisal service.

And Dan Batchelor, who has worked for Wilsons in its premises in the Wyvern Centre for a period, is stepping up to run the business.

Veteran estate agent Mr Willey ran a service providing open market valuations and appraisals into the Noughties.

It was designed to appeal to potential sellers requiring a pre-sale appraisal with price advice, without a full blown sales pitch, together with recommendations of the type of agent best suited to marketing their particular property type.

“This service went down really well”, said Mr Willey (below).

Somerset County Gazette:

“For it to have lasted ten years and satisfied the needs of quite literally hundreds of would-be sellers wanting to dip a toe into the water, rather than take the plunge and dive straight into the hands of a high street agent, showed just how well received it was.

"I was however tempted to take another venture into mainstream estate agency and have just stepped back after another 15 years in the front line.

“I may have stepped back, but I’m not stepping out.

"My favourite part of the job is knocking on doors, meeting people and putting my hard earned experience to good use by pointing them in the right direction and getting them on the move.

"With the housing market in disarray, confusion over what is happening to prices and difficulties being faced by many sellers in these tough economic times, I believe that experienced, honest advice is needed more than ever and that is exactly what I pledge to provide."

Mr Willey's advice is entirely free of charge as he earns fees from estate agents to whom he introduces business with a client's consent and a sale completes.

He is available to potential home sellers within a 10-mile radius of Taunton - he can be contacted on 01823 412661 or 07802 695550.

Mr Batchelor, who has over 25 years' estate agency experience, said that from the end of next week, Wilsons estate agents would "go to see clients rather than coming to see us".

"That was we can offer a more personal service and it will be better for value," he added.

"It's going to benefit our clients, particularly our sellers, because we'll no longer have the overheads of the office and it will simplify things."

Wilsons will offer professional photography in 2d and 3d to clients putting their homes on the market, all viewings will be accompanied and there will be a 'no sale no fee' policy.

"I'm really looking forward to this fresh approach and can't wait to get started," said Mr Batchelor. "I've got lots of ideas moving forward."