STEPHEN Grace is back in circulation.

The Wycombe-based estate agent who resigned in July after 20 years with JNP – 10 as managing director – has launched his own company.

He says his new firm – Kingshills – is geared for selling property in the internet age.

Steve and his colleague Katie McColm have opened an office on the Kingsmead Business Park on the west side of town. There aren’t any photographs of houses for sale in the window.

Pictures of houses for sale in agents’ windows are old hat, says the boss.

“Everything will be online,” he states. “Almost everything you want to know about a property for sale will be on the web.”

Kingshills’ HQ is designed for homebuyers to sit at a desk in front of a computer while they flick through a full set of pictures of any property on the books that takes their fancy.

Office hours are nine-to-six but the company is open for business 24/7.

Steve says: “The phones will be answered by a human being round the clock. Even if someone wants to speak to us in the middle of the night after coming off shift, say, the call will be answered by a representative of the firm. It won’t be a recorded message.”

The agent sees the open-all-hours strategy as capitalising on a market driven by the internet.

He’s been selling houses in the Wycombe area for the best part of 26 years.

He began as a junior in 1993 when he was taken on by Halifax Property Services, the parent company of what became today’s JNP agency founded in 1976 by chartered surveyor James Jenkins and estate agent Stuart Newman.

After graduating as a junior from the Halifax agency in Wycombe, it took him just eight years to become a director of JNP. He joined the board in 2001 and became MD in 2009.

Having taken this summer off to decide where to go from here, he’s fired up by the prospect of running an estate agency that functions for present day lifestyles.

Sellers are offered a choice of three marketing packages. Fees range from one per cent of the price of the property for the standard service to one-point-five per cent for for the full works including pictures and brochures.

There’s also a 50:50 option enabling vendors to pay half the fee up front and half on completion. The agent tips this as the cheapest option.

Meanwhile Steve (pictured) has been replaced as MD at JNP by Kane Hennessy.

Prior to his move to Bucks, Mr Hennessy worked in senior management for a large independent agent in the Midlands for almost ten years - “ a very similar set up to JNP with multiple offices and Fine & Country franchises.”

He says he’s looking forward to the new challenge.

“It’s a very exciting time to be taking over JNP,” says the new MD.

“Using my experience from both the high street and the online world we are going to be taking a very fresh approach to selling houses.

“We wish Steve Grace all the best in his new venture.”