1. LEARN FROM PREVIOUS SELLERS’ SUCCESSES AND MISTAKES
In an industry full of sales-people, it can be hard to find unbiased information. However, HM Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published ‘Report on Buying and Selling Homes’ after conducting research on 2,000 buyers and sellers.
These were some of the key findings:
- Most sellers (83%) sold through a traditional estate agent rather than selling privately (10%), through an online agent (5%) or by auction (1%).
- ….a notable proportion (24%) of sellers still felt that if they had their time again they would use a different estate agent. Rather than the quality of service this seemed most related to the one-third of sellers who considered estate agents offered poor or very poor value for money.
- Older sellers and those involved in the complexities of an onward chain were more likely to use a traditional agent.
- Experienced sellers were more likely to negotiate the terms of their contracts (typically fees or length of contract) (42%) than first-time sellers (30%).
- Taking the whole experience into account, over half of the buyers (51%) and nearly four in ten sellers (39%) said that if they were buying or selling this home again they would negotiate harder on the sale price. Nearly one in four buyers (24%) would have quotes for any work that needing doing before making an offer.
- In the minority of cases where a current surveyor’s valuation and/or survey of the property was available (14%), buyers were very likely to find this information helpful (83% and 89% respectively).
- Many buyers were also seeking more information about the home and its condition upfront.
- As well as property descriptions and measurements, nearly all buyers found further information such as the level of interest in the property; the seller’s position or answers to their specific questions when given helpful when provided.
- Sellers worried that the buyer would change their mind and withdraw their offer (46%).
- Experienced sellers were better at establishing information about the prospective buyer from the agent at the time of offer, such as their financial circumstances or whether the buyer was in a position to move.
The full report can be downloaded here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/653581/buying-selling_homes-research.pdf
2. STAGING & PHOTOGRAPHY
“Great photographs are increasingly becoming essential in marketing a house.” Rightmove
With most people searching for property online, photographs play a significant role in attracting would-be buyers. Before the photographer comes round, make sure the rooms are brightly lit and clutter-free – remove bins, open curtains, and make beds at the very least – as small touches make a big difference.
3. FLOORPLANS ARE VERY IMPORTANT
Research carried out by Rightmove showed that other than the number of photographs that the property has, a floorplan is the most important when looking for property. It is the photographer’s job to make the property look desirable and take the best images possible to appeal to potential buyers. The floorplan supports these images by providing a definitive picture of the property layout.
4. VIDEOS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Fewer applicants are registering with Estate Agents, and there’s been a massive decline in buyers visiting offices. Social Media marketing, including LinkedIn (used by many professionals), is a great way to pro-actively seek out and engage with buyers.
TIP – BEST OF BOTH WORLD
Use Portals for hosting the marketing material. Use Social Media to promote your property.
5. GET THE PRICE RIGHT
If a potential buyer sees your property, but it's substantially above their budget, they're unlikely to view it. Many people also set a maximum price when searching property portals, so if your house is on for just over a threshold (e.g., £310,000), buyers with an upper limit of £300,000 may not see it in their search results.
If you decide the asking price is too high, there's no shame in reducing it.
TIP - PRICE POINTING & BEING TOP RANKED IN A SEARCH
Your asking price is only to generate interest. A property I was asked to market on Thornby Avenue, Kenilworth was previously advertised at £360,000 with another agent. In two months, it had no viewings. However, due to the way searches of the various property portals operate, I set the price at Offers Over £350,000. Thornby Avenue, therefore, showed in both searches; from £325,000 to £350,000 as well as from £350,000 to £375,000. I booked six viewings in the first few days of marketing.
6. GET THE MARKETING RIGHT, FROM THE OUTSET
More Buyers are registering directly with Portals, than with Estate Agents. This may be a convenience in some regards, as buyers get notified of all properties coming onto the market. However, this puts agents at a massive disadvantage and the buyer only gets notified when your property first shows on the portal. So if you’re impatient and your agent adds any additional marketing material after ‘Going Live’ (e.g., updated pictures, floorplans) buyers may not be aware.
7. VIEWINGS - FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
It’s generally agreed that Buyers get a gut-feeling within the first 15 seconds of entering the property, as to whether they’re interested or not.
Ask yourself how far a viewer would get in the first 15 seconds of entering your home. Could the front door do with a fresh lick of paint? Is the garden tidy? Is the Entrance light and airy?
Walking around the property as if you're on a viewing might help, as could asking your estate agent, friends, and family for their honest opinions. And never underestimate the importance of smell, particularly if you're a smoker or a pet owner.
8. ANALYSE THE FEEDBACK
One of the common feedback is along the lines of “The [name of the room] is too small,” or “I wanted to be closer to [name of location],” etc. Sellers find this so frustrating, as there’s nothing you can do about it. Or is there? If you’re getting feedback like this, too, then you need to better understand what is driving market conditions and know which other properties your home is being compared against. If your property doesn’t offer alternative benefits to other similarly priced homes, then you need to re-assess, maybe from a fresh perspective
TIP: Your agent should always ask the viewers’ opinion of price, even if they’re not interested in offering. Or maybe they would? Maybe giving negative feedback is an attempt to make a lower offer?
9. AGREE ON PLAN B?
Many properties attract multiple types of buyers, but the content used to generate interest is generic. Are you targeting a specific kind of buyer, e.g., an extended family, in which case you may need to emphasise particular features? Or do you need to focus on a different type of buyer? Maybe an Investor?