Having sold a variety of properties in differing market conditions and for a range of clients with very individual needs and circumstances, we have shortlisted a handful of tips, which although subtle, are often crucial for success. They go beyond the obvious tips, like cleanliness, pet issues and unwelcoming smells’, and are as follows:
Selling your home can be a stressful experience. A property is often the vendor’s largest asset and their proud home. Unwinding this home set-up to re-establish elsewhere can naturally be an emotional and often intrusive upheaval. When emotions are high nerves can certainly be jangled; particularly if somebody is critical of your most prized possession! The key is simply to detach your emotions from the situation. Upon point of sale your property ceases to be your home; instead becoming a product in which somebody else will establish their home. Because everyone’s tastes and requirements differ, their feedback following a viewing will also vary. Remember, there will always be more people who view than people who buy!
It is crucially important that when a buyer presents themselves, you remain available to accommodate and enable the viewing. Ensure your phones are kept on, are close by and your answer phone messages are checked regularly – after all, it may be a while before a similar opportunity to sell appears. A missed phone call or a knocked-back viewing can often be a lost sale.
One of the most fatal mistakes when selling is to prejudge a buyer. It is a costly pitfall that even the most experienced sales people can make. Keep an open mind and an open door policy to buyers – including those who don’t have their house on the market! Over the years we have seen many deals result from this type of viewing.
We are often reassured by kind advice and well-meaning support. However, advice relating to the sale of your largest asset shouldn’t be taken lightly. Many decisions are mistakenly made by vendors, because they accept poor yet trusted advice from their family and friends. Clearly these people have good intentions, but our advice here is simple – take advice from those with the experience and credentials to offer it. If you don’t trust your agent’s advice, they quite possibly aren’t the right agent for you.
There is nothing worse for an agent than working hard to establish a sale, only to discover a last minute restrictive hurdle that kills the sale. Provide your agent with the fullest details on any restrictions, covenants, listings, structural issues, boundary disputes and the like, so that they can avoid a last minute hiccup. This will also save you the unnecessary legal expenses resulting from an aborted sale.
As with estate agents, solicitors are not all the same. It is important you choose a reliable, accessible and communicative legal representative. In the UK, around 1 in 3 sales fall during the conveyance stage, so a strong solicitor can be instrumental in holding a deal together. During the conveyance, estate agents should maintain a clear dialogue with all parties to keep everyone informed, avoid pitfalls and to iron out any snags. With buyers and sellers often in a heightened state of stress, a non-responsive or unavailable solicitor could blow the deal. Remember, your solicitor will get paid whether the sale completes or not!
This is a critical error. Your agent is a ‘middle-man’ to mediate and negotiate on your behalf. Having an agent allows the seller time to think before making decisions and can avoid you being placed in an awkward, pressured or emotionally challenging situation. We have seen countless sales fall as a result of buyers and sellers communicating between themselves. Selling your home is a serious business
transaction in which you are selling your largest asset. By diluting the professional and experienced involvement of an agent, you are simply jeopardising your sale.
Estate agents spend most of their working day absorbing knock-backs and negative feedback from buyers, whilst in pursuit of your sale. A motivated, enthusiastic and energetic agent is more likely to succeed for you than a negative, despondent and deflated one. We are aware that most people don’t like estate agents and that the industry has a poor reputation, but sellers can help themselves by avoiding unleashing their stress and frustrations on the person who they have appointed to help. Remember, you get a much more positive response from stroking a dog, than by slapping it!
Whilst confidence within the property market is growing and the economic climate is improving, house prices remain fairly stable. The market also remains very unforgiving for those who maintain unrealistic expectations towards price. The websites portals provide absolute transparency for buyers, and they can quickly identify how long a property has been for sale and how it compares to similar alternatives. If your sale is not receiving the desired interest, it can only be due to the following:
Reviewing the sale to keep in on track is essential – even if this means realigning the price. Ignoring market response can be detrimental to the long term saleability and ultimately the amount you actually sell for.
Any property will sell in any market, if it is exposed to the fullest buying audience, accurately portrayed and sensibly priced. In today’s competitive market there are a large number of available houses for buyers to choose from. It is therefore important that sellers establish regular periodic reviews, if the sale has to be achieved within a desired timeframe. This will help you assess the response to any marketing that has been implemented and to consider what improvements should be made. Often price is the leading issue, but if you are not prepared to drop your price in order to realign your home more competitively, then be patient; after all, you may get your chance once the competition has sold their homes.