We’ve all heard of the Brexit doom and gloom, etching away at the confidence of businesses, migrants, political bodies as well as property owners. But despite the uncertainty, there remains a steadfast recipe for achieving the sale of your home. Read on to learn what it is…
1. The Right Estate Agent
In a buoyant market, practically anybody could sell your house for you. In this type of market, properties regularly attract anywhere between 1 and 10 bids from eager buyers all fighting for the same stock. Queue the cheapest agency in town, or the one most likely to see the sale through to completion… However, in a market whose heat setting has been reduced, the key then becomes about finding an agent ‘with an edge’. What ‘edge’ is this which we speak of? Without going into too much detail (this is a different topic), some things to consider would be:
What’s their marketing like? Photo quality? Video tour quality (if any)? Use of correct English?;
What are their working hours? Closing at 4pm on a Saturday and reopening on a Monday is a surefire way to LOSING today’s buyer, who is more demanding than ever!;
Who will you be dealing with? It’s all well and good meeting the director of the firm during the valuation, but is he or she going to be the SAME person who conducts viewings? Saturday staff can lose you a sale unless they’re fully versed on your property;
Their reviews. What are people saying about this agent?
2. Setting the Price Right
It sounds like old flack, but this really is important. Some estate agents will over-inflate your property’s worth in order to win your business, while a good agent will give it to you straight. In a tough market, you need to:
Carry out even more analysis on market comparables;
Price your house ‘to sell’. This means setting a price that affords less negotiation;
KNOW your house better than you do already. What unique selling points does it really have?;
Be consistently tracking market trends during the time that you yourself are on the market. If a house down the road just like yours has sold for £50,000 less than yours, you need to know about it. Don't want to drop your price accordingly? Then sit down with your agent and determine how you will justify your higher selling price... and communicate this justification to a tee.
3. Allowing the maximum number of viewings
Some agents believe that it is important to qualify buyers to the extreme. Whilst this shows good due diligence and has a place in an upward market, in trickier times you can’t afford to be too picky. Often, it is those buyers who you least expect to buy who end up making and closing an offer… That same buyer may originally have contacted the agent having not even thought about securing a mortgage! You have been warned.
4. Staging your House Right
Stage your house according to the type of buyer you’re welcoming in. If they’re a first time buyer, and therefore likely to be younger, drop the formalities and consider playing some modern music in the background. Have the TV on, perhaps. If the buyer is part of a growing family, be sure to mention local schools, what your kids have loved about living at the property, and possible options for an extension. KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET.
5. Following up and Feedback
You’ll often hear estate agents say, ‘We ALWAYS provide feedback’. This is all well and good, but is that feedback a true representation of the buyer’s thoughts and feelings? Often, when an estate agent calls a buyer for feedback, they’ll be catching them during a working day, which means little time to talk and almost zero chance of gauging how the buyer really feels. Call them again tomorrow, or whenever it best suits them. Then follow up AGAIN. Buyers are busy people and have a lot of options at their disposal. The onus is on the agent to ensure that they feedback they receive really is ‘the final word’.
6. Adopting PATIENCE
This point is perhaps the most important of them all. When choosing to sell, you must go into it with a POSITIVE but PATIENT frame of mind. The chances are, your house isn’t going to jump off the shelf the moment the agent sets it live, nor will you be flooded with buyers from the word go. It’s called a ‘Buyer’s Market’ for a reason – give it time, and if your marketing and pitch are on point, you’ll eventually get there.
Good luck selling! :)