Has your home been languishing on the market for months? Many clients come to me, exasperated that not only have they not yet received an attractive offer on their property, but that viewing numbers have also dwindled.
The harsh reality is that it is the homes that are well presented and marketed from day one which receive the offers. The longer yours stays on the market, the less chance you have of receiving a suitable offer anytime soon, without resorting to tactics such as price reductions.
On a positive note, you can help to sell your property faster, armed with the appropriate knowledge and co-operation from your estate agent. Simply follow my guidance below and take control of how effectively your home is being marketed.
Arrange for new, professional photos
All too often, photography is carried out by someone from within the estate agency, with limited skills, experience and equipment. Browse through the property portals and you’ll see any number of “point and click” attempts. I cringe when I see blurred photos, and dark and dingy images.
Remember that your future buyer is looking to purchase a lifestyle, not just the bricks and mortar to put a roof over their head. Most buyers aren’t able to imagine living in an empty room for example. Equally, a messy room can easily give a bad impression. It’s a specific lifestyle they’re after, so why not help them to imagine experiencing it in your house?
Your first task is therefore to “dress” the house appropriately. Clear all clutter and personal items away – put it into temporary storage if you have to. This will help buyers to use their imagination and will also give the impression that the house is more spacious.
Once you’re satisfied that the property is clean, tidy and shouts either country or city living, then it’s time to capture that image on camera. Estate agents agree that over 90% of buyers begin their property search online, so photography needs to be exceptional in order to capture their interest and prevent them from moving on. It’s rare that this standard of lifestyle photography can be achieved in-house, so a good estate agent will always call upon a renowned professional photographer to capture the best images of your home.
Rotate those images!
From your selection of professional photographs, there will always be one or two which will act as “the money shot”. These often help to create the “wow factor”, showing your home in its best light, and should therefore always be displayed first. However, in order to keep presenting the property in a fresh light and to help prevent stagnation, the remaining photographs should be shown in rotation. This can help to alter a buyer’s perception.
Consider premium listings and featured properties
Property portals such as rightmove.co.uk and Zoopla offer paid-for added extras, to help a property listing stand out from the crowd. Research has shown that the viewer’s eye is naturally drawn to items which stand out, giving them a better chance of receiving enquiries and viewings.
A premium listing can increase interest in your property by 33% and increase the number of viewings received by around 25%. A premium listing home can normally be identified by a symbol and/or different coloured background. It will include more photographs and information than the other, standard listings.
A featured property listing on the other hand, can increase interest in your property by up to 40%. Taking the form of an advert, featured properties will always appear at the top of a search results page, ensuring that they’re seen before any of the others.
Unfortunately, many estate agents don’t offer either of these listing options. Why? Simply because they are costlier than a standard listing and must inevitably be funded by the estate agent which in turn, has a negative impact on their profit margin.
The rule here is very simple. Any estate agent which refuses to market your home as a premium or featured property listing should be avoided at all costs.
Check the description
Many estate agents have an in-house vocabulary. That is they use the same adjectives and descriptions over and over again in the hope that viewers won’t realise they’ve said precisely the same thing about 20 other properties. How often have you read the words “deceptively spacious”, “popular area” and “conveniently situated”? This is a lazy way of marketing a property, which usually fails to highlight the key benefits of the house.
When it comes to crafting an eye-catching property description, less is almost always more. The first couple of lines should be in block capitals to draw the eye, and should focus on the key benefits of the property and/or its situation. There should also be a strong call to action, prompting the buyer to click to find out more. Do your own online property search and see which listings you’re immediately drawn to. Is your property description as effective as that?
Change the marketing price
Let’s get one thing clear – I’m not talking about reducing the price you want to achieve for your home! You may be surprise to learn that how you present the price can alter the perception of the potential buyer. For example, instead of setting the price at a firm £390,000, why not show you’re open to negotiation by stating “Offers in excess of £380,000”?
Always remember that it is the estate agent’s job to utilise some or all of these tried and tested methods, to achieve the price you want in the shortest time possible. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll now be in a position to recognise how to market your property effectively and ensure that your agent is fully on board with the strategy.
Is your property currently for sale? Would you like advice on how to sell for a premium price? Contact a member of our team 24/7, we’d love to help 01737 246 777