Whether you are on the market, thinking about selling, or just a nosey parker, these tips will see you achieve your goal of selling your home, when implemented correctly.
1. The Front Shot
Perhaps the most crucial part of marketing your property for sale, will be the first and therefore the main image that is displayed on the internet. A nice external picture on a bright day with lots of colours will be sure to grab a buyer’s attention.
Things to consider;
- Time of day – ideally you want the sun behind you and shining onto the front of the property. Or does you property have uplighters and looks good at night? This would look very appealing and stand out from the crowd on the internet.
- Obstructions – cars, vans, bikes, toys, wheelie bins, pot plants and so on.
- Windows – should all be closed with the curtains/blinds all open.
2. Pricing Strategy
Isn’t that just a fancy word for price? Not at all. Your agent should discuss with you the price at which they market a property in order to elicit a specific response and what they expect that response to be? This will depend on your own requirements. Whether your sale is time-sensitive or you are looking to obtain the best price or a compromise of the two and so on.
Ever seen a property advertised at £999,995 or £999,999? ‘Psychological pricing’ for property in 2015 is dying out. Nice, round figures with consideration as to where your property fits within the price brackets of the major portals that your estate agent is advertising on (either Rightmove + Zoopla or Rightmove + OnTheMarket are the two preferred choices). For example, at 899,995, your property will be displayed if a purchaser was to select a search between £800,000 - £900,000. It is important to note that properties priced on the nose at £900,000 would feature above that of £899,995 as the default setting on Rightmove is ‘Highest Price’ first. However, if that same purchaser was to search in the next available banding between £900,000 and £950,000 (on Zoopla) or £1,000,000 (on Rightmove), for the sake of £5 on the asking price, your property will not be displayed in the new search but at £900,000, it would appear in both searches. Therefore, maximising the number of people who would potentially view your property online and subsequently arrange a viewing.
Especially now that the stamp duty thresholds have changed, pricing around certain figures is less of an issue. Historically, for example, a property at £1m would incur 4% Stamp Duty equalling £20,000 and 5% over £1m (£25,000+). This has now changed, resulting in less of a barrier for a property to exceed certain figures that were considered the upper limit due to the various thresholds.
Not enough photos, i.e. none, 1 or 2, just looks suspicious (to me at least). Too many photos can be worse than not enough. Your target audience will get bored and click on another property that looks more appealing.
The purpose of those 10-12 photos (the optimum number) is not to showcase every single nook and cranny of your property (even if it is fully deserving of it). It is to entice buyers to want to take a look inside your property and make a decision on that basis. Consider for a minute, adverts for feature films, they show some the best bits of a film to get punters to buy tickets at the box office. The aim is to motivate a purchaser to pick up the phone and schedule an internal viewing.
Any extra photos, can be rotated with current photos every fortnight or so to keep the listing fresh and purchasers engaged when they’re scrolling down the pages of the portals.
Personally, I find beautiful, bright, colourful external photograph more visually appealing than that of a very nice but neutrally decorated white internal shot of the lounge or kitchen, however wonderful they are in real life. This will of course vary depending on the sort type of property you are selling. Do a search online now and compare your property to that of similar properties for sale. How does it compare?
4. Floor plans
I am stickler for a simple, yet accurate floor plan. It helps a buyer gauge room sizes, how many of them there are and their proportions without the need to fully review the room measurements and property description.
5. Olfactory offense
If a buyer has scheduled a viewing, no doubt because of the beautiful external picture of the property, chances are they like the location, size, layout and age of the property.
Despite everything else that influences a buyer’s decision upon walking through the front door, smell can be a major factor.
It could be pets, cooking smells, damp (has that musky odour to it, very distinctive and a tell-tale sign) or any given number of factors. Giving your property a good airing (opening all the windows) will help clear any lingering odours and allows the air circulate, preventing the occurrence of damp (and it’s unsightly black mould).
Solutions are abundant and commonly found popular options tend to be; light a scented candle, spray air-freshener or get a plug-in adapter for a wall socket, make a coffee or bake bread.
TIP: Got black mould? Use 1:3 ratio of bleach : warm water, wipe gently with a clean, damp cloth. This will kill the bacteria that is growing and prevent any further growth.
Try it out on your next viewing and wait for the compliments to roll in.
6. De-clutter / Smarten up
Sometimes clutter such as piles of old magazines and books that haven’t been moved since the mid-1990s can often be the cause of smells not to mention an inefficient use of space. It can also make certain areas difficult to access properly and therefore clean effectively, thus causing an odour.
Whilst the viewer will appreciate that this is your home and you live there, enabling them to picture themselves living there with their furniture and belongings is a hugely understated factor when selling a property.
Ever wondered why some people hire ‘home stagers’ to fill their property with trendy furniture? This is because a neutral, well furnished property will attract more attention than the same property that is completely empty.
Help fuel your buyer’s imagination and remove some items from view on your next viewing.
7. For Sale board
An essential weapon in any estate agents arsenal.
A for sale board can prove extremely useful when prospective purchasers are viewing other, similar properties nearby or just happen to be passing by.
It can also aid those that have specifically set out to look for your property with the idea that if they like the look of the outside, they’ll book a viewing. A board can help a buyer locate a property when otherwise it might be more challenging such as in the evening when it is dark or if your property is obscured from view somehow.
8. Review property description
In my opinion, many people prefer a short, concise description of what the property is and where it is when scrolling down the page on the portals. Bullet points are something that can help grab the viewers attention to something that is relevant to them and their requirements i.e. ‘spacious kitchen diner’, ‘fully refurbished throughout’ or ‘off-street parking’. Telling them what they need to know in the shortest way possible.
You can always add further information you feel is relevant in the main description.
9. Call Lyttons Estate Agents on 020 8432 2800 and ask how we can help you, as well as provide more in-depth advice about selling your property.