‘Why has my Sidcup property not sold after so many months?’ I am often asked this question by sellers who are dismayed that they have not yet received an attractive offer on their property, and viewing numbers have also dwindled.
In reality, properties that are well presented and marketed immediately usually receive offers. The longer a property is on the market, the less chance of it receiving a suitable offer – without resorting to a price reduction or other unwanted tactics.
However, if you are experiencing a lack of offers or viewings, there are ways you can help to sell your property faster, and with the benefit of appropriate knowledge and the co-operation of your Estate Agent, the guidance below will help you to take control of how to market your property.
Your Photos – Are They Good Enough?
Often the marketing photos of a property are taken by someone with limited skills, experience and equipment. If you look through the property portals there are plenty of poor photographs – blurred or dark and amateurish.
A buyer is looking at your property through the eyes of someone who is hoping to purchase a certain lifestyle and not just a roof over their head. It is not easy to imagine living in an empty room and also an untidy room will not create the impression they are looking for. You need to help them imagine the lifestyle they are looking for in your own property.
The property needs to be ‘dressed’ to create the right impressions. 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.
When the property has been cleaned and tidied, then the photographs can be taken. The majority 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. This is where the professional photograph is essential.
Rotate Your Pictures
Within the selection of photographs, there should be a few which will draw immediate attention and help to create the “wow factor” by showing your home in its best light. These photos should always be displayed first. 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 impression of your property.
It is not unusual for Estate Agents to use the same wording in their descriptions, in the hope that buyers will not notice they have said the same thing about a lot of other properties. General terms such as ‘viewing highly recommended’, ‘convenient location’, ‘popular area’ etc. etc. are regularly used. This type of marketing a property fails to highlight the real benefits of the property and its location.
When drafting an eye-catching property description, ‘less is more’. The first couple of lines should be in 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 prompt for the buyer to click to find out more. Do your own online property search and see which listings you are immediately drawn to and ask if your own property description is as effective.
Premium Listings & Featured Properties
You can add paid-for extras when displaying your property on property portals such as rightmove.co.uk and Zoopla. This helps a property listing stand out and 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 can normally be identified by a symbol and/or different coloured background. It will include more photographs and information than the other, standard listings.
Not all Estate Agents offer these listing extras as they are more expensive than a standard listing but they can always be discussed as ‘optional extras’.
Change The Asking Price
I do not mean reducing the price you want to achieve for your home. The way the price is presented can alter the perception of the potential buyer. For example, instead of setting the price at a firm £590,000, why not show you’re open to negotiation by stating “Offers in excess of £580,000”? It is the estate agent’s job to use these marketing tools to achieve the price you want in the shortest time possible. .
Armed with the above knowledge, you should now be in a position to recognise how to market your property effectively, ensure that your agent is fully on board with the strategy, and finally achieve the offer you are waiting for.