10 February, 2020
This is a commonly asked question when we talk to vendors who are considering putting their home on the market or have signed up with us to market their property.
There is an element of ‘how long is a piece of string?’ about it, but there are some things you can do to avoid a long drawn out process.
As you know the market has been a bit slow over the last couple of years but with the expected ‘Boris bounce’ we’re hoping those who have put off moving due to Brexit uncertainty, will feel confident enough now to move forward with their plans.
Even with lots of people on the move this Spring, there are some tactics worth employing to speed things along as much as possible.
Choose your agent wisely
The agent offering the cheapest fees isn’t necessarily the best option. Local experience counts for a lot when you just want to get the deal done!
Do some research into how an agency does their marketing. Look at their listings online before you visit and decide if you’re happy with the quality of the images. You want the photographs to present your home in the most flattering light, so check if your agent uses the services of a professional marketing agency. Do you really want to go for an agency who just send out their staff with a camera, rather than invest in a qualified photographer?
We can understand the temptation to save costs by using an online agent but bear in mind that once you have paid your upfront fee, there is little motivation for them to get a sale agreed quickly or negotiate hard on your behalf to achieve the best price possible.
Additionally, without an experienced team trying to push through the sale, there is more of a risk that the transaction won’t progress as it should.
Set a realistic price
One of the biggest factors affecting how quickly you’re going to get under offer, is the asking price that you set for your property.
Plenty of studies have shown that by setting the asking price too high from the outset, you not only drag out the process, but ultimately end up having to accept a lower offer than you would have done if it was realistic to begin with. In 2019, Zoopla found that overpriced properties took more than two months longer to sell.
By overpricing, you won’t attract your ideal target, but draw in those looking at a higher bracket who might then find it doesn’t cut the mustard in comparison with other properties listed at that price.
While it may be tempting to test the water with a high price, reasoning that you can always discount it later if your home does not sell, this approach is likely to trigger suspicion among potential buyers.
People tend to be wary of properties that have been on the market for too long, assuming there must be something a wrong with them. You will have missed the marketing sweet spot; the property looks stale and you may end up having to accept a lower offer.
At Michael Hardy, we have 36 years in the business and a team of experienced estate agents with a combined 100 years in the industry who know the area inside and out. We always endeavour to price at a point that won’t cause your home to linger on the market but will achieve a property’s full potential value.
Prepare your property for sale
Presenting your home in an attractive way will undoubtedly affect how quickly you can get under offer.
First impressions really do count, so make sure that your home is suitably prepared for the marketing shots and that you’ve cleaned and decluttered ready for the first viewings.
If you have quite ‘adventurous’ décor or a bold colour scheme, you might even want to consider a lick of neutral paint to help prospective buyers imagine that blank canvas upon which they can put their own stamp.
Does your home have kerb appeal? You can help make your property inviting by cleaning up the front garden/porch areas, investing in a couple of trendy pot plants or even a new front door if you have the budget and feel it could do with an upgrade.
You should aim to create as much of a wow factor as possible in your main living spaces: chiefly the living room and kitchen. Your viewers will be thinking about the lifestyle they will be buying into if they move into your property. If you have an open fire or wood burning stove, make sure they are lit for the photographs.
Rooms and surfaces should be clutter-free, with children’s toys or gym equipment tidied away as it will make the property feel smaller. If you have any outsized furniture, investigate whether it could be put into storage or swapped for smaller items.
When showcasing your kitchen, you want to demonstrate that it's a tidy and organised space, but also a functioning room. Clear surfaces of too many gadgets, to ensure there are plenty of preparation areas on show and make sure shelves are tidy.
And don’t forget the back garden. Patios and decking build up grime over the winter months and look so much better after a quick once over with a pressure washer. Any garden furniture on show should also be cleaned up or wiped down. It might be too early in the year to get stuck into any gardening, but you could cut back any overgrown bushes or foliage.
Our blog looking at tips for a quick sale will give you more hints about how to make your property as appealing as possible.
At Michael Hardy, we’re proud to have served our local area since 1984. Our highly experienced team will do their utmost to achieve the best price for you in the shortest possible time and keep the sale on track.