I view on average 500 properties per year, and have purchased homes for more than 300 clients. During the past 13 years I have seen some sellers get it right, and others pitch their homes horribly wrong.
Sellers are feeling re-energised post-election, and with greater certainty around Brexit, we’ve seen a flurry of properties come to market this year with buyers hoping to enjoy the effects of the so-called ‘Boris bounce’. If you want to sell your home, perfecting your sales approach in this market is crucial to achieve the highest possible price and ensure your property stands out from the crowd.
Presentation is key
First impressions count – and most first impressions happen online. You need to make your property as presentable as possible. You absolutely need a floor plan, and the photography needs to be spot on. Always include a picture of the kitchen and at least one of the bathrooms, or buyers may become suspicious and decide not to view.
However, one mistake sellers often make is providing too many photos. You don’t need to show everything, as some rooms will naturally present better than others. Focus on the best rooms, and retain some intrigue to encourage buyers to book a viewing.
Too much or too little can be the difference between a buyer booking a viewing or not. If the photos are not good enough, insist to your estate agent that the photographer returns and takes better ones.
Price it right
Property is a unique asset class because it is highly personal and emotional. Buyers are wary, so they need to believe that you are a genuine and committed seller. Your asking price will be a big indicator of that, so price it realistically.
If you price too high, buyers won’t want to do business with you and you risk your property stagnating, which is hard to come back from.
We always advise advertising your property with two selling agents. If you choose your two agents well, it creates healthy competition. They should also work together to maximise your exposure, and play buyers off against each other to achieve the highest possible price for you.
Do not list with more than two agents, though, as it looks desperate and buyers will often conclude that there might be something wrong with your property, even if there isn’t.
Perfect your story
Getting the right price is not always enough. There has to be a narrative around the sale, and around you as the owner, to build a compelling story.
Property is personal, and buyers are human, so they are more likely to do business with people they like. Work with your agent and help them build the narrative.
For example, we are acting on behalf of a buying client and are circling a house asking £9.95m. The sellers are expecting a baby and need to upsize, so our clients know they are genuinely motivated.
We have also informed our buyer that the current owners paid and invested a combined £11.75m on the house in 2015. The narrative and price discount combined immediately made our buyer realise they have a great opportunity.
Ultimately, the property will do most of the talking. But appealing the mindset of the buyer is crucial if you want to get ahead of the neighbours.
Jo Eccles is a buying agent and founder of SP Property.
City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.