By Perry Power, property sales specialist at Perry Power
Has your home been languishing on the market for months? Many clients come to me exasperated, as 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 well presented homes marketed from day one receive the offers. The longer your property 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 if you’re 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, someone from within the estate agency, with limited skills, experience and equipment does the photography. 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 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 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 per cent of buyers begin their property search online. Therefore, 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 create the ‘wow factor’, showing your home in its best light, and should be displayed first. However, 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 that stand out, giving them a better chance of receiving enquiries and viewings.
A premium listing can increase interest in your property by 33 per cent, and increase the number of viewings received by around 25 per cent. 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 can increase interest in your property by up to 40 per cent. Taking the form of an advert, featured properties will always appear at the top of a search results page, ensuring they’re seen before any of the others.
Unfortunately, many estate agents don’t offer either of these listing options. Why? Simply because they’re costlier than a standard listing and must inevitably be funded by the estate agent, which has a negative impact on their profit margin.
The rule here is very simple. Any estate agent that 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 means they use the same adjectives and descriptions repeatedly, hoping 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 creating an eye-catching property description, less is usually 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 surprised 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’s 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 estate agent is fully on board with the strategy.
Image credit to Perry Power