On 13 July 2007, there was an article in The Times, written by my old co-presenter Lucy Alexander, called “How to sell your home in a hurry”. She consulted with three property experts to discover, that magic strategy, sellers need to sell their houses quickly – Phil Spencer, presenter of Location, Location, Location; Ed Mead, estate agent, and Sarah Beeny, presenter of Property Ladder. Here’s an excerpt of their advice, and my responses:
Phil Spencer: “Ask your agents why they haven’t sold it and how you can help them do their job.”
I like Phil, he doesn’t mess about with his advice. There is a problem with this particular piece of advice though – the agent doesn’t know what else to do! Many times at HomeTruths, we have come up with a whole raft of ideas to help increase interest in a house, when the agent had completely run out of inspiration and indeed, motivation. In my experience, they only have one suggestion when a house won’t sell – dropping the price.
Which brings me neatly to Ed’s advice…
Ed Mead: “Drop the price to appeal to a whole new level of buyers – there’s no point tinkering at the margins.”
Let me ask you this: if your house is for sale at £600,000, and you aren’t getting interest, how would it help to drop the price to £550,000? Is Ed saying that the buyers at £550,000 are completely different from the buyers at £600,000? Time and time again, clients come to us already having dropped their asking price, sometimes several times, but to no avail: no new buyers magically appeared at the lower price. It’s rarely the asking price that is stopping the house from selling.
Sarah Beeny: “If it isn’t selling it’s too expensive. Drop the price, take the house off the market for two weeks before launching it with a new agent at a price at least 10 per cent lower.”
Sarah’s great at shooting from the hip, but on this subject, I think she’s way off target. Consider this: if a new model of Mercedes isn’t selling as well as Mercedes hope, do they drop the price? Or do they instead re-train and incentivise their staff and roll out a ramped-up marketing campaign? They know that discounting is a mug’s game. They prefer to leave any discounting to the salesperson sitting in front of a hot buyer – just as you should save any room for negotiation for a buyer ready to offer on your house.
For real expert advice that gets your house sold whilst protecting your asking price, it’s time for some HomeTruths.
If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.