Tag Archives: for sale board

I hear many reasons against having a for sale board: it’s a security risk; we don’t want our neighbours to know; we don’t want people to knock on the door, wanting to view; it’s embarrassing to have a board up for months on end.  These are all valid reasons, but none outweighs the merits of having a for sale board outside your home, when you’re trying to sell it.  Some reports indicate that up to 50% of enquiries originate from a for sale board, and in a difficult market, that’s a statistic you just can’t afford to ignore.  Even if your house is down a no through road, or considerably off the beaten track, you should not take the risk of missing out on even the smallest number of potential buyers that might see it.

Whilst your home is on the market, it’s vital to keep it looking good.  If the wind blows it slightly askew, make sure you straighten it without delay, or ask your agent to arrange this.  If the board that is erected for you is considerably past its best, and looking tatty, then don’t accept it: ask for a new one to be put up.  Keeping it clean and  straight is a subtle but strong indication to a buyer that you value the way your home is presented, and they will subconsciously acknowledge this.

Clever ways of using your for sale board:

  • Put your price on your board.

This is a bold move, and it’s rare a seller tries it.  However, if you are on a busy thoroughfare, or maybe in a popular village, putting your asking price on your for sale board can really bring in the enquiries.  Otherwise, when an interested buyer sees your house is for sale, they have to do the research themselves to discover whether or not it is affordable to them.  This may involve a call to the agent, searching on their mobile, or remembering until they have access to the internet, to look for your house online.  These all have the potential elements of delay and frustrations, whereas if the buyer can see straight away the price your home is for sale at, the only step they need to make is to call the agent to book a viewing.  More simple, direct, and less susceptible to anything going wrong.

  • Attach a brochure holder.

Wouldn’t it be lovely for a potential buyer, if whilst walking or driving past your house, he could stop and pick up a brochure?  So right at the point of his initial interest, his desire to find out more about your house is fulfilled immediately.  He can sit in his car or pause a while on his walk, to take a look through your brochure, and decide whether or not to take the next short step to book a viewing.

  • Have a unique sign.

There are some sign companies that will create for you a bespoke sign.  This could include photographs of your house and garden, and even be constructed like a book, with opening “pages”.  This gives the seller the opportunity to ensure that all the best aspects of his home can be ascertained from his sale board, without relying on the buyer to take te necessary steps to find out this information for himself.  One example of this is below, where the kitchen is featured.  This can be really eye-catching!

In a nutshell, your for sale board could be your biggest and most effective marketing tool, so use it to its best advantage, to make sure that everyone knows your home is on the market, and to lure those buyers to view.

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.

What Sam did

How viewings can go wrong

Last weekend, my partner and I went house hunting. We move house around every two years, so it isn’t entirely unusual, but it did highlight for me (yet again) the problems faced by viewers today. Our method, like many buyers, was to compile a shortlist of properties worth considering in Rightmove, then with printed list of saved houses to hand, to drive round establishing the areas and positions of each property. If we liked the look of a house, we would call the agent and see if we could book a viewing there and then.

These are the problems we came up against:

No for sale board – it’s so frustrating to be driving around an area trying to locate the house in question, when there’s no for sale board to guide you. We really struggled with a cottage down an almost hidden driveway, and also one house that was almost impossible to discern from the photograph. Which brings me onto the next issue:

The front photograph so misleading you don’t recognise the house – this was the case on several occasions. One particular house was completely unrecognisable from the main photograph and we are still none the wiser as to whether we actually found it. On two other occasions we just gave up and drove off, frustrated at not being able to find it.

No address given – in these days of sat nav and smart phones, finding properties should be so much easier, but estate agents need to accept that we need a property address to start with! I know that they are worried other agents will try to poach their clients if the address is too evident, but surely this is less of a problem than genuine buyers not being able to find it?

The estate agent doesn’t call you back in time – one house we quite liked had a for sale board outside, so I called the agent to see if we could view sometime the same day. This was around 11am on a Saturday, so I figured my chances we good. However, a call answering service took my message, and the agent didn’t return my call until 5pm, by which time we were ready to call it a day. Given that she would then have to take my details, and call the vendor, a same day viewing was by then impractical.

The estate agent can’t give you directions – because there was no sale board for the cottage we were trying to locate, which ended up being down a ¼ mile long track, and through a farmyard, I called the agent to ask for directions. She then had to put me on hold for ages whilst she went to locate the property details, then read the directions out to me. However, as neither she nor we were familiar with the area, we were actually coming from a different direction, and so ended up impossibly off course for several miles. Had she had a map to hand, or someone who knew the area to advise us, we could have been spared this unnecessary and annoying detour.

The seller doesn’t let you view on spec – when we finally found the cottage (almost thwarted yet again by the similarity of its name to another cottage a mile away) the owner happened to be outside in the garden, and greeted us in a friendly manner. After telling her that we were interested in her house, and pointing out how far we’d come, I asked her if we could possibly view. “Oh no”, she protested, “it’s in a right old mess. I’d need to tidy up for you”. I later learned that her cottage had been for sale for almost 9 months: is it any wonder when she deters potential buyers in this way? Why not just make sure the house is ready for viewings, even if just at weekends, for spontaneous viewers like us. I’m sure we’re not unique.

This is a difficult market for sellers, there are no two ways about it. Demand is low, mortgages are hard to get, and many of us are choosing just to stay where we are. So if a genuine buyer in a good position (we’re in rented accommodation until we find the right house) happens to show an interest, the agent and seller both need to do all they can to keep them interested and facilitate a viewing. All the barriers that were put in our way this weekend did the opposite; they left us feeling undervalued and frustrated. In fact, out of the 20+ potential properties we had on our list, we only viewed one, and that’s because someone we asked directions of just happened to be the seller’s daughter-in-law, and she and her husband couldn’t have been more eager to accommodate us.

If you are trying to sell your home, make it easy for your buyers:

  • Have a for sale board, and if your home is very rural, two or three with arrows and your house name
  • Make sure your main photograph online is the front of your house
  • If the directions on your property listing aren’t comprehensive, write them yourself, one from each direction
  • Have the full address listed online
  • Make sure your home is ready for viewings at all times, and especially weekends
  • If you see a potential buyer loitering outside your house, invite them in!

Otherwise, your buyer is doing all the work, just like we did. Given that we know statistically, at least 12 – 15 potential buyers will drive past your house for each viewing booked, make sure you and your agent are being as encouraging and accommodating as possible.

We haven’t bought yet, obviously, but when we eventually do, you can bet it will be a house where the agent and the seller both made us feel special by making it as easy as possible for us to buy the house.

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.

What Sam did

What to read next: Best of the Best – The Scarlet Hotel 

What to do next: Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

Couch Selling your house

Your house is finally on the market: it’s looking wonderful, your photography looks great, your brochure enticing; time to sit back and wait for an offer, right?

Wrong!

When it comes to selling your home, patience is not the virtue it’s cracked up to be, and the most successful sales are always the early ones.  It’s vital to spend some time each week to ensure you’re doing all you can to keep interest in your property as high as possible.  Here’s my 20 minute weekly workout for home sellers:

Call your agent – make sure you speak to them every week, without fail.  It’s so important to keep your house in their minds, and keep the relationship as warm as possible.  You should know all the staff on first name terms, and even if you just call to ask how the market is doing, your house will be the first one they mention to their next enquirer.  5 minutes

Check your sale board – is it straight?  Is it clean?  A grubby, damaged board sends all the wrong signals so make sure it looks as if it was only just put up. 2 minutes

Monitor your Rightmove Property Performance Report – make sure your agent knows to send it to you every week, and watch the trends.  If interest starts to dip, ask your agent to swap the leading image, and try a new headline.  Test and assess the results on a regular basis to make sure your property is getting the attention it deserves. (Find our more about your Performance Report here)  5 minutes

Check out your competition – spend some time on Rightmove and the other property portals each week, so you can see what’s just come to the market, what properties have gone under offer, and how they compare with yours. 4 minutes

Clean your front door – and make sure any plants at the front of your house are looking their best. Take away dead leaves, wipe down pots and check your doorbell works.   2 minutes

Check for any light bulbs that might have gone around your home; extractor fan lights and underlighting in kitchens are the usual culprits. 2 minutes

Spend just 20 minutes on your house sale each week and it’ll most likely be 20 minutes more than your competitors are spending.  It’s all about standing out, in all the positive ways you can stand out.  Snag your buyer’s attention long enough to pique their interest, create a desire and with a little bit of luck, they will take the right action – to buy your house!

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

What to read next: “What’s that smell?!” What prevents your home from selling?

What to do next: Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

 

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So many times our clients tell us they don’t have a For Sale board outside their home; why?  we ask incredulously.  In this difficult market, if you are serious about selling your home, why would you not utilise a free marketing tool?  In short, why would you keep the fact you are selling your home a secret from potential buyers?

There’s a current trend in my sleepy, commuter belt, Surrey village at the moment; estate agents have started sponsoring local school events and its become apparent that this is quite a clever marketing move.  The way it works is this; schools approach the agent to sponsor say, their school ball, the agent gives them a sum of money (giving them the opportunity to “contribute to the local community”) and in return the parents of the children at said school place an agent’s board in their garden with a very small sign declaring their sponsorship of the event.  The point being that Mr and Mrs White then see a board outside a house they’ve had their eye on for a while, they call the agent and are disappointed to find out that in fact that particular property is not on the market.   However, the agent then seizes the opportunity, while he’s got a potential buyer on the phone, to offer them something similar and…bingo!  They’ve got viewings booked in with a couple of new potential buyers.  Having spoken to one local agent, who tells me that they’ve sold 2 properties this month as a result of such sponsorship, surely this is further proof that boards really do work.

So don’t be like R. Whites, don’t be a secret lemonade drinker, put up a sale board.  If you’re still not convinced, give us a call here at HomeTruths where we drink our lemonade with pride.

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.

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