Tag Archives: property marketing

A pot of flowers and a candle light on top of the wooden table

A pot of flowers and a candle light on top of the wooden table

When to put your home on the market, and why timing is so important.

Often, when we decide to sell our property, we simply engage an estate agent and then ask them to market it immediately.  However, putting your house on the market at the wrong time of year for your particular buyers may mean that your property launch is more of a dribble. You need early and strong interest from buyers who want to move, and that takes a little planning. Newsflash –  certain times of the year are better for selling particular properties than others.

The key is to know your buyer and plan according to their timescale, not yours. Different types of buyers like to move at different times of the year, according to their own needs. It’s not healthy for your eventual sale price, or for your emotional wellbeing, to have a property languishing on the market for months, so the better you can plan your launch, the more likelihood there is that your property will sell quickly.

Who buys when?

Young couples and singles: First time buyers often begin their first home search very early in the year. Perhaps they have spent one Christmas too many at home with their relatives, and realised it’s time to move out. Their search often starts in earnest in January and February, and their purchases at the lower end of the market – apartments and terraced homes – then supports the second and third time buyer market – semi-detached and detached homes. This, in turn, supports the larger properties, and so the cycle goes on. One thing to remember about young couples and singles, is that they tend to look at lots of different properties, and as they are not in a hurry, their search can go on for months, and even years. So be patient with them, and let them take their time to make up their minds.

Families: Family buyers tend to buy at three distinct times of year: autumn, spring and early summer. Do you recognise the significance of these times? They are school term times. Buyers with children don’t usually like to house hunt during the holidays. First, they have better things to do, perhaps going on holiday, and second, it’s a whole lot more stressful viewing a home when you have a bored and whiny child to contend with. Mums and Dads tend to wait until the children are in school, so they can view the house in peace.

Downsizers: Older couples and singles usually prefer to look at homes during the warmer months, so bungalows and retirement homes will often languish on the market over the winter time. The elderly don’t want to venture out to look at homes in the rain and snow, and nor do they want to move house in the winter time. For them, summer is the ideal time to sell, and to buy, and this type of buyer tends to look at fewer properties, and make their minds up more quickly.

If you know who is most likely to buy your home, you can plan your launch to market more effectively.  Remember that the less time your home is on the market, the closer to your asking price you are statistically likely to get, so plan for a quick sale!

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.

A pot of flowers, candle glass, figurine and books on top of a wooden table and a wide glass-wall overlooking the garden outside

Are you wrestling with the decision of exactly what the marketing price of your house should be?Worried you’ll make a mistake, and concerned about the consequences?

Selecting just the right asking price for your house can be a challenging task.; one that should be made easier by the advice of your estate agent, but often that’s not the case. After all, if you’ve interviewed three or more estate agents to give you an up to date market appraisal, you may have found yourself in possession of three different asking price recommendations.

We’ve been advising homeowners on pricing strategy for well over a decade now, and in that time, we’ve tried and tested some simple guidelines to help you select the best asking price for you to go to market with.

Rightmove’s search bandings

If you choose a strategically optimised asking price, it will make sure your house is found in a Rightmove search:
A drop-down search in Rightmove

When you use the drop-down search in Rightmove, you’ll see the price ranges become further apart as the prices go higher. So for searches below £300,000, the bands jump in £10,000 rises, whereas between £1,000,000 and £2,000,000, the price bands are in £250,000 increments.

If you select an asking price that’s just below a Rightmove price band, say £599,999, your property will only show in a search up to £600,000, but not including it. This is what we call the ‘Rightmove Zero Pricing Strategy’.  By pricing your property at £600,000 exactly, it will appear in searches that both start and end at £600,000. Simply put, pricing your property at the exact same price as a Rightmove property search band, your house will show in more searches; potentially up to double the number of searches you’d get found in, with a non-optimised price.

The psychology of pricing houses

Estate agents often like to use a price with all the nines, because they believe it’s a psychological price point. But this is an outdated viewpoint, that doesn’t work in today’s digital world. Let’s face it, a price with all the nines like £999,999 is a cheap ploy – an ‘Asda’ price. Your buyers aren’t daft, so don’t treat them as if they are. Give them some respect with a ‘John Lewis’ price.

After all, as my Dad would have said, “Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves”.

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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.

A pair of bread and a juice on top of a table with a pot of flowers and a wide glass overlooking the door

There’s nothing like a lovely spot of glorious sunshine to make people envision their life in a new home, and eagerly bring the iPads into the garden to have a peak at the property apps. This is a perfect reason why you have to ensure your property advert and photography is suitable for the season.

“Why”, I hear you cry? “My house looks just fine!”

Is it, though? Take a closer look. If it was put on the market in the last six months, chances are that your outdoor shot is stuck in the depths of autumn or winter. Are there autumn leaves knocking around, or even worse…snow?! Even if your home is professionally styled on the inside and looks like one of the Home and Garden dream properties, if the outdoor shot is stuck in a seasonal pothole, buyers will walk on by, Dionne Warwick style.

On most property adverts, the outdoor shot is the primary shot, and the one that shows up when searching for your home. It can’t be out of season. SO what can you do? Get your agent, or the photographer you use, to refresh your outdoor shots. Your front shot, and both back and front gardens need to be in the depth of summer, showing the lifestyle your home offers with summer lawns and lemonade and what makes your home special. Sell your buyers your homes summer lifestyle, and don’t let them witness a seasonal blunder

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.

An outdoor scenery of a garden and flowers blooming on a Summer day

We live in the UK, which means that summer weather isn’t always sunny and hot – as much as we would love it to be! When you’re trying to sell, you want your home to look its best, and the rain can not only dampen your lawn, but your spirits as well. If you have buyers coming over and the weather is a little dim, you can still make the house look wonderful!


Even during the day, darker skies can make it seem like evening. To get around this, light up the rooms. Make sure all of the blinds and curtains are open, and turn on all of your lamps including any cupboard and appliance lights. Doing so makes the home welcoming and bright.


Frustrating as it can be, during winter the temperatures can drop. If your home is a little chilly, turn the heat on low. You really want the temperature inside to be comfortable and want the buyers to stay, especially when the outside is cold.

Summer food

It’s always nice to offer snacks when buyers come round, and offering ‘summer’ snacks will keep buyers in the summer mind frame, rather than feeling that winter has returned. Fresh strawberries and lemonades are ideal.


If the buyers are really interested in your home, they’re going to want to see the garden in its full glory. If the rain is pelting, bring out some umbrellas and take them outside for a small tour. Ideally have some great lifestyle pictures of your garden at hand too, to show why the garden is perfect in the sun!

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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A bright living room with comfortable sofas, wooden furniture, a TV, mini chandelier and a wide curtained window.

If you’re on the hunt for a property at the same time as trying to sell, have you noticed that many listings on Rightmove don’t have named photographs? By named, we mean that a picture is simply referenced as ‘Picture 1’, instead of ‘Front of home’ and so on. Have you checked to see if your home for sale contains picture details, or is it the same as the many thousands that don’t? If yours is as humdrum as the other listings, talk to your agent today.

Why does it matter?

Buyer interest can increase dramatically if the rooms on the listing contain image details. If there are many photographs, and the potential buyer is trying to match up the photos to the floorplan and written description of your home, they could get very confused. Without names, they are simply looking at rooms and views. If a secondary property they are looking at is much more detailed and straightforward, their interest might drift away from yours very easily.

How can it be changed?

Many people will think that this is unchangeable, when it actually isn’t. It can’t be changed by you though, however. Your agent needs to do it. Rightmove allocates the title according to how the photograph is named on a computer desktop before uploading. By simply changing the title of the photograph before it is uploaded to the website, this is how it will show on Rightmove.

When should they be changed?

As soon as possible. Images are one of the best marketing tools available for you to sell your home, and if they aren’t named correctly you could be losing potential viewings and a faster sale.

Contact your agent today about your images on Rightmove, and ask if they can be changed to describe each room and view in your home. If you want buyers to fall in love with your home through pictures, show the pictures some love and give them a name!

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.

A bricked house with glass walls.

If everything on the inside of your home is picture-perfect, it is very easy to think that your home will sell quickly. But what if there are external drawbacks that may deter a sale? The interior of your home aside, external factors are often forgotten about because they aren’t part of ‘the home’, but there are some your buyers may be thinking about. One of the best ways to see through your rose tinted spectacles is to think like a buyer, and see what might be challenging them…

Surrounding properties – If similar properties are for sale in your area, it is very important to keep an eye on what is going on with these homes. If a buyer is already sold on the area, they’ll be looking at the particulars. How does your door compare to your neighbours door? If yours is chipped and aged, and the neighbour’s door has just had a B&Q refresh, they’ll be getting the first visit. Keeping up appearances is essential when the competition is so close.

Pricing – While your price may have been perfect when it was put on the market, what if the market has changed? If your house was put on a year ago and hasn’t shifted, prices could have changed. Any of your neighbours properties that are newly listed could be much cheaper than yours, making you look oddly expensive. Compare your price with your neighbour’s similar properties, and talk to your agent about altering the price to reflect market changes.

Hurdles – A buyer may have fallen in love with your home and be ready to sign on the dotted line, but a massive barrier could stand in their way. As an example, what if your home isn’t going to be ready to move in to on the date that they are requesting? In these instances be prepared to negotiate. Suggest local temporary housing and storage options to them, which can make an otherwise impossible move highly achievable. Especially useful if your buyers are moving a great distance.

Neighbourhood – Local facilities are often very important to buyers. If your neighbourhood is quite similar to another in your town, buyers might draw a comparison between the two. Why not do the research for them? Look for amenities that buyers will be looking for such as good schools, playgrounds, restaurants and sports grounds. List the locality of these local benefits on your property listing. Why not put together a few brochures about these places too, and leave them in your home for people to look at?

If your home is taking some time to sell, thinking like buyer can be an important move to analyse external factors that people are considering. If you think some of these factors could be contributing to your home not selling and you

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.

Nine Ways To Sell Your House Fast

We know setting prospective buyers loose on your home to play Simon Cowell can be daunting; suppose the dog has an ‘accident’ or the neighbours decide their bonfire just can’t wait until November 5th?

Yes, buyers can indeed be difficult to please, but here’s the good news – we know exactly how to please them. Putting the effort in, pays dividends when it comes to getting that all important ‘quick sale’!

Follow our 9 tips to get your house big fat ‘yes’s’ across the board:

Improve your kerb appeal

We know you should never judge a book by it’s cover, but sadly, people often do – a lot of people will drive around first before deciding on which properties to visit.

The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior, if not more so for that all-important first impression. Peter Illingworth Estate Agent says ‘you must make sure every part of this visual picture looks at its best. If the interior is beautiful they may never see it if the exterior is shabby. The pavement in front of your home should be swept clean if necessary, any weeds that are growing should be removed, unsightly bins hidden and any litter picked up.’

Invest in some doggy day-care

As much as you love Rover, not everyone’s a fan. Potential buyers don’t want to walk in and smell cat litter, or walk out with dog hair stuck to their clothes; it gives the impression that your house isn’t clean. Hire a dog sitter or at least exile your furry friends to the garden whilst showing buyers around.

Come up smelling of roses

Or lilies, daisies, tulips – you get the idea. A bunch of flowers goes a long way!

Or there’s always the oldest trick in the real-estate book: pop some cookies or freshly made bread in the oven and intoxicate your buyers with that warm fuzzy feeling, instantly bonding them to your home – or so they say.

Whilst whipping up freshly baked goods each time you have a prospective buyer in your house may be impractical, you can always ‘brew some fresh coffee’ or buy flower-scented candles for an alluring welcome buyers are sure to appreciate. At the very least, ensure all ashtrays are out of the way and Fabreeze is always on hand.

Keep your hardship to yourself

If you think buyers will hear your life story, feel sorry for you and consequently sign on the dotted line, you’re sadly mistaken. Whatever the reason is for selling your house – be it debt, death or your husband running off with the next-door neighbour – keep schtum! Nearly a quarter of the cases of off-putting behaviour in the My Online Estate Agent survey involved sellers unburdening themselves about the reasons for their marriage break-up. Save it for your shrink, please.

Clutter is killer

Get rid of it – and sharpish! Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, and family photos, swimming certificates and your grandma’s ornaments make it that bit harder. If it’s too painful to get rid of them permanently, why not put them in temporary storage?

Keep it PG

According to research by My Online Estate Agent, one in five buyers have encountered ‘something unusual’ when being shown around a property. A total of 22 per cent of house-hunters have been confronted with weird collections of sex-dolls and teddy bears, while 11 per cent have had to avert their eyes from naked pictures of the owners. Awkward.

Less ’50 shades’ more ‘vintage lampshades’, please.

Lighten up

Light, bright and airy – three words to take as house-selling gospel. Especially when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, open plan is in fashion and buyers want as much space as possible. Colour scheme-wise, think whites and creams, or pastel hues.

Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most important rooms in a property and should be immaculately clean and tidy when showing a property to viewers – again accessorised to emphasise light and space.

“Wildly coloured bathroom suites were regarded as the ultimate in taste in the 1980s, but can look pretty hideous to modern eyes,” says David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services. He claims such a fitting could knock up to £8,000 off the value of your property. Wowzers. Oh, and keep it clean people! Research by Rightmove among 4,000 buyers found that dirty kitchens and bathrooms were the biggest turn-offs – so get out that Mr Muscle before every viewing.

Putting the effort in, either on your own or with the assistance of a specialist property company can clearly pay dividends when it comes to answering the question – ‘how to get a quick sale’

Stay Switzerland

Fancy yourself as the next Kelly Hoppen? This is not the time to test out your skills. The thing to remember is your taste is not the same as everyone else’s. Keep colours neutral and decoration to a minimum to make your house appealing to as many buyers as possible.

Be warned: additions can be made but unsightly adornments cannot be unseen!  Offer an empty shell for buyers to build their dream home around from scratch – your estate agent will thank you for it.

Enlist the experts

Don’t fancy dealing with estate agents, viewings, and the general stress that comes with finding a buyer? You’re not alone.

www.sellhousefast.uk buys over 300 houses a year, direct, from all over the UK! Simply apply online, agree a price and set a date for a rapid and hassle free sale – often completed within four weeks. Oh, and they buy houses regardless of condition, meaning everyone’s invited.

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.

A flower in a vase, and candlelights on a wooden table, a sofa with throw pillows, wall decorations, and a lampshade

Ahh the Delorean…a timeless classic car that graced our screens in the 80s. But we aren’t here to talk about movies. The car however, is important to the point I want to relay; with its time travelling abilities, it would be perfect for jumping back a few months to show buyers what your house looks like in winter or autumn…but that isn’t what buyers want, and it certainly isn’t what works. Unfortunately though, that is what a lot of prospective buyers are being presented with online: a house stuck in seasons past.

Why should your photography not show signs of the seasons? Read on…

Dated – As soon as your photography is taken for your home and placed online, it enters into a time portal. While those spring flowers look so picturesque against the backdrop of your home, within a few weeks those flowers will be out of season, and your home is instantly dated. The snow too – while lovely, no one wants to see the white stuff on your property portfolio. It masks your property exterior, and in the swing of summer will be an instant put off.

Length of time on the market – In the same topic, your dated photography is an immediate indication of how long your home has sat on the market. If you’re in the depths of a hot summer and outside your home sits Mr Frosty, this suggests your home has been on the market for a fair few months.  Do you want buyers to know this, or keep it under wraps?

Look at your photography, are there any seasonal signs in sight? A trawl through Rightmove will find you dozens of homes buried under snow. Talk to your agent about redoing the photography to make it more current, and point them in our direction if they question why!

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.

When buyers are property perusing, the first minute of a potential home viewing is imperative. An initial positive sixty seconds puts them into a great frame of mind, where as if they pick fault in those vital moments, chances are they won’t be signing on any dotted lines. A good first impression will make your viewer want to live in your home, and that’s what you need to establish in those first moments.

We’ve previously discussed kerb appeal, and the stamp your home has already made before buyers even get to the front door. If this is flawless, read our tips on the first sixty seconds when they step through the door…

Maintenance – How’s that broken light fitting in the hall, are the wires still dangling from the ceiling? A minor five minute job for you can lose you a sale. Showing a lazy attitude to your general DIY before a house viewing, can leave people deflated and wondering what else you might not have fixed, especially things that can’t be seen. Complete all repairs in the house before you have people over.

Cleaning – You may have enjoyed your eggs on toast this morning, but the buyers won’t enjoy the pots on the table, or the leftover smell. It may seem like a minor detail, but if it’s one of the first things they see, it’ll leave an impression. Do the dishes and make your kitchen shine. Hoover and dust each corner and crevice of your home to perfection, wash the windows, and make people want to live there.

Clutter – De-cluttering is vital for the first minute of a property viewing. If buyers walk in to a hall or living room that is full to bursting, it makes rooms look smaller and your home immediately feels chaotic. To envision themselves living there, buyers need clear open spaces to picture where their belongings and furniture can go, and it’s hard to imagine this with piles of stuff in their line of vision. If you have a lot of clutter, spend a weekend sorting it out. If it’s easier, store things at a friend’s house, although throwing out things you don’t need now will save you time when you move.

Smells – Just like the eggs example, any lingering smells will hit buyer’s noses instantly. Open the windows (weather permitting!) to let fresh air into your rooms. Put any pets outside or ask someone to look after them. Create a nice smell for the air, such as baking. Read about smells in your home in more detail here.

Colours – Even if you love your very darkly painted entrance room, heading into a dark room could give a bad first impression. Research has shown that a lot of buyers prefer natural colours such as magnolia, and this is a sensible choice for a hallway. Heading into a light and bright room, works wonders.

If you want to create the right first impression with your buyers and generate a positive viewing, the points above are crucial to pay attention to. If a sale can be generated from a few hours of work, it will be worth it when you are shaking hands with the agents for your property.

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.

A hallway with lampshades on the tabletop and a painting on the wall that spans across the windows.

A hallway with lampshades on the tabletop and a painting on the wall that spans across the windows.

Have you heard of guerrilla marketing? The term was coined and defined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing and was invented as an unconventional system of promoting something, that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Typically, guerrilla marketing campaigns are unexpected and unconventional, and consumers are targeted in unexpected ways and places.

There’s a lot that estate agents could learn about guerrilla marketing techniques, and how to apply them to selling houses.  In this still-tough market, sellers need all the help they can get. But don’t leave it to your agent; there’s plenty that you can do to give yourself the best possible chance to attract interest and beat the competition.  Here’s twelve guerrilla marketing tips to get you started:

1. If you have an unusual feature, design or story about your house, try to generate free PR by getting onto local radio or in the press.

2. Offer a financial referral incentive to all on your email contact list, and ask them all to pass it on. Make it a really worthwhile reward – several thousands of pounds – to make sure they get excited about it.

3. Leave your brochure between the pages of some of your used magazines, and then take them to doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries for their waiting rooms.

4. Attach a lidded, waterproof brochure box to your for sale sign so people can help themselves to your brochures when they are driving or walking past.

5. Your largest employers in the area will probably have noticeboards where you can pin a brochure, or at least an index card..

6. Put your asking price on your for sale board. This particularly works well on a busy road, or on the rear fence of a house that backs on to a playing field or park.

7. Have some small postcards printed with your property details and contact information; wherever you go, make sure you have some with you and can leave them in appropriate places.

8. Calculate the price per square foot of your house, and compare it to your competition; if it is favourable, print a table showing how you rank and make it available to buyers.

9. If you have a family house, make sure any children are well catered for, and encourage them to play on swings, slides, trampolines etc, leaving their parents free to look around in peace. Pester power can work a treat!

10. Follow the developers’ lead, and place some signs around the house detailing appliances and any other features, such as pull-down loft ladders and garage door remote switches. Men in particular, love any gadgets, and it gives them permission to try them out.

11. Ask your friends and neighbours to write some nice testimonials about the house, the neighbours and the village or town. Leave these printed out on the table for them to take with them. Include any interesting local stories and famous or celebrity residents.

12. Facebook sites are really easy to create – make one to showcase your house complete with local information, photographs, details about local stories and famous neighbours etc. Share the link with your email list, and add it to any marketing.

The message here is, don’t leave it all to your estate agent – there’s so much you can do. At the very least, you’ll feel that you have taken back some control of the marketing of your property – and at best, you might just find yourself a buyer!

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.