Tag Archives: Rightmove

heart ornament beside window

heart ornament beside window

I often get asked the question, “Should I use more than one estate agent to sell my house?” Once upon a time, this strategy made perfect sense.  After all, before properties were advertised on the internet, how else could you make sure that buyers across different geographical areas would see your home, if you didn’t use two, three or more agents to market it?

But then came the property portals, and everything changed.  Almost all buyers (93% at last count) look online to find their home, often browsing a couple of portals, then simply call the relevant agent to book a viewing on a home they like.

What’s the point in being listed twice like this?

So is there any point these days in instructing more than one agent? The short answer is ‘no’.  If a buyer spies your home listed several times online, at best it’s annoying, and at worst it’s misleading, because if the agents involved have used different photographs and descriptions to advertise the property, a buyer could be forgiven for thinking that the adverts belong to different houses.

And doesn’t this look like a different property? It’s not!

When a buyer enters a search criterion on one of the property portals like Rightmove, properties appear in a list, in descending price order, ie with the more expensive houses showing first.  Any properties that are marketed at exactly the same price will appear in a random order, to be fair and not favour any particular agent. However, one agent I know gets around this rule by adding a pound to his prices, so that his properties will show first, and therefore you’ll see property prices like £300,001 from him!

Another factor to bear in mind, is how does it look to a buyer if you as the seller have instructed several agents? Desperate perhaps? In need of an urgent sale?  This could have the effect of generating some very low offers from those buyers looking for a bargain, whilst genuine buyers may stay away completely, fearful of being stuck with a property that they themselves can’t sell when the time comes.

Finally, there’s the question of cost.  If you instruct more than one agent, depending on the type of agency agreement you have, you’ll either pay the standard agency fee, but only to one of the agents; sometimes called ‘winner takes all’. Or else you’ll pay a higher fee, and it’ll be split between the two agents, typically 2/3:1/3 or else 50/50. The average uplift for a joint agency agreement is around 25%, meaning that if the average fee in your area is 1.5%, you will be paying 2% – 2.25% for a joint agreement.  This could be an extra £2250 on a £300,000 house – not an inconsiderable amount, particularly if it doesn’t actually net you any higher a sale price.

So my advice is to pick one agent, show them your loyalty and let them do their job. Don’t agree to a long contract, and if after say, 3 months, you’re not getting the interest in your home you had hoped for, drop your price, or find another agent and improve your marketing. Or all three….

Happy selling!

Sam

Table with magazines on top Dropping your asking price when your house won’t sell

Table with magazines on top Dropping your asking price when your house won’t sell

If you have had your house on the market for some time without success, dropping your asking price may seem an inevitable, if undesirable, next step.  Your estate agent will often suggest this move if they have run out of ideas, motivation and most importantly, confidence in your asking price.

But is dropping your asking price really the answer to selling your home more effectively?

It’s true that for some properties, reducing the asking price can generate new interest from buyers who would have been previously unable to afford your home.  It’s also a step that for some sellers, is unfortunately necessary, if they have an urgent move, for example, or are facing repossession.

However, with many houses – particularly premium homes – dropping your asking price is not always the answer, and in fact it can even harm your chances of selling your house effectively.

I’ve compiled these DOs and DON’Ts of dropping your asking price to help you get the result you want and move on with your life:

DON’T drop your asking price by less than 10%

Or it just won’t make any difference to the interest you get. Buyers will usually look at homes 10% either side of their budget anyway so you’ll need to reduce by at least that to get noticed by a new set of buyers.

DO ask your agent why you need to reduce

– Your property was originally valued based on sound research and by an expert in the industry.  What’s changed? Understanding whether your agent misjudged the market, or the demand has changed for houses like yours, will help you make the right decision to either reduce or to stick it out.

DON’T keep making small drops in price

–  A price drop can cause suspicion among buyers, who may wonder what’s wrong with it?  Why have you lowered the asking price?  A buyer may not want to risk buying a house that seems to be falling in value. Each drop can signify a red flag to a buyer, so make your drop big and impactful, but make it just once.

DO drop to the next Rightmove price banding

– You can find these by going to www.rightmove.co.uk and entering a search. The list of price bandings that comes up is your guide as to the price your house should be marketed at. For example, there’s no point at having an asking price of £399,999 when the Rightmove banding is £400,000. You can read more about this subject here.

DON’T try to break the ceiling for your road or area

– Not only does this make buyers jittery, it will also make your surveyor nervous, too. Unless you really can’t avoid it, try to price your home at less than the highest price sold in your neighbourhood.

DO ask your agent the right questions before you drop your price

– If you’re feeling pressure from your agent to reduce, or you have a moving deadline looming and can’t afford to drop your price, ask your agency what else could be done to secure that sale, other than reducing your asking price. Have a review with them and look at your marketing critically. Could it be improved? A new twilight image or drone shot could show your home in a whole new light and generate new interest from motivated buyers.

DON’T give your buyers an excuse to make a low offer

– Make sure your home is wonderfully presented, with every room polished and attractive, otherwise you’re literally leaving money on the table. Home staging can add thousands to your asking price and making a few small changes now can help you reap the rewards when you do get an offer.

DO give yourself some negotiation room – but not too much

–  On average, you can expect to achieve around 95% of your asking price, with 5% lost in the negotiations with your buyer. This will depend on other factors of course, like how fast your local market is moving, the confidence in the housing market while you’re selling and how long your home has been on the market. Taking 95% as a benchmark, losing 5% of a £400,000 asking price means you will eventually receive £380,000 on completion. But if you reduce the asking price to £375,000 say, you’ll only get £356,250; quite a drop. Not only have you reduced by £25,000, you’ll also have lost an additional £23,750 in negotiations, putting your total ‘lost’ sale monies at £46,750, a significant loss of 12% of your original asking price.

DON’T forget to analyse your price per square foot

– it’s a far more accurate way to value a house than other methods. If your agent hasn’t already done this for you, make a spreadsheet of the other properties for sale and sold in your area and calculate the price per square foot of each, then compare it to yours. Read more about this way of valuing here – Price per square foot – a more accurate way to value

When your home hasn’t sold and you’re wondering if it’s the asking price to blame, use the above DOs and DON’Ts as a checklist to see if you’re doing everything you can to get your house sold. If your price per square foot is about right and you’re not trying to break the price ceiling for your area, and your home is presented in the best way possible, and you have time to wait it out, then have confidence in your asking price. Because if you don’t, no one else will

Happy selling

Sam

Comfy red lounge chair Photography tips for selling your home PART FOUR_ PICTURE PERFECT IN 5 DAYS (1)

Whether you’re taking the photographs yourself, or enlisting the help of a professional, you want your home to look it’s best when picture days rolls around. Because when your home is listed on Rightmove, great shots attract more buyers. Let’s put your homes best features forwards, and showcase the unique qualities of each room. That way, we can tempt more people to step inside, and take a closer look. So here’s how we do it:

Five days to go

Home styling and staging are great ways to prepare for your house photography shoot. With less than a week before you’re planning to shoot your home, it’s time to get prepared. Take a walk through each room, and take a picture.

Now nip outside to shoot the front and back garden, before finding a comfy spot to flick through the album. Try to imagine yourself as a potential buyer. What do you notice in each room? If anywhere looks a little cluttered or busy, your home is in great company, as almost all homes have that comforting lived-in look. But, sadly, not many people choose to view a lived-in looking home. Because moving into another family’s ‘lived-in’ space isn’t all that appealing.

Four days to go

Let’s take another look at the pictures with fresh eyes, and take note of anything distracting. Because great home photography showcases the home, not the things inside the home. And there’s only so much a photographer can do.

So, let’s tick off the lounge. Are the sofas positioned just right? With a little straightening and shuffling, furniture can frame a fireplace, or draw your eye to an elegant bay window. Textiles shouldn’t be the main focus, so if the curtains are clashing with the cushions, it’s worth indulging in a few new accessories. In your lunch hour, have a quick browse on a few Homeware websites. John Lewis and The Little White Company are great choices; opt for any neutral tones, and steer clear of clashing patterns. And with a few clicks, you’ll have a fresh new look for your lounge delivered to your door-step.

Three days to go

If you have children or pets, give the grandparents a call and do some sweet talking. A family visit is something for the children to look forward to, and it would be ideal timing for the upcoming shoot day too. The sounds of little pattering feet are lovely, but your photographer will thank you for keeping them out of shot.

Two days to go

Let’s look at the master bedroom shots. This room should look like a sanctuary; it needs to appear peaceful, calm and indulgent. But this is the room that often falls short. Most people like to show a little personality with their bedsheets and throws, but unfortunately, not everyone shares the same taste. Keeping bed linen plain and fresh is key. So if all your sheets are wonderfully loud and garish, you’ve just got time to order a calmer alternative. Throws and cushions should be in keeping with the decor, and complimenting curtains complete the ambiance.

One day to go

Head to the kitchen, and remove any appliances off the worktops. Having microwaves, mixers and coffee machines to hand is convenient, but they’re off-putting to potential buyers. Having chopping boards, tea towels and bins on show makes a room appear cluttered. So, with just one day until the shoot, it’s best to find them a temporary hide-away home.

The day of the photoshoot

So, the photographer is on their way, and you’ve got just enough time to grab a bag, and double-check that each room is ready ahead of their arrival. File away any paper-work on the office desk, pop the childrens’ beakers in the dishwasher, and tidy away any rogue clothes. Because a photographer may be a professional, but there’s only so much they can do. A good rule is: anything you can pick up and pop in the bag, pick up and pop in the bag.

Straighten all bed linen, and smooth over curtains, because clean lines and crisp edges make a surprising difference. And once you’ve finished checking each room, leave the door open to create a sense of space.

When the photographer arrives, don’t be afraid to work with them. Yes, they are skilled and experienced, but you know your home better than anyone. Point out all the features you love about each room, and remember the things that made you smile on your first viewing. Make sure to point out any nice fixtures in the bathroom, and encourage them to take close up shots of any original features too. Standard, wide angle shots give a sense of space, but a few snaps of artful details is memorable too. Because if the pictures of your home are memorable, potential buyers are sure to get in touch.

So it’s as easy as that! Happy selling 🙂

Sam

As home stagers, we are often accused of staging the personality out of  a house.  In the 1980s when home staging first came to the UK from our friends across the water, the trend was for neutral floors, neutral walls and generally neutral taste throughout.  Bland and boring was definitely the order of the day, though when you think about the décor in those days – peach bathroom suites and flowery borders everywhere – perhaps it’s understandable!

However, home staging has moved on.  It’s far more sophisticated these days, and having a home with personality definitely doesn’t have to mean it’s ‘unsellable’.

Here are my top DOs and DON’Ts for home staging in the 21st Century:

DON’T just paint every wall Magnolia – choose a sophisticated colour palette with different but complementary shades for each room.

DO clear away anything you wouldn’t see in a show home: toys, pet paraphernalia, laundry, coats and shoes, all need to be put away out of sight.

DON’T have carpet in your bathroom – the 21st Century buyer won’t be impressed!

Bathroom--Victorian-House-

DO replace any carpet in high traffic areas that is over 10 years old, or 5 years if you have pets and children.

DON’T choose patterned carpets – this is one area where boring is best!

Pastel-floral-hallway

DO shop for modern accessories like lamps, vases and ornaments from a well-known brand like Next or John Lewis, to ensure quality and good taste.

DON’T keep your collection of teapots, fluffy toys or scarily realistic dolls on display.  Time to pack them away for your (hopefully) forthcoming move.

Pale-Green-and-Cream-Dining-Room

DO set the dining room and kitchen tables using dining sets, good glasses, flowers and mats.

DON’T be afraid to use colour, but stick to an overall colour palette for the whole house, with different shades and accents in each area.

DO be careful with strong colours and prints: they can be a bit overwhelming.  Best to keep them to small items like cushions, rugs or throws.

DON’T forget the bathroom when you stage – fill it full of special toiletries and hide away the Pantene, the Colgate and the half-worn soap

DO visit your local show homes for more ideas for staging in the 21st Century, and browse through Pinterest, which is a fabulous free source of inspiration.  You can even create your own boards to keep your ideas together in one place.

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 you’re ready to sell your home, you want your listing to be on Rightmove fast. But without great photography, you’re unlikely to have many people take a closer look. So how do we make sure that the shots are tempting? Let’s head to the lounge and check that it’s ready for the photographer to arrive. Because the secret to great house photography isn’t the photography itself. It’s the home styling and preparations before the photographer arrives! Follow these simple home styling tips, and your lounge will be picture perfect from every angle.

Take a step back

Perhaps you’ve lived in your home for so long, you don’t pause to appreciate the lovely oak fireplace anymore. Or maybe you’re so ready to move, you overlook the chipped paintwork on the skirting boards. Either way, seeing the same room every day brings a sense of familiarity and comfort. And, sometimes, we can all become a little too comfy with our surroundings. That’s when we start to overlook the details that may be the key to selling your home.

So how do we see the lounge through fresh eyes? We start with a little nostalgia. Let’s go back to the first viewing of your home. What did you feel the first time you walked into your lounge? Perhaps the gently lit window seat, or rustic exposed beams, made you smile. Maybe it simply felt spacious, and you knew it would be the perfect space to entertain guests on a weekend afternoon. But, with time, our home adapts to our family. Maybe your brood is now a few children heavier, and the lounge that once felt spacious and adult, is now cramped with toys.

This is when rooms can start to lose their identity. And to make the room appealing to other families, it’s important to remember the function, or purpose, of each room. So what is the lounge? It’s the communal spot that brings everyone together, and to enjoy each others company. It should feel big enough to gather friends and family comfortably, yet cosy and inviting too. So how do we strike the balance?

We take a look at the ‘things’ inside the room. Because, as time passes, we find ourselves with more and more ‘things.’ Perhaps you brought a new three-piece suit last year, but you just couldn’t bear to part with your favourite old armchair. So it sits in the lounge next to the new suite. Then there’s the coffee table; it might be a little too big for your current place, but you know it’ll fit just right in your next home.

Don’t worry, you’re not on your own. We all do this. But when someone is flicking through your homes pictures on Rightmove, you won’t be on hand to explain why the bookcase is in the lounge. Potential families will simply assume that there isn’t enough space in the office. And a home that looks small isn’t appealing. Too much furniture is suffocating, so creating a spacious-looking lounge is key.

Shuffle some furniture

It’s not quite moving day, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be a little closer to scheduling the removal men.

So, has your furniture sat in the same position for the past few years? If the answer is yes, maybe it’s time for a little shuffling. With time, we position our furniture so that it’s convenient for our everyday living. And that makes sense. But in doing so, it’s easy to cover up, hide and block the homes natural features too. Repositioning furniture can help you rediscover special qualities, and making sure that they’re in frame when the photographer arrives is key.

Flick through a few Homeware magazines for room layout inspiration, because a little sofa shuffling can help breathe some life back into a space. On that note, if you are thinking of indulging in a new suite for your new home, consider replacing the old one now instead. A contemporary set can transform a tired room, and it’ll instantly make the lounge look loved and inviting.

Consider putting big items of furniture, or anything that detracts from the room’s natural features, in storage too. Moving furniture can create space, frame features, and create a more sociable environment.

If your family has grown by a baby or two since you bought your home, you might find that it’s now not quite fit for purpose. That’s why you’re moving. But. And it’s a big but. Potential buyers don’t want to feel that the living space is cramped. They want it to feel spacious and roomy; it needs to look like a family hub, and a perfect space for entertaining too. So any toys, animal beds, or make-shift furniture should be hidden out of shot.

A final five-minute spruce

By following these home styling tips, you’ve done the hard work. But before the photographer arrives, spend a few minutes dressing the room. Neatly fold throws, and plump up the cushions. Open blinds, and turn on any low-level lamps too. Because the lighter the room, the better your photos will show off your home.

Happy selling!

Sam

beautiful kitchen with kitchen table and flower vase Photography tips for selling your home PART TWO_ STYLING YOUR KITCHEN (1)

The prospect of a photographer taking pictures of your home isn’t always the most pleasant thought. You want your home to appear homely and inviting, but not too lived in. And you want it to look clean and neutral, but definitely not clinical. Sounds complicated, but our home staging rule is simple: declutter, de-personalise and dress. And since it’s the hub of the home, let’s apply our method to the kitchen. Because, here’s a secret: it’s not the photography itself that’ll catch people’s eye; it’s the preparation before the photographer arrives.

De-clutter

Let’s start by decluttering. Sounds taxing, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply make sure that all worktops are clear, chopping boards are put away, and tea towels are tucked out of sight. The same applies to bins. Yes, every kitchen has bins. But there’s no avoiding that even the most tasteful bin, is a rubbish container in disguise. And anything that can be associated with dirt and grime is not a welcome distraction.

In fact, anything that can be removed, probably should be removed. Because the kitchen should look as spacious as possible. So if your microwave lives on the worktop, consider giving it a temporary new home. Appliances on show make the kitchen look cramped, and a lack of space is unappealing to any family.

De-personalise

Preparing your home for a photographer can feel a little intrusive. Your home is filled with your family’s memories, and the personalised touches are special to the people inside. But since it’s an unavoidable formality when selling your home, it’s best to take it as an opportunity, not a chore.

Because if you’re selling your home, you’re ready to move forward. That means a new home, and a fresh start. When styling your kitchen, neatly pack away anything that’s too personal, and store it ready to unpack in your new home. You’ll feel more comfortable without the photographer catching your children’s portraits in the background, and a blank canvas will help potential buyers envision their family in the space.

The same rule applies for fridge magnets and personalised name hangings. In fact, anything that is sentimental is best out of shot. Yes, the kitchen is a family space, but it’s best to pack any rogue toys into storage. Because, whilst an endless trail of toys is the reality of our homes, no one is ever really impressed by reality.

Home styling is about romanticising reality. It’s about creating an ideal that is unachievable every day. Take pets for example. Most families have a furry friend or two, and yet no one really likes to see their food bowls and litter trays. So animal lovers or not, potential buyers will thank you for hiding the cat mat out of shot when the photographer arrives.

Dress

Now that the kitchen is a fresh blank canvas, let’s have some fun. Dressing a home to appeal to another family can be tricky; you know what appeals you to you, but making your home desirable to another family is a whole other ball game. A flick through a few home magazines is a great source of inspiration. But a few finishing touches might be all you need to catch people’s eye.

So, where to start? Take a step back, and look at your de-cluttered, de-personalised kitchen. How does it look? Hopefully the words ‘spacious’ and ‘open’ spring to mind. But the de-personalisation might have made the space a little cold now too. So, now we personalise again. Seems illogical, but there’s a theory to the madness. This time, we personalise with potential buyers in mind. It’s not true personalisation, but staging is, well, staged. And it’ll help other families to picture their family living inside.

The next time you’re mooching around John Lewis, or browsing The Little White Company’s website, take a look at their homeware and accessories. It’ll give you inspiration for your new home, and anything you pick up can be taken with you once your home sells.

For larger textiles, such as curtains and blinds, opt for neutral, subtle tones, and steer clear of any bold, loud patterns. Cushions and throws can add a touch of colour to your kitchen chairs or sofas, but again, pick out the calmer colours. Fresh textiles are a quick way to add warmth and homeliness, but we want to keep a calming environment too. Anything with too much personality, or that jumps out, should be left on the shelf. These finishing touches shouldn’t be a feature, and they shouldn’t detract from the kitchen itself. They should simply compliment the room, and make it cosy.

Kitchen tables can be a feature though, and if dressed to impress, they can help bring a room to life. So if you’re tableware is a little tired or outdated, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in a new set. Table mats that complement the decor add a nice touch too. Laying a contemporary runner down the center, and placing a delicate trail of candles, completes the elegant finishing.

Happy selling!

Sam

When looking at homes for sale online, the first picture people usually see is a front-facing shot. And there’s a good reason for that. The ‘front-aspect’, or ‘face’, is the familiar view that greets us each time we arrive home. So having an inviting, warm appearance is key. But after a cold winter of hibernation, our front gardens suddenly begin to look a little wild. It’s difficult to know where to begin, and it’s hard to know what really appeals to other families. So we’re here to lend some hands. Just follow these three easy steps, and you’ll have a picture perfect frontage in no time!

Pick the perfect season

This one is a little tricky, but if you’re looking to sell this Spring, you’re in luck. It’s no secret that in this season, everything begins to blossom; the daylight is fresh and inviting, and the Sun casts a gentle hue on natural woods and brick. Gardens look loved, and capturing beautiful shots is a breeze.

A spot of preening

Take a walk down your front garden, and stand facing your home. Position yourself so that the whole house and garden is in view. Take a picture, and head back inside. Have a look at the shot, and note down anything that detracts your attention from the house. Are the curtains drawn? Or perhaps it’s time for the window cleaner to take a visit? (We all know the feeling!) Sending the picture to friends and family is helpful too; it’ll help you see through objective eyes, and they’ll be able to spot the things you may overlook.

Take bins for example. Most are kept in a convenient spot to the front or side of a home. It works for everyday living, but it’s not the first thing a potential buyer wants to see. Moving them to a more discreet location is a quick job, but it will go a long way to smartening up the frontage. Have a quick sweep of the drive too, and hide away any rogue bikes or watering cans.

Now to tackle the grass

But don’t worry if you’re not the green-fingered type, a quick mow the lawn is all you need to make the garden presentable. Try to take cars off the drive, and park them elsewhere ahead of the photographers’ arrival too; it’ll make the frontage look more spacious, and give people an unobstructed view of the home.

Reinvigorate with colour

The subtle tones of Spring are a delight. A splattering of flower pots adds a delicate touch, and sweeping back any unruly stones or gravel is a worthwhile work-out too. And double-check that any overhanging trees are trimmed back just enough to see the house front. On that note, if the front door looks a little unloved after the winter season, consider freshening it up with a repaint. If you have a picket-fence on show, perhaps give it a lick of paint too. And whilst you sigh as you open the paint pot, know that the couple of hours you spend with a paint-brush in hand will make all the difference to a potential buyer.

And, to finish, popping a few hanging baskets either side of a polished front door is all you need to complete a picture-perfect frontage.

The final touches

So, your home looks magazine-worthy, and you’re ready to schedule the photographer. But what time is best to take the shots? Well, it depends on your location and what aspect your houses faces, so it’s best to double-check with your photographer. Some may advise a mid-morning shoot, others favour a mid-afternoon glow. Most would suggest avoiding midday, as this is the time that shadows appear the darkest overhead. They may suggest returning in the evening to take some twilight shots, though.

There are no real rules when it comes to photography, but for daylight shots, an abundance of light and clear skies is helpful. If it’s raining, try to reschedule, but it’s not a deal breaker if it’s overcast. As long as your home looks welcoming, it’ll catch the eye of potential buyers.

Happy selling!

Do you have a Smartphone?

The chances are, your buyer does!  Research just out shows that 28% of us now are using a mobile device as our primary internet connection.  The fact that your buyers may be conducting their property searches on their phone, means that your main photograph, or your ‘leading image’ is more important than ever.

This is what the newest version of Rightmove’s iPhone app looks like:

Phone

And here’s how the search results appear:

 

Phone 2

As you can see, the images are tiny, in fact, they measure just 1cm by 1.5 cm, unless the browser clicks on your listing to view further details, in which case the image even then only measures 3cm x 4cm.

What does this mean for you, the seller?  How do you ensure that your property can be seen effectively on today’s Smartphones?

Here’s what you need to take into account:

  • Make sure your main image is the front of your house.  Your buyer may well want to drive past, and they need to be able to recognise your property from the main photo.
  • Get close-up – there’s no point in having a photograph of your home taken from across the fields – no one is going to be able to make out your house on a phone.
  • Make sure it’s well-lit and taken on a blue-sky day. It’s only tiny, so make sure your photo has real punch!
  • Make the description count.  Unlike the property portals and estate agents’ websites, the Smartphone description is limited to only around 40 – 50 words, so they’ve got to be good!  Don’t let your agent use waffle or preamble, make every word count, and better still, lead with a dynamic headline.
  • Test it out yourself. Don’t leave it to the agent to advise you; this is very new technology and the way in which buyers search for property changes constantly. Check on your own Smartphone (or borrow someone else’s!) and  judge for yourself if your house stands out above the competition.

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.

sunny space with lamp and comfy chair with a blanket Helping a buyer buy your home

So, you’ve de-cluttered, tidied, finished off those niggling maintenance jobs, and repainted the kitchen. You’re ready to sell!

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 closely studying the photos on Rightmove. How does your front door compare to that of your neighbours’? If yours is looking a bit sorry for itself, and the neighbour’s door has just had a Fired Earth 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 neighbours’ similar properties, and talk to your estate 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?

Thinking like buyer can really help you to take account of any external factors that people are considering when looking at your home, and trying to imagine themselves living there. You can then pre-empt, or at least mitigate, and be prepared for any negative feedback you may get from your agent and buyers.

Sam

table with book on top Headlines that sell homes

table with book on top Headlines that sell homes

Crafting the right Rightmove headline is an art, and it might just be the key to selling your home too. As you scroll down a never-ending list of homes online, you’ll find a sea of dull, generic descriptions. Nothing catches your eye, or tempts you to find out more. Then you see a thoughtfully drafted description. It’s considered and personal, and invites you to click on the home to take a closer look. Let’s take a look at why the words you choose are so important.

When you take a walk down the high-street you see a patchwork of shop fronts. The Little White Company catches your eye. Its clean frontage and thoughtful window display is inviting. Two carefully placed posters catch your eye; the first reads, ‘Think timeless style, not fashion, quality, not quantity, and attention to detail in everything we do.’ The other reads, ‘Precious moments of uncomplicated happiness…We believe in making the most of life’s simple pleasures- it’s the little things that matter.’

Considered, delicate words, but there’s no mention of what you can actually buy; instead, it simply it asks you to think about ‘precious moments.’ Picturing how the treasures inside can bring your family happiness is far more personal; it creates emotional ties that are difficult to ignore. These headlines don’t sell the homeware and clothing products inside, they sell a lifestyle. Because everyone wants to make happy memories.

This little treasure sits alongside Matalan. The garish red sign sits above a cluttered display window; the clashing colours are off-putting, and the chaotic design is a harsh contrast to the elegant white and creams next door. There are lots of posters, but the biggest reads, ‘New rug collection. Delivering quality and value always.’ The words are concise and functional; they tell you exactly what is inside, but it’s generic. This poster could exist in the majority of homeware shops, and it would suffice. The words are far from offensive, but they are forgettable.

The words on the posters speak of the shops inside. Both offer homeware and clothing, but only one creates an environment you really want to browse in. Getting lost in The Little White Company is an indulgence. And the treasures inside are more than just products. What lies within the clean, thoughtful space is a lifestyle, an ideal.

Matalan offers functionality. It’s busy, cluttered aisles are well utilised and practical. But it’s a place you go if you have to go. Not because you have the luxury of time and choice. The Little White Company schmooses. And it’s thoughtfulness is memorable.

Shop headlines and home descriptions both fall into the same two categories: the functional, and the emotional. Most adopt the former. These are the generic, copy-and-paste jobs, littered with cliché phrases and adjectives. Yes, they are quick to write, and yes, they probably describe the home to some degree. But when you take a leaf out of The Little White Company, and craft a considered headline, it makes people pause and want to find out more.

Now let’s compare two property headlines. The first reads, ‘*ESTATE AGENTS* are pleased to market this substantial property in a HIGHLY DESIRABLE location. The property is WELL PRESENTED and in brief comprises three reception rooms…’ It goes on. And there is nothing wrong with the description. Just like the Matalan sign, it’s practical, reusable and informative. But, except tweaking the number of bedrooms and reception rooms, it reads like every other headline. The generic capitalized adjectives could be used to describe most homes, and the overall tone is dull and forgettable. It doesn’t tell the story of the home, and it doesn’t help people to picture the lifestyle that can be enjoyed inside.

Alternatively, here’s a schmoozy Rightmove headline, ‘Is this the best view in the Lake District? Victorian splendour, views to make you swoon, and a wine cellar to boot. Welcome to the Old Vicarage.’ The opening sentence talks to you. It invites conversation, and it’s warm. There is just enough personality, and just enough detail, to make you want to find out more. The language and tone is elegant yet friendly, and the description is unique to the property.

Much like The Little White Company posters, this headline is less focused on functionality, and captures a lifestyle instead. Why? Because emotions sell homes. And everyone wants a home that is special.

So, to pinch a few words from our friends at The Little White Company, ‘It’s the little things that matter.’ Let’s take all the little things that make your home special, and invite families to see for themselves.