Tag Archives: Rightmove

Maybe you’re looking at your little ones, and you realise they’re just not that little anymore. Or you’re fed up of shifting essentials from room to room, because there’s not really a place for them to call home. Either way, the spacious home you once lived in somehow just feels a little squishy now. Perhaps your brood is made up of a baby or two more than expected? Or maybe you now work from home, and an office wasn’t on the tick list when you bought. We’ve all been there. The home was once roomy, but now there’s simply no room. Let’s look at the options, and figure out your best move.

Extensions

Extensions always seem appealing. It’ll be the same home you fell in love with, just bigger. No compromise, right? Let’s see…

Perhaps you’re thinking of a modest 5mx5m addition. Nothing indulgent, but just enough to turn your humble kitchen into a more sociable space. What’s the cost? Outside London, expect a bill of around £30,000. And that’s just for the build. Now let’s add on 10-15% for professional fees, because the architect, structural engineer, building regulations and planning permission won’t come for free.

Yes, extensions leave behind a long list of receipts, but what’s the real cost? The council typically takes eight weeks to consider planning permission applications, and longer for more complex builds. So that means two months of thumb-twiddling before the project has even had the thumbs up. And to what extent will your family-life be compromised if the builders do ascend? In amongst the dust, noise, and mess, you start to wonder if it was really worth sacrificing your garden for a larger kitchen. And was turning the children’s playground into a construction site really the right move? To extend is to compromise.


Loft conversions

Now let’s consider creating more space by moving up, not out. Loft conversions don’t usually require planning permission, so that’s one headache less than extensions. And unless you’re set on changing the properties exterior, creating a straightforward loft room is, well, pretty straightforward. From a legislation perspective anyway.

It’ll create a new room without nibbling into your gardens, which again, makes it more appealing. And it’s the least disruptive member of the extension family too, since all the work is contained to one unused space above. So as the new room takes shape, mess, dust, and noise is kept well away from family life.

And while grub is kept out, heat is kept in. On average, a home loses a quarter of its heat through the roof. But when converting a loft space, reinforcements are made to the walls, ceilings, and floors. This naturally packs in extra installation, so in the process of creating a functional space, you’re trapping warmth inside the property. This means friendlier heating bills, and a toastier house.

It sounds promising, so let’s consider the finer details. Like floor plans. Architects design homes based on the plot size, and to optimise useable space. So, since your home wasn’t designed with a loft room in mind, how much wiggle room is there for an extra flight of stairs? Spiral staircases are an option, but they’re not in keeping with most interior design and styles. Then there’s the building legislation to think of; the width and headspace of the staircase all need to be in compliance.

Now let’s talk money. A loft conversion isn’t cheap, but it’s generally cheaper than an extension. And it can increase the value of a home by up to 25%. So what does it cost? Like extensions, it varies, but expect a modest conversion to set you back upwards of £20,000. And an elegant master bedroom, complete with an en-suite? £45,000 minimum.

But, again, what does enduring an extension or loft conversion really cost? Let’s take figures and statistics out of the equation. Because mathematics doesn’t have the answer to a happy home.


Time for a move?

Growing your home to accommodate your changing family, or circumstances, seems appealing. Romantic, even. But how many romances end in tragedy? You may gain an extra room or two, but dust, disagreements and dissatisfaction are other likely add-ons too.

A home is a retreat. It’s the place you should look forward to returning to, and it’s a place that can make or break family time.

Perhaps you could put up with turning your kitchen into a construction site. And maybe you could sacrifice some of the gardens to accommodate the new kitchen-diner. The build is temporary, and the garden is plentiful after all. But once the build is complete, will it be just right? Compromising for planning grants, pinching floor space from gardens, and fighting the restrictions of the original house design. When you bought, you bought a home that was built for your needs at the time. It was comfortable, and it was just what your family needed. But when your circumstances change, perhaps it’s time to look for a property that was designed for your family as it is now.

To extend or convert is a compromise. It’s making the most of what you can do with what you’ve got. They both come with limitations and restrictions. And compromises, limitations and restrictions aren’t the homeliest adjectives around. Choosing a new home is an indulgence. It’s a fresh start, and a new beginning. And this time, you know exactly what your family needs.

So if you’re constantly looking for extra room, maybe it’s time to reassess. Families change with time, and if the home can’t keep up, it’ll start to drag you down. When you bought the home, it was right for you and your circumstances. But with time, your tick-list of priorities will naturally change. Write down the things you’d like to stretch, rejig or knockdown in your current home, and it’ll help draw a picture of what your next home looks like. So don’t compromise, move!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, or are just looking for more options and advice on what would be the right move for you please answer a few short questions here and I’ll be in touch to help you the best I can.

We’ve all been there. You know your home is a great catch, you’ve read all the magazines, and you’ve followed all the tips to a T. But it’s still not budging. And to make it worse, Stuart and Lesley’s barn conversion next door was snapped up the first week it hit Rightmove. You’re starting to wonder if you’ll ever see a sold sign hanging out front. So what’s left to do? Instead of following tips to a T, you need to follow them to a P. And that’s three P’s to be precise.

P is for Price

Having the right pricing strategy in place is a great start. Listing for £499,995 seems logical; it looks friendlier sitting just under the big 5, and will position your house as a steal, right? Wrong. Selling a home isn’t easy, but sitting inside as many people’s price brackets as possible is key. The more people that see your home, the more likely it is to sell. A home listed on Rightmove for £500,000 will be included in searches for £500,000-£600,000 as well as £475,000-£500,000. If the same home was priced at £499,995, it would fail to show in the latter bracket. So £5 could be the difference between doubling your potential viewers, and finding the right buyers for your home.

P is for Promotion

Which Rightmove pictures catch your eye? The dimly-lit, awkward looking ones, or the professional lifestyle images? The latter not only look special, they look magazine-worthy, and they tell a story that a buyer wants to be a part of. Now take a read of your house description. Is it something along the lines of: ‘The XYZ Estate Agents are proud to offer this realistically priced, and generously proportioned, detached family home,’? Or maybe it’s littered with lovely generic phrases like, ‘features’, ‘briefly comprising’ and ‘duel-aspect.’ These go-to phrases are simply meaningless, and who drops ‘dual-aspect’ into daily conversation anyway? If the copy isn’t interesting, persuasive and meaningful, your home isn’t going to talk to buyers. And since emotions sell a home, the words and images need to give a warm hello, and a lasting impression, if they are to stand out and be remembered.

P is for Presentation

So you’ve priced the home just right, and the photography and copy have caught people’s attention. Now for the viewings. This is where it gets exciting. Home styling, or how we dress our home ready to impress, is the final hurdle. And without a little help, it’s easy to fall here. Draw your viewers’ eyes to your home’s natural beauty, and show how each room could work for another family is key.

So Price, Promotion and Presentation. Follow these three ‘P’s, and you’ll be passing over the keys in no time. A home is more than just bricks and mortar, to both you and potential buyers; it needs to capture their hearts, as well as their heads.

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.

Sam

You’re just about to put your home up for sale. You’ve chosen your estate agent, decided upon an asking price, and planned your launch date. Your home is looking wonderful: spick and span, and sparkly clean.

Now all you need are some finishing touches. But which? What should you buy to transform your house into an extra-special home that will wow your viewers, and generate an offer?

Here are our top 9 styling secrets to add that ‘show home’ glow:

Secret #1.   Cushions – a really easy way to instantly update that fading suite and add colour, texture and interest at the same time. If your living room is neutral and ‘safe’, add cushions with a splash of colour. If on the other hand, your colour scheme is vibrant, try pale coloured cushions, in cream, pale grey or faded gold.

Cushions

Secret #2.   Rugs – a large, deep rug can transform a room, adding warmth and style.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on one; there are some inexpensive rugs easily available online. A rug can also cover a carpet past its best, or add a sense of cosiness to a room with a hard floor.

Rugs

Secret #3.   Fruit– big glass bowls or wide vases of fruit in the kitchen add instant colour and style. Fill them full of just one type of fruit (oranges, green apples or lemons look wonderful) to complement your kitchen in a contemporary style.

Fruit

Secret #4.   Flowers – make sure your flower arrangements are in keeping with the style of your house, and also the room: long elegant Cala lilies are great on a large dining table, whereas little hand-tied posies are just right for a rustic kitchen.

Flowers

Secret #5.   Toiletries –choose the very best you can afford here; it matters: a little Molton Brown goes a long way!  Don’t let the family use them though; they are just for show.

Toiletries

Secret #6.   New bedding – especially for the master bedroom, where it matters most to your buyers.  Choose a subtle style in a light, neutral colour, and add some cushions and a good quality throw for some hotel-style luxury.

New bedding

Secret #7.   Towels – used towels never quite look the same as brand new ones, so treat your bathrooms to some gorgeous new towels. Don’t keep them out after the viewing; whip them away and store them so they stay looking their best.

Towels

Secret #8.  Add the lifestyle – leaf through any interiors magazine, and you’ll see rooms ‘staged’ with lifestyle elements. These are mini ‘room sets’, like a table set for breakfast or afternoon tea. Something as simple as a tea tray and a cake on a stand can make your home look wonderful for a viewing, and might just tempt a viewer to stay around and enjoy it!

Add the lifestyle

Secret #9.   Atmosphere – to enhance your viewers’ experience of your home, make them feel comfortable and welcome. Put on some neutral background music to encourage your visitors to linger, and light scented candles in subtle fragrances for a finishing touch.

Atmosphere

Where to buy:
To stay up to date with current trends, colours and styles without breaking the bank, try these high street and online retailers:

Next – great range of coordinated soft furnishings and home accessories at value-for-money prices.

Marks and Spencer – usually a little more traditional, so better for older homes in the main.

John Lewis – my favourite, but the more expensive of my suggestions.  Great for sumptuous fabrics and decorative touches.

Matalan– not the best quality, but you definitely get a lot for your money!  Right on trend, and full of bargain pieces like vases and ornaments.  Well worth a visit.

House to Home -great online website for sourcing all the things you’ll need, and finding inspiration too

eBay – A fantastic resource for homewares, both new and second hand.  You can search by item, size, colour, shape, you name it.  I once furnished almost an entire house for sale from eBay, and saved a fortune.  Try it!

When your home is looking dressed and styled, it’s so much easier to feel confident about its appeal, and you’re more likely to get closer to your asking price. It doesn’t take much time and money for your home to look truly amazing, and to take you a big step closer to being able to move on.

* * *

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 lady called me this week, unable to sell her lovely rural house in Shropshire.  I asked her about her agent, and she explained that she was frustrated at having to chase them to find out feedback from viewings, and that when she called it was difficult to get hold of anyone on the phone.

“Have you actually been into the office?” I asked her.

“Oh yes,” she assured me.  “It’s the only way I can speak to anyone sometimes!”

I asked her how many key members of staff the agent had; in other words, how many were actually customer-facing and not just administration staff.  She was very sure in her answer – three, including the manager.

I checked the agent’s profile online: they currently had 158 properties listed.  That equals 53 properties for each negotiator if the manager is included, and a whopping 79 properties each if in fact the manager isn’t involved in viewings and negotiating.

So how many properties can each negotiator look after effectively, making sure they handle their clients’ viewings successfully, keep in contact regularly and generally stay focused on selling their client’s property?  Well, I would suggest no more than 25.  In an average week, this would allow for around an hour per client, plus time for travel, meetings, putting together brochures, and all the other things that agents do (some of which are a mystery to us all).   That’s plenty, I think.  How on earth can they give good service when they are only allocating around half an hour at best, per client per week?!

How many properties does your agent currently have listed on Rightmove? How many actively selling members of staff are there?  If you divide the former by the latter and come up with a figure of more than 25, it may be time for a rethink.  To sell a house effectively and for the price you want in a difficult market like this, you need attention, focus and dedication from your agent, and he just can’t give you all three in a measly half an hour or less per week.

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 selling your home, it seems that everyone knows something you don’t. Why that viewer didn’t buy, even though they gushed over your new lino; why your estate agent isn’t returning your calls; and why your next-door neighbour sold in a week for over the asking price, yet yours has been on the market for months without a bite?

It’s not a grand conspiracy, honest. Over the last fifteen years or so I’ve worked with over 1000 homeowners, and talked to at least 5000, and from all those conversations, I’ve compiled a list of all the things you should probably know when you’re selling, then distilled them to the top five. And I’m telling you them, because no one else will.

Here are my top five selling secrets you need to know when you’re selling your house. (Don’t shoot the messenger.)

Selling Secret Number 1:
The first offer you get will probably be the best offer you will ever get

Did you decline an offer in the first month or so that, in hindsight, you now would take? It’s a familiar story.  In fact, around 75% of sellers who contact us would now accept that offer – gladly – and now regret having rejected it.

On average, 100,000 house sales transact every month, and there are currently around a million homes on Rightmove. That means that it would take ten months to sell all the properties on there. But of course, new properties are coming to the market every single day.  On average, only about half the properties on the market each year actually sell. This figure is higher in urban areas, where properties tend to sell within the first ten weeks or so, and much lower in rural areas, where it’s not unusual for a property to languish on the market for years.

A property is never more desirable than when it first goes onto the market.  The initial flurry of interest can even occasionally generate an offer in excess of the asking price, such is the draw of a newly-marketed home.  The interest curve for those all-important first few weeks looks something like this.

However, once all the buyers who have been searching for a while for their next home have seen it, then it’s only the new buyers coming to the market who are around to show any interest, and this may be only a handful a week, at best.  This just isn’t sufficient to instil any sense of urgency in a buyer, who may view 15 – 20 or more properties before making an offer on one.

Once your property has been on the market for more than a couple of months therefore, the interest curve looks more like this:

If you drop your asking price, and keep dropping it in an attempt to counteract this downwards trend of interest, all you’re doing is ‘chasing the market down’, in effect.

So what’s the answer?  Here are my top five tips for keeping your property marketing fresh, and avoid it becoming stale and forgotten:

1. Don’t dismiss out of hand any offer you receive in those crucial early weeks of marketing.  It will probably be the best offer you will ever receive on your home.

2. If you’re several months (or years) down the line, you need to break the vicious cycle that is no one wants a house that no one wants.  Take it off the market completely for at least two months, and preferably up to six months.

3. Re-launch at the right time of year for your property, ie at the time of year when your buyer is most likely to be searching.

4. Don’t scrimp on your re-launch: engage a professional home stager, commission a professional photographer, and choose a proactive agent who believes in quality marketing.

If you get an early offer when you go back to market, take it!  Within reason of course…. As a general rule of thumb, anything in excess of 90% of your asking price is definitely worthy of consideration in this market, and over 95% is a terrific offer.

.

Selling Secret Number 2:
Your estate agent (probably) isn’t good enough to photograph your house

Most agents think they are: believe me. But interior photography in particular needs a pro on the task.  Interiors are fraught with challenges, just waiting to trip up the amateur – blown windows, strange angles and dark shadows are all evident in most of the amateur property images I see every day on Rightmove.

External photography is much easier, as an amateur blue-sky shot is always going to have the edge over a professional white sky image.  Some of the best external front shots of properties are actually taken by the homeowner themselves!

If your agent really can’t be persuaded to use a professional to photograph your house, you need my help to make sure that your images look as good as they can do, under the circumstances.

Here are my five secrets to getting great property images:

1. Clean and clear – clear surfaces and floor spaces, take up rugs where necessary, and clean everything until it sparkles.  Light and reflected shine are the best ways to show off the size of your rooms – NOT wide-angled lenses!

2. Go shopping! Shop for staging accessories and give your home the star treatment:

Kitchen – croissants, champagne, flowers
Living rooms – candles, flowering plants, lifestyle magazines and coffee table books
Bathrooms – fluffy white towels, luxury toiletries
Outside – flowering plant for patio table centre, pretty tealight holders

3. The better you brief the photographer, the better the images will be!  Go round the house making a note of any particularly attractive angles or features, then call him as close as possible to the day he is due, so your requests are fresh in his mind.

4. Make sure the photographer knows what time of day the sun will be on the front of the house.  Think also about evening shots, and when the sun will be on the garden.  This may necessitate two separate visits so make sure the photographer has allowed for this.

5. Follow him round!  Plump cushions, move chairs, take away any distracting objects, remove bins and washing.  Make sure you can see what he’s photographing so you can anticipate any potential for the room not looking its absolute best.  Put lamps on, or turn lights off, to keep the ambient light at the right level.  A good photographer will really appreciate your help and will guide you throughout.

Keep your images seasonal– it’s very telling to see a house advertised in September with daffodils in the garden, or in January with Wisteria in full bloom.  Keep your property photography as close as possible to the current season.  This often means asking your agent to revisit to refresh your images with new ‘foliage’ shots.  After all, you may not want your viewer to know how long your house has been for sale – and why give them an excuse to make a low offer?

Selling Secret Number 3:
If your house doesn’t sell quickly, your agent will assume it’s the price

If not the asking price that is preventing a house from selling, then what else could it be? An agent is much more likely to blame the price than his marketing, but in my experience, a few tweaks in the marketing can have a more positive impact on interest than dropping the asking price of a property.

Here are my top three reasons not to drop your asking price:

1. If you don’t believe in your asking price, why should your buyer?  Be confident your home is worth what you’re asking.  Your confidence will be infectious, and be transmitted to your viewers via your agents.

2. It’s a downward spiral – where will it all end?  You don’t want to give it away.  Make sure you sell on value, not on price.

Most of the time, it doesn’t work – sellers who contact us have almost always already dropped their price, sometimes several times, but they still haven’t sold their homes.  Who wants to buy something at a falling price?

Selling Secret Number 4:
Your agent doesn’t want to call you when he has bad news or no news.

It’s difficult for both you and your agent when the market is slow; they don’t have anything to tell you, so not only will they stop calling, they may even start avoiding your calls too.  Meanwhile, you’re left feeling frustrated and powerless, wondering what on earth you can do when no one wants to view your home.

Communication between you and your agent at this tricky time becomes all the more important.  Without communication, there can be no trust, and without trust, there is no worthwhile relationship.   But when you’re in a locked loop of your agent not calling because there’s no interest, yet you need to know what you can do to improve the situation, it’s easy to become despondent.

Here are my top five communication tips when you’re trying to sell your home, to ensure the relationship doesn’t degenerate irretrievably:

1. Pre-empt any issues by agreeing a communication schedule before you launch your home to the market.  This is over and above any calls to arrange viewings, or to give feedback afterwards; this plan outlines your expectations and so your agent has some chance of meeting them.  With a plan agreed in advance, there are clear expectations and if these are not met, you can refer your agent back to their original agreement.

2. Keep your communication positive – if your agent feels that they are being told off, or held to account, for a lack of interest in your property, they will be increasingly reluctant to pick up the phone to you.  If however, your tone is encouraging, friendly and supportive, they will look forward to speaking to you, and they will be only too happy to have a chat to you, even if there is nothing concrete to report.

3. If you’re in town, near your agent’s office, pop in.  Take them cakes, or flowers out of your garden for the office.  If they offer to make you a cup of tea, even better.  Agents are just like me and you; they have favourite clients, so make sure you’re one of them.

4. Ask for advice: lots of vendors do this, but then they either don’t listen to any suggestions, or else they argue with it.  If you genuinely listen and show that you value any input that might improve the level of interest in your property, you will find your agent much more confident about discussing the issues with you.

5. Share your plans with them: if your agent knows how important your move is, perhaps to be closer to a special relative, to give yourself more financial security, or to realise your long-held dream of living in the country, they will be able to genuinely identify with your aspirations.

Selling your home should be a team effort, and anything you can do to help your agent will in the long run, only benefit you even more.  So be nice, be friendly, and be kind.  They are all big softies really!

Selling Secret Number 5: The mailing list doesn’t really exist
The Mailing List Myth

Once upon a time, when estate agents didn’t have the internet, they had to actually talk to potential buyers on the phone – or in person – to discover their house-buying requirements and budget. All this information would be carefully kept and meticulously matched against new properties as they were listed. This record was called a mailing list.

If you were a buyer, you would need to register on the mailing list of every agent in your chosen location, or else miss out on any new and potentially desirable properties coming onto the market.

In those good old days, an agent was only as good as his mailing list. So, the Knight Franks and the Savills had long lists of big spenders wanting county piles, and the little independent agency offices would mop up all the first-time buyers, as well as the pensioners looking for sheltered accommodation.

Then along came the magical World Wide Web. Now, buyers no longer had to phone each agent’s office and laboriously give all their details over and over; instead, they could enter their requirements in the simplest form – no contract details needed – and see instantly what was available for them. Fantastic! But what about the agent with his precious database of buyers? Is he redundant?

Well yes, and no.

Yes – because buyers don’t need him anymore, because the information they need that was previous held captive by the agents, is now publicly and freely available.

But no – because the agent still needs the buyers. really good agent will understand that the internet is just a filtering device for buyers, who will often screen out properties that may actually be suitable, judged purely on an unflattering photograph, or an optimistic asking price. The agent’s skill is in matching houses to buyers, and that takes experience, enthusiasm and a genuine liking for his clients.

Buyers need to trust their agent to guide them through the complicated maze that is house hunting, and accept coaching from him to make good decisions. These skills and this experience cannot be replaced by an internet search.

No matter how detailed and comprehensive property portals become, the vast majority of us will still look to a real person when it comes to making one of the largest purchase decisions in our lives.

The mailing list may be dead, but the proactive estate agent is still very much alive and kicking.

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.

It may be too cheap!

Here are 3 reasons you may need to increase your asking price:

  • Agents talk a lot about dropping the asking price so that it appears in a new price range. But surely that means it disappears from the one it was in?! Given that buyers spend around 3 months on average looking for their next home, the pool of people who are considering your home is changing four times a year, so you aren’t necessarily going to appear in more online searches, just different searches.
  • If your price has a 9 at the end of it – round it up! By having an asking price ending in 999 you’re potentially missing anyone who has more money to spend. The old-fashioned pricing of £599,000 £595,000 etc just doesn’t work any more.  By pricing your property at a rounded figure, for example £600,000, you then ensure that your house appears in as many searches as possible.
  • Buyers like to spend their budget – and some! If you’re too cheap your house may be dismissed as inferior to a more expensive alternative – just because it’s more expensive than yours.

Remember – homes don’t sell on price – they sell on emotion. Your buyer needs to make an emotional connection to your home, and if they do, price becomes far less important to them. In fact, if it’s just a little bit out of their budget, all the better – it’s actually more attractive to them!

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.

Headlines are meant to command your attention.  Think of the front page of our daily newspapers, the News at Ten summary before the Big Ben bongs and the way our gaze is snagged by the headlines on the front cover of glossy magazines as they sit on the shelves, all fighting for our attention.

The same is true for property marketing.  Too often are houses listed on Rightmove and the other property portals with the main description simply lifted and inserted on the summary page.  So we get flat descriptions with ellipses, as they haven’t been written to fit the summary, so overflow.  Take a look at this prime example of a yawn-inducing ‘summary’:

A modern link detached 3 bedroom family home, situated in a corner position, located in this popular village. The property also offers a stylish kitchen, cloakroom, spacious living room and conservatory overlooking the rear garden. Further attributes include a garage,…

Much better to have a simple and punchy headline of no more than 15 – 20 words that tells the buyer straight away why they need to book a viewing.

Here’s a list of some headlines – some better than others – but all better than a wordy description that nobody will read:

A good effort:

  • Luxury period living with 21st Century refinements
  • A superb architect designed house enjoying far-reaching panoramic views over Lake Windermere and the stunning backdrop of the Lakeland Fells
  • A cosy cottage nestled in a beautiful quiet backwater

A bit of punch:

  • Make as much noise as you want
  • Possibly Norfolk’s finest coastal property
  • Welcome to paradise

Finally, some great examples from our friends at Pink and Black in Oxford:

  • Handsome farmhouse with lots of toys and plenty of land for the aspiring smallholder
  • If you are looking for a view it doesn’t get much better than this. With a tantilising touch of Tuscany, if the tree-lined drive hasn’t sold it to you, the 4 acres of grounds will.
  • A great combination of work and home life: a true home in every sense
  • Like a Saville Row suit, this house has been created to last the test of time.

Some pointers to make sure your headline beats the competition:

Use individual and unusual words – forget ‘spacious’ and ‘well-presented’, and go for adjectives that will really grab our buyer.

Capture the essence – what is it that is unique and special about your home?

Keep it short – with the exception of the Tuscany headline above, all the others are less than around 20 words.

Struggling to create a catchy headline?  Email me with a link to your property advert, and I’ll see if I can help.

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.


Whichever of the four main property portals your house had been listed on – Rightmove, Primelocation, Zoopla or OntheMarket – you need to make sure it is working for you.  Check that it is:

  • Punchy – does it stand out above the other properties?
  • Good front shot – is it stale?  Is it seasonal? Can it be improved?
  • 6-8 photographs – too few is not enough to whet a buyer’s appetite, but too many and they will think they don’t need to view.  Are your internal images good enough?
  • Brochure download – can your brochure be downloaded and printed as a pdf?
  • Floorplan download – check your floorplan loads large enough to read, and print it out to ensure it’s clear enough

Think of your online advert as an extension of your brochure; it needs to really sell your house, and encourage a buyer to book a viewing.  After all, that’s what it’s there to do!

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.

So many things are marketed as 99p or similar with an attempt to make it look ‘cheap’, when it really isn’t much of a saving. So how does this affect the many common things that ‘use’ the penny as a pricing tool?

When it comes to using the 1p pricing tool in property pricing, it tends to not have a very positive effect. Property pricing is of paramount important these days.  I don’t mean the question of ‘value’ – but instead the art of setting the right price so that the portal searches are optimised.  For example: you have a house to sell worth approximately £1 million. The agent suggests an asking price of £999,999.  ”It’s a psychological price point” they tell you.  I don’t agree.  At all.  I say – market at £1,000,000, and here’s why:

  • £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 and a ‘Harrods’ price.  Make it £1 million straight;
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  • £1 million is actually an aspirational price point – your buyers WANT to spend one million pounds on a house, and tell their friends and family that they have done;
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  • £1 million is a very confident price – it says “my house is worth a million pounds”  £999,999 is apologetic, humble: it says “make me an offer”;
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  • £1 million gets your property shown in more searches.  At £999,999 on Rightmove, your property will only appear in searches up to £1 million.  At £1,000,000 straight, it appears not only in searches up to £1 million, but also those over: potentially doubling traffic to your property advert.

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

Should we scrap the penny? Do you agree that it would have a positive effect for property pricing? Tell us below.

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.

Is your house on the market?  Good. Go to Rightmove (www.rightmove.co.uk) and look up your property.  Now click on each image in turn, and look at the titles, in the bottom right hand corner.  What does it say?  If the reference is, like 90% of the property photo references online, simply ‘Picture 1’ like below, or some other equally uninformative name, it needs changing.

Property images in Rightmove

Once the photo has been named properly, it will appear like this:

A garden & view images in Rightmove

Why?

You may have a beautiful house, but if a buyer can’t correlate your images to say, your floorplan or written description, its impact may be lost.  I came across a photograph of a stunning view only the other day on an online property advert, which I assumed was a nearby beauty spot.  “Oh no”, the owner corrected me; “That’s the view from our patio!”  So why on earth had the agent named the image ‘Pic 8’ instead of ‘View from patio’?!  Your images are probably the most valuable marketing tool you have when you are selling your home, so use them to their best advantage.

How?

Ask your agent to do it!  If he doesn’t know how, explain to him that he needs to rename all the images he has uploaded, then re-upload them to the property portals.  That way they will appear with the names in the bottom right hand corner, as descriptions.

When?

Today!  This is much too important to leave it even one more day, and as the property portals upload overnight, you need to make sure your agent addresses it urgently!

By the way, if you’d like more of Sam’s Selling Secrets delivered direct to your inbox, just pop your email address in here and I’ll do the rest.

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.