Tag Archives: timing

Spring is such a lovely time of year.  Many of the houses we work with at HomeTruths are rural or village homes, surrounded by fields and woodland, and look absolutely beautiful at this time of year.  I love how the flowers count down the weeks until summer too, starting with the snowdrops, then the daffodils, and of course the beautiful bluebells.

Lots of our clients are really pleased when their photographs and brochure feature their beautiful gardens, complete with seasonal flowers.  However, I have to explain that whilst it’s true that they do look so pretty, they unfortunately date the photography, and therefore the date the house first came to market, for their buyers to see.  I can look at property photography and date it within about 4 weeks, and that may be information you don’t want to share with your buyers.

There are some weeks between spring and autumn when it’s reasonably safe to photograph a garden without giving too much away.  A good property photographer will exclude any tell-tale flowers if he possibly can, and give you the best chance of achieving an attractive brochure that doesn’t date.

So – no daffodils please; and if your photographs can be ‘dated’, it’s time to give your agent a call and ask him to arrange for new ones.  Tell him Sam said so.

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 wooden cabinet and a hallway to the garden

A wooden cabinet and a hallway to the garden

Many sellers who are unable to find a buyer, blame the market.  “We know the market’s dead,” they say, “so what can we do but wait?”

Estate agents also blame the market, adding their own solution to the problem of not enough buyers: “drop the price” they extol as the only answer.

Certainly, if you have a property in a row of many others the same, and yours is the most expensive without justification, then I would agree that the price has something to do with the lack of a buyer.  However, our clients are all selling unique homes, and no one can say without fear of challenge, that their asking price is preventing their property from selling.

The problem with this viewpoint, is that the only course of action, is either to drop your asking price, or to wait; or both.

However, at HomeTruths, we believe there is another way, and in the words of a very well-known bank: “A different way”. There are many factors which affect the saleability of a property, and whilst we can’t control the market, we can control our reaction to it.

Don’t blame the market, and if you have a unique home, don’t drop your asking price.  Instead, focus on making your home as attractive a proposition as possible, then getting the message out to your 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.

A dining table with books and a pot of flowers, a hanging furnitures on a wall and a lampshade place on top of a table

The summer holidays are finally here, and many of you will be heading off for a week or two of relaxation!  If you have your home for sale though, have you considered what will happen if people want to view it while you’re away? Some people feel fully confident leaving all viewings in the hands of their estate agents, whereas others prefer to be around for all viewings of their home. You obviously don’t want to lose potential buyers by not allowing views while you’re on holiday, so follow these tips below for pre-holiday preparations.

Bring in a friend – Your estate agent will always contact you to arrange any viewing, but let them know you’re on holiday and what your preferences are. If you want someone else to be there during a viewing, ask a friend or family member to be there too, and tell your agent this will be the case.

Keep in the loop – Despite lazing by the pool, you still want to be kept in the know while you’re away, especially if a viewing could lead to a sale. Ask your agent to drop you a call or email with any news or updates, and especially if interested parties are looking to make a second viewing.

Comments cards – Your estate agent will know the majority of your home details, but when it comes to particulars, you’re the best person to speak to. If you expect viewings when you’re on holiday, leave out little notes and comment cards on places and objects of interest. Potential buyers will appreciate the time taken and gesture, and may even help a sale.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions

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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 wall clock in a white painted house overlooking the living room with plants and flowers

When you get a call from your estate agent to book in a viewing, are you ultra accommodating, eager to please? Do you change your plans in order to make sure that your viewers can view your home when they want to?

Let me ask you another question – when is the best time to view your house? There are usually several factors to consider, including traffic flow, and I suggest you need to decide in advance which are the very best times for someone to see your house at its best, and arrange your viewings accordingly. Here are some of the times to avoid wherever possible:

School times – if you live anywhere near a school and parents have a tendency to park near your house when collecting and dropping off.

Commuting hours – it’s not easy to compete with the noise of the traffic when you’re in your garden telling your viewers how quiet the area usually is.

Bin days – no street looks nice with a row of wheelie bins waiting for the bin men.

Crowd noise – if you have a football ground or other event venue nearby, keep an eye on the schedule and avoid any large and potentially noisy events.

As well as these times to avoid, think about when your home actually looks its best; when the light streams through the kitchen window for example. Lots of buyers are keen to make sure the garden is well lit at key times of the day, so show yours off and arrange the viewings accordingly.

A keen buyer won’t be put off by restricting the times they can view, and I’ve heard many stories of buyers viewing properties at simply the wrong time of day. By helping your viewers to fall in love with your home before they see it at a more compromised time, they will themselves overcome these objections, without it becoming the deal breaker it can be.

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.

Hello, Happy New Year and welcome back!

Have you resolved to sell your home this year? The market is certainly hotting up, and for the first time since the last peak, we’ve been reading headlines about gazumping. However, this activity is not widespread, and as so often is the case, seems to be confined to popular property hotspots. If you’re living in a more rural area, or a non-so-popular town, you may find that for sale boards go up then hang around for months, if not longer.

If you’re really dedicated to selling your house this year, you need to take decisive action. Here’s my quick guide to selling before Christmas comes round again:

1.    Rest from the market

If you’ve been trying to sell for quite a while without a break, do make sure you take one now. As a general rule, I would withdraw from the market for a month every three months or so. For example, market from January to April, then rest for a month. This can help prevent your house from becoming stale and also helps protect your property value, as properties generally lose up to 1% of their value for each month they spend on the market.

 2.    Change your estate agent

This simple change can make all the difference. Sometimes just a new approach is enough to refresh your marketing and target new buyers.

3.    Stage your home

Ask family and friends for their honest opinions on the way your house is being presented. Scour current home magazines for trends and accessory ideas, and if necessary, commission a home stager.

4.    Commission a professional photographer

One of the most important, yet underused steps in property marketing. A professional photographer can make your house look fantastic, and sometimes all it takes is getting people across the door.  A great image can do that for you.

5.    Only accept a brochure that does your home justice

It’s tempting to allow your agent to produce an ‘information leaflet’ on his desktop, but this will not put you above the competition. To really stand out and tempt a buyer to view your home, your brochure needs to really showcase your home. Photography, design, description and paper quality – they all matter enormously.

6.    Prepare a viewing plan

Take a trusted friend around your home and write up a viewing plan. This is a simple written list of what rooms to show in which order, and any comments or details about each room or feature you feel deserving of mention. Type this up and give it to your estate agent, if they are doing the viewings.  If you are doing your own viewings, practice, preferably with a friend who doesn’t know your home well. Even if you are required to show your home yourself to viewers, your agent should give you some help and guidance in this aspect, so get them involved too.

7.     Time your re-launch carefully

There are some times of the year when activity is traditionally higher, though this does depend on the market for your home. This post will give you more information, but in general, focus on selling in Spring, early Summer or early Autumn for the best results.

8.     Ask for help

If all else fails, why not give me a call? Ten minutes on the phone may just help you to understand what the issues are, and whether or not you can do something to improve the situation. Let’s make sure you keep to your New Year’s Resolution and sell your home!

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 kitchen view- tomatoes, bread, and a knife on top of a chopping board surrounded with other cooking materials

A kitchen view- tomatoes, bread, and a knife on top of a chopping board surrounded with other cooking materials

Standing in my kitchen at home on a Sunday morning, peeling potatoes one-handed, generic smartphone in the other, I’m being subjected to a courteously-phrased but stinging tirade. My crime? I’m “not letting” a buyer view the house she’s just spotted on Rightmove until the day after the Royal Wedding.

If you’ve ever been in or around estate agency you’ll know that, once in a while, one of those houses comes up that would just sell itself in seconds. After stiff competition on a three-way valuation, I am the proud custodian of keys to just such a beast.

According to Mrs Polite-but-Miffed, many agents of her acquaintance will happily sell her a house without marketing the property (one wonders at this point why she hasn’t bought any of them) and this is the “expected and professional” way of doing things. Mrs PbM thinks I’m frustrating her in order to “artificially boost the price”.

I disagree. By delaying viewings, I have had time to organise clearance, cleaning, gardening and wait for blue sky photos. A RICS survey has been commissioned for the benefit of both seller and prospective buyers. Laborious newspaper advert deadlines don’t matter, tortuous Rightmove upload speeds are immaterial and the Easter hols are safely out of the way. Even our Facebook and Twitter clientele have been duly informed. By the time viewings start the house will be pristine, with every corner ready for detailed inspection. Unproceedable buyers will have had time to get themselves into a better position and my vendors should have a truly representative selection of prospective purchasers to choose from.

Is there an advantage to selling core market properties “off market”? If you’re the shy and retiring type, maybe you don’t want the world to know your business (although in my city, they already do!). Swift revenue generation for agents is a major plus and the chosen buyer is likely to think positively when picking the agent to sell their home the next time. However, should we be prioritising their interests over the sellers?

It’s still a buyers’ market out there but every home deserves a shot at maximum exposure. How many times have we heard owners say with glee that their house “sold to the first person through the door” and we’re thinking, yes but did you get the best price from the best buyer?

The answer, as always, is down to time: time for the agent to agree a proper marketing strategy with the owner, time to get details right and advertising prepared; time for buyers to do proper research rather than a quick flip through Zoopla, Mouseprice et al, and time for vendors to concentrate on maximising the saleability of their home.

Sadly, time is an increasingly rare resource in estate agency these days.

STOP PRESS: since writing this post, we re-launched the house, and our approach generated 28 viewings in 1.5hrs last Saturday. Another 9 viewings since, 4 revisits + 5 nosy neighbours – vindication of our technique I think, especially as we have already received asking price offers!

Carey Gilliand, estate agent in Bath (Madison Oakley)

This week’s guest blog is courtesy of the dashing Carey Gilliand. Apart from running my independent estate agent in Bath (Madison Oakley) with two partners, I am a local history buff, amateur photographer, proud father to two beautiful daughters and a keen gardener. For my sins, I have over 15 years experience selling homes across Bath & Somerset for both corporate and independent agencies.


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.