About to list your property for sale?
You must be truthful and accurate every step of the way. Putting your home on the market can be easier said than done, which is why we’re here to help.
Here are some listing realities all sellers need to know about.
1.Your Agent Should Be Armed With Evidence
It can be difficult to know how much your home is worth. The trick is pricing your property competitively while making sure you don’t put-off potential buyers. Remember: an asking price is a marketing price – it’s a tool that will either attract interest or kill the sale.
Being able to justify your asking price is essential. But, particularly if this is your first time selling, it can be tough to know where to start. For this reason, many choose to use their estate agent’s marketing price. Or, at the very least, use it as a guide.
Ensure your estate agent has done thorough market research and can provide evidence of other sold prices for similar properties in the area.
Another important tip for selling a house is to do your own research here too, as then you’ll have an idea of whether the estate agent’s ‘valuation’ is accurate or not.
2. Beware Of Agent Asking Prices
It can be difficult to know whether the asking price an estate agent gives you is realistic, or if they’re just trying to win your business through a deliberately over-optimistic price.
While there’s nothing to say your agent will do this, it can happen. They then reduce the asking price after a few weeks due to lack of viewings.
For this reason, you shouldn’t take the agent’s price as gospel. Ensure you have given plenty of thought to choosing an estate agent, and aren’t just making your decision based on their attractive ‘valuation’.
3. Buyers Will Do Market Analysis Too
As the seller, you need to be one step ahead of the buyer. To determine if the asking price that’s been listed is fair, they’ll look into other sale prices in the area.
If yours is unrealistic or completely unfair, it’s likely you’ll receive a lack of interest and offers.
Over-pricing is often the most common answer to the question ‘why isn’t my house selling?’ Don’t assume the buyer won’t do their research too, especially if they’re using a local agent to sell their home too, who will have inside knowledge into the area and other sale prices.
4. Listings Provide First Impressions
Potential buyers will see your property listing before they see your property. So, realistically, this is your opportunity to make a first impression – so make it count.
- Insufficient, or poor quality images, deter buyers
- In fact, 82% of buyers said a lack of images would put them off making a purchase
- Aim for a minimum of 10 images
- 75% also said unflattering or bad quality photos are one of their biggest pet peeves when house hunting
- Use tech to your advantage. A high-quality video can not only set your listing apart from others and attract attention, but it’s come to be expected from buyers as many initial viewings are now virtual
- A smartphone can easily let you film a 360-degree tour, which can help you stand out
- Put some personality into the property description
- Ensure you have accurate floor plans
5. Time On the Market Matters
Buyers can see how long your property has been listed for. This is one of the things they’ll look closely at.
It’s important to be aware that this might not go in your favour if your home has been on for a while.
The reason? If it’s been on the market a long time, this can be a good negotiation tool to try and wiggle the price down in their favour.
It’s a harsh reality, but one to be aware of. How long it takes to sell a house varies widely, but do your best to avoid it dragging out unncessarily.
6. Not All Property Portals Were Created Equal
They make things easy for the buyer, as they can:
- Access floor plans
- Book viewings
- See maps
- See street view
- Get local information
Some even provides information about roughly how much monthly bills are likely to cost.
However, this isn’t to say that there isn’t any value in listing your property on some of the lesser well-known portals. There are also new challenger portals that will soon be available giving homeowners more choice on where to market their homes for sale.
Ensure that the buyer can find all the information they need to make a decision. This will make it more likely that your property will be found, and snapped up. Ensure you’ve checked how much any extra marketing tactics, such as virtual tours, will cost you.
7. Problems Must Be Disclosed
Reckon you can get away with hiding any major problems on your listing? Think again.
It’s not just the responsibility of the homebuyer to ask the right questions! The responsibility for providing information which could affect any buying decision now falls on both the owner AND the estate agent.
In 2013, the description and sale of property came under the regulation of the CPR (Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations). So, if you don’t disclose something that could legitimately affect a buyer’s decision, you could be prosecuted.
So here’s what you could do to handle potential problems:
- Deal with them before listing your property (if possible)
- Put your property for sale below market value to accommodate them
- Put your property for sale at market price, but offer other incentives, such as fixtures and fittings
Choose any of the above and don’t blindside buyers or cover up problems.
Always be honest. Your listing needs to reflect your property well, but also be accurate. Buyers will not want to turn up expecting something great, only to be disappointed.
8. Photos Will Make Or Break Your Listing
We mentioned earlier the importance of listing photos. Let’s delve into a bit more detail on this. You can do your property a real disservice if your pictures aren’t up to scratch:
- Use natural light to your advantage – take photos during the day
- If possible, use a wide-angle lens
- Try not to take pictures of overly personal aspects, let the buyer imagine themselves there
- Hiring a professional photographer can make all the difference (if you can afford this)
- Ensure all photos showrooms and assets at their best e.g. size, cleanliness etc. (a wide-angle lens can help)
- Go for quality and quantity
However, you need to understand the photos aren’t always true to life. It doesn’t matter how much you try to get the perfect set up, colours may not look the same, good lighting may not translate etc. Be aware of this, as it can be a frustration for many sellers.
9. A Listing Is A Sales Tool
Property listings help generate interest around your property which ultimately leads to a sale.
So, ensure you put all the information on there that helps you market your property and showcase it at its best.
Do you have an en suite? Loft conversion? Big garden? Good energy efficiency rating?
Don’t leave anything attractive about your home off the list. Leave buyers keen to see more.
10. Words Matter
Ensure not too much property-related jargon is used in your property description. Use your estate agent’s advice here, they’ll have done it before many times, but make sure everything you want covered is in the description.
You will want to try and strike a balance between attractiveness, without being over the top. You don’t have to be a wordsmith but you need to appeal to potential buyers without sounding like you’re desperate for their attention.
Need More Help Selling?
Navigating the world of selling a property can be tough, whether you’re a first time seller or you’ve been there before. There’s a lot to think about, and it can feel like a minefield.
However, it doesn’t have to be!
We’ve got a homeseller toolkit waiting for you to downlaod for FREE. Just sign upand help youself.
Sign up to our newsletter for expert tips and advice from Phil Spencer, delivered straight to your inbox.
Last Updated: April 26th, 2022