There’s no two ways around it, selling your home can be a real hassle. Having to keep your house in pristine condition while people you don’t know traipse around your bedroom and you have to sit in a coffee shop for an hour because, let’s face it, it’s a lot better to have the vendor out of the picture when viewings are taking place – all in all, it’s annoying.
So, to make sure offers come in thick and fast and you don’t have to go through months of viewings without a single offer; here are 4 common mistakes to avoid:
1. Mistake 1: Overpricing.
If you want to actually sell your property it has to be priced correctly. Listen to your agent – you may want a pre-Brexit price but if that price is unrealistic, your property will end up sitting on the market for months on end. You may get a few viewings and even a few offers but be prepared to be disappointed. Once a property has sat ‘stagnant’ on the market, potential buyers will think; ‘there must be something wrong with this property’, ‘it must be over priced’ etc… wouldn’t you think the same?
2. Mistake 2: Being present during viewings.
Yes, you do know the property better than any agent ever could. You know its benefits and how many hours went into the little details that could be missed without you there. However, the presence of a home owner is commonly known in the industry and a huge no-no. The main reason it’s a terrible idea to stick around is because potential buyers will find it very hard to openly criticize and comment on the things they either don’t like or would change. Instead, the potential buyer will keep their mouth shut and internally process all their objections. Once out of the property, they will often only externally process one all too common phrase – ‘it’s not for me’. The enormous advantage of having an estate agent show potential buyers around your property is that buyers will openly express their objections in real time and therefore give the agent an immediate opportunity to overcome their objection before it is set in the buyers’ mind as a red flag. Buyers can have anywhere from 1 – 20 ‘reasons’ why a property isn’t for them while viewing but a good agent can creatively overcome the majority with some quick, out of the box thinking – giving you a far better chance of the property actually being sold.
Side note: The word ‘sold’ is the outcome. The process is called ‘selling’ – in my opinion, selling should be left to the person that eats, sleeps and breaths sales. The person that gets affirmation and pride from expertly overcoming objections and getting deals done. A great example of how much I believe in this point is that even though the sales person I just described is me (and many others), I recently sold my sole residents with another agent. I didn’t even think about doing it myself!
3. Mistake 3: Not preparing your home for market.
Potentially a simple one, depending on the current condition of your property. If you have yellow floral wallpaper and red carpets, 9 times out of 10, it will be massively beneficial to get a decorator in for a few days. Strip the wallpaper and go for neutral paint; off whites, greys, pale blues, greens and replace the carpet or lay engineered wooden flooring – a quick spruce up doesn’t have to break the bank. Spend £10-15k now and you’ll reap the rewards come completion day. If your home is already in good nick, simply remove personal items, de-clutter, touch up scuffs, replace light bulbs and clean.
4. Mistake 4: No style.
Here is where it gets interesting. By no style, I’m certainly not implying you have no style (most of you anyway). As everyone’s tastes vary so much, what is stunning to one person will be hideous to another! The goal of styling a home for market is to create a neutral, stylish interior that will appeal to the widest possible audience – to give them the ability to envisage their own lives in the property. Now, I completely appreciate there are beautiful ‘one off’ homes that will not appeal to a wide audience, but I am generalising; for the 95%. Replace some of your old furniture, add cushions and throws to sofas, put on some lovely pure linen duvet covers and pillow cases. Clear kitchen counter tops, bedside tables, bathroom surfaces and dressing tables. Add a few simple candles, hand towels, soaps, vases, plants, I could go on… But remember who your target buyer/audience is. The styling of a 2-bedroom apartment in Knightsbridge will be very different to a 4-bedroom terrace in Dulwich.
Follow these few pointers, some of them more time consuming than others and you’ll not only minimise time spent on the market but you’ll also, most likely, achieve a better price.