Do you need to sell your property?
The media has been full of stories over the last few weeks about the turbulence in the property market and what is likely to happen. There is no doubt that there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment with mortgage interest rates rising, mortgage deals being withdrawn and properties being downvalued but most commentators are advising us to “stay calm”.
If you need to sell your property, or simply want to sell, it is certainly sensible to look at ways in which you can improve your chances of a selling as quickly as possible and achieving the best price.
In this blog, I want to talk about how staging your home for sale can assist. But first, some things that might be putting you off.
Why Does The Appearance Of Your Property Matter?
To start with I’d like to explain why the appearance of your property matters. Presentation of your property has always been important, but it has become more so owing to the way in which buyers look for properties. Gone are the days when you would trawl the local estate agents picking up brochures. These days, buyers will normally jump on the Internet and visit one of the property portals. They will enter their search criteria and a selection of properties will come up in their feed. Your property needs to stand out (in a good way) in order to stop the buyers scrolling, getting them to click through to find out more about the property and, in turn, book a viewing. Not only do the images themselves need to be of good quality but what they are showing needs to be appealing as well. Many people struggle to visualise and home staging is how you demonstrate to your potential buyers the life they could hope to enjoy if they buy your property.
Right now costs may be your primary concern. It’s easy to think that any money spent on staging your property is “wasted” because we won’t benefit from it. I always explain that any time or money spent on staging is an investment. It’s worth it to achieve your goal (remember why you are selling). It is also true that the costs are likely to be less than that of your first price reduction. If you reduce your price then that reduction has to be significant in order to have any impact. For example, say your property is marketed at £400,000. Even a 5% reduction is £20,000, which is a lot of money. There is no hard and fast rule about how much you should spend on staging a property, it all depends on the property. However, as a very general ball park you could say between 1% and 2% which is obviously a lot less than 5% or even 10%.
I appreciate that everyone’s circumstances are different and you may have a very limited budget. If that is the case then I will prioritise those steps that I have identified that will have the maximum impact and use budget friendly options.
Is It Value For Money?
Closely related to to notion of cost is the idea of value for money. Any assessment of a property involves consideration of what is likely to be achieved. What is the ceiling price for the property? You may imagine that I am going to suggest that you spend money on a lot stuff that you won’t be able to use in the property you are moving to or perhaps you aren’t buying another property.
Staging isn’t all about going out and buying a load of new stuff although in most cases there will be a need for some new items to be purchased. The starting point is what is already in situ, can things be used to better effect elsewhere in the property or recycled. One important aspect of staging is decluttering which offers the opportunity to sell items and actually make a bit of money. Any element of expenditure is carefully considered for its cost effectiveness. It is also worth bearing in mind that, if there are things to be changed, buyers may walk round and mentally tot up what they think they need to spend and either not proceed or base their offer on this figure. Their calculation is likely to be more than the actual cost. So get any DIY done, it gives your buyer less excuse to knock you down on price.
What’s the Story?
Selling a property is stressful, anyone who has ever sold property knows this. People can take a perverse pleasure in sharing their horror stories. When ever you decide to sell a property, no matter what the market circumstances, take some time to understand what your end goal is even if that may seem obvious-“I have a growing family and I need a bigger house!“ or “I want to move to the country”. That is your motivation, then think about that in more detail, create a vision of what your life and that of your family will be like in this new house.
The reason I say this is that if the going gets tough, remembering the vision, can help. Not only in getting through the stress but also when it comes to making decisions such as whether to accept an offer.
I Want The Best Sale Price
Most sellers have one of two priorities – maximum sale price or quick sale. OK, if I’m honest they probably want both but usually, if pressed, either one or the other wins out. So why do you want more money, what would it enable you to do?
- You’ve found that dream house but you need to squeeze every penny from your sale in order to afford it.
- You could buy a bigger house or buy in a better location.
- You could reduce the amount of mortgage you need and with it the monthly repayments, giving you more cash to spend on other things – go on that dream holiday perhaps.
How does home staging help this? It’s all about generating interest in your property?
People are attracted by the images in their feed and click through. They book a viewing. They view and like the property. They make an offer. The more people make an offer the higher those offers are likely to be. Many buyers want to move straight in. If the property is well presented and doesn’t need work they have less reason to make a low offer.
I Want A Quick Sale
There can be many reasons for wanting a quick sale.
- Minimising the disruption to your life that comes with being on the market.
- Perhaps you or your partner have relocated for work and you don’t want to be apart or you are paying two lots of outgoings.
- Minimising the period of uncertainty. Having moved several times myself, I know what it’s like being on the market. Living on tenterhooks waiting for the phone to ring with news of a viewing or an offer.
You are in limbo until you sell. Again, it comes back to being able to move on with your life, start that next chapter. Yes, if you stage your property this may involve some changes to your normal lifestyle e.g. getting rid of that extra chair, not using the spare room as a laundry room or dumping ground but it’s worth some short term inconvenience.
“I haven’t got time!” One of the things can that can hold you back when it comes to preparing your property for sale is lack of time. Let’s face it, who of us doesn’t feel time poor? We all lead busy lives and we all have preferences for how we spend our time. I’ll admit that housework is not one of my favourite activities although I love the feeling when it’s done. In all areas of our lives we make choices about how we spend our time, and choose to let someone (or something) else do a task in order to free up our time. You might pay someone to do your ironing or employ a VA (virtual assistant) in your business. Perhaps you are a busy parent who prefers to spend time with their children or a property investor who has no time for the “fluffy stuff” and simply wants to get on with the next project. I can save you the time involved in presenting your property for sale (and give you tips on how to maintain that condition)
I understand that when you are selling your house every penny counts and you do not want to spend unnecessarily. Now, more than ever, every penny counts. I also understand that everybody’s circumstances are different – some people don’t have time, some aren’t interested in being hands on, and some have other priorities.
For these reasons I have a variety of packages that range from a simple walk round appraisal with the home owner taking notes, to hands on where I undertake (perhaps in conjunction with other professionals as necessary) all the steps that are required to present your property for sale. The latter option is particularly appropriate if the property is empty and/ or you do not live locally to the property. Click here for details of the packages.
Why Work With Me?
Excellent question. One thing that I is different about me is that I spent a number of years working in estate agency. Initially I worked as a part time viewing representative. This role involved showing potential buyers round properties. As part of this process I would listen to people and try to help them see how a property would work for them. I subsequently worked as a sales negotiator which involved registering applicants, taking details from them of what they were looking for and helping them to find the right property for them. Undertaking these roles meant that I heard the comments that potential buyers were making as they viewed (what they liked and what they didn’t), I saw how they would look inside cupboards and basically got a very good idea of buyers’ thought processes.
This background means that I have a very good understanding of the sort of issues around presentation that do actually matter to potential buyers and some of these might surprise you.
If you would like to find out more or want to go ahead with staging your property then click here to book an appointment or call me on 07745 876182 . I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, North West and North Wales.