Did you know that the period between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day is the busiest period for home owners looking on the property portals?
If you are thinking of selling your property then it certainly makes sense to consider preparing your property ready to launch on Boxing Day to take advantage of this activity.
It’s fair to say that the heady times of recent years when it seemed that all you had to do to sell a property was to list it are over. The market has slowed and this means that you need to put more thought into your sale. Firstly, assemble the right team.
In my view, selling your property is, or should be, a team effort and it is vital to get the right team around you. Think of your sale as a business and in your business you have various team members or employees.
- You – The business owner
- The home stager – the project manager
- The professional photographer – the brand expert
- The estate agent – the sales and marketing manager
- The solicitor-the legal department
- The mortgage broker-the finance department
It is essential that, as with any team, your team work together and communicate with each other. Anyone who has bought or sold property knows that it is a fraught process with plenty of opportunities for things to break down. Having the right team and that team working together to get the sale/ purchase over the line, lessens the chance of that happening. Now let’s consider your team members in more detail.
You – The Business Owner
The selling of your property is a business transaction and you are a business owner, the person in charge. I always advise as soon as you make the decision to sell you need to put your business hat on and, instead of thinking of your property as your home think of it as a product to be sold. This can be incredibly difficult I know, because there can be a lot of emotional attachment to the property for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately that emotional attachment can cloud your judgement when it comes to decision-making around the sale of the property. It is important to take time to get into the right mindset. As the business owner you will delegate different aspects of the process to different team members.
The Home Stager – The Project Manager
You may not have come across home staging previously, it’s a concept that isn’t widely known about. A home stager is somebody who advises you on the preparation of your property for sale so that your property appeals to those who are most likely to buy it. Home staging is all about maximising the potential in your property with the aim of securing the best possible selling price and/or sale in the quickest possible timeframe. Many people struggle to visualise, and staging the property helps them with this. It’s all about making it easy for buyers to imagine themselves living in the property and establishing that emotional connection so that they want to buy. Your home is the product that you are selling and it needs to be well presented just like any product. The home stager will organise all the actions that need to be undertaken to get your property ready. This could include having repairs carried out, decorating, decluttering, shopping for any new furniture or accessories and putting them in place. This means you don’t have to.
The Professional Photographer – The Brand Expert
The professional photographer is a very important member of your team. The images that prospective buyers see on property portals, on the agent’s website and, by extension, on social media, need to stand out (for the right reasons) and stop buyers scrolling through their feed, enticing them to click through and find out more about the property. A professional photographer will not only have the equipment to produce top quality images but will have the experience to take into account factors such as angles and lighting. They will have the knowledge and expertise to produce the lifestyle images that are all important for attracting potential buyers.
The Estate Agent – The Sales and Marketing Department
In a quiet market choosing the right estate agent is crucial and well worth the investment. In my opinion, as with most things, you get what you pay for. You don’t want an agent who is simply going to list your property and sit back waiting for the phone to ring. You need an agent who is going to be proactive in sourcing the right kind of buyer for your property. You’ve probably heard the expression “horses for courses “. Do your research –
- Check out For Sale boards in your area and which have Under Offer or Sold on them.
- Check out their website and social media feed (have they even got a social media feed and if so is it active).
- Consider the content of their social media feed and any blogs.
- Do they use a professional photographer
- Do they collaborate with a local home stager
- Read the reviews
You need to choose an agent who is right for your particular property and target market. Your research should give you an insight into the type of property that the agent sells and its price bracket. This is particularly important if you have a higher end property and/ or the property is niche.
The Solicitor – The Legal Department
Your solicitor is the person responsible for getting the sale of your property to exchange and ultimately completion. As someone who has sat on both sides of the desk, I think it’s fair to say that sometimes there can be tensions between solicitors and estate agents, so it is important that these two team members have a good working relationship and will communicate with each other. It is always worth asking your agent if they have a particular local solicitor is that they have built a good working relationship with. It’s also useful to know how good the solicitor will be at communicating with you – do they respond to e mails and telephone calls? If the solicitor and estate agent communicate well then rely on the agent to update you rather than duplicating calls and e mails.
The Mortgage Broker-The Finance Department
If you are not only selling your property but purchasing another then you may be buying with the aid of a mortgage. It is definitely worth using the services of a mortgage advisor rather than doing it online or simply going to your own bank. Again when choosing a mortgage advisor do your research and consider seeking advice from more than one before deciding who to go with. You want an advisor who is independent and has access to the whole of the market, not just certain lenders. This will give you the best chance of securing the right mortgage for you and your circumstances. This is especially important if the property you are purchasing is of non standard construction or perhaps if you have a poor credit history. So having identified your team, why does it need to include a home stager?
Why Does Presentation Matter?
Since the home stager is the one member of the team you may not have come across before I want to explain why they they are necessary. Why should you include a home stager in your team or at least consider it? Imagine your home is a product in a shop window. Attractive products are more appealing. 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 buyers scrolling, getting them to click through to find out more about the property and, in turn, book a viewing (open the door and walk into the shop). 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 home stager will give an objective viewpoint and know how to present the property for it’s target market.
I totally understand that, especially in these times, you don’t want to spend money if you don’t have to. Every penny counts, especially if you are buying another property, whether you are moving up or down the ladder. However, every business needs to invest from time and this applies to when you sell your house. The secret is to invest wisely. A home stager (your project manager) will advise on what are the things that will have the biggest impact on maximising the potential in your home. They will advise on cost effective solutions. A lot of actions actually involve little or no outlay although they may require some time and effort.
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 photo shoot service to hands on where I undertake (in conjunction with other professionals as referred to above) 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.
Top Tips For Preparing Your Home For Sale
Here are my 5 Top Tips for preparing your home for sale.
- Declutter – clutter makes a space feel smaller and is a distraction. Tidy up.
- Clean – A home that is clean and sparkling is much more appealing.
- Decorate – some rooms/ areas in the home may benefit from redecoration if they are decorated boldly or showing signs of wear and tear. A fresh coat of paint does wonders.
- Give each room a purpose – often a spare room can end up as a junk room or if a room is used for a number of different functions this can be confusing so areas need to be defined.
And Finally …
I do believe that the property market will return to a more normal level. This does mean that, while there will always be popular locations and properties that are easy to sell, home owners will need to put more thought into the process. Having the right team around you and making sure that your property is looking its best is crucial.
If you need help then give me a call on 07745 876182 or book a free no obligation Learn More call. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, North Wales and the North West