Spoilt for choice.
When searching for a route to sale you will come across various “private-sale” sites who will charge a small fee to promote your property on their website, and any other partnered websites or property portals. Their entry-level services will be limited with a simple photograph of the property stock; some headline text, and not much more. Any partnered sites that are included will offer a small amount of extra buyer-attention individually, but when combined can command notable traffic volumes.
A growing number of estate agents have taken to the digital marketplace and there are quite a few offering to market your property at a much lower fee than the traditional high street agent. They can afford to pass on this saving because they enjoy the low overheads of a digital shop front. These digital agents are likely to charge you around £400-£500 for the privilege of their expertise.
You could also consider advertising direct to property portals whom, for a fee will upload your property to their site; however the top portals will depend on agents as their core customer base and refuse individual property owners without an agent’s involvement. It may seem that agents are ‘getting in the way’ of you directly advertising your property to potential buyers but don’t forget the reason they are in business in the first place; the benefit of using an estate agent is that you get access to their knowledge of the market. They already understand the types of properties selling, at what price, and why.
Presentation, presentation, presentation.
To sell your property independently you will need to do some homework. Get to studying on sites like Mouseprice and obtain some working knowledge of your local property market. You’ll need to comb through sold prices in your local newspapers, Mouseprice and Landmark Analytics for similar Properties, which are close to where you live. Property portals will give you an idea of where agents are positioning their property stock in the market, but keep in mind that these aren't the actual final sale prices achieved; which are commonly 5-10% lower.
You will need to take bright and descriptive images of your property, inside and out. Cutting corners in this area could mean your property remains unsold for weeks or months, as it is all a potential buyer has to judge your properties worth and first impressions are key. Research simple composition in photography or advice from market leaders on how to photograph your home. Applying simple research tips to this initial presentation of your property will really pay off as the enquiries start to flow in thick and fast.
Also, prepare a full description of your property for uploading onto websites and portals. Include every detail of each room, from the number of electrical sockets to the styling of the window sill; and measurements of each space.
Be Safe. Be Smart
If you present your property well you will have people contacting you to see more, so be prepared. Be flexible with viewing arrangements to accommodate potential buyers who will be viewing
multiple properties and are likely to lose interest in yours if it’s too much hassle for them. Remember buyers often need to cancel their viewing appointments so it’s best to arrange group viewings so that cancellations don’t pose much of a problem.
Obtain full details of everyone wanting to view your property and don’t allow viewings when you’re on your own, this is vitally important to your safety as you’re inviting strangers into your home. During the viewing be aware of what the buyer is looking for, the kitchen and lounge are the key rooms for most buyers and will greatly influence a buyers decision; show these rooms first.
If you want to be really strategic you can ask for honest feedback about your property to understand how you can improve things and get a better chance of a sale. After a few successful
viewings, be prepared for the ensuing offers; preparation is
important as offers will come in via email and over the phone.
When receiving a telephone offer, preparation will prevent your knee-jerk reaction sounding like “In your dreams mate” to a particularly low sounding offer. Don’t accept or reject an offer immediately, instead give yourself time to make an informed decision. Put together a checklist of information that you will require, such as Personal Details, Offer Price, Mortgage details, solicitor details, and timescales for moving.
Around 30% of sales agreed never reach completion for various reasons, so keeping a keen eye on progress will help to make sure that you are not in that category. You should be contacting solicitors, estate agents and your seller at least weekly to ensure the sale is progressing. This is the time to get pushy and ensure none of the relevant parties slack off from securing your dream!