GETTING READY TO MOVE
With the property market showing some signs of re-opening, now is the time to get ready to make sure you’re prepared for selling your home, and moving on.
Over the past few weeks, house viewings have not been possible. But don’t worry – your estate agent will have been taking registrations of interest from people wanting to view your home, and should have a list of buyers ready to book an appointment as soon as they are able to.
So let’s make sure your home is viewing-ready!
Let’s look at the elements that make up your property marketing, to make sure each one is showcasing your home at its very best.
Do your outside photographs need updating? The seasons have changed during lockdown and now your existing photographs may not reflect the current time. If your photographs are looking a little wintery, ask your agent if these can be re-taken. With the lovely weather we have had recently, your garden may now be blooming and much more colourful. Your images need to really show off your garden to attract viewers, so they probably need updating now.
If you have been cooped up at home over the past couple of months, your presentation may not be at its usual standard! Go through your home checking each room to make sure it matches your agent’s photographs. A spring clean will make your home fresh and fragrant once again, so viewers can see it at its best. Check soft furnishings and carpets to make sure they are spotless, and give your windows a clean to make them sparkle.
Tame your garden
If the spring weather has caused your garden to become a little out of hand, now is the time to tame it. Your lawn needs to be freshly mown, and the edges neat. Your flower beds free of weeds so your plants and flowers can stand out and any children’s outdoor toys washed and tidied. If your patio furniture is looking past its best and you don’t want to replace it, give it a good scrub; if it’s wood, paint, varnish or stain it, so it looks smart and viewing-ready. Add a flowerpot to the centre of the table for a touch of lifestyle polish.
Patios, decks and paths may need a power wash, or just a good brush, to show them at their best. If you have gravel areas, try adding new gravel to freshen them up, or raking over the existing gravel and taking out any leaves and debris.
Shrubs may need cutting back or neatening, and rogue shoots over paths should be removed. Hedges too may need trimming.
Getting clicks online
With several property websites all vying for attention from millions of buyers, your online advert needs to really stand out. These are five key areas that can help make sure your advert gets the click:
- The headline and summary paragraph need to be strong, informative and emotive in order to entice a browser to click to find out more about your home.
- Bullet points – these need to showcase the key features of your home, make them sit up in their chair and give them a reason to view. For example, ‘Downstairs WC’ – is not so much of a wow factor. ‘Panoramic vistas’ – better. But ‘Romantic, rose-filled garden’ will stop a browser and make them read on.
- Photographs – these need to be compelling, attractive and up to date. As a rule, up to 15 images is plenty. Any more and you may find you don’t get viewings, as buyers feel that they’ve seen the whole house. Save something for the actual viewing, and leave a reader wanting more.
- Flow of images – do your photographs flow in the same way as a viewing would naturally do? Starting with a front photograph, followed by a hallway, and then the living room, makes a buyer feel that they can visualise your home.
- Property description – this needs to be compelling and visual, telling the story of your home. You don’t need a whole essay here – Just a few paragraphs should be enough to compel a browser to want to find out more, and pick up the phone.
Buyers getting mortgages
Whilst there was a period of time at the beginning of lockdown when mortgages became difficult to obtain, this situation has, in the main, been rectified. And with mortgage rates the lowest they have ever been in history, many buyers needing mortgages may feel that now is an opportune time to move house.
Family buyers looking to ‘upsize’
Some families have spent many weeks cooped up in a house that is just too small for their needs. What they may be dreaming of now, is a house with more reception space, a large kitchen, extra bedrooms, and of course, a generous work-from-home space. And gardens too have recently become a priority for many families. Those without any lawn space may now crave it, and even families with average sized gardens may be aspiring to rolling lawns, orchards, tree houses and space to build dens. If your home offers a family space that will appeal to anyone who has just spent weeks feeling squeezed and even suffocated, it will probably be in demand from family buyers right now.
Your onward move
If you have found your dream home, and it’s still available, your focus will be on selling your home as soon as you can. By using our handy checklist, you’ll feel confident you have given yourself the best possible chance to sell and move on.
If you have not yet found the house you want to move to, you may find that there are less houses to choose from. We feel that this will only be a temporary situation, as the backlog of homes that have been waiting to come to the market will now launch, and the demand/supply balance is restored. Having a firm offer on your home from a proceedable buyer will give you the buying power you need once the house you really want becomes available, and you need to take quick action.
No interest? Time to go back to the drawing board
Are buyers flocking to view your home when they are able to? If not, why not? If you’ve addressed all the ‘saleability’ factors listed above, and you’ve used our Preparing to Sell Checklist to make sure your home is viewing ready, then perhaps it’s time to reassess your choice of estate agent.
Sometimes, a fresh approach from a new set of eyes will find new marketing angles, and reach a different group of buyers. Let’s face it, you only need one buyer and a new estate agent could be the key to finding them.
As an initial step, we’d like to invite you to have a chat with us – we may be able to uncover the reasons you’re not getting the interest in your home that it deserves, just by looking at your online advert. From there, the rest is up to you.
So you don’t miss something that may be the difference between a no and an offer, we’ve created Our ‘Preparing to Sell Checklist’, which is specifically designed to ensure each and every critical aspect of preparing to kickstart your home sale out of lockdown is covered.