I have been looking through the internet at some advice given to property buyers on how to deal with estate agents. And I thought that it would give me further insight into how estate agents are viewed. And some ideas on how to improve the service we give our customers.
Well, I came across this short piece of advice on the Homeowners Alliance website and it caught my interest-
How long has the property been on the market?
If the house has been on the market a long time (more than three months), ask the agent why they think it isn’t selling. Are there problems that other people have realised that you haven’t? Is it just overpriced? A long time on the market might mean that the seller would accept a lower price.
It’s another issue that estate agents face from time to time (probably more often than they’d like to admit.) What to do when a property has been on the market for a long time. The website obviously looks at this from a buyers point of view. As in can they get money off the asking price. Although as an association that purports to help homeowners, they must realise that the vendor is a homeowner. There are several ways of looking at how to approach this. And they don’t all involve reducing the price, although that is always a major consideration.
So I’ll start with price. On the whole, in theory, a property that hasn’t sold after 3 months is an indication that the market has noticed it. And doesn’t believe it to be the right price. And in theory, on a very basic level, I agree with this. But property marketing doesn’t fit into neat theories, and the truth is far more nuanced than that.
The truth is that the market doesn’t believe it to be the right price in its present state, with it’s current marketing. So immediately that sentence brings up two things that can be looked into further before any price changes. Or even at the time of a price change. All of the changes I’m looking into can be instead of a change in price. Or to improve the power of a price change they can be effected at the same time. This has the effect of making the property appear completely fresh in the eyes of the property buying public.
There are many property staging companies out there that offer a service to make a home more marketable. And there are books out there that offer a guide to getting your home ready to go to market, including my own. So, TV programmes featuring the likes of Phil Spencer and Sarah Beeney where they help homeowners to look at how the property can be prepared to go to market in the best condition possible.
So there is inspiration out there for you and your clients to look at how the property appears. I won’t go I to masses of detail here. Each home will need different ideas. But the overriding theme is one of making sure the property looks it’s best, for marketing photos and for viewings.
The marketing side of things can also need reviewing if a property isn’t selling in a normal period of time. I suspect that many of you sit down and look at the specific marketing efforts you will make with a property. And then set a review date in case things are not moving along the way you would hope or expect. This is a great way to prompt you to look at all aspects of the marketing of a property on a regular basis. Simple things like updating the photographs or changing the emphasis in the property description can make a huge difference.
Some of your prompts for this may well come from the feedback you have gathered at viewings. If the consensus of feedback is that the property doesn’t feel as large as your viewers thought it would be, then you may want to change the emphasis that you put in size a a space in your property description. It very often can be that simple. But it’s actually having an interactive service that gives you the opportunity to look at how you present your properties for sale. And take in board any feedback that helps both you and the vendor.