What a year it has been for the property market: the Stamp Duty holiday causing a frenzy, the pandemic changing people’s perspectives on what they want from a home, and a constant lack of properties coming onto the market. With buyer demand still high, the prospect of your home not selling fast has probably not crossed your mind, especially when you see homes in your area come on the market one day and sold the next. But what damage is caused when your home doesn’t sell quickly?
The first 8 weeks
As you know, many homes are selling well within the first eight weeks of being placed on the market, but did you know how crucial these first eight weeks are? This is the period when your home is launched by your estate agent, buyers become aware and viewings are abundant. Your expectations will be high, and your estate agent should be working tirelessly to market your home effectively in a variety of ways. They know that what they do within these first two months can impact the speed of your sale, it’s the optimum time to make things happen.
What happens after eight weeks?
After eight weeks a property starts to become stale, and you could see enquiries and viewings dwindle. A good agent will be constantly reviewing their marketing and looking for new opportunities to attract potential buyers. They will also be having an honest conversation with you on why they feel that your property is not appealing to buyers.
But does the fault lie with you or your agent?
A buyer’s perspective
Homebuyers are savvy, they know all the tools to help them find their next home. They will no doubt have alerts on property websites so they are informed as soon as a new property hits the market. When they start to look they will be doing their research, and one thing they will always note is how long a property has been on the market.
What would you think if a house was still not under offer after eight weeks? Like most people, you will no doubt be wondering what is wrong with the property if it hasn’t been sold yet. You may decide to view the home, but even before you have walked through the door you will already be in the mindset of making a low offer because there must not be any real interest.
We can not stress enough how price can have such an effect on the attractiveness of your home to buyers. Your home, as soon as it is listed, will be compared with other houses within a similar price bracket, and if your home seems overpriced it will be noticed instantly. Of course, it is alluring to have an estate agent tell you they can sell your home for a wonderfully high figure, but is that an actual fact based on their ability with recently sold properties in the area? Could be. Or is it a tactic to try to win your business?
At NEXA we are not here to list properties, we sell homes. We use our experience in the local property market, understanding which streets are on the up, and those areas that are falling out of favour. When we appraise your home we take so many factors into account, including condition, presentation, location, and up-to-the-minute data. We always aim to achieve the highest possible price for your property, and we will not inflate that to win your business.
Overpriced homes will sit on the market longer; you will probably find yourself frustrated when the agent requests you lower the price a few weeks later. More reductions could follow and the quality of the offers you receive could be a lot lower than you had ever expected. Choose an agent who can back up their figures with their actions – do your research to find the right fit for you and your property.
Presentation – do the work
If you have been browsing property websites in the search for your next home, you will notice those sellers who have put in the work to ensure that their property is looking its best for potential buyers. You will also notice those who haven’t, and often there could be something off-putting, such as a cluttered room, an untidy bedroom, an unloved garden, that can put you off going to view.
Unless your house is a project you need to make sure it is presented properly using home staging methods. Ensuring your home is clean and organised is a great start, but it isn’t just about having an immaculate home but projecting the lifestyle that your home gives. You only have to watch house programmes, or flick through home magazines to see home staging in action: a loaf and breadknife stylishly placed on the kitchen work surface, a thoughtfully placed throw on a bed with a book at its side; these little touches add warmth and personality to your home.
Having the mindset ‘buyers will see past …’ will never win. They may view your rooms as small due to the amount of stuff inside them. ‘Too much work to do’, could be another viewpoint if the décor is tired, and a couple of odd jobs are spotted. And these views, and more, are made whilst looking at your property online. Why place your property in a challenging position when with some work, you can attract buyers easily.
Get it right from the start
You need to get everything right when placing your home on the market: the price, the presentation, and also your choice of agent. The damage caused if your home isn’t under offer in the first eight weeks is hard to repair. We are often contacted by sellers who have had struggles selling previously and come to us for a fresh approach. Get it right from the start by contacting us today or trying our free online valuation tool.