But this house had already dropped in price by a staggering £20,000 and the current agent was asking the seller to reduce by a further £30,000! The home was starting to actually look cheap when compared with the competition, so we knew it wasn’t the reason for the lack of a sale. Once we had taken a look at various factors, we uncovered a whole raft of issues we felt were stopping the house from selling. The presentation of the house, the photography, brochure and written description and overall online marketing, all needed improving. Each one on their own maybe wasn’t a deal breaker, but put them all together and add the fact the house had become stale on the market for so long, and a sale wouldn’t happen unless these were all changed.
The reason premium homes take so long to sell is often because their greatest appeal – their uniqueness – can be their biggest weakness. It is difficult for a buyer to compare two unique homes. How do you compare a home with a stunning views, but on a main road, with that of a house wrapped in two acres of landscaped grounds, but no view? These two homes could be at the same price, and be roughly of the same size.
To attract that special buyer, you need special marketing. And that’s where we come in.
So what did we do with the home in Bonvilston?...We didn't get to sell it because the owners decided to stay put, however we gave some great advice should they ever want to move again.
We tackled the presentation issues fairly inexpensively, with our stylists advising each room look simple yet elegant. We also advised putting the asking price up, by £20,000, to put it into a new Rightmove price bracket. And then to create a stunning brochure and a Rightmove advert that looked totally different to the previous ones.
Once we had identified the factors that were stopping this house from selling, the owners were happy to work with us to rectify the blocks to their sale. Until our visit, they hadn’t known these issues existed. But unfortunately they decided not move for a while and give the marketing a long rest.
The first step in turning around a failing property sale is to identify what has gone wrong so far. Until you do this, how can you put it right? Whilst some estate agents will assume the asking price is too high, (often a price they themselves valued it at) we first assess all the other factors, including the way the house is presented, whether that’s right for the target market, the motivation of the seller, the subliminal messages that the photography and words are conveying, and many other aspects that may not be apparent to the seller.
With all the houses we’ve helped sell, there has almost always been a host of very subtle reasons why they have not sold previously. Those reasons would stop a buyer being able to connect with the house, and to see it as their new home. Without this connection, it’s almost impossible to sell your house, other than to an investor with no emotional investment. But until you know the reason, you are relying on luck playing a huge part in your property sale. It’s a big gamble that with our help, you don’t need to take.
So when a client asks us “When will my house sell?” we reply simply, “When we’ve discovered why it’s not selling”. And we set to work.
When should I start worrying about my house sale?...
It’s a good question. Do you start worrying after a few weeks of marketing without an offer on your house? Or should you be patient and stick with your agent and price for six months or more?
At Olivia Louise, we see so many sellers who have been on the market for over 6 months, and even over a year is not uncommon. It’s true that the longer your property is on the market, the less desirable it is to a buyer, and the less confidence your agent will have that they can achieve any figure close to your asking price. It’s therefore really important that your strategy in the first 2-3 months is as well thought out, planned and confident.
Here are our 5 golden rules for making sure you don’t get to worrying stage:
Choose the right agent based on marketing skills, enthusiasm and a high fee – they will earn it if they are the best agent for you.
Be realistic about your asking price. Going on the market at too high an asking price will mean you may not get any viewings at all. If you ask a price that’s in line with precedent in your area and for your type of house, you’ll get viewings, and the valuable feedback viewings produces.
Once you have decided with your estate agent what your asking price should be, resolve to review it in say three months’ time. If you have not had any interest by then, decide in advance what price drop you’ll take. For example, if you go to market in September, but you haven’t had any significant viewings or an offer by Christmas, you’ll withdraw from the market until February and take 10% off your asking price. Having a strategy in advance can help take the emotion out of the often difficult decision to reduce the price.
Make sure your photography and brochure is of the highest possible standard. The photography gets you the clicks on Rightmove – or else your house is ignored. And the brochure sells the viewing. Be firm about this – your home deserves the very best marketing so it stands out online, and offline too.
Commission a home stylist to give your house a once-over. Even if you and your friends think it’s immaculate, you need independent, professional advice at this crucial time. At Olivia Louise our stylists are skilled at presenting rooms for photography and also sensitive to the sometimes opposing needs of the homeowner.
Follow our 5 golden rules you will be in the best possible position to sell your home within the time frame you need.
We would love to share with you our experience and ideas about your house sale – whether it’s because you’re simply considering a move, or because you have tried to sell but you’re not getting the interest you’d hoped for. Just drop us a line or pick up the phone 029 2057 5631 – and we will pop over for a cup of tea and a chat, to see if we can help you.
See you soon.