• What to do when your home isn’t selling – 8 steps to boost your marketing

    You did it: you found an agent you liked, who loved your home and valued it at a price you were happy with. They put together an impressive marketing plan and the ‘For Sale’ board has been invitingly positioned at the end of the drive for a while. It seems like you’ve done everything right, so why hasn’t your home sold yet?

    Well, it could be a few different things. Some people believe it comes down to the price – and often that is a reason – but it’s not the only possibility.

    So how do you find out what’s stopping your home from selling, and what can you do to kick-start some real interest?

    1. Check out the competition

    Before you speak to your estate agent, it’s a good idea to gather some information about what’s going on around you. Have a search online for homes in the area similar to yours and see how they compare. What’s the presentation like and have they had to reduce their price? That should give you an idea of whether your marketing is along the right lines.

    1. Call your agent

    Have an honest conversation about your concerns. Ask your agent why they think your home’s not selling and what can be done to get things moving in the right direction.

    1. Find out what people think of your home

    Although the expertise of a good agent is invaluable, there’s also nothing quite like a bit of honest feedback. If your agent is on the ball, they should be asking everyone who views your home what they thought about it, then calling you to discuss whether any changes might need to be made to the marketing.

    If viewers thought the price was too high, what was the reason? If they thought there was a bit too much work to do, is there something you could fix or improve yourself for very little cost? In short, is there anything you can do to address the feedback that will make your home more attractive to buyers so they start making offers?

    1. Could you improve the presentation?

    Have another look at your home with a critical eye and ask yourself if it’s really looking its best. Your agent might already have offered their advice on how to style and present it for viewings, but maybe you could ask a friend to ‘view’ and give you their honest opinion about any positive changes you could make.

    One important thing to think about is: do all the rooms make sense for a buyer? You might have a conservatory that’s become a toy store for your family, but when you’re trying to sell, you’ve got to make every bit of space appear as valuable as possible. So, put away the toys and show the real potential of your conservatory. You could style it as:

    • a sunroom, somewhere perfect for curling up with a book
    • a dining room that makes mealtimes a bit more special
    • even a second sitting room, to give parents and children their own spaces.

    Likewise, if you have a small bedroom that you use as a walk-in wardrobe, pack away your clothes and stage it as a single room so that buyers can see exactly what value they’re getting for their money.

    While the inside might be sparkling, you’ve got to make sure the outside always creates a great first impression so that buyers feel good about your home before they even walk through the door. Some people do a drive-by before booking an appointment to view inside, so keep on top of your home’s ‘kerb appeal’. Make sure the lawn, shrubs and plants are tidy; sweep the drive and path; give the front door a weekly wipe-down – and don’t forget your ‘For Sale’ board. Check it’s straight and clean, and report any damage to your agent so they can have it replaced.

    1. Refresh your marketing

    Are the photos your agent took really showing your home in the best light? Do they grab your attention or could they be improved? Even if they’re already perfect, if your home’s been on the market for a couple of months and the seasons have changed, buyers will be able to see that your exterior shots were taken some time ago.

    Having new photos taken is an easy and effective way to reinvigorate your marketing. Go for a bright, sunny day and get the front shot from a few different angles so you’ve got options for changing the leading image online every now and then. Ask your agent if they can film an up-to-date video tour, and check whether they’re using the best apps and software.

    It’s also a good idea to update the copy in your advertising, particularly the headline, and make sure your home’s best qualities really stand out.

    1. Drop the price

    To get the best possible price for your home, try all the above before you look at a reduction. Have viewers said it’s too expensive, or are other similar homes also having to drop their prices because there’s an oversupply at the moment? If you do decide to go for a reduction, make it worthwhile. As a general rule, if a home was going to sell within 5% of its current price, someone would have made an offer already, so bring it down to a level that’s genuinely going to get more buyers interested.

    1. Take a break from the market

    If you don’t desperately need to sell, taking your home off the market for a little while can be quite effective, particularly if you come back with a new price, new photos and perhaps a new agent. Certain times of the year are quieter than others, and a good agent will know about seasonal and current trends and be able to recommend the best time to come back onto the market.

    Taking a break doesn’t have to mean your home’s not for sale, just that it’s not actively advertised. Your agent can keep the details ‘under the table’ and still give them to people they think might be interested, so you don’t miss out on your perfect buyer.

    1. Switch agents

    Sometimes an agent just isn’t the right one for you and your home. Perhaps they were enthusiastic at first, but now they don’t seem that motivated and you suspect they may have been over-confident with the price. Maybe they’re trying their best, but don’t have the right marketing skills. Or it could be that they’re simply not communicating with you.

    Bottom line, it could be time for a fresh start with a new agent.

    The relationship between an agent and their client is important – this is a significant transaction and you’re going to be working together to achieve the best possible sale. So, as well as making sure the agent you choose has a track record of selling homes like yours and a clear marketing plan, pick someone you really like. If they’re enthusiastic and positive about your home, they’ll pass that on to potential buyers and you’ll have the best chance of a successful viewing.

    If you’re ready to move on to a new home and need a marketing boost to help sell your current one, call us on  01706 356633 or email enquiries@reside.agency and we’ll happily talk through what we think could make a real difference. No matter what the challenge is, there’s always an answer!

  • How to choose the best estate agent – 11 questions to help you decide

    Selling your home is one of the biggest financial transactions you’re ever likely to make, and it could be an emotional time for you. So you need to be sure that the agent you choose can not only get you the right buyer and the best price, but also understand your situation and be able to guide you confidently through the process.

    Perhaps you’re selling the family home where you’ve raised your children, and you’re now ready to downsize. It could be that you’ve outgrown your first home, and it’s time to take the next exciting step up the ladder. Or maybe it’s a buy to let or inherited home that you simply don’t want or need to keep.

    Whatever your reason for deciding to sell, lots of agents will be keen to get your business. And with so many out there – local and national, high street and online – all with different strengths and core markets, how do you know which is going to be the best fit for you and your home?

    Well, it’s not an exact science, but if you’re clear on your own plans, know the key things to look for and ask the right questions, you should be able to narrow it down to a top two or three.

    And with that, here are our 11 questions to help you decide.

    Before you speak to an agent:

    1. What are your plans? This is often how estate agents will start a discussion, so make sure you’re clear on why you’re selling and what kind of timescale you’re working towards. If you’re going to be buying something else, write a list of your needs and wants. The agents you speak to about selling will also be keen to show you what great homes they have on their books, and you’ll get a feel for how they deal with prospective buyers.

    Checking out agents online:

    1. How good is their website? Is it professional looking, can you navigate it easily and has it got all the main information you want to know? Are you impressed by the look of their listings?
    1. Are they a member of the Property OmbudsmanThat tells you they follow a code of conduct and work to the highest industry standards. If they’re not a member of the Property Ombudsman, it’s probably best to steer clear.
    1. Are their homes listed on the best portals? There are plenty of sales websites out there which have a far wider reach than an agents site alone. The more popular sites an agent lists your home on, the more prospective buyers will be reached. There are several popular portals agents can use, ask them which ones they use, and why.
    1. Have they got homes for sale that are similar to yours? You might think having competition is a disadvantage, but actually it can be a good sign that the agent is used to marketing your type of home to the right kind of buyer.

    When the agent comes to your home for a valuation / when you speak to them directly:

    1. What’s the market like at the moment? This gives you an idea of how many viewings you’re likely to have and how long it might take to sell. You’ll also get a feel for how knowledgeable the agent is.
    1. What similar homes have you sold recently? That will confirm to you what kind of sale price is possible. And if the agent has sold several properties like yours in the last month or so, that shows the market is buoyant and they’re doing a pretty good job.
    1. How much would you market our home for? You’ll probably already have your own idea from looking online, so compare that with what the agent says, and see how confident they are when they give you their valuation. They’ll usually state a range and then recommend an initial market price based on your own timescale and situation. If that’s different to what you thought, don’t be afraid to ask more questions and discuss it further.
    1. Do you have any potential buyers in mind? Of course they’re going to say yes! So follow it up by asking what those buyers have looked at recently and what their feedback has been. That will show you how engaged the agent is with buyers and how good they are at communicating.
    1. What are your fees? Most agents do an all-in fee, but some will charge extra for things like glossy brochures, so make sure you’re clear on all the costs. And remember that a good agent will give you value for money, so don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest – you tend to get what you pay for!
    1. What happens if I’m not happy with your service? As long as you’ve chosen your agent carefully, you shouldn’t have any real issues, but it’s always a good idea to check:
    • What’s the minimum contract period, and how much notice do you need to give?
    • If you find a buyer yourself, do you still have to pay the agent a fee?
    • Who’s the right person to speak to if there’s a problem?

    Once you’ve found two or three agents that you’re sure can do the job, based on all the above, it’s time to turn to bonus question 12: Which agent feels right?

    When you’ve got queries, which of them are you most confident will be there with the answer? Putting it simply, who do you like best? Due diligence plus gut feeling is a tried and tested formula that works for so much in life, and in this case, it should give you the best selling partner and a successful sale.

    If you’d like to talk through your selling plans with us, we’d love to help. Call us on 01706 356633 or email at enquiries@reside.agency and one of the team will get back to you shortly.

  • 5 Ways to sell your house faster

    5 ways to make your home sell faster

    As the various May Bank Holidays head our way people start to think about selling their house. The lighter nights and sunny Spring days seem to trigger a change. However they can also show up the things that may put off a potential buyer. Hopefully this blog post will give you some ideas to maximise your property and get it sold and quickly.

    One of our early blog posts <<link here>>> dealt with the structural things you should look at fixing. This deals with a term much bandied about by the likes of Kirsty and Phil and Ms Beeny – staging. The following points will help you stage your house and get those buyers ready to buy.

    1 Simple beginnings

    A good place to start before you rush off to IKEA for a plate of meatballs and some soft furnishings called Kushuns, is to start by walking round your house. Start from the gate and follow the journey your buyer will take, hopefully the route you have set up to best show off your house. We all have that one friend who is blunt with their opinion, ask them if they would do the same and give you some feedback.

    This will probably show up a couple of things which could be detrimental to the sale of your house. Firstly, the ‘clutter of your everyday life’ – we all have it – and secondly, some areas that could do with a deep clean and possibly a lick of paint.

    2 Clean and paint

    We’re not suggesting you redecorate your whole house but there are a few quick and easy things you can do to improve your chances of a sale. We’re pretty sure that one of the first things you will have noticed on your walk around is the front door. If its a painted door give it a nice new glossy coat of paint. Don’t go for anything too strong in colour, unless it is in keeping with the house or the area, choose something classic and neutral.

    If you have a double glazed front door give it a good scrub with something non-abrasive. There are some excellent caravan cleaners which work a treat on uPVC. Whilst you are at the front door don’t forget the step, mats and porch if you have them. Nothing says neglected property like a threadbare welcome mat or a porch you can barely move in.

    If any of your rooms are on the small side or painted with a dark colour or north facing, give the walls a quick coat of a bright neutral colour, a slightly warm shade if you are painting a north facing room.

    This will always make a room look bigger and brighter, it also allows buyers the chance to better visualise the space.

    Finally, give the bathroom a clean, especially the grouting and shower tray.

    3 De-clutter

    Now you can get on to staging. De-cluttering doesn’t mean putting your personality in to storage, it does mean having a little less of it on view though. Anything you don’t use regularly put it in the loft or ask friends and family to store it. If there’s a lot of it then consider the short term rental of one of the ‘storage boxes’ that have sprung up all over.

    Buyers need to see what the house would look like if they were living there, cleaning your clutter allows them to see the room in all its glory.

    However don’t take out your personality, you’re not making it into a hotel, think more show home with some of your possessions added. Adding your lifestyle helps any potential buyer visualise their lifestyle in the space.

    4 Bringing it all together

    Now here’s the nice bit – time to add those finishing touches.

    Light is great at making a space feel bigger than it is, so try adding lights, particularly to dark corners. In smaller spaces consider adding some simple mirrors, especially useful in narrow hallways.

    Put fresh flowers in some of your rooms and an attractive bowl of fruit on the kitchen work surface. Whilst you are in the kitchen make some coffee or bake [make sure you tidy before they arrive], if you don’t bake, put the oven on a gentle heat and add a splash of vanilla essence to a baking tray – smells like you’ve just finished baking.

    And whilst we are talking pleasant smells don’t forget the less pleasant ones. Remove things such as pet food bowls and cat litter trays and empty the bins. If there’s a smoker in the house, bowls of vinegar work a treat but it does take a few days to work.

    If buyers are visiting at night during the colder months use some warm, reasonably bright, light-bulbs and light a fire if you have one or candles in place of a fire. Help them visualise how warm and cosy it would be to come home here after a long day at work.

    5 Sell your house with Reside!

    Reside are the fastest growing agency in Rochdale. Independent figures show we get 97% of the asking price and on average houses sell in under 6 weeks – some have sold in one day. Even if your house is on with another agent and it hasn’t sold then you should consider moving to Reside. We recently sold a house in less than a week, it had been on the market with an agent previously for over two years!

    So, if you want to sell quickly and for a great price then you need to be selling with Reside.
    Just go to our website

    www.reside.agency

    and book your free, no obligation, valuation now.
    If you have any other ideas you’d like to share about staging a house then go to our Facebook page and leave a comment on the ‘staging’ post, the best one gets a bottle of summer fizz.

    www.facebook.com/resideestateagency

  • We love Mondays!

    In fact we love all 365 days but what can you do with 130 days?
    130 days is a long time. 3120 hours, 187,200 minutes, we will stop before we get to sound like an annoying hit record!
    However, if someone could give you an extra 4 months of life you’d be thrilled, well here at Reside we can do just that! WhichMoney? recently discovered that the average length of time to sell a house in the UK is 191 days. With Reside you could have sold your house 130 days earlier. That’s 130 days to be in your new home, to have done the decorating, fitted a new kitchen, had 32 barbecues. A whole 130 days to relax having sold your house and moved into your dream home.
    So Reside can not only get you in to your dream home but we can give you an extra 130 days in which to enjoy it. With this gift of time maybe we should put Jason forward as the next Doctor Who!
    So, the sooner you list with us the sooner you get the extra time in your life.
    As we always say we SELL HOUSES – 7 days a week.
    Call us now for your free, no obligation, professional valuation to get your house sold!
  • We don’t like Mondays!

    We don’t like Mondays

    WhichMoney? has just announced that Monday is the best day of the week to list a house with an agent, if you wish to sell that house quickly. They analysed tens of thousands of homes sold in the UK in the previous 12 months and found those listed at the beginning of the week sold more quickly.

    The average house sold in 191 days, houses listed on the Monday sold, on average, in 176 days. If your house was listed on Saturday the average went up to 203 days and on Sundays, well 213 is your lucky number.

    But lets rewind. The average number of days to sell a house is 191 days! Wait, what? Here at Reside the average number of days it takes to sell a house is 61, it doesn’t matter which day we listed it, you’re house is selling in a third of the National average. It’s also selling a lot faster than the local agent’s average as well.

    So you don’t have to push us to get your house listed on a Monday, however with our average sale time the sooner you list your house, the sooner it will sell.

    As we always say we SELL HOUSES – 7 days a week.

    Call us now for your free, no obligation, professional valuation to get your house sold!

  • Downsizing releases time and capital

    A recent ‘industry insider’ produced some startling figures about downsizing and the property market. The gist of the story was that if the Over-65s all downsized they could release £1.34 trillion of capital and increase housing stocks by 4.2 million houses. We are not sure how those figures stack up but it did get us thinking.

    As the saying goes, 50 is the new 40 – although try telling that to a Speed Camera – and many people don’t want to ‘move on’ just because they’ve reached a predetermined age. However, for some people it could be something to consider.

    As we agents are oft heard to say “your property could be worth more than you think”. This can be more pertinent to those over 60. They have often been in the house many years and usually it was the family home and so is large and therefore generally worth more.

    But the word downsizing can have negative connotations; it feels like you’re coming to the end of your days and that you’re ready for pipe and slippers when in actual fact for many downsizing that isn’t the case at all. For many it brings a new lease of life, with new horizons and new directions.

    We’ve known people who have downsized and used the capital they have released to buy a small property overseas so they can spend winters in the sun. Or some have invested in a motorhome and travelled round Europe.

    It also doesn’t mean that you have to move from a 6 bed detached to a one bed studio apartment – although that maybe the perfect solution for some. Even something as simple as considering another area in the town could see you in a house not much smaller, so still room for the family to come and stay, yet still releasing capital.

    The age of the property could also be a factor. You maybe in a Period or character property which often hold more value than a similarly sized ‘new build’ house. So if you are in that position you could consider moving to something of similar size and still releasing equity.

    That brings us on neatly to our other point that you can save time. No matter what house or who you are, houses take time to look after. The bigger and/or older the house, often the more time they take. They can often cost more for ‘like for like’ repairs as well, as old things often have to be replaced not repaired.

    Simply moving to a new or newer house can cut down on the time you spend on the house, to give you more time to get out of the house. You could go the whole hog and moved to serviced apartments where most of it is done for you – though there’s usually a cost to that.

    If you change the word downsizing for restructuring – a favoured word from the business world when they are downsizing to release more capital – then it can make sense for an awful lot of people, regardless of their circumstances.

    If this has made you think then why not give us a call to chat through your options. Not only can we give you a free market appraisal of your house and value but as one of the leading agents in Rochdale we are well placed to give you best advice about your moving options.

    Call us now and speak with Jason and you could be spending winters in the sun sooner than you think.
    www.reside.agency/contact-us

  • Top 5 quick fixes to make your house more saleable

    Before you start selling your house on the market there are many, often simple, changes and fixes you can make to increase the saleablity of your property. Often these are things with which you may have lived for years, always just about to get around to, and they can increase the chance of selling your house.

    The following are five quick fixes that you could complete in a couple of days, with minimum expense for the most part. Not only will these give your house more kerb appeal they may add value as well.

    Let’s start outside as these are the things that prospective buyers will see first when they turn up to view.

    Garden
    Often gardens get overlooked when you are coming to sell your house, especially if you are selling during autumn or winter. Even a quick run over with a lawn mower, getting the hedge trimmer and the strimmer out can pay dividends. First impressions count.

    Windows
    Whilst we outside dirty windows can be really off-putting, not only do they suggest the house has been neglected but they also make the interior darker, Light bright rooms are a big turn on for buyers, more critical during the darker months. If the windows are too much for you find a local window cleaner – we can help you there as we have a bank of reliable, trustworthy tradespeople.

    Carpets
    People look down when they walk or when they enter somewhere unknown, this means they look straight down at your floor. If your carpet is stained or worn – maybe you have pets or teenage boys [they’re much the same when it comes to making a mess] – then your first port of call is a local carpet cleaners. If they can’t help you then replacing the carpet will help create a great impression.

    Wall coverings
    Again nothing is more off putting yet easy to fix than peeling wallpaper and cracked or dirty wall tiles. No one is suggesting you should redecorate from top to bottom but repairing peeling paper or damaged tiles can increase the appeal of your property. If you do repaper choose something fairly simple and not too trendy. Consider repainting instead of papering and paint in neutral colours.

    If your tiles are looking a bit past their best it’s often down to the grouting. It’s a fairly simple task to re-grout and can really lift old tiles. If you need to replace some then it maybe time to get a professional in but it will pay dividends when selling your house.

    Kitchen
    In our modern busy lives the kitchen is often the hub of the household. It’s where we meet, eat and often socialise, so it is definitely the one room that needs to be immaculate. This doesn’t mean you have to replace the units and work surfaces. It is the chance to declutter, tidy and do a little staging [we can help you with that] to make the best impression. If the units are looking a little tired they can often be spruced up by new handles of a lick of paint, easy jobs to really lift your house.
    As we said they’re not particularly big jobs nor are they too expensive but they will make your house more presentable and lift the chances of quick and profitable sale.

    If you are looking to sell or rent your property, give us a call or click here for a free and professional appraisal and valuation of your house.

    Give your house the Reside Effect.