• 7 Tips to Sell Your Home in Winter

    If you’re ready to move, you might be wondering whether to put your home on the market now or wait until the spring. Well, although winter may traditionally be a quieter time for home-moving than spring and summer, the market is still very much open for business and selling your home in this colder season does have its benefits.

    As those who aren’t in a hurry to move tend to hunker down and focus on festivities, buying and selling activity usually dips a little over the winter period. That gives motivated sellers who push ahead with marketing two advantages:

    1. Although you may get fewer viewings overall through the winter, those who make the effort to look at potential new homes despite the inclement weather, are generally committed buyers who are serious about making offers.
    2. If there is a slight drop in the number of homes on the market, there’s less competition. That means you should get a higher proportion of buyers viewing your home and, with fewer houses for them to choose from, they should be quicker to make an offer if they like what they see!

    Remember, even if there’s a howling blizzard outside, the internet is always up and running. House-bound potential buyers will have plenty of time to browse through online listings, and estate agents’ doors and phone lines are still open.

    So, if you’re keen to secure a sale this winter, it’s time to revitalise your marketing for the season and prepare to show buyers that your home is a wonderful one to live in – whatever the weather’s doing outside!

    With that, here are our top 7 tips to help you sell your home this winter:

    1. Style for the season

    Work with the colder weather and shorter daylight hours by styling your home so that it reflects the season and creates a cosy atmosphere.

    Refreshing soft furnishings and accessories is a simple way to transform the look of a room, so replace light cushions and throws with heavier fabrics and deeper colours. Pillar candles in storm lanterns cast a lovely light and can make a great focal point on a coffee table, sideboard or kitchen countertop. Winter-scented candles – think cinnamon, spiced pumpkin and orange – can also help create a welcoming seasonal vibe.

    Low-maintenance green plants, such as peace lilies and Boston ferns will add life and are easy to look after, and potted orchids should give you long-lasting flowers and just a hint of spring around the corner.

    Finally, if you’re wondering whether you should put up Christmas decorations, we’d say yes – as long as they’re not overpowering. Festive décor can add a lovely, cheery feel to your home, but you don’t want to detract from the natural space. So, even if you usually dress every room from head to toe in Christmas trim, hold back a little this year!

    1. Maximise light

    Low natural light in winter can sometimes make interiors feel dull, so make sure you let as much daylight in as possible when you have viewings. Pull back the curtains, make sure blinds are fully rolled up and clear window sills of any large objects that might block light from getting into a room.

    Another thing to consider is how you could change the lighting to show off the size of each room – emphasising the height in particular can make a huge difference to how spacious rooms feel. Investing in some higher-wattage light bulbs is a simple way to brighten up your whole home, and have plenty of lamps throughout to add a warm and welcoming glow.

    1. Turn your garden into a winter wonderland

    With fewer daylight hours for potential buyers to appreciate the outside of your home, install some pretty garden lights to inject a touch of ‘winter wonderland’. There’s a huge range of all-weather options for exterior lighting – from strings of fairy lights for trees and summer houses, to stakes for lawns or borders and spotlights for pathways. And many of them are solar powered, so once they’re up, you don’t need to think about plugs or timers.

    If you have a terrace or other outdoor seating area, you could add solar-powered lanterns and why not consider investing in a heat lamp or fire pit that you can take with you to your next home?

    1. Refresh your photography

    The best way to keep your home looking fresh in adverts is to ensure the photography is always in line with the season. So, if your current photos were taken in the summer, speak to your agent about updating them.

    Have the interior shots taken once the styling has been refreshed for winter, but before you put up any Christmas decorations, as they would make the pictures a little too time specific. And for the exterior, make sure the photographer gets some shots at twilight, with plenty of lights on – inside and out, so your home glows and the garden twinkles!

    1. Stay on top of maintenance

    With higher levels of rain and wind – plus frost and possibly snow – you may have a few more jobs to do than usual to keep your home looking its best through the wintertime. But it’s worth doing a daily maintenance check because even if you don’t have a viewing booked, you never know when potential buyers might be passing by to check out your home from the outside.

    Three key things to stay on top of:

    • Keep paths free of leaves, snow and other debris
    • Make sure drains are clear so rainwater doesn’t pool or flood
    • When it’s icy, salt the driveway and paths

    Also, you may want to keep a close eye on how clean your windows look, as low light can be unforgiving and you want your home to sparkle!

    1. Get set for perfect winter viewings

    When it’s chilly outside, you want to welcome potential buyers into your home with warmth on all fronts. So turn the heating up a few degrees ahead of the viewing, light fires and candles for a cosy atmosphere, and make sure every room is well-lit.

    Check the garden and other exterior lights are on, so people can clearly see where they’re going, and make sure there’s somewhere to hang up coats and leave umbrellas and boots. If you don’t have a porch or hallway, it’s worth popping a coat stand by the font door – and don’t forget a clean doormat.

    A nice touch is to offer viewers a warm drink and even a seasonal nibble – perhaps a mince pie or some gingerbread. The more welcome you can make people feel, the more positive they’re likely to be as they walk around your home, hopefully leaving them with a happy memory of the viewing and your home.

    1. Discuss the festive period with your agent

    Find out what your agent’s business hours will be over Christmas and New Year, and make sure you keep them posted on your own plans – any specific days when you’re going to be entertaining or hosting family and friends and when viewings wouldn’t be convenient.

    If you’re going to be very busy over Christmas, you could simply consider taking a short break from selling for a couple of weeks. The best thing to do is have a chat with your agent and come up with a strategy for the festive period, so you can relax and enjoy yourself, while making sure you don’t miss out on a potentially perfect buyer.

    If you’re keen to sell and are ready to start marketing your home this festive season, get in touch and we can discuss the best strategy for finding you a buyer this winter. And if you’re already on the market with another agent but haven’t had any offers yet, we may be able to help you secure a sale ahead of Christmas – so give us a call! Phone on 01706 356633 or email us on enquiries@reside.agency and we’ll get straight back to you.

  • Summer selling for an autumn move

    Summer is a great time of year to sell your home. With bright, sunny days, gardens at their greenest and flowers blooming, your marketing photos will look fabulous!

    More daylight hours and generally better weather than at other times of year give people much more opportunity to view your home at its best and brightest. And there’s nothing like a sunny day to put people in a great mood, which means they’re more likely to have a positive mindset when they’re viewing.

    So, how can you best take advantage of the benefits of selling during the summer?

    Photographs

    The marketing photographs in your brochure and online advertising play a huge part in enticing buyers to view your home. Importantly, they’ve got to be in line with the season, so if your home’s already on the market and the photos were taken earlier in the year, we’d suggest you replace them with some up-to-date ones.

    Have the interior photographed when there’s maximum daylight outside so the sun streams in through the windows, really boosting the natural brightness of your rooms. And if you’ve got a patio, balcony or terrace, open the doors and have a shot taken looking either inwards or outwards – it can create a really captivating image, with a hint of ‘summer holiday villa’, which could be hugely appealing to many buyers.

    Two great times to have exterior shots taken in the summer:

    1. In the middle of the day, in bright sunshine. If you’ve got a good-sized garden, a shot from the end – front or back – looking towards your home and taking in the lush colours of the trees, flowers and shrubs can look beautiful.
    2. On a clear evening, around sunset. A mid-length shot of the front or back against the twilight sky, with exterior and interior lights on, can be quite stunning.

    Styling your interior for summer vibes

    The styling of your home is important at any time of year to help buyers imagine themselves living there, and it should resonate with the season. To give your home that summer vibe:

    • Pack away any dark, heavy throws and blankets and replace them with lighter fabrics
    • Floral cushions bring a summer vibe to any room
    • White bed linen will help make bedrooms feel bright and fresh
    • Scented candles are a great aspirational and welcoming accessory all year round, so choose some light, floral scents for bedrooms and living areas
    • Any aroma that reminds people of being on holiday, such as coconut, can boost their positive mood even further! You could have some fresh coconut cake in the kitchen or a coconut diffuser in the bathroom.

    Of course, the glass surfaces in your home should be gleaming whatever time of year you’re selling, but it’s even more important that they sparkle in the summer light. It might be worth having the windows and glazed doors professionally cleaned inside and outside before you put your home on the market and perhaps periodically until you secure a buyer.

    Indoor/outdoor living is becoming increasingly popular, so fling open your sparkling doors and windows before people arrive to view, and have plenty of plants and flowers around your home – particularly near doorways – to help the flow of greenery from inside to outside.

    Showing your garden at its blooming best

    Many gardens are at their finest during the summer, but it’s the time of year when everything is growing quickly, meaning it takes a little more effort to keep everything looking fabulous. Some of our clients choose to get extra help from a gardening services company while their home’s on the market – so why not consider doing the same? It’s one less job for you to do, and you can be confident your garden will always make the best possible impression on buyers.

    Styling is just as important for the outside of your home as the inside, so think about things you could do to show off how you enjoy the garden. If you already have garden furniture, great; if you don’t, then it might be beneficial to buy a reasonably-priced table and some chairs, as that can really help set the ‘lifestyle’ scene outside when people come to view. Put a vase of flowers on the table and lay out some refreshments – even if that’s just a big jug of freshly-made lemonade and some glasses. The garden will look even more welcoming and inviting, which will encourage people to stay longer to appreciate everything your home has to offer.

    Families on the move

    For growing families, being cooped up together indoors over the winter months often makes them realise it might be time to upsize! And with school-age children on holiday, summer is a popular time for families to look for a new home, as they can all view together, find something everyone loves and then move in early autumn without disrupting the middle of the academic year.

    So, while demand tends to be strong across all types of home in the summer, we usually find the ‘family home’ market is particularly busy – especially for those homes that have generous gardens. As children get older, many families really appreciate having extra space outside, so summer is the perfect time of year to sell homes with large lawns, where viewers can watch their young ones safely running about and enjoying the space.

    And with high demand comes buoyant prices, which means you may be able to get more for your home than if you try to sell in the winter months.

    Would an open house suit you?

    Summer is also a great time of year to have an open house, where different buyers can view at the same time over a period of a few hours. In nice weather, buyers can spread out through your home and garden, take their time to view – and, as long as it’s dry underfoot, you don’t need to worry too much about your carpets getting dirty! While it might not be the right strategy for every home, for some it can be very successful in creating a buzz and encouraging great offers, so speak to your agent about whether it could work for you.

    Moving in the autumn

    Once your summer marketing has led to a successful sale and you’ve found a new home that you love, you can start planning the next exciting step. Moving in the autumn has its benefits, as it won’t be too hot or too cold when you’re shifting all your furniture and possessions in and out of buildings and vans – which removals companies certainly appreciate!

    And here’s a valuable tip if you’re using a removals company: contact them as early as possible, even if you don’t have a firm moving date yet and particularly if you’d like to move on a Friday, as that’s the most popular day. They can come and do their survey of what needs moving, give you a quote and you have the opportunity to negotiate the best possible price.

    While some people find moving house one of life’s more stressful events, doing it in the autumn means you’re nicely positioned between the rush of the summer and Christmas holidays, so you should have some breathing space – and you’ve got the festive season to look forward to!

    So, if you’ve been thinking of selling this summer, or perhaps you’re already on the market and are looking for a new approach to secure a buyer in time for an autumn move, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call on 01706 356633 or email enquiries@reside.agency and we can get things moving right away to ensure you take full advantage of the summer buzz!

  • 6 Simple steps to prepare your home for viewings

    We know from experience that the better your home looks and feels when potential buyers come to view, the more likely you are to get an asking price offer.

    For many people, the decision about whether to buy a home is an emotional one, and we’ve found that, more often than not, they make that decision very quickly. By the time buyers see your home in person, they already know the size, layout and location, and the photos have been enticing enough for them to book the viewing. So this step of the buying journey is mainly about them making sure that your home is as good in reality as it looks in the brochure, and that it feels like the right place for them to live.

    Speak with your agent about how they can help

    You may already have your own thoughts about how your home should be presented for viewings, but it’s always worth speaking to your agent to get their input. We’re dealing with buyers and showing homes every day and can often suggest things that might not have occurred to you.

    The best agents will have stylists on their team, who work together with a professional photographer to make sure that your home is shown in the most attractive light. Remember that these marketing photos are one of the key aspects that help to secure viewings, and that specific look is what your buyers will expect to see. So, while your home is listed for sale, the closer you can keep it looking to the images in your brochure, the better.

    Nevertheless, no matter how neat and tidy you are, there are always those last-minute tweaks and little jobs that need doing before a viewing. So here’s our handy checklist of 6 simple steps to ensure your home is perfectly prepared to welcome what could be your dream buyer:

    1. Make buyers feel great about your home before they even step through the front door

    First impressions really do count, so think about how your home looks as buyers approach it. One thing that sellers often forget is to check how the ‘For Sale’ board looks – is it clean and straight? If there’s any damage, let your agent know right away and they can arrange for it to be replaced.

    Try to ensure there’s somewhere for people to park their car, even if it means moving your own fifteen minutes before the viewing. Make sure the path to the front door is clear, the garden looks tidy and you have some welcoming potted plants at the entrance. Don’t forget the door itself – give it a wipe down, clean the handle and letterbox – and check that any outside lights are working properly.

    2. Make the space shine

    It’s really helpful if you can try to have the mindset that once your home is on the market, it’s no longer primarily ‘your’ home. You might have been used to leaving projects laid out across surfaces, having children’s toys and play equipment to hand and not worrying about keeping absolutely everything stored in its proper place. But buyers can often ask to view homes at quite short notice, so the cleaner and tidier you can keep each room, the less you’ll have to do at the last minute to get it ready for viewings.

    If you can get used to living in a clutter-free way and manage to stay on top of the housework, then all you should need to do before potential buyers arrive is perhaps run the vacuum around and pop your teacup in the dishwasher!

    3. Carry out a ‘fresh check’ on bathrooms

    When it comes to bathrooms and toilets, your two watchwords are: ‘clean’ and ‘fresh’. As with the rest of your home, if you can make sure they sparkle on a daily basis, then you should only have three little things to do before a viewing:

    1. Drop some scented disinfectant in the toilet or spray a gentle air freshener
    2. Make sure the toilet lid is closed
    3. Put out fresh towels.

    Tip: Keep a clean set of towels just for viewings, so that you can make a quick switch and then swap them back out once the viewing is over!

    4. A little bit of styling can make all the difference

    When you’re selling a home, you’re selling a lifestyle, so think about what little touches will help people feel good about the space and make them want to spend time there. Candles, flowers, high-end magazines and pretty soft furnishings work well in reception rooms and bedrooms, while a fruit bowl and some fresh herbs will add life to the kitchen.

    Use your marketing photos as a reference, and try to keep all these styling accessories in your home so that they just need a quick ‘condition check’ before viewings.

    5. Fresh baking really does work!

    It may sound like a cliché, but the smell of home baking really does appeal to buyers. Our sense of smell has a strong association with memory and can be highly emotive, so some freshly baked bread or cake in the kitchen might evoke memories of a happy childhood, while a coconut scent in a reception room, bathroom or bedroom might remind people of being on holiday.

    If you can fill your home with aromas that remind people of happy times in their lives, it will help them feel good about it – and they’ll be more likely to remember it in greater detail after they’ve left. Just remember that less is more, and if you’re going for a fragrance, make it subtle.

    6. Pet patrol…

    Your beloved pet might be regarded as a member of the family, but not everyone is going to be a fan and some people may be allergic. The ideal solution is to take your pet out of your home while the viewing is taking place, but if that’s not possible, try to keep it contained in one room, along with beds, litter trays, etc.

    If relocating your pet is proving tricky, you could ask your agent to tell prospective buyers about it, then let you know if they have any concerns and you can discuss the best solution.

    At Reside Estate Agents, our team is always here to help, so if you have any questions about viewings or would like some more advice on creating the best possible first impression on buyers, just call on 01706 356633 or email us on enquiries@reside.agency. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Turning browsers into buyers – make sure your online advert stands out

    If you’ve ever searched online for a home yourself, you’ll know how many listings there are. The broader your search terms, the more results are going to come up, and then you start scrolling through…

    So, what is it that makes you stop scrolling?

    When you’re selling, how do you make sure your headline details stand out from the rest so that buyers click to find out more? Importantly, is the rest of your listing good enough to grab their interest and make them want to book a viewing?

    The trick is getting the right balance of images and words: enough to whet people’s appetite so they’re keen to view, but not so much that they feel they’ve already seen everything your home’s got to offer. If you overdo the information, buyers could just put you on their shortlist and keep scrolling. Remember, the whole point of marketing is to get people through the door – so make them want more!

    Photographs

    Photographs are one of the most important features of your online advert. Around 90% of the information processed by our brains is visual, and we take it in tens of thousands of times quicker than text, so you really can’t overestimate the power of a great set of photos. Your main image should be your finest full shot of the front – and taking it at twilight with all the interior lights on can create a truly striking impression.

    Then have between six and ten great photos of the inside and garden. You’ve got to show buyers the main rooms and some of the best features, leaving them excited about discovering the parts they haven’t seen.

    Make sure your agent uses a professional photographer who can not only take the shots well, but also work with your agent’s team who are styling your home to create the best possible images. Interior shots look best taken on a bright day, so the photographer may need to make another visit to capture the all-important exterior twilight shots that will help ensure you have a great selection of images.

    Buyers tend to connect with things that are both familiar and aspirational, so think about how different rooms look in glossy homes magazines and use that as a guide.

    Here are some of the things you can do to get your home ready before the photographer and styling team arrive:

    1. Vacuum and dust
    2. Clean the windows and mirrors
    3. Empty all the bins and put away your half-used toiletries
    4. Tidy away any work, toys and kitchen clutter
    5. Have some new candles, plants and/or flowers in the main reception rooms
    6. Fill a fruit bowl for the kitchen
    7. Straighten/plump up soft furnishings and towels
    8. Take away rugs (plain floors make rooms look bigger)
    9. Make sure all the light bulbs work, and have some spares, just in case!
    10. Mow the lawn, prune the shrubs and flowers, and spruce up the garden furniture.

    Then do your best to keep your home looking like that until it sells!

    When your agent forwards the brochure for you to review, one thing to make a particular point of checking is whether the photographs flow ‘naturally’. Think about the route a viewing would take through your home and try to make sure the photographs follow that order, as far as possible. For example: the front exterior shot, then the hallway, followed by the living room, the kitchen, the staircase, the master bedroom, and so on. If the order makes sense, it will be easier for the buyer to visualise your home and may help create a stronger first impression.

    The written details

    Your headline and summary paragraph need to say what your home is, show where it’s located and make its best features shine in a way that entices potential buyers to look for more details. So, if your home is ideal for a family, highlight things like a fabulous open dining kitchen, games room, large garden and proximity to schools.

    Then the bullet points should be between six and ten things that ‘snapshot’ the biggest selling features of your home. You’re trying to give buyers reasons to book a viewing, so make sure each point is a real benefit, for example:

    • Unobstructed views across open countryside
    • Master suite with private, south-facing balcony
    • 24’ modern dining kitchen with Miele appliances and Rangemaster cooker
    • Versatile, open-plan reception space
    • Soundproofed home office with separate entrance.

    Once people have seen the bullet points and been dazzled by your photographs, chances are they’re pretty much decided on whether to view. So, although they may want a little more information, they won’t want to have to scroll through reams of paragraphs describing every last detail.

    The best approach is to have a short and sweet description of each room – the size and key fittings that will be included in the sale – and then any other particular features, like an incredible view, unique architectural detail or tech feature. At this stage, buyers really don’t need to know how many sockets or window locks there are; you’re just trying to get them interested enough to book a viewing, so stay focused on the key selling points.

    Floor plans & PDF brochure

    Floor plans really help buyers put room sizes into perspective and see whether the layout could work for them. They’re more-or-less standard these days, so make sure your listing has one.

    Once you’re happy it’s correct, there are three things to check:

    1. There’s a compass rose so buyers can easily see which rooms and areas of the garden face south
    2. The total square footage is stated – that helps buyers compare homes to see how much space they’re getting for their money
    3. The image opens at a decent size online.

    A digital version of your full brochure should also be available as a downloadable PDF that buyers can save and print out. Although the agent may provide a hard copy at the viewing, many people like to check the brochure in advance to see if there are any photos or other information they might have missed – and it’s also useful for them to make notes on.

    You’ve grabbed their attention – what next?

    If you’ve ticked off everything so far, you should have buyers who are really keen to view. You’re halfway there. Now this is where the personal and professional skills of your agent come into play, to turn enquirers into buyers.

    The buyer calls your agent

    Some people know for sure that they want to view and they’re just calling to arrange the appointment. Other people have questions, and this is where an enthusiastic agent who’s familiar with your home can really help increase the buyer’s interest and firm up a viewing. So, check with your agent to make sure every member of staff has viewed your home and been briefed on any other relevant information, like whether you’ve found an onward purchase.

    Whoever’s handling the enquiry should also qualify the person viewing, checking how they’re going to be funding their purchase and whether they have a home to sell. If you’ve found a new place you’ve fallen in love with and the person who wants to view hasn’t even put their own home on the market yet, there might not be much point booking an appointment. On the other hand, if they’re a cash buyer or they’ve sold and their buyer is desperate to proceed, they could be the perfect fit!

    The buyer views your home

    We’d suggest it’s always better to let your agent carry out accompanied viewings. Our experience means we know what information to give and how to sell the best features of your home; also, importantly, when the owner’s not there, buyers tend to feel more relaxed and talk more freely. That means we can usually get good feedback there and then and possibly even start negotiations on the spot.

    Turning an offer into a sale

    When a buyer really loves a home – and if your agent has done their job selling it! – they’ll often make an offer even after just one viewing. Your agent then has to negotiate the best possible price on your behalf, keeping you informed of every offer.

    If your online listing is up to scratch and you’ve got your home looking its best, you should have plenty of interest. And if necessary, your agent can use feedback from viewings to make tweaks to your marketing along the way to ensure you’re appealing to as many buyers as possible. (See our recent blog, ‘What to do when your home isn’t selling’.) 

    If you’re already on the market and would like some feedback on your online advert, we would be happy to take a look and give you our honest thoughts. Just call us anytime – we’d love to hear from you! Call on 01706 356633 or email enquiries@reside.agency, and one of our team will get right back to you.

  • 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