• 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!

  • Unique homes – how we value them accurately

    As estate agents, valuing homes accurately is at the core of our business. We’ve got to price them at a level that attracts enough attention from buyers, while achieving the maximum sale price for our clients, and sometimes it’s a challenge – particularly when there’s not much to compare them to.

    We value homes based on a combination of factors. We look at recent data, consider what we know about current market conditions, sprinkle in price per square foot, then use our expertise to judge how popular your particular home is likely to be with buyers.

    While it’s relatively straightforward to value a home if a lot of similar ones exist, it can be much harder to put a price on a unique home. Deciding how much a particular view or architectural style is worth in a certain location is not an exact science, which is why it’s especially important to choose the right estate agent when your home is one of a kind.

    Let’s look in a bit more detail at how we arrive at a market value:

    Data on comparable homes

    The first thing we need to know is the value of other homes that compare to yours – ones of a similar size, in a similar location, with similar features. While there are usually plenty of direct comparables for homes on estates or Victorian terraces, the challenge with unique homes, where there might be very little else like them, is getting as close as possible. The more unique the home, the greater the challenge!

    We look at two types of data:

    • Sold prices: How much have comparable homes sold for in the last 3–6 months? If there aren’t many of them, we sometimes have to look back further in time, then calculate a likely current value based on average price increases. Sold price data from the Land Registry is the main source for surveyors when they make their reports for mortgage lenders, so it carries significant weight.
    • Current market prices. We look at similar homes for sale and consider:
    1. How long have they been on the market?
    2. What’s the current asking price?
    3. Has the price been reduced?

    Generally speaking, we expect to agree a sale at within 5% of the asking price, but the longer a home is on the market, the less likely it is to achieve this.

    Together, these two sources give us a ballpark price guide.

    You might be wondering about online instant valuation tools, which use this kind of data to come up with a current price for your home. They’re becoming increasingly popular and can be useful if lots of similar homes have sold recently. But when it comes to unique homes, we find the results are often quite different to in-person valuations. There might only have been a handful of properties sold recently in the area that are even close to yours in size and style, and it’s almost impossible for a piece of technology to put an accurate value on a view or a one-off architectural feature. Data is certainly helpful in giving us a guide, but it’s by no means the whole story when it comes to unique homes!

    One important thing for us to bear in mind is the ‘ceiling’ – the top price that comparable homes have sold for. If we value your home at more than this, there’s always a risk it might be too expensive, and when buyers think a home is overpriced, it tends to put them off. However, unique homes can often break through the ceiling and attract a higher selling price, simply because there’s nothing else like them.

    Bedside table with clock and lamp in grey and white colour scheme

    Price per square foot

    Not a commonly used valuation tool, but an invaluable one. It doesn’t take into account all the amazing amenities, like a stunning view, or even some disadvantages like a footpath right through a garden. Still, some buyers like seeing exactly how much they’re getting for their money.

    Anything attached to the main home is included in the total price per square foot; however, most detached buildings aren’t, unless it’s an additional dwelling – a holiday home for example.

    Price per square foot is different for each area. It provides a good general overview of what a home is worth. At least on paper.

    Log burner with logs piled either side

    Current market conditions

    Prices depend on supply and demand. When there are fewer homes on the market, prices tend to go up as there’s plenty of competition from potential buyers. The best homes can often attract a ‘bidding war’ and end up selling for over the asking price. On the other hand, if there are fewer people looking to buy when more people want to sell, prices tend to fall. That’s because buyers have a good amount of choice and will be more tempted to try and get a bargain by making an offer below the asking price.

    So, in order to put the right market value on your home, we need to know how many buyers out there are looking for a home like yours. Are similar homes selling quickly or is there an oversupply right now?

    While unique homes are usually less affected by rises and falls in the market, it’s still important for us to know what’s happening, as it gives us a feel for how positive we can be with our valuation.

    Our expertise

    Taking all the above into account, we then have to judge how attractive your home is likely to be to buyers. We’ve got to look at the outstanding features and decide how valuable they are, then balance that with what we know about how much potential buyers are willing and able to pay. There might be lots of things that set your home apart, but would someone be willing to pay more for it than for its closest competitor, and how much more? This is where our experience really matters.

    A lot comes down to how rare the features are, particularly when you’ve got a combination of them. For instance, if you have a beautifully refurbished Grade 1 listed home in a waterfront location, how many other homes like that are there in the area – more importantly, how often do they come up for sale? When a buyer knows that if they miss out on your home, they might not get another chance to buy something similar for another five or ten years, they’re usually willing to pay a premium. And it’s our job to know how much that premium is.

    The final thing we need to consider is your own position. How quickly do you want or need to sell? If you’re not in a rush to find a buyer, we might think it’s worth being optimistic with the price, then we can always adjust it if needed. On the other hand, if you’d like to sell as quickly as possible, we’ll recommend a price that we’re sure will immediately catch your target buyers’ attention.


    So, if you’ve got a unique home, choose an experienced local agent who’s got a track record of successfully selling one-off homes. Search online to see what’s sold locally in the past couple of months and take note of which agents have handled the more individual sales. They’re the ones who should be able to see the true value of your home, properly judge its market potential and then help you achieve the best possible sale.

    If you’re ready to move or are currently on the market and haven’t yet had the response you’d hoped for, give us a call on 01706 356633 or email enquiries@reside.agency. We’ll be happy to chat through our tailored marketing approach for unique homes and, if you’d like to talk in more detail or have a valuation, we can arrange for someone from our team to visit you at home.

  • Our top home styling accessories for 2021

    It’s a new year – time to give your home a whole new look? If you’re selling your home, or planning to, our top home styling accessories for 2021 may help you make the right decisions to give your home a mini-makeover without breaking the bank.

    And, now that the majority of us are ‘locked down’, you may have more time than usual to get new home accessories ordered online, even taking advantage of the New Year sale prices (if you’re quick!).

    Home styling accessories can make even the most stale and tired rooms look new and on-trend again, so let’s dive into our seven top styling tips which won’t break the bank:

    Rugs

    A large rug can transform a room, adding warmth and accentuating the room’s style. Rug trends in 2021 take a vintage turn. A simple flat pile with neutral tones echoing the room is on trend rather than thicker pile or geometric print. Avoid Persian inspirations unless you live in Downton Abbey.

    You don’t have to spend a fortune either; decide on a budget and stick to it. You should be able to get a large rug, say 8’ x 4’, for under £150 if you shop around.

    Cushions

    Cushions are a really easy way to provide an instant update to a room whilst adding colour, texture and interest. Again, the trends point towards a simple style: stay away from geometric prints and pictures.

    2021 has an altogether cleaner look for accessories.

    Flowers

    The finishing touch for viewings, adding scent and a sense of homeliness. Make sure arrangements are in keeping with the overall style of the house and the room.

    If in doubt, keep the colours pale and the style simple with a vintage, minimal or Scandi twist.

    Glass coffee table with vase of flowers in front of log burner

    Toiletries

    Toiletries for photos and viewings should be modern, elegant and the best you can find. Keep them eco-friendly and high-end – AcureTropic and Mu London are great options. Similarly, small, independent brands which are local to you are a nice touch.

    Remember, keep these for viewings only – hide them after each one to keep them in pristine condition.

    Bedding

    New bedding for all rooms, especially the master bedroom, is a great way to show off each space to the best of its advantage. Environmentally-friendly fabrics with natural tones are growing in popularity – keep a look out for a brand with an eco-friendly ethos.

    Don’t forget vintage accents either – another key trend for styling a bedroom.

    Two cushions and a throw on a bed will add that elegant touch of style without over complication.

    Bedside table with lamp, candle and plant

    Towels

    Buy some new ones and make sure no one uses them – they’re just for show! Pop them away with the toiletries after each viewing to keep them crisp and fresh.

    White or neutral shades are best, a staple style for a bathroom. They should be in keeping with the bathroom itself to ensure it looks simple and clean.

    White bathtub in bathroom

    Mirrors

    Mirrors have a real Scandi feel to them in 2021, alongside other wall hangings like art. Mirrors especially add a feeling of coordination and harmony to a room, along with reflecting light, making rooms feel more spacious.

    On top of these trends, there are three bonus points which our experience has taught us to constantly keep in mind when styling a home – Things that never go out of style.

    Log burner in corner of room with basket of logs and fireside tools

    Things which, whatever the trends for the year are, should always be in focus:

    1. Keep things clean and clear

    We’ve noticed that buyers prefer a clean palette of neutral tones. This gives them more opportunities to let their imaginations run wild with ideas for their new dream home.

    1. Create an atmosphere to aspire to

    The more you show the incredible lifestyle your home offers, the more prospective buyers see themselves living there – whether that’s done by leaving a large glass bowl full of vibrant fruit in the kitchen, an elegant vase of delightful flowers in the hallway or a delectable cake which might tempt them to stay a bit longer for another slice.

    Some relaxing, ambient music playing in the background and a cosy room lit by the soft glow of a lamp in the corner also adds a feeling of wonder to a viewing.

    1. Keep a critical eye

    Remember to look at each room with an objective viewpoint; remove or replace accessories that don’t add to the aesthetic of the area.

    First impressions are everything.

    Kitchen worktop with blue casserole dish on hob

    We also recommend staying up-to-date on constantly evolving home styling trends. Try these high street and online retailers; their prices won’t break the bank either:

    • Next – An excellent range of bang-on-trend soft furnishings and home accessories at value-for-money prices.
    • Wayfair – Furnishings for every budget; they have a ‘shop the look’ feature allowing you to pull together items that match before buying.|
    • Tu by Sainsbury’s – Brilliant if you’re on a budget. There are several ranges offering affordable updates for every room in the house.
    • eBay – A fantastic resource for homewares, both new and pre-loved. Great for your budget and your carbon footprint

    There you go! Our top trends and home styling tips for 2021. Which will you be giving a go? You can even go one further and research some more if you’ve got a little spare time during lockdown.

    Get in touch today by calling us on 01706 356633 or email us and we can provide you with specialist, expert advice to support you through your specific set of circumstances.