|Picture from here|
Estate agents used to be necessary to selling your house. Some people dislike them, us, we do still use them, I've found their personal touch, to me, meeting them and building a rapport of great advantage, to our end goal of a sale.
We did try selling through an online company once ourselves, but living in an area where there was a lot of shift work I could never be home during the day to show people the house. This did not suit us at that time. In saying that, the last 6 of our houses have been bought by people, that I have shown around the house. lol maybe I should be an estate agent? joking, I would be like Kirsty Allsop, "Knock this wall down, push the kitchen out... ". Never say never but I doubt we would go that route again. Nothing wrong with it, I have 3 friends who have sold through purple bricks, and all are very happy with the sevice.
Having a quick look today and what we have been told previously, High Street estate agents will charge you anything from 5% (the most exclusive estate agents), to the ones trying it on at 3%, the normal being 1.5 ot 1.7%. When we have people around, we wait for them to look at the house and let them value the house. We have 4 come and appraise the house for us. In our previous location we returned to the same estate agent, actually the man himself as he moved from the estate agency and went to a new one. We felt that we could trust him to push for people to come around and then to gather any possible opinions if there was anything that put a buyer off and that we could sort out, and to not harass for an offer but give them enough time to think about an offer.
Some times we have been harassed as soon as we got out of the door and then what felt like every 2 hours for our offer. It puts you off.
As we knew that estate agent and that we always price our houses keenly, we haggle and the last 3 houses we have paid 0.75%. Each house sold - under offer the first week, 2 on the first day, one on an open house at the nearest weekend to when we had it put on the internet and the last one, sold to someone who had seen the house the same day we viewed it to buy, but didnt feel they could tackle all of the work. The sign went up and they contacted the estate agent. Each time they hadnt even printed the brochure.
- point one is therefore, find someone who you feel has some rapport.
- point two haggle over the fee, if you really think your house will sell straight away, I dont think there is anything wrong in haggling. What is the worst they can do? Say no? Got to be worth it right. I know it is un-British to talk about money, but every saving is needed.
You have chosen your estate agent. They will email you a proof of the house particulars. Now this, PAY HUGE ATTENTION TO. Get that? HUGE ATTENTION. Do not read it on the screen, print it out, it is easier to find spelling mistakes and you can scribble all over it adding or taking things away.
Things to add in, catchment areas to good schools, there bang, your house just went up in value and desirability. What else? Closeness to parks, these are important to people with children and dogs. Views? get that in there. Lots of people want to grow their own food even if it is a token veg bed, get that in there. Make a list of good things. If you know that your house is in an area of retirees, mention closeness to Dr, hospitals, on the level and bus stop x amount away. Also important is to include "has a spacious 5 car drive", if you have a driveway, high light this. And make sure your listing on the internet includes that you have "parking", that is a selection button, that people can click on. You dont want to miss out.
Now, pictures. Pictures tell a thousand words. The pictures will be both on your particulars and also on the internet. You are selling to an audience who may not even be in this country. We found this house whilst we were in Thailand. Pictures should show how big the rooms are. There are tell tells when they have been adjusted or if they have used a fish eye lens - the walls will curve at the sides...
You are free to take your own pictures if you think yours are better than the estate agents. Your estate agent may even offer the service of a professional house stager and photographer. This will be worked into your fee.
Small box room or bathroom, take the door off, to take the picture. Yes, I really just said that.
Remember how I said to clean in the previous post on selling. Clean some more before the pictures are taken. We have all seen the houses online, where there is washing on a radiator, plates at the side of a sink. Kids toys all over the floor. One or 2 toys in the picture of a play room sets the scene. Little Jonny's toys all over a small lounge floor, equals that there is no room in the house.
Beds should be made, I iron the duvet cover whilst it is on the bed again to make sure it is tidy. Valances for over the divan box. They were invented for a reason, they look a damn sight better than those dingy material covers they staple to the frame. Its like underwear, cover it up. (Remember, you are selling your most valuable asset, pretend you are a shop, everything should be ready at any minute for someone to view. )
If you have a large garden, make sure it is tidy and get at least 2 pictures of it, if something is mentioned in the particulars, for instance a summer house or green house, get a picture of this in the wider view.
One for the men. Although most people say that women are the drive behind moving most of the time. you still have to get the men interested. If you have a garage or a workshop, make sure there are pictures of these inside. both angles. Make note of cupboards or if you have specialist electrics in there. I saw one on the internet that Posh Boy was most impressed with and it had a special consumer unit for a kiln and an air compressor. (higher voltage? I am sure someone out there knows more than me about that).
I think that is enough for now and you get the picture. Leave nothing to chance that because you love/loved your home that someone else will see through all of the clutter and bad pictures. Up sell your house.
Have I missed anything? If so, please leave a comment I will add it to the end post of this series.