Everyone who puts a property on the market hopes it will sell swiftly, and at the best price. But that is easier said than done in the present climate. If you are serious about selling quickly, here are our 10 top tips.
1. Price your property realistically. “It is a price-sensitive market, so if you over-value your property, even by as little as 5 per cent, it will lead to half the number of viewings,” says Martin Bikhit, Managing Director of Kay & Co. A recent study by Rightmove found that properties were 40 per cent more likely to sell if they were priced correctly when they first came to the market – whereas, if they were over-priced by 5 per cent, interest in the properties fell off sharply.
2. Dress your property to a high standard. We recently received instructions to market a property for sale on Upper Wimpole Street, Marylebone which had been on the market for several months. We arranged to have it dressed by a specialist furniture rental firm and it sold in two weeks. Below are the before and after photos:
3. Look for promising PR angles. Good agents will have contacts with national and local media. They will be able to highlight any unusual features for potential editorial. An example of our recent coverage can be found here.
4. Identify the USP of your property. It might be the main reception room, the kitchen-dining-room or, in summer, the terrace. Whatever it is, make sure it stands out. It depends on the property, but most people naturally lean towards the reception room or the kitchen.
5. If you are going to refurbish a property, refurbish the whole property, not just one or two rooms. “We recently had more than 25 viewings on a property in Marylebone which had not been modernised in 40 years,” says Paul Sulkin, Director of Kay & Co. “You can create a lot of interest in something that feels like a blank canvas. It is also a good idea to talk to your agent before undertaking a major refurbishment.” There are no half measures – you should do all or nothing. Aim to get £2 back for every pound you spend.
6. Choose an agent who knows the local area like the back of their hands. That is an important factor as a good agent will prove valuable with local knowledge. Often, the sale of a property comes down to the individual, who is both persistent and knowledgeable.
7. Use an agent with a loyal and longstanding clientele. Kay & Co has a database of more than 20,000 clients, built up over 35 years. The ability to access such a database is a huge advantage when it comes to marketing properties.
8. Don’t stint on photography. The more eye-catching the photographs in the brochure or online, the more people will want to see the property for themselves. Professional art directed photography, is the best solution, rather than “point and click”. Ensure you choose the best time of day to take the photographs, too.
9. De-clutter. This is just common sense, but it is surprising how many owners leave clothes lying around the apartment, or shoes in the hallway.
10. Leave the showing of the property to your agent. It is tempting to think that you can sell your home yourself, but at the end of the day, it’s best to leave the viewings to the agents. People are generally more honest and open when the owner is not at home.
Selling a property quickly, even in a sticky market, is certainly feasible – we regularly achieve speedy sales. But if you want to shift the odds of making a quick sale in your favour, you need to follow the basics.
* Contact Kay & Co estate agents for details of properties for sale or to rent in Marylebone, Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill, Mayfair, Fitzrovia, Regents Park and The West End (020 7262 2030 kay & Co)