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25Sep

If you’re a new landlord, established landlord or even thinking about becoming a landlord, a letting agent can help you manage the load. Here are six reasons why you might need a letting agent. 

Did you know that a third of the properties in the UK are rentals?  And a large proportion of those are managed by individuals, not agencies?  If you’ve inherited a house, or you’ve moved out of a flat but still own it, it’s more profitable to manage that property rental yourself, right?  

Well, yes… and no… 

Saving money by managing her property herself is exactly what Christine thought she’d do. Here’s her story:  

When Christine’s mother-in-law moved into a nursing home, Christine found herself with a house to manage. Luckily, her friend’s son Ben was looking for a home for his family, so it seemed like the perfect solution to have him move into the vacant house.  

Rent was paid on time, and the young family were happy in their new home. Until the month Ben lost his job and wasn’t able to pay the rent. Christine was understanding – after all, Ben was her friend’s son. But two months went by and still no rent. Ben stopped answering his phone, and so Christine approached her friend. After a frosty conversation, Christine’s friend arranged a meeting at the property. 

More bad news – Ben’s family had bought a puppy. Christine was shocked by the deterioration in the property over only a few months (she had been reluctant to make regular visits out of concern for invading the young family’s privacy). The dog had chewed at the furniture and door frames. The house smelled. 

Christine meanwhile was facing another problem; finding the payments for her mother-in-law’s care, which was dependent on the rental income from her home. 

Financially stressed and emotionally drained by the strain the situation was putting on her friendship, Christine called us and poured out her story.  

We contacted the tenant and kept a record of all our communications. Dealing with us in an official capacity, rather than with his mum’s lifelong friend Christine, we were soon able to work out a payment arrangement with Ben to recoup the debt. 

Ben and his family eventually moved out, but Christine didn’t have to bear the brunt of that situation – that was our job. We then found her reliable tenants, who were not pet owners and who we visited for regular maintenance checks. Christine is now earning a regular rental income without the hassle or heartache of day-to-day management when things go wrong. 

We know that managing your own rental can be a bit of a minefield, and in the majority of cases, you can avoid the landmines simply by renting your property via a professional letting agent. There are countless reasons to use an agency, rather than taking a DIY approach, and we’ve whittled these down to our top six reasons why you probably do need a letting agent to manage your property:   

1. We keep you up to date with legislation  

Legislation (the laws that govern letting) surrounding the rental market is forever changing.  

Even for those landlords with a head for figures and reams of paperwork, the waters of compliance can be murky mires to navigate. For new landlords, it can be quite daunting. No doubt you are currently compliant – but with constantly updated regulations to be aware of, it can be time-consuming keeping pace with the changes. 

For new landlords trying to juggle so many elements of property management, time spent on annual certificate checks and renewals is time that could be better engaged elsewhere. 

It’s not just landlords being kept away by legislation headaches; this paperwork poses problems for prospective renters too. They can find it more difficult than ever to pass the required checks.  

Save yourself the headache of trawling through Right to Rent legislation. Let us, as your letting agent, cross the ‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s for you.  

As letting agents, we have a legal duty to know the score. Particularly in regards to mandatory gas safety certificates, electricity tests and the like (which can result in fines if not kept up to date). 

We are just as liable as you are if something goes wrong and so compliance is a key focus for us. As letting agents, it is our job to ensure that you, the landlord, have all this documentation up to date. 

Let us share the weight of responsibility with you. 

2. We help you to free up your biggest asset…time! 

Whether you’re a long-time professional landlord and investor, or new to the letting game, time is money.  And when you’re not busy growing your portfolio, you deserve to spend time relaxing with the family. 

The last thing you need is the phone ringing at 4pm on a Saturday only for a tenant to tell you that their boiler has broken. Again. 

Don’t worry; as your dedicated letting agent, this task falls to us. Allowing your letting agent to step up and manage the day-to-day ups and downs a tenant encounters frees you up to focus on family. 

Spend your holidays sunbathing on the beach and splashing in the sea with loved ones? Or spend them tied up on the telephone to an out-of-hours plumber?  

Why not let your letting agent take this hit for you? 

3. We help you to free up your headspace for more important things 

Whatever your reason for becoming a landlord, it’s unlikely that it is because you enjoy tackling ants’ nests in tenants’ kitchens! (Trust us, it’s more common than you think!)  

Sometimes, it pays to work smarter, not harder. Handing over the day-to-day chores involved in managing a property to a letting agent frees up your headspace. Headspace that could be so much better used in other areas of your life. 

Whether you want to grow your property portfolio, or focus on business elsewhere; finding yourself in a muddle of paperwork, tenancy agreements and EPCs is a distraction. 

Focus your time on the things that are important to you – a good letting agent will free up your time and mind, so you can focus on the things that mean the most to you and your family.  

4. We help you find opportunities to grow your portfolio (if that’s what you want) 

We’re in the know! We know people who can help you to grow your property portfolio into an empire if that’s an ambition of yours. The best plumbers, electricians and handymen that won’t rip you off? They’re in our ‘little black book’. And because we work with them regularly, they tend to respond quicker and charge less to our clients, because they value the business we give them.  

And it’s not only tradesmen you need when you’re growing your portfolio – it’s also tenants and properties! We pride ourselves on knowing many of the tenants in our area personally, as well as the landlords. So, when someone is thinking of selling a potential buy-to-let property, we often get the nod before anyone else. And that makes us a very valuable source of insider information for you.  

So, whether you want to grow from one property to three, or from ten to fifty, you’ll love the fact we have someone to help you at every stage of your journey.  

5. Peace of mind 

Ask any landlord what their biggest concern is, they’ll undoubtedly answer the same -Maintenance.  

In point – the worry of whether your tenant is taking care of your property. This is particularly pertinent if the property holds sentimental value for you, for instance, a family home. For landlords who have moved away from the area or landlords with many properties, it can sometimes be a struggle to pay house calls. Property visits are essential for performing maintenance checks.  

As a landlord, you may not have the opportunity to visit your properties for months or even years at a time. Wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that your properties are being looked after and maintained to a proper standard? 

ARLA Propertymark letting agents bring with them the promise of peace of mind on this front. 

As your letting agent, we carry out regular, scheduled inspections of your property. During visits, we will also take photographs to send over to you, the landlord, for that added comfort. 

Letting agents provide reassurance in the first instance. But good letting agents also provide a way in which to troubleshoot potential problems early on.  

Take condensation, for instance, a huge problem in lettings. Left unchecked it can lead to black mould and damp. It can also lead to costly repairs paid for out of your pocket. Yet, caught early on, a simple conversation between your letting agent and your tenant can prevent costs. A simple lifestyle lesson can save thousands of pounds. Your tenant will learn to keep the window open when drying clothes indoors and you will save money. 

Spot early signs of damage to get repairs done where necessary before a crack becomes a crevasse. 

6. Regular rental income 

Managing a property can seem like a walk in the park when everything is going well. Your tenant pays on time and never misses; they even made you a cup of tea after you fixed the leak under the sink that time. 

Before you know it, you’ve developed a rapport. And then one month, the rent is late. Rent you are relying on to cover the mortgage payment or the care home fees.  

We understand how hard it can be to balance an approachable and considerate face (particularly when dealing with long-term tenants) with chasing payments. This can be of particular concern to those thinking about becoming a landlord for the first time. 

Separate yourself from the discomfort, anxiety and frustration of chasing rent arrears. 

Leave this task to the neutral middle-person; your trusty letting agent. With the personal element removed, our role will be proactive rather than reactive. And you will receive your rent on time. 

So, as you can see, a letting agent can save you time, money, headspace and heartache. Let us take the burden off your shoulders before you even notice the weight. 

With over 13,000 estate agents in the UK to choose from, the perfect partner is out there. But how do you know which one is the right fit for you?  

Contact me today for more information on how a letting agent could help you better run your business. Let us handle the now, so you can look to the future. 

Katie Griffin

katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk

01364 652652

11Sep

Why buyers love home searching in autumn and how you can take steps now to be in your new home by Christmas.

In the blink of an eye, the trees are dappled in burnished reds and golds. That first waft of coal fire smoke garnishes the dusky sky. Dust off your autumn boots and dig out your gloves…September is here.

Summer brought with it the UK’s busiest month of house sales in a decade. Everyone agrees, the housing market is booming.

So, alongside crisp misty mornings and crackling log fires, what delights does autumn hold for sellers?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken calls from family buyers looking for larger homes. These guys like to buy in autumn, spring and early summer. If these times ring a bell (the school bell) that’s because they are term times!

We find that buyers with children tend not to house hunt during the school holidays. After all, when the sun is shining, ice creams at the seaside and outdoor escapades with the family beckon, leaving little time for viewing homes.

It’s also worth remembering how stressful viewing a home can be, with children who just want to be outside.

Instead, parents tend to wait until the children return to school, so they can view homes in peace. But there is more to it than convenience alone; psychology of space can come into play too.

As the days stretch out and it’s light until late in the evening, kids often spend much more time outdoors. Whilst their children are busy playing in the garden until the last glimmers of sunset fade, it’s easy for parents to feel their home is bigger than it is.

As a result, ‘upsizers’ tend not to feel as squeezed for space in the warmer months. After all, with the children outdoors, the house seems so much bigger. With more room to stretch out, a house move may not feel as urgent.

But as the nights begin to draw in, the house begins to feel crowded, meaning parents once again are looking for a change and a larger home in which to grow.

House hunters searching in September and October tend to be keener to make an early decision. After all, everybody wants to settle in ready to start enjoying their new home in time for Christmas. In fact, ‘a quiet and settled Christmas’ can be a real driving factor. Buyers are more motivated than ever to get the deal done.

With that in mind, let’s explore the top seven reasons why selling in September might be the best option for you:

  1. New school year = new start

The schools have gone back. At long last. For parents, it feels like a new year and a fresh slate. With the children no longer cluttering the decks, they can see things with clarity. They can also take steps to move on. School bags strewn in the hallway and cluttered desks in the evening add more impetus. New school year = new start. Where better for a new start than in a new home?

  1. Festive incentives

Ordinarily, buyers looking at property in September are keen to get moving. With Christmas on their minds, they want to have contracts signed and house moves completed well in advance of the festive season.

Adding to the festivities this year are the tax duty slashes from chancellor Rishi Sunak. Will the removal of stamp duty levies on properties below £500k light a fire within would-be buyers?

With plans for a pre-Christmas move supplemented by big savings, this excitement will no doubt drive them on.

  1. An empty home is a clean home

Does the prospect of keeping a home clean and tidy for viewings fill you with fear?

If you have a family, having the children out of the house and at school during the day is a big bonus.

An empty home is so much easier to keep tidy. This means you can prepare for viewings without the worry of your hard work being undone at every turn. No more painting of the Forth Bridge!

  1. Cosy September marketing

In September, your home is looking at its most warm and cosy, with lamps lit and the fire on. Never has it looked more welcoming and inviting.

Capitalise on the misty evenings and create a haven of comfort and cheer for house-hunters. A ‘twilight’ image during this season can showcase your home at its toasty best.

September weather may leave you feeling cold on the outside, but your home will be enticingly warm on the inside.

  1. Size matters in September

With the colder weather and darker evenings, homeowners often retreat inside. A home that seemed spacious in the summer months suddenly feels much smaller.

Children who fled to the garden and local parks to meet friends in the summer are now flocking home. Sometimes with their friends in tow.

All these ingredients provide motivation to move on and seek out a bigger house.

  1. Freedom to view at leisure

Not only is your home child-free in September – so are you! Harried parents trying to balance entertaining children with house-hunting are finally free. Free to focus on that essential task of moving home.

Now the schools have gone back, mums and dads are free to view homes child-free.

Free of distractions, questions and demands, parents are more relaxed. No need to rush through a viewing in a hurry, you are now free to view in a better frame of mind. Take the time you need to make a decision.

  1. September’s garden glory

Although you might not realise it, September is a great month for the garden.

No longer scorched by the summer sun, the grass is looking lush and green. Shrubs are beginning to display an autumn glow … your garden still looks lovely.

Even when the leaves start to drop, this can be a bonus, with views often improving. As well as the low sun providing a great backdrop for twilight photo shoots, it can also bathe the house in a lovely glow for early evening viewings.

As you can see, September can be a wonderfully successful time to sell your home! But following the summer surge in home sales, will autumn sales follow suit?

Rishi Sunak seems to think so; the Chancellor’s recent cuts to Stamp Duty now extend until March 2021 and with the Stamp Duty threshold raised to £500,000, less than 10% of buyers will have to pay any Stamp Duty at all.

If you would like to know whether your home would be a good contender for a September sale, we’d love to hear from you – call us for a chat on 01364 652652, or send us an email at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk. Whatever your plans, chatting them through in full confidence can help.

We’d be proud to be part of your moving journey.

08Aug

You know your home looks good. You’ve chosen your estate agent, the photographer’s booked and you’re ready to launch.

But is there something missing….?

Let us help you transform your home from ‘market ready’ to ‘market ravishing’ with our home styling tips.

So, what is home styling?

Home styling is ‘fine-tuning’ your home so a buyer can imagine themselves living there.

Did you know that home styling can boost the number of viewings you get? The Home Staging Association reports styled homes are likely to sell three times faster than non-styled homes.

Our six (and a half) simple styling secrets guarantee to give your listing that ‘show home sparkle’.

Styling Secret #1: Scatter cosy cushions

For a great styling secret that won’t cost you the earth, start with cushions and pillows.

Pillows and cushions feature in rooms across the house. Learn the psychology behind cushion placement to transform your home.

Bedrooms are places in which we sleep and living rooms are where we lounge, stretch out and relax. As such, styling pillows and styling cushions need different approaches.

Three is the magic number and this works throughout our styling tips.

In the bedroom, keep it simple and laid back. Layer three sizes of pillows and cushions for effect. Start with crisp white pillows at the back followed by a contrasting cushion at the front. On point for hotel-style glamour.

Buyers love easy, neutral tones in living rooms, so if you love colour, save it for your cushions and throws. And if you haven’t updated your cushions and throws for a few years, now might be the time to treat yourself.

Styling Secret #2: Bowl them over with fruit

Food for thought…why not influence buyers with bowls of fruit?

Apples are a winning choice for several reasons:

  • Cost – apples are a bargain fruit, selling for as little as 10p!
  • Freshness – apples tend to stay fresh and attractive much longer than other fruits. This means you won’t have to make extra shopping trips to freshen up your display. (Top tip – when not on display, store them in the fridge to extend their appeal by weeks).
  • Symbolism – bright reds and greens are more than eye catching; they also symbolise health and vitality.

Also try oranges, or lemons and limes. But keep to only one or two varieties for maximum style and impact.

Styling Secret #3: Freshen up with flowers

Keep it simple, fresh and in keeping with the character of your home.

Remember to keep things balanced when it comes to home styling. Decide between a bowl of juicy Granny Smiths and a vase of sunflowers, instead of both.

Choose the right floral display for each area. A hand-picked posy is perfect for a country kitchen. Tall, tasteful lilies add elegance to a large dining table. Don’t forget bedrooms too – a mini-vase on a bedside table with a small sprig of seasonal flowers is a lovely touch.

Top tip: make sure to snip off the pollen from the stamens. Not only will this prevent stains, but it will keep your lilies flowering longer

Styling Secret #4: Tasteful toiletries

Don’t have the funds for a big-budget bathroom makeover? Don’t worry. Why waste money you could be spending on your dream home renovating the one you are selling?

Accessorising your bathroom can be simple, low-cost and fun.

Cast some mood lighting with scented candles. Grouped in glass holders by the bath and in alcoves, this looks great. Ensure they are lit for viewings to create a soothing atmosphere.

Pack your regular toiletries away out of sight. Indulge in luxury versions, for viewings only. The White Company and Molton Brown are both brands that have viewer appeal.

Styling Secret #5: Fresh towels

Freshen up the whole bathroom with new towels. Treat yourself to a set of brand-new white ‘viewings only’ towels and ask the family not to touch.

Check out photos of hotel bathrooms for ideas of how to present your fluffy white towels. Rolled or folded both work well and add a styled feel.

Depending on the size of your bathroom, there are many options. In smaller spaces, drape a folded towel over the rail.

Larger bathroom with fitted-furniture? These look great with a pyramid of rolled flannels stacked on the shelf.

Remember to stick to the rule of three on heated towel rails. Large bath sheet, medium bath towel, small hand towel.

Styling Secret #6: Add a rug

Play about with rugs to emphasise different areas of your home’s open-plan spaces. Placing a soft, fluffy rug in a living area helps to create a sense of relaxation and comfort. A hard-wearing rug under a table can define a dining area. If your rugs have seen better days, it may be time for an upgrade. After all, you can take them with you to your new home.

Styling Secret #6 ½: ask a friend!

Invite a trusted friend to be your home’s harshest critic, and to walk around with you as if they were a viewer. What jars, or stands out for the wrong reasons? Are any areas wasted, or cluttered? Do any rooms smell less fresh than you’d like? Ask your friend to be blunt, because your viewers will be. Listen with an open mind and make the changes they suggest; it could win you the sale.

 If you want more tips on home styling, or are thinking about getting your home ready to go on the market, we’d love to hear from you – call us for a chat on 01364 652652 or send me an email at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk. Whatever your plans, chatting them through, confidentially, can help.  We’d be proud to be part of your moving journey.

10Jul

If you are considering switching estate agents, take a look at our latest guide – Switching estate agents: all you need to know to get it right.

 

When you chose your estate agent, you did so because you believed they could sell your home.

 

You felt so certain, you even put your name to it when you signed the contract.

 

However, months down the line, hopes of lots of viewers and competing offers from eager buyers, are starting to fade.

 

You find yourself wondering if the market has changed, or if your asking price was just too optimistic. Your estate agent seems to have lost confidence in their ability to sell your house for the price they recommended. Would a new agent do a better job? 

 

If you find yourself in one of the following situations, it's a natural next step to consider changing agents:

 

  1. Your house isn't getting viewings
  2. Your agent is pressuring you to drop the price
  3. Your agent is not communicating with you

 

Maybe you feel that your agent has actually done a pretty good job, but you're ready for a change and a new approach. Or perhaps they haven't delivered on their early promises, and you feel disappointed and disheartened. The road to choosing the right estate agent can be a bumpy one, and the idea of doing it all over again can leave you feeling daunted. But don't worry, you don't have to make this journey alone. We are here to give you the navigational tools you need to steer your course forward when switching agents, so you don't take a wrong turn, and end up back where you started.

 

Step 1 Use your head and not your heart

 

Before making a move, look at the facts. How many viewings have you had, over what period of time? Ask your agent how this figure compares with other similar properties on their books. Take a look at the property portals; are homes like yours going under offer, whilst yours remains unsold? Or have other properties remained on the market too?

 

Ask your agent to share with you your online portal statistics. Do the figures show a steady level of interest throughout the time you've been on the market, or a declining number of views? Your agent should be able to interpret these statistics for you, explaining their significance, and how they relate to your property sale.

 

Once you understand the current state of play, it's time to check your Agreement.

 

Step 2- Study the small print

 

There are three main types of estate agent agreements. Make sure you know what you've signed, so you don't get yourself in legal hot water by making a change:

 

Sole agency agreement  this is the most common type of estate agent contract. This means that the estate agent is the only agent with the right to sell your home during the term of the contract but if you find a buyer yourself, you don't have to pay the estate agent fees.

 

Sole selling agreement  this is more unusual and essentially means that no matter how you sell your home, or who to, they can still claim their commission fee.

 

Fixed fee with this contract, you have agreed to pay a set amount on the sale of your home, regardless of the amount you sell it for. Often, fixed-fee agents charge some, or all, of the fee upfront. If you have paid anything up front, it's unlikely you will be able to get this back if you switch estate agents.

 

Also check your tie-in period. Most notice periods are 8-12 weeks, but some are longer. There may be a notice period, which you'll need to factor into your plans to appoint a new estate agent.

 

Step 3 Research potential agents

 

Once you know your rights to switch estate agents, it's time to look for new agents to shortlist.

 

Check out reviews on Google and Facebook to get an idea of other homeowner's experiences of the agents you are considering. Ask friends and family too which agents would they recommend, and why?

 

Look at their online presence: if they have videos on Facebook or YouTube, how do they come across? Personable and enthusiastic? Or formal and flat? If they don't resonate with you over video, it's unlikely they will do in person.
 

Step 4 Become an undercover agent

 

A "mystery shop" exercise is a really good way to see how they would sell your home, if you listed with them. Here's how to do it:

 

Pick a property in your area, one similar to your own. Call the prospective agent and ask them to send you details on the house you've picked, then only give them information based on what they ask you. (Some people find this a really challenging exercise to do,if this is you, ask a friend or family member and listen in!)

 

  1. Did they ask for your name and phone number?
  2. Did they give you their name?
  3. Did they ask about your buying position?
  4. Did they offer to register your buying requirements?
  5. How much did they ask you about your property search?
  6. How friendly were they? How interested and engaged in your query were they?
  7. Did they talk in glowing terms about the property you asked about?
  8. Did they discuss booking a viewing?
  9. Did they take your email or address?
  10. Did the details you requested from them arrive speedily?

 

If the agent scores above eight, they are clearly competent and attentive and worthy of further consideration. Any lower, and they are failing to understand your needs, as a prospective buyer, which does not bode well. If you don't feel they did a good job of selling the house you asked about, it's unlikely they'll do a good job of selling yours.

 

Step 5 Invite them to your home

 

If you have reached stage five, there is a good chance that you're feeling confident this agent can help you sell your home, and move on with your life.

 

In this meeting, you need to understand:

 

  • Their valuation – Do they support your current asking price? Or would they recommend a price drop?
  • Precedent  - Which other properties have they sold in your area, that are comparable to yours? How long did they take to sell, and what price did they ultimately achieve?
  • Fee - very often, the better, more confident agents will charge a higher fee. Especially if their marketing is of a higher quality. If you do decide to negotiate, see how easily the agent reduces their fee. How they negotiate with you is how they will negotiate with your buyer, after all.

 

Finally - congratulations. If the agent passes all these stages with flying colours, you've found a new selling mate. Hopefully, it's the start of a positive and fruitful relationship, that will see you selling and moving on with your life, and plans.

 

If you are thinking about switching agents, we'd love to hear from you – call us for a chat on 01364 652652, or send me an email at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk. Whatever your plans, chatting them through, confidentially, can help. We'd be proud to be part of your moving journey.

 

06Jun

 

If you have had your house on the market for some time without success, dropping your asking price may seem an inevitable, if unwanted, next step. Your estate agent will often suggest this move if they have run out of ideas, motivation and most importantly, confidence in your asking price.

 

But is dropping your asking price really the answer to selling your home more effectively?

 

It’s true that for some properties, reducing the asking price can generate new interest from buyers who would have been previously unable to afford your home. It’s also a step that for some sellers is, unfortunately, necessary – if they have an urgent move, for example, or are facing repossession.

 

However, with many houses – particularly premium homes – dropping your asking price is not always the answer, and it can even harm your chances of attracting a committed buyer.

 

If you’re considering reducing your asking price, make sure it’s necessary and the reduction will make a positive difference to your chances of selling your home quickly.

 

To help guide you, we’ve compiled the DOs and DON’Ts of dropping your asking price to help you get the result you want and move on with your life:

 

DON’T drop your asking price by less than 10%

 

Or it just won’t make any difference to the interest you get. Buyers will usually look at homes 10% either side of their budget anyway, so you’ll need to reduce your asking price by at least that to get your home noticed by a new set of buyers.

 

DO ask your agent why you need to reduce

 

– Your home was originally valued based on sound research and by an expert in the local property market.  What’s changed? Understanding whether your agent misjudged the market, or the demand has changed for houses like yours, will help you make the right decision to either reduce or to stick it out.

 

DON’T keep making small drops in price

 

– A price drop can cause suspicion amongst buyers who may wonder what’s wrong with it?  Why have you lowered the asking price?  A buyer may not want to risk buying a house that seems to be falling in value. A property with lots of historical price drops is inherently unattractive to a buyer, as each drop can signify a red flag, so make your price drop big and impactful, but make it just once.

 

DO drop to the next Rightmove price band

 

– You can find these by going to www.rightmove.co.uk and entering a search. The list of price band that comes up is your guide as to the price your house should be marketed at. For example, there’s no point in having an asking price of £399,999 when the Rightmove price band is £400,000. By positioning your asking price in alignment with the search bands, your house will effectively show up in up to twice as many buyer searches.

 

DON’T try to break the price ceiling for your road or area

 

– Not only does this make buyers jittery, it will also make a surveyor nervous too. Unless you really can’t avoid it, try to price your home at less than the highest price sold in your neighbourhood.

 

[Note: we have previously sold homes at prices that have broken the area ceiling, but they do need careful positioning to reassure buyers and surveyors, so please ask our advice if this is your situation too.]

 

DO ask your estate agent the right questions before you drop your price

 

– If you’re feeling pressure from your estate agent to reduce, or you have a moving deadline looming and can’t afford to drop your price, ask your agent what else could be done to secure that sale, other than reducing your asking price? Have a review with them and look at your marketing critically. Could it be improved? Maybe new lifestyle photographs would attract new buyers. Or showcase your home better with a ‘twilight’ image or aerial shot, to show your home in a new, imaginative way.

 

DON’T give your buyers an excuse to make a low offer

 

– Make sure your home is wonderfully presented, with every room polished and attractive, otherwise you’re literally leaving money on the table. Home styling can dramatically increase the ‘saleability’ of your home, and really helps buyers envision the lifestyle it offers. If you’d like to know about the home styling we offer as part of our marketing, we’d be happy to talk you through it and show you some of our styled photographs. Just drop us an email at KATIE@SAWDYEANDHARRIS and we’ll arrange it for you right away.

 

DO give yourself some negotiation room – but not too much

 

– On average, you can expect to achieve around 95% – 97% of your asking price, with 3% – 5% ‘given away’ in the negotiations with your buyer. This will depend on other factors of course, like how fast your local market is moving, the confidence in the housing market while you’re selling and how long your home has been on the market. Taking 96% as an average, losing 4% of a £400,000 asking price means you will eventually receive £384,000 on completion. But if you reduce the asking price to £375,000 say, you’ll only get £360,000 – a significant drop. Not only have you reduced by £25,000, you’ll also have lost an additional £15,000 in negotiations, putting your total ‘lost’ sale monies at £40,000, a substantial ‘loss’ of 10% of your original asking price.

 

DON’T forget to calculate your price per square foot

 

– It can be a more accurate way to value a house than other methods. Not only this, but a surveyor will use a price per square foot analysis to provide a valuation to your buyer and to your buyer’s lender. If your agent hasn’t already done this for you, make a spreadsheet of the other properties for sale and sold in your area and calculate the price per square foot of each, then compare it to yours. If you’d like our help to create your price per square foot table, or you’d like our template to get you started, just email us on KATIE@SAWDYEANDHARRIS.CO.UK and we would be glad to do this for you.

 

DO remember that sometimes it’s more valuable to you to be able to move on with your life, than to hold out for months – and sometimes years – for a few thousand pounds more. If time is not on your side, whether it’s a selling deadline, or a pressing personal reason for selling in a particular timescale, it may be time to let go of your price expectations, and time to start your new life chapter. Only you can make this challenging decision, but if you’d like to talk it through with us, we’re here to listen and guide, if that would help. You can reach us on 01364 652652- just ask for Katie, for a chat in confidence.

 

When your home hasn’t sold and you’re wondering if it’s the asking price to blame, use the above DOs and DON’Ts as a checklist to see if you’re doing everything you can to get your house sold. If your price per square foot is about right, you’re not trying to break the price ceiling for your area, and your home is presented in the best way possible, if your photographs showcase the lifestyle of your home, and you have time on your side to wait for the price you really want, then have confidence in your asking price. Because if you don’t, no one else will.

 

Your asking price isn’t the end of the story; it’s the opening chapter. Having a strategy in advance will save you emotional stress throughout the process and offers the reassurance of having a plan to fall back on when and if things get tough. Uncovering the reasons your home hasn’t yet sold can help you make the challenging decisions at the right time for you and your personal circumstances, and we can help you discover these reasons with an initial chat. Just drop us a line at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk or call us on 01364 652652 and ask for Katie – and let’s get you moving onto the next chapter of your life.

 

 

 

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