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The Cornerstones of any House Sale (as featured in The Yorkshire Post)

March 2016

Whether it’s the television, magazines, property portals, online forums, search engines, friends or family, there is an abundance of readily available free advice out there when it comes to selling your home. However if you are looking to sell, it can often be completely overwhelming with all this information, putting your head in a spin and as a result, sending you down the wrong path!

Selling a house isn’t rocket science, but it does involve a careful balancing act of multiple elements all at the same time. However there are some key foundation stones that you must get right, to ensure that not only does the whole process go smoothly, but you also get the right result first time around.

1) Your Choice of Estate Agent

Yes it sounds obvious, but so many vendors trip up at this early stage. Ensure that your choice of agent is aligned to the specific type, price and location of your home, plus they have experience in selling other recent similar examples. If you have a townhouse with modern interior, there is little point instructing an agent whose properties tend to be rural based and in a completely different price bracket.

Why do vendors end up appointing the wrong agent I hear you say… the simple answer is that estate agents are excellent sales people! Of course they love your home and they can sell it – what salesperson would sit down with you and tell you otherwise!

An estate agent is only ever as good as their front of house team. Remember that the “valuer” sat in your kitchen is out on the road seeing potential clients much of the time. It is the office based team who handle most of the incoming calls and walk-in enquiries. Top tip – go in as a prospective purchaser and see how attentive and knowledgeable the staff are. If they know their stuff, you are on to a winning formula!

2) Marketing

Without question, the best money you can spend is on a professional photographer. This would apply whether you have a 2 bed terrace or detached mansion, the principles are the same. A photographer can provide lighting kit, wide angle lenses (not fish-eye lenses which over emphasise!), telescopic poles to get that heightened angle or even a drone to send up above the tree canopy to get the right shot. First impressions are paramount!

The key principles of estate agency are to fully test the market and every possible avenue to find you a buyer. This includes mailouts, telephone calls, social media, newspaper advertising, editorial, website entries, magazine features, for sale board, accompanied viewings, front of house staff knowing about your home etc. Effective marketing involves all of these aspects (and more), so make sure you don’t instruct a one-trick pony.

3) Price

This is one of the most important areas and is a delicate balancing act. Yes of course we would all love our homes to be worth millions, however overpitch the price and you risk putting off buyers instantly. Underpitch and you will receive multiple low offers, as buyers think you are desperate to sell.

An agent is there to guide you on the right tactics for the market. They are at the coalface each day, seeing numerous properties, speaking with buyers etc – they know what works and what does not. Remember to go by what your neighbour’s property actually sold for recently, rather than what guide price they are currently advertising at.

Ensure you judge an estate agent on more than just price and never instruct an agent just because they quoted the highest guide price – any idiot can quote a excessive figure! The key on price is to go with gut instinct – you know realistically what your home is worth, so go with it. Look above and beyond at what an agent can offer you.

By striking the right balance between each of the cornerstones, you will certainly be heading along the right path. The key to a highly successful house sale is to fill in the gaps between the cornerstones, so that all elements link together as one.