So, you’ve picked out your estate agent to help sell your home, but what’s the next step? While for the most part the baton is now with the agent, who’s responsible for keeping the progress of the sale on track, there are still some things you can do to achieve the very best desired outcome when selling your house.
Try looking at it this way: you and your estate agent are now a team. You’re on the same side and are both equally motivated to secure the right sale. In light of that, it’s best to make sure you’re aligned on exactly what you want to achieve over the next weeks or months.
Still not sure where you stand or what your next steps should be? Not to worry, we understand! That’s why we’ve collated 8 useful pointers which take you from that initial estate agent meeting through to obtaining the right offer.
1. Be clear on your timeline
Before you do anything else, make sure you and your agent are aligned on your expectations from the outset. Ask questions and iron out any queries you have, as well as giving an indication of how quickly you’re looking to move – whether you’re aiming for a specific timeframe or you’re happy to hold on a little longer for a more generous buyer. This will really help your agent organise and prioritise your requirements.
2. Stay updated
Working with your estate agent requires communication on both parts, so keeping in close contact is paramount. Let your agent know how regularly you’d like to be updated on the sale’s progress along the way. For consistent, general updates, we suggest every seven to ten days, but we also recommend aiming for a couple of days after every viewing to gather the potential buyer’s feedback.
3. Act on feedback
Potential buyers tend to be honest and forthcoming with their opinions on a house, especially after a viewing. So, while there will be positive feedback, there may also be some criticism. If this happens, try not to be disheartened and instead let your estate agent know that you’re open to all kinds of feedback so you can use it to your advantage. You may notice common themes in the feedback you receive, which will help you decipher what you can do to improve your home for the next viewing. For instance, the buyer may suggest that the décor is a little tired or that certain areas need some TLC. Be prepared to dedicate some time to these updates, potentially with a fresh lick of paint or a weekend of DIY fixing – you can rest assured that it will make all the difference on your next viewing.
4. Decide on a marketing strategy
Give your estate agent a steer when it comes to where you want your home to be advertised to potential buyers. You’ll likely want a ‘for sale’ sign up, but aside from that, decide on whether you want your house advertised in the local press and stipulate how many times you want it to be shown if so. Give an indication of approximately how long you’d like your house to appear in the estate agent’s window and provide some direction as to which online portals you want to see your home shown on.
5. Approve the marketing
Your agent will likely have a list of marketing details for you to approve, all of which should highlight the qualities your home has to offer. They will be used to market your house and will likely be the first place potential buyers will read about your home. So, while the estate agent will have thoroughly checked through this information, you also want to make sure nothing has been missed in the description.
6. Showcase your home’s best angles
Alongside the marketing description, the images of your house should be a top priority, too. To help the photographer capture the best shots possible, try to give your home a thorough tidy before they arrive, move the likes of bins and parked vehicles out of shot for the day, and if you can, switch on accent and mood lighting to create an ambient atmosphere.
Once the house is in shape, add a few stylish touches with fresh flower bouquets in vases, and complete the dining table with your favourite place settings – this will really enhance the lifestyle photography and give viewers a chance to envisage themselves in the space. Try to maintain this look for viewings so potential buyers can fall in love with your home on their visit, too.
7. Try to be flexible with house viewings
Of course, the more viewings your estate agent can book in, the more offers you’re likely to get. It’s a well-known fact that weekends are when most people are free to view a property, and it gives potential buyers enough time to mull over what they’ve seen and make an offer on Monday morning. Viewers are also more likely to be looking at several houses over a weekend with the aim of making an instant comparison, so it’s best that your home is scheduled in at this time too rather than on a weekday, where it may not remain fresh in their mind.
8. Carefully consider your offers
Lastly, remember that most of the offers you get will be negotiable, even on occasions when they might seem a little low. Usually, most buyers will get in touch again with a better counteroffer if the first is politely declined, so try not to be too quick to dismiss an offer from a potentially committed buyer.
Do you want to know more about how you and your estate agent can work together? Or do you have general questions about marketing your home? Either way, feel free to reach out to our team, who are always more than happy to help. Simply contact us by phone on 01795 437777or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get straight back to you.
Jon Hawkesford - Hawkesford James Estate Agents, Sittingbourne