Getting it right can be daunting when you are not familiar with the process. We hope this guide is of assistance, it includes:
• Pricing and the valuation
• What asking price?
• Presenting your home in the best light
• The typical sales process
• Marketing your property
• The Internet
• Social networking
• Local media
• Our offices
• A ‘For Sale’ board
• The Guild of Property Professionals and The Home Sale Network
• Viewings, offers and progressing the sale
• Appointing a solicitor
• Arranging a mortgage
Pricing and the valuation
Pricing is the single most important factor in achieving a successful sale, but accurate pricing requires experience since it depends crucially on a close reading of market conditions and trends.
Beware the estate agent who gives you a price based on little more than a casual glance round your home!
As a vendor, you will be confused when valuations vary. Naturally, you are hoping to achieve the best possible price and agents are aware of that.
Over valuation may result from an agent trying to impress to get an instruction.
Under valuation comes from inexperience or lack of local market knowledge.
A house may be viewed most during the first four to five weeks it is on the market. Activity may decline noticeably in later weeks unless price reductions have been implemented.
Getting the price right from the start enables you to take full advantage of this initial burst of market interest, giving you the best chance of getting the best price in the shortest possible time.
An agent should be able to support their valuation with evidence of other property sales. Based on the information presented, you should feel comfortable as to whether that advice is sensible or not.
Do not accept information obtained from sites on the internet providing estimates of property values in your area which can be wildly inaccurate. House sale prices from the Land Registry should be correct but the accommodation or condition may vary considerably from your own.
What asking price?
Should you use a fixed asking price (e.g. £200,000) or should it be qualified with “Offers in the Region of” or “Offers in Excess of” a price?
Another option you may find suggested is to quote a price band (eg £X,000 to £Y,000). For a number of reasons this is not always popular with vendors and purchasers alike but there are occasions that it’s use is appropriate and this type of pricing may be an option. Our valuer will explain.
Listen carefully to your agent’s advice.
Presenting your home in the best light
According to research, potential buyers will form an opinion about your home in the first 15 seconds - so it's important to ensure that it's a favourable one. First impressions really do count!
There's no substitute for regular maintenance so trying to make up for years of neglect can be very expensive!
Avoid anything too big and costly - otherwise you will almost certainly lose money. If your home needs a whole new roof, then your best bet is to adjust the asking price accordingly.
However - Little things can make a big difference in creating the right impression, for example:
• Your front garden is the first thing people will see - so make sure it's clean, tidy and clear of rubbish. The back garden should also look neat and well cared-for.
• As for the outside of the house itself, a lick of fresh paint - particularly to the window frames and the front door - costs next to nothing but does more to create that all-important good impression than almost anything else.
• The inside basically needs to be clean, neat and tidy. Ideally paintwork should be free of cracks or stains. Carpets, floor coverings, curtains and soft furnishings should be clean and in good condition, whilst windows should be cleaned inside and out.
• Flowers – pot plants, fresh cut flowers or artificial arrangements can make a big difference.
• Pay special attention to kitchen and bathroom areas to ensure they are sparkling clean and fresh-smelling. Keep surfaces clear of unnecessary clutter.
• In the case of pets, take particular care to clean up their sleeping areas and make sure you eliminate any strong smells.
• Just to be on the safe side, remove all small valuable items from view.
Presenting your property to its best advantage is important. De-cluttering and de-personalising may be important issues and putting items into store may also be an option.
The typical sales process is as follows:
• Having instructed us as your agent, it is quite likely an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) will be required so the first thing is to order one using our Provider or your own. See the Guidance section on EPCs.
• We take measurements, details and photos of your property to produce Sales Particulars which we send to you for approval along with an Agency Agreement.
• Once you have approved the particulars and signed the Agreement we are ready to go on the market provided an EPC is available or has been ordered.
• Next the property is uploaded to the internet, mailed out to buyers on our register and an advert placed in the Kent Messenger.
• A For Sale board will be erected with your agreement and this, along with our other marketing, will hopefully generate viewings.
Marketing your property
Using Page and Wells will provide you with the following:
BROCHURES. Page and Wells’ details are among the best offered locally.
• Our In-house sales details are prepared in full colour and incorporate floor plans.
• Details of your property will be available from every Page & Wells office and from the internet.
• Should you prefer professionally printed 2 and 4 page brochures are available for a small extra charge at a fraction of the cost of those produced by some larger national firms. Ask for a sample.
THE INTERNET. Possibly 90% of buyers start their property search on the internet.
• Our own website www.page-wells.co.uk is fresh and modern.
• Videoettes and large photos offer above average presentation with animated scanning and large images as standard on all properties.
• Rightmove is the nation’s most used property portal which we use to present our client’s properties and achieve the widest coverage. This portal is being constantly updated with new features, the latest being a school checker to identify the nearest Primary and Secondary schools to each property. Using the “Agent’s Area” in the backroom of Rightmove we able to monitor your property’s performance to ensure pricing and presentation are attracting good interest from the buying public.
• OnTheMarket is a new, modern and fast portal we use to present our register of properties. Using the latest technology to provide best presentation across all media platforms, this site is promoted by regular TV advertising and is generating an increasing number of good leads.
Page & Wells also use many other sites including Kenthomes, the portal provided by the Kent Messenger Group.
An e-magazine is produced approximately every 2 months in which your property may well appear. To view the latest e-magazine click here.
SOCIAL NETWORKING. The opportunities for marketing change as IT and the Internet develop. At Page and Wells, we use Facebook and Twitter to assist marketing of properties and on Facebook have a property search facility as well.
• Kent Messenger. We advertise more extensively than most Agents in this publication.
• Regional Magazine. Our glossy regional magazine is produced every two months through The Guild of Property Professionals to display our properties both locally and throughout the South of England. Many copies are distributed to waiting rooms in local businesses for the public to see. This magazine is also available as an e-magazine (see the link in the side menu).
OUR OFFICES. They are a popular source of enquiries and provide good window displays in London and locally.
• London. As members of The Guild of Property Professionals, we now have a representative office at 121 Park Lane, Mayfair, London.
• Their showrooms are prominently situated at the top of Park Lane in Mayfair, near Marble Arch.
• They use state of the art touch screen technology on the windows to provide access to your property through the Guild website to thousands of potential buyers 24/7.
• They provide you with access to the lucrative London and international investor markets.
• Locally. Our Offices are strategically placed between Boots and British Home Stores in Maidstone and in prominent locations at Bearsted, Loose and Larkfield.
• We are one of the few firms that can usually afford every property a window display. All windows have LED displays that backlight your property 24 hours a day
MAILING. Ever experienced being “hounded” by an agent who knows you are looking for a house? Receiving texts and phone calls when you least want to receive them becomes tedious.
We prefer to mail our buyers with details they can read when it suits them. They have a choice of receiving these by email or post.
A ‘FOR SALE’ BOARD. A real enquiry generator. Designed to be distinctive yet easy on the eye, a For Sale Board is one of the most powerful marketing tools, frequently contributing to a high percentage of enquiries and viewings.
The Guild of Property Professionals AND THE RELOCATION AGENT NETWORK.
• Our membership of these two important organisations links us with more than 1,000 similar Independent Estate Agent firms throughout the U.K. through which buyers and sellers are referred.
• Gives us access to unrivalled marketing opportunities.
• Requires us to adopt high business standards.
Viewings, offers and completing the sale
VIEWINGS. Viewings can be conducted by yourself or we will be prepared to accompany if the property is empty, you cannot attend or you simply feel uncomfortable conducting it yourself. Leave us a key and we will do the rest. We NEVER release a key to viewers. We provide feed back on all viewings.
RECEIVING, NEGOTIATING AND ACCEPTING THE OFFER. Considering an offer, negotiating an increase and accepting an offer may be a daunting process to conduct alone. We do this every day and it is what we are paid for.
On your behalf, we will monitor purchasers as best we can to establish their financial position and ability to proceed.
PROGRESSING THE SALE. This is often the most arduous part of our job, endeavouring to keep the chain moving in unison. Our experienced staff will keep you informed. Testimonials (from sellers and purchasers alike) tell us we do our job well.
Appointing a solicitor
Page & Wells have long established links with most of the leading Solicitors in the area and can arrange a quotation for you.
A local Solicitor normally provides a good service and, in our experience, is more effective than panel solicitors/conveyancers recommended by the National Agencies.
Arranging a mortgage
Page & Wells are not Financial Advisors but can recommend local Advisors who can assist sellers and purchasers alike.