How long should my property take to sell?

How long should my property take to sell?

Trust us, we understand just how frustrating it can be to have your home on the market for a long period of time. 


Every time you get a call to say there’s a viewing, your heart skips a beat and you hope and pray that this could be the one! It can be soul-destroying, particularly if you’ve had viewers coming and going for months, and still no offers to show for it.


Naturally there are a few things that can affect a house sale that are completely out of your estate agents control, for example, the local market conditions and the general economic climate.  Nevertheless, It’s important not to use this as an excuse; a good estate agent will always be proactive and put 100 percent effort into selling your home.


We’ve had a good think about this topic and have come up with some of the main reasons why your home may be taking longer to sell than you’d like.  If you’re currently on the market, is your agent doing everything they can to sell your home?


1.     Photographs

We’ve said this before but…never underestimate the power of professional photography and marketing.  Poor quality photos are probably one of the main reasons you may be low on viewings.  Professional photography is not just meant for high-end houses; any type of home benefits from fantastic photos. 


Choose an agent who insists on professional photography.


2.     Marketing

If your home is being marketed poorly, it doesn’t matter how fabulous the house is, you’ll miss out on those all-important viewings.


- Has your agent produced a standard set of agency particulars or a glossy and attractive brochure? 

- Is there a video tour of the property online? 

- Does the write-up excite the reader and tempt them to view? 

- Is your agent keeping you up-to-date with any interest? 

- Are they using the power of social media to maximise visibility? 


If not, why not?


3.     Overpriced

Has your home been overpriced by the agent from the start (in a bid to gain your custom)?


If so, it doesn’t matter how amazing the marketing is, it won’t sell.  Frustratingly, it's not unknown for agents to inflate the value of a property to gain business, only to disappoint the client later down the line when the price must, inevitably, be reduced.  This is often justified by a long marketing agreement, giving the agent time to market the property at the correct price.  


A good agent will give a realistic and achievable valuation and should be asking for no more than a 12 week agency agreement.


4.     Unfinished DIY jobs

In the rush to get a house on the market, some people miss finishing those niggly little DIY jobs, for example, an unfinished skirting board, a faulty light switch or a leaking tap.  These seemingly insignificant jobs can give a bad impression of your home, especially if there are a few of them. 


A good agent should point out any issues that need to be sorted, after all, it’s in both interests to sell the house.


5.     Pets & Children

Yes, we know what you’re thinking…how can my gorgeous pooch put someone off my home?  Or how can a few toys put people off?


As much as you love your furry friends, the smells and bedding can be very off putting for some potential buyers.  Similarly, if a corner of your living room is piled high with dolls, castles and toys it could potentially put some viewers off too.  Try to have a plan in place to hide away any clutter before viewings and get someone to take the dogs / kids out for an hour.


6.     Too Personal

If your home is a shrine to your family and pets, with every wall covered in personal photos and canvases, we recommend that you tone it down a little.  We’re not suggesting you lose every single picture, but just minimise it to the odd one or two per room.  It makes it difficult for viewers to bond with your home if it’s too obviously someone else’s.


Try to de-personalise every room to give yourself the best chance of an offer.


7.     Curb Appeal

Does the front of your home look fabulous?  Remember that some potential viewers will drive past first to see if your home interests them.  It doesn’t cost much to touch up window sill paint, clean windows and tidy areas that could give viewers the wrong impression.  It may be worth investing in a couple of attractive ceramic pots containing shrubs either side of the front door to improve the look from the road.


8.     Who is conducting the viewings?

This is much more important than people give credit for.  Some agents employ specific people to show viewers round houses, which is fine if they are fully trained to do so; some are not.


Have you ever been shown round a property by someone who clearly has no clue about the house and what it has to offer? 


How can we expect viewers to offer on a house if the person showing them round is purely there to open the front door...


A perfect viewing should be done by someone who knows the property, knows the owners circumstances, makes the viewers feel relaxed and isn’t overbearing.  They should be professional, friendly and knowledgeable.  Viewers like space to explore the house in their own time too, without pressure. 


Hopefully this blog has given you some ideas to help progress your sale.


The current average time on the market for unsold premium properties in Wokingham is 129 days - if you'd like to beat this then get in touch and we'll show you how we can do better!  Source: 28th January 2019


Give us a call on 0118 466 0292 or send an email to [email protected] – we’d love to help.  We'd also be pleased to welcome you to our private offices in central Wokingham.


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