Monthly Archives: September, 2017

Selling your house – don’t forget social media – an eSale blog

SELLING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

In an age where new technology is encouraging us to think we can do what we once thought impossible, it’s easy to understand why estate agency is losing some of its mysticism.

We can all take pictures with our smart phones, we all have instant access to mass media whenever we feel like it so it’s not a great leap of logic to presume we could probably sell our own home without shelling out hundreds or even thousands of pounds to some slick-talking middle men.

A few images of the right rooms, a brief description including the right hashtags and all we have to do is keep tweeting, right?

The march of social media

In theory, it sounds great but, in reality, it rarely works out that way because, although many news stories break first on social media these days, we’ve also learned that, just because it’s on Facebook, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

When it comes to buying and selling property, because the value of the product is so much higher than a juicy bit of gossip or an amusing meme, we’re far less inclined to play fast and loose. When it comes to property, we do actually want expert opinion (although it doesn’t necessarily follow that the more you pay, the better the quality of advice).

So, although the estate agency game has been blown about by the winds of change since the relentless march of social media began a decade ago, as an industry, it’s weathered the storm better than, say, the news media.

It’s true that approximately 97% of property searches are completed online via Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation but comparatively few property deals are completed there without some form of professional help. Estate agents – either online or on the high street – are still around.

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Never say never

But that’s not to say Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, SnapChat or even Tumblr have no part to play when it comes to selling your home. Indeed, at Esale, we’re using some of them every day to highlight property for sale to the right potential buyers. It’s just that social media isn’t the only channel we use. Just as an example, Esale is part of an international property marketing network listing homes for sale on 80 portals in 50 countries in 19 different languages

But, if you are selling your home, post away by all means. There’s nothing wrong with extending your potential audience by supplementing what your estate agent is doing anyway.

But what we are saying is that, if you rely simply on your own posts to reach the buyer of your home, your quest is going to be limited to your own followers and – unless you’re some sort of internet sensation or a celebrity in your own right – that’s likely to be a comparatively small audience.

If you’d like any more advice on selling your home, do give us a call or drop us a line. Perhaps we can get you started with a free, no obligation valuation (http://www.esaleuk.com/free-valuations) Alternatively, feel free to watch our “How To…” video guides, also available on YouTube (http://www.esaleuk.com/how-to-videos) or browse some more of the blogs on this page.

Conveyancing – what to do once you have a buyer – an eSale guide

MEET THE LEGAL EAGLES

In our experience, when it comes to conveyancing solicitors, there are three types.

The first, let’s call Nigel…

Nigel is painstakingly thorough. He likes everything to be in the right box in the right place on the shelf. He will have a PA or a secretary but likes to spend time on his correspondence. The language he will use may tend towards legal jargon, albeit largely to underline experience but, where Nigel comes into his own is when there’s a dispute. Nigel likes disputes. It’s because they present an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of his field. There’s often no harm in having a legal leviathan on your side but, sometimes, the problem with giants is that they tend to move slowly. Nigel may well enjoy the cut and thrust of legal debate but it can slow the progress of your house sale. Nigel won’t be inclined to pick up a phone to resolve a problem. He’ll want to send letters by post and keep copies in the box file with your name on. After all, it proves he’s worth his fee – which tends to be on the high side. If you’re in no hurry, you like a stickler for detail and you don’t mind paying top dollar, Nigel’s your man. Just hope he doesn’t line up against another Nigel; the debate can be endless.

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The second, let’s call Giles…

Giles is slick. There’s no other word for him. He may be newer to the game but he’s done the training and knows the score. In fact he thinks he knows it well enough to take a few shortcuts. Giles might not bother with a PA as it keeps costs down; instead he seems be almost welded to his smartphone which he’ll answer anywhere – in a meeting, on the train, on his car hands-free. He’s an email man and not one for letters – which is probably just as well because Giles will rarely be in the office. Instead, Giles likes to network and enjoys the hunt for new clients just as much as working for them. Indeed, for Giles, acquisition is the prime objective. After all he needs as many clients as he can get to help pay off the credit card bill and the payments on the smart Mercedes. Giles will be fast; he’ll be confident – as long as your sale is straightforward. But, if there are any complications, Giles may struggle. It’s may not be because he lacks knowledge. It may not be because an issue is beyond his experience. It may be simply that Giles’s constant quest for clients leaves him overstretched when it comes to protracted negotiations. If you’re on a budget and you’re not anticipating problems, Giles could well be your man. If you’re selling an older property, a leasehold home or something listed, maybe not.

The third let’s call Sally (although it could equally be Robert or Geoff or whatever name you prefer) …

Sally may not be particularly high-profile. It’s not because she doesn’t know her job; it’s just she tends to work below the radar. She’s not a partner in a large firm or recognised as an energetic new kid on the block. She’s just quietly done her own thing for years, winning new clients largely through personal recommendation. She’s thorough too; perhaps not as pedantic as Nigel – but not averse to phone calls rather than letters if it helps to smooth the process of buying or selling a home. She’s more than qualified to represent you in the event of a problem but will inform and consult you on your options first rather than making arbitrary decisions on your behalf. She’s unlikely to be brow-beaten in a legal dispute but doesn’t need victory at all costs. Speed isn’t the priority for Sally either. She simply sees her job as smoothing the progression to completion and exchange as practically as possible – and recognises that may sometimes mean a little compromise along the way. Sally probably won’t be as cheap as Giles; her fees may even be closer to Nigel’s. The difference will be that you’ll probably hear from her more frequently and you may be more involved in the process. It’s not for everyone of course; some buyers and sellers actually prefer to take a back seat. But, if you like a little personal control and you’re prepared for a little compromise for the sake of expediency when you’re selling your home, you probably need to find a Sally.

We’ll all probably only use a conveyancing solicitor no more than two or three times in our lives so it can be hard to establish if the one you’re considering is a Giles, a Nigel or a Sally. Personal recommendations from friends or online reviews are often all we have to go on.

But, at least you now have some caricatures to base your choice upon. All we can suggest is that you Google a few names, make some phone calls and perhaps keep our “pen characters” in mind …

 

How to get your garden ready for selling your house – By eSale

IS EVERYTHING ROSY IN THE GARDEN?

If you’re buying property, there’s a good chance a garden is going to be on your wish list.

We all have our own ideas about how we should use that space; for some, it’s a bit of room for a kick around; for others an exercise area for the dog; an oasis of peace surrounded by the scent of flowers; a blank canvas for our own horticultural designs; or just somewhere to potter with pot plants and our own veg.

But, whichever one best describes you, you don’t really want to be starting life in your new home with an undiscovered nightmare lurking outside – so perhaps a few tips will help:

The Lawn

If you get the chance, before you buy a property have a closer look at the green spaces. If they’re patchy, you can always lay a bit of new turf but, if the lawn is rife with dandelions, you could be meeting a new nemesis. The yellow bobbing heads add a splash of colour in the spring and early summer but dandelions are weeds which don’t know where they’re not welcome – and they get everywhere. Once they’ve found a crack in the drive, between the block-paving or on the patio, they dig in like ticks and work away at widening the gap. It may not be enough to persuade you to give up on a house you like, but it’s best to know what you’re starting out with.

Flower beds

The question you have to ask yourself is do you know what’s in there? Are the flower beds home to anything exotic or high-maintenance. It’s less of a problem if you have green fingers and you know what you’re doing but it’s a bit of a disappointment to move into a new home and watch the garden wither around you as you don’t know what the plants and shrubs require. Why not ask the seller for a few tips or, even better, a “map” of the garden so you know what’s what?

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Trees

A tree in the back garden some distance from the house can be an attractive and versatile feature which changes with the seasons. If you don’t mind raking up leaves, it can offer shade in the summer and colour in the spring and autumn. In the front garden, though, it can be a different matter. Roots can interfere with sewers and water pipes, so check where they are if you can. Sap can find its way all over the car on the driveway while trees are useful roosting spots for birds who seem to take great delight in pooping on the car you’ve just cleaned. Leylandii is a popular tree for screening but be warned; it seems to grow almost as soon as your back is turned. Expect to be busy with the shears or the hedge-trimmers at least three times between spring and autumn.

The Shed & The Greenhouse

It’s great to have them but, just as you would look at a new home with a critical eye, try to do the same with any outbuildings. Check the base for signs of rot at ground level and the roof for leaks or signs of weakness. You don’t want to be retrieving the shed or the greenhouse in kit form from the neighbour’s garden after the first gales of the autumn.

Timber fencing

It’s the same with fence panels; if they’re attached to rotting wooden posts, it’s not going to be long before you’re repairing storm damage. If the garden is enclosed by timber fencing, it’s best if the panels are designed to let wind blow through but to still to allow a degree of privacy. Solid wood can offer quite a bit of wind resistance and, if they’re not properly anchored, the panels will soon be horizontal in anything more than a stiff breeze.

Decking

Again, for some, it’s a desirable feature – but is it sound? If it’s a bit creaky you may want to take a closer look. A little bit of give isn’t necessarily a problem but, if the wood looks a bit corky or is showing signs of excess weathering, it’s probably a good idea to be sure you’re not going to be up to your knees in broken planks after your first winter.

Paving

The best advice we can give is mind the gaps… There are bound to be some places where the seal has gone, letting in water or weeds. Too many though and you could be looking at some substantial repairs in a few years’ time.

If you have any other worries about buying property, why not have a flick through some of our earlier blogs? But we’re here to help and, if you there’s anything we haven’t covered on our FAQs page (http://www.esaleuk.com/faqs/ ) or in our “How To…” videos (http://www.esaleuk.com/how-to-videos/) feel free to give us a call or drop us a line.

But what about online estate agents? – an eSale rant

So the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has issued its updated Blue Book – supposedly a guide to best practice for estate agents.

Just one thing; there’s not a single mention of any of the online estate agencies. Not one; nada; zilch. It’s like the internet never happened.

At best you could describe the oversight as misguided; at worst, arrogant, pompous or just plain stupid.

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What we do

We’ve been around as a business for over five years, steadily building our portfolio so that today, we can offer a decent selection of homes across England and Wales from £800,000 to £80,000. Not only that, we’ve sold everything from mansions to one-bedroom apartments – even a commercial premises or two.

We’re rated the UK’s No 2 in our field on independent review website Trustpilot, we’ve won awards for customer service and we’re now part of an international network marketing property globally.

But, according to RICS, the way we do things is not even worthy of consideration; it’s the same for larger rivals such as Purple Bricks, Emoov or HouseSimple. Admittedly, the Blue Book is produced for RICS members and not the public at large but it’s almost as though there’s a fervent hope among the estate agency’s establishment that, if they can ignore the newer, internet-based business model for estate agency long enough, it’ll go away.

The thing is, it won’t. The first generation of so-called internet natives – millennials who have never known the world before it went online – are now in their first jobs. In a few years’ time they’ll be in middle-management and probably looking for property of their own.

Are they all going to stick by the age-old estate agency practices now there are online alternatives out there? Of course not; they’ll be on their laptops or iPhone XV, probably using technology we’ve never even dreamed of to view and even buy property which matches their wish lists – probably in 3D. If RICS and its members really believe they can continue to patronise sellers of the future – and then charge them thousands for the privilege – we suspect they’re going to be hugely disappointed.

Here to stay

Granted, even in 2027, there will still be some uncomfortable with the concept of such a significant transaction as buying or selling a house being completed online. That’s why we’re convinced there’s enough business out there for both traditional agents as well as the newer online equivalents. We’ve always said that.

But to dismiss the business practices of a whole sector or your own industry as not worthy of consideration purely because they use more modern communication and selling techniques is incredibly short-sighted and, to be frank, unworthy of such an august body as RICS.

It has its faults; it is lamented by some as the root cause for a significant change in the way we live our lives. But the internet is here – and it’s here to stay. Clearly, some need to get used to it.

How to get the most from your estate agent- eSale sales progression

WHEN IT’S ALL GONE QUIET

When you’re selling property, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed by the process. For a start, the sums of money involved are larger than anything most of us will handle our lifetimes – at least in one go. So perhaps it’s not all that surprising that many of us will sit back and let the professionals get on with it.

But, sometimes, that’s not what happens. We pick and estate agent, we watch our property pop up online, we find a conveyancing solicitor, we sit back – and nothing … zip … nada.

For a while, we’ll wait – often being very British about it. After a little while, we might tut or mutter to ourselves – but we won’t actually pick up the phone and ask what’s going on. We just presume the “experts” know what they’re doing and we’ll refrain from interfering.

But, if you’re looking for a little advice on what your ought to do if things have gone ominously quiet, read on…

Ask…

For a start, we’d recommend you get on the phone to your estate agent straight away. You don’t have to scream and shout or stamp your foot demanding a speedier sale; that won’t really achieve much anyway. But, by all means, ask for a report on progress. An inquiry or a click-through from one of the portals might not lead to a viewing but it can be reassuring to know buyers are nibbling. It’s better than being completely in the dark.

The same applies if you already have a buyer and the sale is in the hands of solicitors. If you don’t seem to be getting any closer to a completion and you want to know why, just ask.

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Ask Again…

If your agent intimated interest in your property but there haven’t been any viewings yet, see if you can find out why. Were you persuaded to pitch your asking price to high? Are the images of your property not doing you any favours? We’re not suggesting you hound your agent; they do need space and time to work. But don’t be too passive either. Remember this is YOUR house sale and you have a right to the information about how it’s progressing.

Is Your Solicitor On Your Side…?

We’re not suggesting you could be hundreds of pounds only for someone to work against you but, in our experience, there is sometimes a tendency for lawyers to labour a point. They are working for you but, sometimes, speed isn’t always to the forefront of their minds. Once a sale is in progress, endless letters or emails can be exchanged over a single point, slowing the whole process down when a conversation or a compromise could perhaps have cleared the logjam in a few minutes. It might be worth checking but, if you’d rather not, why not ask your agent to put in a call? We’ve banged a few heads together before and would be quite happy to check on delays in the legal process if you’d rather not do it yourself.

Who’s stalling?

Sometime buyers caught in chains may try to slow the process on a sale deliberately, requesting additional checks or slowing negotiations over aspects of the property they want to see rectified. Again, your agent should be aware soon after the viewing or the survey results if a buyer has any concerns. If they start throwing them into the mix later on, it’s sometimes a sign a deal is becoming a little fragile. If your sale seems to be going nowhere, it may be an idea to mentally prepare for a return to the market.

Has your agent gone to sleep?

We sincerely hope we’re never guilty of this – and our Trustpilot reviews suggest our track record is okay – but, sometimes agents with extensive portfolios can struggle to stay on top of them all. A fast-growing firm, for example, may be operating at the extreme limits of its staff and, sometimes, a property may not get all the attention it deserves. If you sit back, wait, and say nothing, it could be yours.  Make a bit of noise, remind them you’re there, and the risk is reduced.

We’d love to hear from you, if you’re selling or not. Just give us a call and we’ll do our best to help. After all, it’s our job …

 

Getting ready to put your house on the market – eSale tips

MAKING THAT FIRST IMPRESSION COUNT

If you’re considering a splash of paint or even a more extensive facelift before putting your home on the market, it tends to be the main living space or the kitchen which gets the attention.

But, if you think about it, it’s the entrance hallway which a potential buyer sees first – and, more often than not, it’s the space which shows the most wear and tear. Dirty shoes and hands leave their mark, carpets can get a little frayed around the edges as we come and go and the general detritus from our daily lives – gloves, hats, shoes, boots, coats, umbrellas – seems to find a home not far from the front door.

Better, then, to start here if you’re thinking of spending a little money – and, with a little creative thought, you can actually add quite a bit of “wow factor” without breaking the bank and be well on your way to making a good impression when selling your house.

Let there be light…

Does your front door have glass panels? Obviously, they let in more light and can transform a dark and dingy hallway but, if you’re not keen or prefer not to invest hundreds in a new front door, a large picture mirror can also help. It’s also handy to have a somewhere to check your look before you leave home.

Storage solutions…

Rather than a single coat rack and a jumble of shoes, have you considered a narrow, open-fronted unit with alcoves of differing sizes and perhaps some drawers? There are some swish options offered by some of the modern furniture stores these days. If it’s of the flat-pack variety, it’ll be easy enough to dismantle and take with you when your sale goes through.

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Pick a colour …

Neutral décor is recommended when preparing for a move as it presents a buyer with a blank canvas but, if you like to be a little unconventional the hallway isn’t a bad place to start. Bright colours can lift the space under the stairs; if your hallway is dominated by them, the stairs themselves can even become a feature. Stripped wood rather a dark or patterned carpet, a single coloured stair or a feature wall can all make a statement.

Say it with flowers…

… Or any striking plant, to be honest. Not only do they add colour, they can become features in themselves, particularly if they’re chosen to match a theme. Imitations take little looking after but – although some will say they’re a bit ‘80s – there’s still a place for a yucca, cheese plant, peace lily or a decorative fig tree.

Knock on wood…

As well as the stairway, a wooden floor in the entrance hall can give it a lift and make it that bit easier to keep clean. It doesn’t have to be solid wood, a decent laminate will do the job but pick a lighter colour rather than a dark wood.

If you’re stuck for ideas or need a little inspiration, a quick Google on a site such as Ideal Home or House and Garden might get your started. Best to begin with a budget though and try to stick to it or you may find you’re over-investing in something a new owner will change as soon as they move it. Remember the objective is to start a viewing on the right foot rather than convince a prospective buyer that they’ve discovered another Laurence Llewelyn Bowen.

We’re estate agents rather than interior designers but, if you think we can assist with other ideas which may help to sell your home, feel free to give us a call. We’re here if you need us.

 

How to prepare for moving day – experience from the eSale team

MOVING HOUSE? EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

If you’re planning to move house for the first time, there are plenty of blogs like ours out there which will provide all the pointers you need when it comes to preparing for the big day.

But, no matter how well prepared you may think you are, the chances are there will still be things which are going to sneak up and bite you on the bum, make you grimace or put a crimp on your day.

When you move house, there are just so many variables it rarely goes without a hitch so – drawing on the experiences of some of our own sellers – we thought a few examples of things which can come from left field may help.

You follow all the advice on picking an estate agent or solicitor – but …

… as soon as you tell family or friends, you get THAT look. When you ask why, it’s at that point they relate some horror story or other about poor customer service. They could have said something before; after all they knew you were looking – but it’s only now they decide to pass on (sometimes with apparent relish) something which someone once told them down the pub.

What do you do? First of all, remember it’s probably just hearsay. After all, you went through a diligent process to pick your agent, solicitor, removal firm or whatever so you made a choice based on solid information, right? It’s probably best to thank them for their concern but go with your gut feeling.

Viewings are exciting – but inconvenient …

… because not everyone is going to be able to work around your usual routine. It’ll sometimes be hard to fit a visit by a prospective buyer around work, the school run, your gym session or whatever. In fact, sometimes, it can seem as though your agent is deliberately picking slots which disrupt your life. By all means, ask if the viewing can be rearranged; most buyers will understand that you have your own commitments. But our advice would be to go with the flow as much as you can.

Something just broke …

and you have a viewing booked in an hour. It happens. The trick is to stay calm. If water is pouring through the ceiling or spurting from a tap, then fair enough; you may have to ring your agent and try to rearrange. But, if one of the kids just put a football through the garage window or you dropped the tin when you were applying a dab of paint, it may not be the disaster you think it is. Most buyers won’t see it as a permanent problem and may even empathise a little with your predicament. Remember, there’s a good chance they’re selling too…

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You have a buyer – but they can’t sell …

and there’s not much you can do about this one. If you’re fair-minded, you like the potential buyer and if you’re in no real rush to move, you can play a waiting game. Alternatively, you can let your agent know that you’re still open to offers should there be any further inquiries about your property. Another option is to consider a short-term rent while you wait for the chain to catch up. But, just the same, it can be frustrating to know that, although you’re ready to go, the next step in the process is out of your control.

Something just broke – again …

… and, this time, it was just after you moved into the new place. Sometimes problems arise as a result of the many and varied challenges around moving house and, with big lumps of furniture coming in, there’s always a higher risk of some of damage. If you make sure you have the property insured from day one, then at least you have some peace of mind. Also make sure any removal firm you use is covered too.

It’s Over …

… and, surprisingly, the release of tension and stress can leave you feeling washed out and even more vulnerable to illnesses such as colds. New surroundings sometimes mean we don’t sleep as well for a while either so give yourself time and try to book a few days’ holiday after your move. Get used to your new environment for a few days rather than rushing back to your desk at work. Making a new home should be enjoyed, not rushed so take your time and try to savour the moment.

If you think we can assist with anything else involved in moving house, feel free to give us a call or drop us a line. We’re here to help if we can.

Security for your home – it may just help you sell – an eSale blog

IS YOUR HOME SAFE AND SOUND?

We don’t want you to have nightmares – a la Crimewatch – but have you ever lain awake at night after hearing an unexpected bump or a creak and wondered if there’s someone downstairs.

Worse, if you’ve ever been burgled, you’ll be very much aware of the indignance and frustration it can generate – often mixed with impotence, anger or an acute sense of violation.

But what did you do as a result? Did you spend a bit of money on ramping up security around your home or did you simply curse your luck and the likely hike on your insurance premium.

If it was the former, then you’ll probably be happy to know the action you took could be rewarded when it comes to assessing the value of your property. Security alarm systems, deadlocks and chains on doors, lockable windows, motion-sensitive security lighting or a gravel drive which amplifies the sound of footsteps are all features your estate agent can point out to a potential buyer, helping to reassure them that your home is secure.

But, if you’ve just put your home on the market and you’re reading this thinking you’ve missed a trick, don’t worry. There are some relatively simple and inexpensive things you can do which will help to make your home a little harder to penetrate – and thus a little more attractive to a security-conscious buyer – without turning it into Fort Knox.

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  • For a start, drilling a hole and installing a spyhole lens in the front door isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg and neither will fitting a chain.
  • There are simple, battery-operated, motion-sensitive entry alarm systems available in most hardware stores that will serve as an acceptable stop gap until an integrated security alarm is fitted.
  • Have you thought of installing a fake alarm box or CCTV camera on an external wall visible from the road? It won’t help if you are broken into of course – but it’s certainly a deterrent.
  • Motion-sensitive security lights don’t cost that much. If you have an enclosed rear garden which isn’t overlooked, having one installed should be relatively simple. If you prefer, solar-powered lights can also help to drive back the shadows in the garden.
  • Are your gardens surrounded by trees and shrubs? Cutting them back a little to make your property more visible to passers-by or neighbours will make your home harder to break into. If a new owner prefers a bit more privacy, they have the option of allowing them to grow back once they’ve moved in.
  • If you have a remote security device linked to an app on your phone, mention it during a viewing. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a good idea to mention where devices are located or the room/rooms they monitor (http://www.esaleuk.com/better-safe-than-sorry/) but you could certainly discuss ease of use, cost and where you got it from.
  • Heavy-duty padlocks won’t stop a determined thief but, again, they’re a deterrent. Why not fit them on any doors or gates that allow access to the rear of the property as well as to any outbuildings or sheds you may own?

Viewings and security when selling your house – an eSale blog

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY…

So you’ve spruced up the house, put it on the market and the estate agent has been on the phone with news of a few viewings. It’s an exciting time as it takes you an important step towards a sale and, no doubt, the house and garden will get another thorough going over before the doorbell rings for the first time. But before you open the door, there’s something else you need to be sure you’ve considered – and that’s your personal security during a viewing.

It may seem a little dramatic but, nevertheless, as a responsible estate agent, we feel we need to remind you that you’re about to let a total stranger into your home. Most of the time, they’ll be completely genuine and only interested in having a look around a property which could become their own.

However, there are also less-than-honest folk out there who may pose as potential buyers merely to con their way into your house to steal property there and then or perhaps to establish what you have that might interest them later. So what can you do to stop them…?

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Don’t Be Alone

First of all, try to ensure you are accompanied at all times. An estate agent offering accompanied viewings should be around to help – and we’re among them. But, if you prefer to present your own home and you usually live alone, why not ask a friend or a family member to come round?

Failing that, why not let your neighbours know when you have a viewing planned? That way, they’ll be aware there are strangers in your home and, should events take a turn for the worse, at least they’ll be primed should you need to call for help.

Beware The Wanderers

Also, try to ensure that you can see anyone who comes round for a viewing at all times. It may be completely harmless but, if you notice one or other of your viewing party detaching themselves from the tour, simply pause politely until they’re aware that you’re awaiting their attention. Although it may be entirely innocent and born out of nothing more than curiosity, you don’t want anyone wandering off on their own.

No Security Demonstrations

If your home is fitted with security equipment, it may well be a selling point but, it’s probably best not to go into details of how it works. You certainly don’t want to be pressing the keys to demonstrate how the burglar alarm is deactivated in front of witnesses. It’s the same with potential access points to your home.

A Key Point

If you have window locks, by all means point them out – but don’t leave a key in or, even worse, lying around on the window sill where it could be quite easily pocketed without you knowing. Also, don’t make it obvious where you keep all your house or car keys either. You’re just making it easier for a thief to get access to parts of the house or your car which would otherwise be locked.

Finally, it’s always a boost when a viewer suggests they’d like to come back for a second time with their mum or dad or someone who’s an expert on this or that; it’s sometimes a sign they could be back with an offer. But don’t let that excitement lead you to become embroiled in a detailed discussion about when you’ll be in our out. The best bet would be to say you’d be more than happy to welcome them back – but you’ll get the estate agent to notify them of when it’s convenient. Providing a stranger with a list of times and days when you’re not going to be in is a massive risk.

If you’d like more information or tips on selling your home, you could always click on the link to watch our “How To ….” videos (http://www.esaleuk.com/how-to-videos/) – but, if there’s anything else, feel free to drop us a line or give us a call and we’ll do what we can to help.

Selling your house? A few more things to consider – eSale tips

THE SELLING POINTS YOU CANNOT SEE

When it comes to selling your home, one of the first things most people focus on is getting property ready for potential buyers.

A lick of paint here, a few swift and easy repairs there, a whizz round with the vacuum cleaner and air freshener before a viewing and Bob’s your uncle.

But what about the things potential buyers won’t see? There are quite a few features your home may have which can be great selling point – but they’ll remain invisible if you don’t draw attention to them.

Here’s a list of eight to get you started:

Internet speed, phone signal and Ethernet cable sockets

Do you know what internet speed you can achieve from your home? It’s certainly to your advantage if you can rattle it out as soon as you’re asked. Hesitation or not knowing may be taken as an implication that it’s not great. What about the mobile phone signal? Do you know if Vodafone, O2 or EE is best? And where are your Ethernet cable sockets? Is there just one or do you have a few dotted around the house, allowing you to have more than one wifi router or cable connection to the internet? If you can check in advance and point them out as you tour your home, it might help to impress a tech-savvy buyer.

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Schools

Rightmove is already on to this and buyers can now check Ofsted rankings for local schools at the click of a mouse when they visit the property portal online. But, if schools nearest you are rated “good” or “outstanding” have you thought about having website addresses ready to give to potential buyers? It’s a thoughtful touch which might prove to be another tick in a box.

Neighbours

We all know the words from the soap opera song but one of the biggest reservations buyers often have is about who they’re going to have living next door. If you get on with your neighbours, why not let them know that you have a viewing lined up? If you can persuade them to say a cheery hello it might help to slay that particular demon early on, and may well ease the path to an offer.

Amenities

They’re often shoved through your letterbox anyway but, if you’re thinking of selling your home, why not collect a few leaflets and menus from takeaways, hairdressers, nurseries or shops in the area? It’s also useful if you can add a few business cards for trusted tradesmen you may have had to call on such as a plumber, electrician or window cleaner and have them ready to hand to a potential buyer.

Plants and shrubs

A potential buyer is only going to see your garden at the time of year when you’re selling so, if you have flowering plants and shrubs, why not do a rough sketch of where they are, what they are and what needs to be done to stop them dying off? For example, if the viewing is in October, buyers are not going to know about a bed full of daffodil and crocus bulbs so a photocopy of a garden plan and some basic instructions may help.

Water and sewerage

Did you know, if rainwater from your gutters and drainpipes doesn’t flow into a public sewer, you can apply for a discount from your water and sewerage bill? If you didn’t, it could be worth checking. Also, do you have a water meter? Generally, water bills for those who do are considerably lower than those who pay a monthly flat fee so it could be worth mentioning during a viewing.

As ever, we’re here to help if you have any further questions about getting your home ready for the market. Feel free to give us a call or drop us a line or just click over to our “How To…” page for some helpful video guides: http://www.esaleuk.com/how-to-videos/

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About esale

eSale  Estate Agents, founded in 2012, bringing a fresh, clear and easy approach to online estate agency in England and Wales. We are a group of professionals with years of experience in helping people sell and buy property.

We have the skills to ensure the correct price is set for your property and we can negotiate the right sale price between buyer and seller.

Additionally, we can arrange accompanied viewings and also see the sale through to completion.

Your property will feature on Rightmove , Zoopla  and Primelocation esale have a wide advertising network, come and join our approach to selling a property, no matter what your property value is.