By Richard Wayman, Operation Manager CIA Landlord’s
Since the introduction of stamp duty exemption in July, all homes under £500,000 are exempt from the duty until 31 March next year.
This attempt to get the economy and housing market back in gear, has led to a surge in activity in the housing market, with house prices rising by more than 5%. Richard Wayman, CIA Landlord’s Operation Manager reveals is 5 tips on virtual listings and competitive pricing, commenting that “now is a pivotal time to ensure your house stands out on the housing market so that you can benefit from stamp study holiday”.
When potential buyers are searching for homes online or through an agency, first impressions are everything in terms of capturing their attention as they will make their mind up in seconds. This means that good photography is a necessity to stand out among other listings.
Poor quality photos or incorrectly lit backgrounds can be off-putting to viewers and deter them from considering the property. By investing in a professional photographer to shoot your home, you can be certain to highlight the best features and angles and showcase your property with professional lighting and depth. Good photos can also mean quicker sales or higher offers as viewers feel more confident in their perception of the home.
Ally Dowsing-Reynolds, co-owner of Dowsing & Reynolds recommends “thinking about emotion. Making potential buyers feel happy when they look at photos of your home or view it, will elicit positive feelings and make a lasting impression.”
Stage your property correctly
Staging your home correctly is equally as important as good photography. Even the most beautiful homes can be a struggle to sell or rent if they look lacklustre upon first impression. When selling a home, it’s not enough to just clear out any clutter and clean; you have to stage it correctly to entice viewers and beat the competition.
Adding everyday pieces like plants, candles and books can significantly raise the value of your home to viewers. Books and candles are a great option to make a space feel more homely while increasing its value. Placing books on the shelves or cookbooks in the kitchen can give a lived-in feel to an interior while candles add warm lighting and pleasant smells to a home.
As well as purchasing new items, there are numerous free ways you can boost the value of your home. One of the most important aspects of presenting a home is ensuring its clutter-free. Ally Dowsing-Reynolds, co-owner at Dowsing & Reynolds recommends to, “avoid having too many personal items out on display, such as collections of family photographs. This will help to declutter the space and potential buyers will be able to imagine their own belongings in the room.”
It’s also important to give the space a deep clean, all the way into deep corners and behind furniture and have all surfaces and appliances looking spotless. You should aim to have everything looking close to new or pristine condition so buyers feel confident in the condition of the property.
Put social distancing measures in place
Abiding by government guidelines and restrictions is a good way to show viewers that you follow regulations. Have the house thoroughly sanitised and cleaned and during physical viewings, provide hand sanitiser and ensure you and house hunters wear mask in the property.
Alex Willcocks, owner of Burbeck Interiors comments, “It is incredibly important for potential buyers to be able to move freely around the property and feel the space without being impeded by the volume of furniture. The furniture is simply there as an attraction, rather than a selling point, it is used to highlight the space and property, not the other way around.”
Rearrange any furniture which prevents viewers from touching too much and ensure social distancing measures are being abided by. It is also recemented to do viewings one at a time so that you are limiting social contact between potential buyers.
Set a realistic asking price
With stamp duty in place, it can be tempting to up your houses asking price. However, this can mean less people consider your property and cost you time on the market. Overvaluing your property can mean your property takes much longer to sell than it would with a more realistic price and mean you miss out on the stamp duty exemption boom.
If someone does decide to purchase your property at an inflated price, a mortgage company may also consider the valuation too high and refuse to grant a loan.
Choosing an estate agent
Whether you’re choosing an online estate agency or a traditional full-service estate agency, you should start by creating a shortlist of about six agents you would consider using.
Once you have a shortlist of possible agents, take a look at their websites and the properties they are listing for sale and if they are similar to yours and presented with good quality photographs and information.
Then give the agents a call and ask for a valuation for your property. This will give you an opportunity to verify their communication skills, punctuality, politeness, professionalism and knowledge. You should always ask them to justify their opinions of the value of your property and show examples of similar ones that have sold.