My neighbour’s house is also on the market

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Is your neighbour selling their home too?  Are there other properties for sale on your road?  Should you sell your house if your neighbour’s house is for sale too?

Selling your home when your neighbour’s house is already for sale is sometimes unavoidable, especially if you live in a popular residential location and you are in a position that you need to sell up.  You may be seeing this situation as a bit of a nightmare, or an extra stress you can do without.  It’s not, however, necessarily the disaster you may think.  Read on and find out why…

It’s inevitable that this situation will sometimes occur, particularly in built-up and popular residential areas where you may find 2 or 3 properties for sale on the same street, often side by side.  Certain times of the year also make this more likely, for example, spring or early summer when the number of ‘new to the market’ properties is at its highest.

Here is our advice to help you deal with this situation and see it in a more positive light:

Remain positive.  This is not the disaster that it may seem, in fact, it could actually work to your advantage.  If you think about it, anyone who books a viewing to see your neighbour’s home is highly likely to view yours too.  The fact that 2 properties are on the market has no real negative relevance at all – both houses are different and both have their own individual selling points.

See it as healthy competition.  A bit of healthy competition never did anyone any harm.  Use the situation to your advantage and make your home look better than ever. It will give you even more incentive to present your home to its absolute best for every viewing.  Don’t be defeated… de-clutter, tidy and freshen up your home so that it shines out from the rest.  It might be worth investing some time on brightening up the exterior too, as your house will be noticed by anyone viewing next door.  Place an attractive potted plant either side of your front door, and give the door a clean and polish.  Plant some colourful flowers in the front garden and put up a hanging basket.  This will boost your kerb appeal.

Chat with your neighbour and work together.  You are probably friends with them anyway, or at least say ‘hi’ over the garden fence.  Why not suggest you both work together to ensure you don’t undermine each other’s sale.  If your properties are both similar in size and layout, their valuations are probably similar too, so you could both agree on a price that you won’t go below, or you could both agree to discuss any offers with each other before you accept.  That way, you stand strong together and you won’t jeopardise one another’s price.

If your neighbour’s property sells first, don’t take it personally.  Your houses will be totally different in décor and ambiance, so the fact that one sells first is purely down to the viewer’s personal taste.  From a marketing perspective, it is great news for your house… one house ‘SOLD’ nearby helps the area to look popular and desirable.  It gives the impression to a vendor that they may need to act quickly to buy in your area.  Use this situation to your advantage and run with it.

Every person and every property are unique.  Your house is perfect for somebody out there; all you need to do is be patient and wait for your buyer.

A buyer will always opt for the property that ‘feels right’ for them.  It’s not always the ‘show home’ that sells the quickest – it’s important to remember that your buyer is out there somewhere and your house is perfect for them.

Have you ever found yourself in this position?  Have you ever been house-hunting and viewed more than one on the same street?  What was the outcome?

We would love to hear your opinions and thoughts on this topic, or any interesting stories you may wish to share.  Maybe you would just like a chat about property.

Give us a call on 01326 218427 or send us an email at hello@digs-property.co.ukessential guide to selling your property

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What should I do to improve my property photographs?

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Our 6 top tips to help your photos stand out

If you want property photos that increase your viewing numbers, then read on… 

Good property photographs sell houses; it’s that simple.  A good set of photos will lead to increased interest in your property, more viewings and a higher chance of a sale at the right price.

Obviously, we understand that it’s ultimately the job of your property photographer to ensure your house looks fabulous, but there are most definitely some things you can do yourself to ensure that they get the best shots possible.

Your main house photograph, in particular, is the one that will grab the attention of your potential buyers.  Think about it… they are scanning possibly hundreds of online adverts, looking for something special that will make them click the ‘more details’ button.  If your front picture doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor, they will pass you by.

We have compiled a list of what we consider to be the most important things you can do to ensure your photographs attract those buyers: –

  1. Ensure exterior photographs are taken on a nice day. As we all know, it’s impossible to predict our wonderful British weather, and you may be unlucky and find that your photographer is booked on what turns out to be the dullest and greyest day of the year.  Don’t despair – any good estate agent will happily arrange for the photographer to pop round on a sunny day and re-take the exterior shots.  The most important time for marketing your property is the first 3 weeks when your house will generate around 70% of its interest, so it’s vital that your main photo is nothing short of fabulous.
  1. Prepare your kitchen. The kitchen shots are probably the next most significant photo of your home, as most people rank the kitchen as the most important room of the house.

Here is a short list of how you can help the photographer: Pack away clutter, make sure appliances are sparkling clean (this will show on photos), clear the sink and drainer, take all kids’ drawings down, remove your collection of fridge magnets, polish chrome electricals, try to stick to a colour scheme and pack away anything that doesn’t match, and finally, put a bunch of fresh flowers on the table or windowsill.  Fresh flowers always look amazing in house photography.

If you have under-cupboard lights, make sure they are switched on, even in the daytime.  Lighting will add warmth and depth to the images – it will also show up your polished sparkling surfaces.

If you have pets, hide the evidence such as pet bowls, beds and the pets themselves as no one wants to see this in photos.

  1. Make your bathroom sparkle! Before the photographer arrives, polish any chrome taps or shower heads, clean any glass shower screens and polish any mirrors. Pack away any shampoo bottles, conditioners, razors, creams, extra toilet rolls, magazines and anything personal that might be cluttering up the room.  Minimalism is the key when preparing your bathroom for photographs so the less that is visible, the better.  Think along the lines of a hotel bathroom and you won’t go far wrong.  Put out some fresh new towels and again, a bunch of fresh flowers or a leafy green plant to finish the look.
  1. Airy fresh bedrooms. Washed and freshly ironed bedding will look neat and crisp on a photo.  It’s probably best to avoid really brightly coloured or heavily patterned bedding unless the rest of the room is minimal and plain.  Again, tidy anything personal away – the only things that should be visible on your bedside table are a light and a clock.  Hide away any personal photographs, books, clothes, clutter on surfaces, perfumes, and shoes.  Think ‘hotel room’ –  minimal, clean and fresh, and don’t forget that bunch of flowers on the windowsill!
  1. Charming and comfortable living room. Your living room should ideally have an ambiance of relaxation, style and comfort.  If necessary, re-position the furniture to maximise the visual impact, for example, arrange sofas and chairs around an attractive fireplace rather than a huge TV.  Look at the room from different angles and check it will look great on a photo.  Polish your coffee table and place a couple of ‘style’ magazines and, you guessed it, a bunch of flowers on it to finish the look.  If your living room is full of family photos, pack them away; your buyer needs to be able to picture themselves relaxing and feeling at home here.
  1. A fabulous entrance hall. Your entrance hall, however big or small, can be made to look like a welcoming and useful area. If you have too many coats hanging up, hide a few of them somewhere out of sight; you don’t want to portray a lack of storage space in your photos.  Tidy away shoes, umbrellas and anything else that makes your hallway seem disordered.  If you have a lamp, turn it on to add warmth to the photos.

Putting in a bit of effort to prepare your rooms for photographs will pay dividends.  Remember…

Fab photos  =  more clicks  =  more viewings  =  quicker sale! 

We would love to hear your thoughts on this article, or indeed any of our other articles.  If you would like any further advice or help with preparing for the photographer’s visit, please give us a call on 01326 218427 or send us an email at  hello@digs-property.co.uk.  Alternatively, drop into our office at any time for a chat – we’d love to hear from you.

 

Should I sell my house?

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Are you thinking about selling your house?  Are you perhaps wondering if the time is right? Maybe you have a rental property and want to release some equity?

Often in life this decision is made for us; perhaps due to debt or divorce for example, but it’s not necessarily always so ‘cut and dry’.  Often it’s a difficult decision, especially if there is no major reason to move; perhaps you just have ‘itchy feet’ or maybe you are yearning to do a property up and make some cash.  Maybe you are simply bored of your current home and want a fresh start in a new area.

There are so many reasons why people move home… some good and some not so good.

We have put together these tips which may help you decide if the time is right:-

  • Is it a seller’s market?

Are properties in your area selling quickly and close to the asking price?  Keep your eye on the local market and do your homework.  Rightmove is an excellent tool for this; simply put in a search for all property within a similar price range in your area,  but remember to tick the box that says ‘Include property that is under offer’.  This way you can keep abreast of local sales trends. Moreover, talk to a reputable and honest estate agent (like us) who will be happy to advise you on the current market situation in your area.

  • Have a free valuation

Any decent estate agent will offer a free valuation of your property, with no obligation whatsoever.  Explain to them that you are unsure so they can talk you through your options.Once you have an idea of what price your home may achieve, you will be able to make your decision from a more favourable and informed place.

  • Have your needs changed?

Does your house still fit all your requirements?  There are many circumstances that may change the way you use your home… perhaps you have started a family and need another bedroom; maybe you have met someone who also has kids and you need to double the size of your home; have you started to use your home to run a business? Whether you are planning to upsize or downsize, it might be worth writing a list of what you need from a possible new home, and compare it to what you have now.  Will a move benefit you or your family?

  • Have your financial circumstances changed?

Perhaps you are thinking of moving because your financial circumstances have changed (hopefully for the better).  If you are lucky enough to find yourself in a position where you can afford to increase your mortgage, you may be looking to upsize to a ‘dream home’.  On the other hand, maybe your finances have changed for the worse and you need to rethink your mortgage situation.  Either way, you can discuss this with your estate agent/ mortgage provider and see where your options lie.

  • What is your gut feeling?

Have you just started to entertain the idea of moving home, or is it something that has been lurking in the back of your mind for years?  It may sound like a silly question, but it’s actually extremely relevant.  Sometimes in life we might find ourselves feeling a bit ‘down’ or ‘fed up’ with things, and we might see a house move as the ‘end of all our problems’…  a way out, in other words.  It is important that you are honest with yourself.  Do you genuinely want to move, or does something else have to change?  Follow your gut and you won’t go far wrong.

  • Write a list

Grab a piece of paper and write a list.  For and against.  Get everything out of your head, however small, and add it to your list.  It will probably help you just by writing it down!  You could even let all the family join in so you have everyone’s opinions included in your ‘brain dump’. Now, sleep on it.  Forget it for a day or two so your brain has a chance to clear itself.  When you are feeling relaxed and ready, get your list out and look at it with ‘fresh eyes’.  It may suddenly all become clear.

We hope these tips will help you to make your decision.  It’s a big one, let’s face it, and it needs to be right.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this article.  Do you have any tips we have not included?  Can we be of any further help?

Send us an email at hello@digs-property.co.uk  or give us a call on 01326 218427.

We are a friendly bunch!

What should I ask my estate agent when selling my home?

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It’s your agent’s job to ‘pull out the stops’ and do everything they can to sell your home as quickly as possible.  Why wouldn’t they?  After all, it’s in the agent’s interest as well as your own.  You are both in this together and communication is very important on both parts.  If you are unhappy about any part of the ‘selling process’, it’s always best to be honest and chat to your agent.  They are there to help you.

Here is a list of questions we have compiled for you, which may be particularly relevant if your house has been on the market for some time.

  1. What are you doing to sell my home?  A good agent will be happy to discuss this with you.  They should be working proactively, for example, sending out your house details to any potential buyers, and should be able to tell you who they have contacted.  Sometimes it’s possible for an agent to sell a house immediately by matching a home with a known buyer.
  1. Have any comparable properties sold recently? If so, why didn’t they view yours?  Find out if there is anything you or your agent can do to improve viewing figures.  Agents won’t necessarily disclose the sale price (this is not professional and undermines the privacy of the vendors), but they may be able to give you an idea of whether any price reduction was involved
  1. What does my Rightmove Performance Analysis show? Pretty much every agent in the country will advertise your property on Rightmove, and as part of the package, the agent can print off your ‘click’ rate figures.  This shows how many people have viewed your initial advert and how many have then clicked for ‘more details’.  You might be surprised by the results.  A good agent will go through this with you and suggest possible plans of action.
  1. Can you change my main image? The main image is the first thing people see when searching for a house, and it needs to be attractive and eye-catching.  A mediocre photo could be the reason for a low viewing rate.  Ask your agent to revisit your home on a sunny day and take a new front shot.  Sometimes it’s worth changing it just to test it out.  Do your viewing numbers go up?

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  1. Can we improve the marketing? Is there anything either you or your agent can do to speed up the sale?  Perhaps the brochure needs tweaking, or maybe the wording of the online advert needs adjusting.  Either way, it’s worth making a few changes to see what happens.
  1. Why hasn’t my house sold? Build a good relationship with your estate agent and make sure they know that you appreciate honesty.  They should be able to give you some possible reasons or indications why your house has not sold.  Don’t immediately think that you need to reduce the asking price… it’s worth exploring other avenues before you lower the price.
  1. What is our viewer’s feedback? It’s useful to get an idea of any feedback from previous viewers, just to keep you in the picture and give you an idea of their opinion of your house.  It’s not always easy to hear, and it’s worth keeping it in perspective.  Remember that every buyer has different taste and requirements.  Some feedback may be useful, for example, if viewers were noticing a smell of dogs, you could have your carpets cleaned and use air fresheners.  Some feedback, however, cannot be acted upon, for example, the garden is too small.

We hope this list has given you some food for thought.  In our experience, we believe that everything is worth a try, and we will always be totally honest with our advice.

A good relationship between agent and client is paramount when selling (and buying) property.

What are your thoughts on this article?  We would love to hear from you.

Send us an email at hello@digs-property.co.uk  or give us a call on 01326 218427.

 

 

11 1/2 reasons why your property isn’t selling

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There is nothing more frustrating than having your house on the market, with viewers coming and going, and yet receiving no offers.  Every time you get that call from your agent, you spend hours tidying and preparing it for inspection, only to be disappointed again.

We have put together a compilation of the top reasons that your house may be hanging around on the market longer than you want…

  1. Photographs

Don’t underestimate the impact of professional photographs.  This is the first impression that buyers will get of your home, so presenting it in the best possible light will help you get the right buyers through the door.

  1. Marketing

Is your property being marketed to its best potential?  Photographs, videos, floor plans, Rightmove advert, other online adverts – all of them will need to be undertaken if you want a quick sale at the best price.

  1. Overpriced

Try not to be greedy.  Your property will only sell for what it’s worth.  Advertising your property at an unrealistic price can seriously reduce your chances of a sale.  Consider all the valuations, take advice from your estate agent and price your property at the right level.

  1. Unfinished DIY jobs

There is nothing more off-putting for a potential buyer than noticing half done DIY jobs, such as leaking taps, chipped paintwork, lifted carpet etc.  Your buyers will notice this and it could cost you a sale.  Put some love back into your home.

  1. Empty nests

Don’t leave your children’s bedrooms as they were when they flew the nest.  Clear away, declutter and redesign.  Go for a clean, fresh look.  Think ‘hotel bedroom’ and you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Soft furnishings

Cushions that have seen better days, filthy rugs, worn linen, stained towels – these are all big ‘no no’s.’  You’re going to need soft furnishings for your new home so buy new things to display and throw the old away.

  1. Pets

As much as you love your furry friends, the smells and bedding can be very off putting for potential buyers.  Take pets out of the house during viewings and make sure you clear up litter trays, poop and dirty bowls.

  1. Bad smells

Any weird smells such as damp, mould, wet dog, or litter trays will all be noticed by your viewers – it is worth spending a bit of time cleaning the carpets and wiping down the walls.   Light scented candles and diffusers to freshen the room and make your home a scented haven.

  1. Too personal 

It’s very important to try and depersonalise your home so that buyers can visualise their own furniture, belongings and pictures in the property.  Declutter!  Put away your photographs, gnome collection, and eclectic ‘over the top’ bits and bobs – think neutral and fresh.

 10. Kerb appeal

The power of ‘kerb appeal is real’; the front of your house is the first thing any viewer will see.  Driveways, lawns, borders, gutters and fences all need to be in ‘tip top’ condition.  If the exterior areas look shabby, the viewer has already made a judgement before they have even walked through the front door.

  1. Being overbearing

When viewers wander around a house, they like to have space to peruse at their own pace, and explore the layout.  If you are conducting the viewing yourself, try not to fuss and talk too much; busy yourself elsewhere, but be available for any questions, should they have them.  An estate agent is not as emotionally attached to the property, which will help the viewers to feel more relaxed.

11 ½.   Timing 

This is ‘half’ a reason because often we are sometimes forced to put our house on the market at an inconvenient time.  If you can help it, however, try to avoid marketing your house during periods such as school summer holidays or Christmas, when viewing houses is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

If you follow these simple suggestions, you will not only improve your house for yourself, but also for your viewers.  Win – win!

If you have any questions about this article, or any other property matter, we would love to hear from you.  Give us a call on 01326 218427 or email us at hello@digs-property.co.uk 

Increase the sale value of your property

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Here are some of our top tips to increase the sale value of your property.

Clear the clutter

Pack bits and pieces away.  File paperwork.  Clear the rooms and create more space and light.  It's easier for buyers to visualise their belongings in the property if they can see the space.

Tidy the garden

First impressions count so mow the lawn, trim the hedges or jet wash the paving.

Fix small defects

You want the property to be presented in the best possible light.  Fix broken doors, holes in walls, mouldy sealant or dripping taps.

Paint

Nothing refreshes and revitalises a space better than a lick of paint.  Everything from internal walls, skirtings, garden gates to garage doors; don't be shy.

Clean kitchens and bathrooms

These 2 rooms in the house should be presented as clean and tidy as possible as they normally make the biggest impression on buyers. You might not be able to install a new kitchen or bathroom, so use elbow grease to really lift these 2 rooms.

Update services

Updated electrical, heating and plumbing services will significantly increase the re-sale value of the property. For instance,  a property with good energy performance, central heating and a new boiler will always do better than property that lacks this.

Doing the little things makes a big difference and will help you achieve the best sale value for your property.