When I met Susanne, she told me how she’d invited 7 agents to value her house and was likely to choose the agent who was most prominent in her part of East Dulwich, close to Peckham Rye Park.

Along with explaining why the presentation of her property and the advert itself is so important, I had taken the time in our meeting to explain how Rightmove and the property websites have changed buyer behaviours and how setting her price correctly would help her achieve a better result as a consequence.

I explained that when you launch a new property on the market, the first 7 days will see the highest level of visitors looking at your advert, so a more realistic asking price will create more viewings than a property that was priced speculatively.  More viewings would increase the chance of several strong offers being received.

I also explained how properties that are reduced in price take longer to sell can sell for as much as 10% less than properties that are priced correctly and sell quickly, therefore ‘testing the market’ at a high price was likely to result in a poorer result.

“James recently sold our 4-bed home in South London and we couldn’t have been happier with the service and the result. From the first telephone call, James had a clear strategy that really made sense to us – put the property on the market for ‘offers over’ and then quickly get a number of offers so that we could go back to the prospective buyers to ask for their best and final offer. This resulted in several excellent offers and us being able to chose the right buyer for us given our desire to complete quickly.”

They had a beautiful house, in a lovely road, so I was confident a good plan would work brilliantly.

First however, we had to make sure it looked amazing online.

We talked and looked over a few adverts on Rightmove, and both agreed that there were far too many sub-standard adverts that could have and should have been much, much better.  We agreed we needed to do much better than this.

We agreed to remove some furniture and reorganise it to create a better sense of space and we styled every room to make sure the advert was likely to create some additional appeal to viewers.  We added additional artwork on the walls, de-cluttered and added soft furnishings. Susanne liked that I had offered to help with the styling.

“James put a lot of emphasis on the importance of the marketing materials and a lot of high-quality images which really made our house stand out from others – more than 50 photographs and details versus the usual 10-12 photographs other agents used! He helped us with a bit of staging and advised where we should try to move certain things to look better in the photos.”

With a brilliant advert, and a realistic asking price, I was confident we’d attract a good response to the advert.

And that’s exactly what happened as a whole day of viewings was booked very quickly.

I’d prepared a guide with Susanne about the house, the neighbours, the area in general and what Susanne had appreciated about it, and this was given to every viewer on the open day. On the rear were the instructions on how to make an offer, which seemed to create a bit of a stir and quite a few phone calls.

Eventually after several offers had been received, we decided to close the sale using ‘best and final offers’ and this helped Susanne find the perfect buyer.  A benefit was that the sale price was higher than any estate agent valuations Susanne had received, including mine!

Remember – if you prepare your property before marketing it, style it brilliantly for online images and price it correctly it guarantees you better results!

“We did have some initial hesitation when choosing to go with an independent agent who couldn’t give us (false) promises of having long lists of prospective buyers lined up before even signing a contract, but James won us over with his marketing and sales strategy, his energy, the glowing reviews from past clients, and the feeling that James was a straight shooter as opposed to an estate agent just telling us what he thought we wanted to hear. Choosing James was absolutely the right decision and we’d use him again in a heartbeat.”

Setting a high asking price does not work in most cases.

I have to question what type of agent thinks this is a good idea, and I can only think it’s the agent who doesn’t care for the negative effect it will have on the seller, who is likely to have to reduce their asking price.

If you’re thinking of selling and want ton honest opinion of what you can do to make your property have wider appeal, please do get in touch with me on 020 8432 1505 or email me at james@fishneedwater.com if you’d like to chat.