30th March 2022
Ultimately, your home is worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it, but how do you get to that point? An experienced agent will know what buyers are looking for, the temperature of the market, how to place your property and what price you should expect to achieve.
We spoke to Jason Lake, Branch Director of Alexander & Co in Dunstable, to learn more about managing and meeting (and even going beyond) vendors’ expectations.
Changing times, changing needs
It’s true that the pandemic has changed what a lot of people want out of their next property. Coming out of the pandemic, a Zoopla Account Manager showed our agents that garden searches had gone up 262%. Jason outlines what people are interested in right now:
“Where mortgage rates are at the moment means it’s cheap to borrow money, and post pandemic, many people are still working from home. Buyers are looking for extra space, perhaps a study for a home office, and garden space is especially desirable.”
For this reason, garden and outside space have moved up in terms of importance when putting details together, and can now be one of the main selling points for a property.
Homes for whole families
The market isn’t just being driven by more people working from home. With the average age of first-time buyers at 34 years old, children are staying at home for longer, unable to get on the property ladder. Many families are also deciding to live together in bigger houses, with older parents/grandparents part of the equation and living in annexes, for example.
Helping sellers unlock the opportunity
Most sellers have an idea or expectation of what their property is worth these days because there’s so much information out there about property values; but online valuations can vary hugely, sometimes by £150k. Plus, in such a fast-paced market, what’s been sold two months ago probably isn’t relative to today’s market. With Alexander & Co, sellers can count on attractive but realistic pricing for would-be buyers, generating interest and then the best offers (often these go above the asking price or guide price).
Of course, different people have different needs, reasons and circumstances when selling their property. For example, if someone’s going into a nursing home, they may want a quick sale to help pay the new bills. Their pricing and placement will be a guide price to get people through the door to view. Once interest is generated, our teams are able to start working on the price.
How to ‘catch the eye on the supermarket aisle
A lot of people’s biggest concern is centred on finding a property to move to, so they can often be reluctant to put their house on the market. That’s why placing a property on key portals (such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) is crucial. At the right price point, multiple viewing requests can come in during just one afternoon.
“We’re dictated to by the Rightmove property portal to a degree, in terms of pricing,” Jason explains. “There’s no stamp duty to pay for first-time buyers up to £300k. Prices up to this level are at £10k intervals. Once over £300k, it goes in £25k intervals, and £50k intervals from £500k.”
Jason continues by outlining what appeals to potential buyers online, and generates more enquiries and subsequent viewings: “Online, you’re on a page of 12 properties, you have to really stand out. It’s like walking down a supermarket aisle. What’s going to catch your eye? It’s about the agent that produces the best property pictures and floor plan, while the text is best used to say succinctly what’s nearby the property, rather than simply using the text to describe the property. Often, less is more.”
We’re here to lead the market, not follow it
At Alexander & Co, we’re open and upfront with vendors from the outset, and believe selling a property and achieving the best price is about more than simply putting it online. The best buyers are often local people who know the area and want to stay in the area. Thanks to our strong local network, this is where we specialise. We have a wealth of experience, knowledge, data and applicants to make sure homes are valued realistically and marketed accurately. Most important is that they’re sold at the best possible price!