If you’re serious about selling, but your home is more 'Old Kent Road' than 'Park Lane', (see my Home Staging Hitlist here) it’s a bad idea to ‘test the market’ on a whim.
Homeowners do this when:
- they’re not sure about moving, but will if the price is right
- one partner is keen but the other isn’t
- they get tempted when a neighbour’s house sells at top price
Maybe you’ve thought – “We’ll sell if we get x amount and if we don’t, we’re happy to stay, too.”
This wasn't a bad idea In the ‘olden days’ (before home PCs and the internet) when selling your home was all about nice printed particulars and a prominent position in the estate agent’s window.
Back in the '80s and '90s your agent came round, they took photos (on a film camera, not a smartphone!) and wrote up some flowery prose to describe your home. Hopefully yours would be described as – ‘a des res’ in a ‘commanding position’ with ‘all mod cons’.
If you didn't get the price you wanted you could change agents, drop the price, or take a break without much of a problem.
But times have changed! Testing the market can seriously harm your chance of reaching asking price.
90% of buyers are searching online and they're alerted as soon as a home matching their requirements hits the market. The 3 main property portals cover the whole market with a few clicks of the mouse.
If they like what they see, they’re going to grab their phone and arrange a viewing straight away.
However, if they’ve been looking for a while, they will start to notice the homes that are still on the market weeks or months after first being listed.
Anyone can also see when a property was last listed and for how much.
This transparency is for the buyer’s benefit, definitely not the seller's.
As the media reminds us daily, there’s a serious property shortage in the UK, so if your home has been on the market for a while, buyers are going to wonder why.
- If it’s now July, but your photos show snow and bare trees - that’s a big red flag!
- If they can see you only bought it 18 months ago, they’re going to wonder what’s up with it.
“If no one else has snapped it up, then there must be something wrong with it.”
Even if they are not deterred and book a viewing they now have the upper hand. They may assume you’re desperate and submit a cheeky offer. Depending on your circumstances you may have to seriously consider it.
So how do you avoid your home being 'left on the shelf' or the equivalent of the rusty old banger on the garage forecourt, that only attracts the tyre kickers?
Get serious about selling – Get it staged as soon as you plan to sell.
Make maximum impact when your home is launched and that momentum will generate more viewings and offers, getting you closer to or even over your asking price.
Find out what’s involved in my next blog Post – Staging Occupied Homes