Here is some of my best advice for Sellers:
Savvy Buyers and Agents are often inclined to check out Sellers online before putting in an offer. Announcing on Facebook that you've already bought another house before this one is sold, or instagramming a leak in your basement, even tweeting about someone who paid $60K more than the next guy are poor ideas that will only serve to hurt your cause. The best thing to share is simply that you're selling and provide a link where people can find more information. You need not share the stress of selling, marital problems or that you're desperate to sell. Don’t think it happens? Those are all true stories.
Yes, it’s a pain to make your bed everyday, wash the dishes, take out the garbage, put away your clean (and dirty) clothes, clean the litter-box and wash the floors every day, but keeping your house or condo in tip top shape for showings is ESSENTIAL to getting top dollar.
Don’t even think about smoking in your home. If you smoke on your balcony or deck, hide the evidence. Put away your sex and drug paraphernalia. We won’t judge you, but I can’t say the same about potential Buyers.
If you’ve chosen to work with an ethical agent, don’t lie to them. Tell them the real reason you are selling (even if it’s a divorce or you’ve gotten yourself into a financial mess). Disclose the good AND the bad about your home. Tell them what you really want – or need – both financially and from the selling experience. Your agent works for you, and their only job is to protect your interests. If you don’t trust your agent, fire them and hire someone else.
Your agent should be able to show you how much your property is worth and why. Overpricing is a dangerous game where the Seller almost always loses. Truth: every Seller thinks they live in the best condo or house on the block and thinks their property is worth more than everyone else’s. It’s a proven fact that properties that have been overpriced sit on the market longer and generally sell for less than they would have had they been priced accurately in the beginning. This is one of the hardest things to do, but at the end of the day, you’ll be the one that benefits most. Underpricing in a Seller's market will often realize more traffic than market value pricing.
With over 1,700 agents in the London area, there are all types of agents, with all types of experiences and skill sets. Don’t put your biggest financial asset at risk by selling with the wrong agent. There are lots of talented and experienced agents out there – interview agents before hiring them, ask questions and ask for references, and remember you'll be working alongside an agent, so consider how well you get along.
Exposing your home to more potential Buyers unequivocally brings in more money. Ask where your home is being marketed and ask for regular updates of how well that’s working.
Most Buyers house-shop after 5 pm and on weekends. Remember you're trying to elicit a “Yes” from a Buyer, So make it convenient for them to see your home. When you say ‘no’ to a showing, recognize that those Buyers rarely ever re-schedule, so you’re really saying ‘no’ to a potential Buyer buying your home.
The average time to sell a property in London in 2017 was 23 days, so don’t panic if your home isn’t sold in the first week. And remember that not all houses sell over the asking price or get the bidding war the Sellers were hoping for. And no, there were not 32 people at all those bidding wars – that only ever happens under special circumstances (the average multiple bidding entertains between 2-5 buyers) and that’s why 32 buyers make front page news.