Here's our top tips for first-time property sellers

August, 2018

Are you a first-time property seller? You may feel a little neglected compared to first-time buyers, who have access to an incredible range of information, advice, tips and assistance.

The same can't always be said for first-time sellers, with the assumption being that you'll automatically know what to do even though you've never sold a home before.

To put that right, and help you master what can be a stressful and intimidating process, we've come up with some top tips on how to get your first home sold for the best possible price.

Set the right asking price

This is arguably one of the most important things to nail down, and is something your estate agent can help you with. Using their knowledge of the local market and wider national trends, they will be able to help you set a fair and realistic asking price that won't deter buyers or sell you short.

It's definitely a tricky balance to strike. If you set your asking price too high, you'll merely scare would-be purchasers off. Set it too low, on the other hand, and you run the risk of not getting an offer for what your home is really worth.

Lean on your agent's expertise and experience to get this crucial part of the sales process right.

Pick the right estate agent

Equally important as setting the right asking price is choosing the right agent in the first place. This is a vital part of getting your home sold, as you'll want an agent who has your best interests at heart and goes out of their way to get your sale over the line.

As we've said previously, at Oscar James we do things slightly differently, taking an innovative, all-in-one approach to give our customers the best, most rounded selling experience on offer.

The difference between a good agent and bad agent is stark. A good agent will develop and hone a winning marketing strategy, using both traditional and online methods to ensure your home is seen by the widest possible audience. They will also lead you through the whole sales process in a calm, professional manner, dealing with any issues or enquiries as they arise.

They will keep you up-to-date and reassured throughout, know the local market inside out and work closely with your buyers to push sales through in a smooth manner. There may be delays and complications – home sales very rarely go off in a completely smooth fashion – but a good agent will tackle these head on in a measured, pragmatic way.

Adopt a targeted approach

To give yourself the best possible chance of selling, you need to target your home effectively. While it's never wise to restrict yourself to one particular demographic, if you are a first-time seller you are likely to be trading up from a starter home to something bigger.

As such, the home you're selling is most likely to appeal to first-time buyers – tech-savvy, time-poor and almost certainly browsing for homes to buy on electronic devices.

As a result, your online sales strategy needs to be up to the mark. Make sure you have a very visible presence on all the major portals and your agent's website. Competition is fierce on the portals, so it's vitally important that your home stands out from the crowd. High-quality photos, snappy descriptions and detailed floorplans can all help you to achieve this.

When it comes to viewings, point out to would-be buyers how the home is ideal for a first property. If you have a new-build, use the contemporary décor, hotel-style bathrooms and glossy finishes to your advantage; if you have a more traditional or period home, this may be particularly appealing to families – or those about to start a family – who are looking to get on the ladder for the first time.

Of course, you may not just be targeting first-time buyers – your home could be appealing to downsizers, retirees looking for a property closer to family, or buy-to-let investors – but this demographic is probably going to make up your biggest pool of purchasers. Therefore, you should bear them in mind when you are selling.

Make your home less personal

Again, a difficult balance to strike. You don't want your home to be hollow, dull and characterless, but you also don't want it to feel too personal or lived-in. Prospective buyers might feel they are intruding if your home feels too much like a home.

You want them to imagine themselves living there, and a homely, cosy property will help to achieve that, but family photos, heirlooms and personal items left about the place won't.

Try and depersonalise as much as possible while not losing the essential character of your home. Once more, work with your agent to get this right.

At Oscar James we have three offices in Northamptonshire – in Burton Latimer, Kettering and Northampton – where our agents can help you to get your home sold.

To find out more about what we offer, and our all-in-one approach to house sales, please get in contact with us at one of our branches.

We also offer a free and instant online valuation if you would like an estimate of your property's current worth.

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