Selling a property, for most people, is the biggest financial transaction they will make in their lives. So what should be considered when you’re thinking of selling your home and entering into the next chapter of your life?
Naturally, achieving a desired sale price is very important when it comes to the transition into your new home. Trusted advice from your estate agent on how best to showcase your property is crucial for success. Presentation is central to catching buyer interest when a property is initially marketed. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but when improvements are made to a property’s presentation it gives your agent a better product to sell.
You are entrusting your most valuable possession to a stranger, therefore it is vital that you have an open and honest dialogue with your agent and feel confident to listen and take their advice on board.
Irrespective of how well known an agent is or if they have come highly recommended - a professional relationship based on trust is extremely important when it comes to achieving the most successful outcome.
A case study
The importance of this agent relationship was central to the successful sale of Rob and Emma Fagg’s two-bedroom flat in Crouch End. With two small children and a newborn baby, they were quickly outgrowing their home and decided it was time to sell up and look for something larger. They enlisted the help of Martyn Gerrard, a local North London agent, whose Sales Manager, Mark Fordham, took instruction on the sale of their property.
“We bought the property in 2006 and had considered putting it on the market a couple of times. When we finally settled on selling the property, my wife got a few valuations from a number of agents including a local agent, Martyn Gerrard. The other agents we had valuations quoted asking prices that were a lot lower than Mark’s, he was certainly more optimistic about the market. I think Mark’s local expertise and understanding of the buyer appetite in Crouch End was a major reason for our final decision on his instruction.”
Upon visiting the property for the first time, “Mark advised us that the property needed to be spruced up before marketing it and that by making the flat more neutral in its presentation, we would attract more desirable offers.”
Mark put forward the idea of using a property dresser, Shelly Robinson and her firm Robinson Stone, to help the Fagg’s realise the potential of their property and showcase it to its best advantage.
“With every new property I go and visit, I try and make the vendor see their own home from an outsider’s perspective. People are often surprised at how difficult this can be. When you have lived in a property for a long time there are so many things that you no longer notice. Even simple things like the paintwork or front door looking tired can make a considerable difference in how prospective buyers emotionally respond to a property”, explains Shelly, who has been helping vendors across London for over 15 years.
After enlisting the help of Robinson Stone the Faggs began preparing their property for sale. On Shelly’s advice, the Faggs agreed to repaint the entire flat and with Shelly’s help began the somewhat daunting task of de-cluttering their home.
Shelly explains, “De-cluttering is never anyone’s favourite job, but not only does it get you ready to move into your new home but it really helps prospective buyers build their own narrative with a space. Beginning to depersonalise your property returns to it being a house, a house that someone new can begin to see as their home.”
From this point on Shelly and her team cleaned the flat, rearranged the furniture and added simple neutral soft furnishings.
“Dressing our property allowed it to breathe a little more”, explains Rob and throughout the dressing process he recognised the “mass difference” between their lived-in home and what it became after it had been styled.
Shelly explains that, “Preparing a property for sale when it comes to presentation really is worth the investment. It goes a long way to establishing a ‘buzz’ around your property which definitely leads to more buyer attention and those all important offers.”
After dressing was complete, Mark from Martyn Gerrard suggested holding an open viewing day.
As Rob explains, “The open day took place on a Saturday, and after only a few days of advertising, 20 people came to see it. By the Monday we had 3 offers which culminated in sealed bids and we accepted an offer that came in well over the asking price.”
Such a result cannot be attributed to only one party; it was the joint effort of an experienced local estate agent, a client willing to trust them and take their advice and a property dresser who brought out the best features in the property.
A sales success
With any important decision, soliciting trusted expert advice is crucial to a successful outcome. As Shelly explains, “The relationship between the Fagg family and Mark demonstrates the importance of trusting and feeling confident in your agent. I’ve worked with Mark for years, and he understands the power of good presentation and how this can positively impact the final sale price.”
Ultimately, Rob states that “Mark sensed the market was heating up, and his assessment certainly proved correct. He encouraged us to present the property in the most desirable state, which was a starter home for a couple or a new family and with the help of both Mark and Shelly this was achieved”.
On the back of the successful sale Rob explains, “Property dressing is something I would definitely recommend. You can clearly see and feel the difference between a property that has been dressed and one that isn’t. I would recommend it on the basis that the initial investment lead us to see a great return and definitely helped sell the property.”
Understanding the market and what prospective buyers are looking for is very important when it comes to selling a property and presentation is integral to success. Having an open and honest dialogue with your agent and other relevant advisers can ultimately make the difference between having to drop the asking price and exceeding it.
Article by Robinson Stone - Property Dressing Experts