Yearly Archives: 2012
More advice on selling property online from Sell My Property, the leading international For Sale By Owner advertising service.
You’ve signed up with Sell My Property, you’ve created a good listing, you’ve dealt with your leads effectively and now a potential buyer is on their way to see your property. But what do you have to do to get your home ready?
Here are six simple steps to conduct your own property viewing:
Sweep up outside
When it comes to people, first impressions are what make the difference. The same is true of property. Cleaning up the outside of your house, sweeping the drive, making sure the bins are tidy, making sure the door isn’t filthy; all these small steps will boost your home’s curb appeal. When people drive up in the car, it has to look attractive and, most importantly, ready to buy. Speaking of cars, try to leave a space in the drive, or on the pavement outside, so that they have somewhere convenient to park.
Once you’ve sorted out the outside, tidy up the inside. Think of it as preparing your property for a listing photo. Vacuum the carpets, clear away any clutter, and remove any presence of pets – if your buyer is allergic to cats, hair all over the sofa could put them off the property all together.
Turn the lights on
This is a simple step, but it can make a house feel more welcoming. If it is not a warm day, turning the heating on can also make a home more cosy. The more it looks like a property that is ready to be lived in, the more appealing it will be to those looking to move.
Plan your tour in advance
Sell My Property’s FSBO service allows you to sell your home without the cost of estate agent fees, but that also means you do not have someone to conduct a property tour for you. Therefore rehearse your viewing as much as possible; know which rooms you will show them in which order (start with downstairs) and avoid stating the obvious, e.g. “This is the kitchen”.
Don’t appear too eager or friendly; your buyer may think you are simply desperate to sell. Instead, be professional and polite and watch their facial expressions and behaviour. If they spend longer than a few minutes looking at a room, you can tell they are interested. Similarly, if they start trying to talk money, you can tell you are close to converting that enquiry into a sale.
Just because they are the ones finding out about the home, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask questions as well. Research them as best as you can; what do they do? Why are they moving? How long have they been asking? What is it about this area they like? The more you can find out about their needs, the more you can tweak your tour, offer information, or adapt the price to meet them. And once their needs are met? Bingo. Then you have a sale on your hands.
Letting a property is a great way for holiday home owners to earn some income during the vacant months. But what if you want to live there all year round? That’s not a problem for Denis Dragovic, whose home divides in two so he can rent it out but still stay put.
“The home earns a decent income,” he tells me. “I have been renting it out during the summer and this past year earned $10,000.”
There is a steady flow of guests, he says. Located in Šibenik, the 18th Century property is right by the coast, just at the point where the Krka River joins the Adriatic Sea, making it a popular spot for tourists visiting Croatia.
“What brought me to Sibenik is its location,” Denis admits. “It’s less than an hour to the two international airports [Split and Zadar, both serviced by budget airlines from London] and less than a two minute walk to the ferry terminal, which takes you to the beautiful Sibenik islands.”
“I bought the property in 2004,” he explains, “then redeveloped it over four years.”
The time spent shows. The upper three floors of the house form a beautifully finished apartment, with impressive views from the master bedroom on top. Denis takes me down a wooden staircase to the spacious lounge and bathroom, before showing me the balconies either side. One looks out onto green hills and an old church; the other, the ocean.
“These islands are my favourite,” he says, looking out at the sea. “They’re a great place to sail. There are two marinas close by, within walking distance, in fact.”
He leads me down another floor to the open plan kitchen and dining room, complete with a well-polished teak dining table and comfy-looking sofa bed.
“It unfolds into a double bed,” he informs me. You can easily imagine a whole family renting out the place.
I ask what’s below this floor. He smiles and through a separate entrance takes me into a very different property. There are exposed ceilings showing the same impressive oak, like the rest of the house, but this is Denis’ own house – a sort of servants’ quarters for a live-in landlord.
But servants would dream of quarters like this. The studio apartment on the first floor boasts views of the sea, along with its own kitchenette and bathroom.
That still leaves one floor we haven’t explored, I point out.
“The ground floor is yet to be developed,” he replies.
So it’s like a basement? “Oh, you could use it for anything,” he explains. “Another small apartment, a workshop. The walkway that goes by is pretty busy. You could even turn it into a coffee shop or wine bar.”
A coffee shop that can be rented out as a holiday home while you still live there?
“Yes,” he grins. “It’s actually three investments in one.”
I nod, then think back to the master bedroom on the top floor. And if I want to keep it all to myself? What then?
Denis laughs. “The title is separate from the main property – you could sell off everything apart from the main apartment and still make a tidy profit!”
I laugh as well. Then start checking my pockets for spare cash.
Get three investments in one for just £227,948.
For more information and to make an enquiry, click here:
So, you’ve signed up with Sell My Property and you’ve created a property listing, you’ve made sure you have good property photos, you’ve added a property video, and your asking price is realistic. If everything goes well, it will only be a matter of time until you receive what you’re aiming for: an enquiry.
But once the sales leads start flooding in, what do you do with them? Here are Sell My Property’s tips on how to handle a buyer enquiry:
It’s not often that you see an invisible house, but look hard enough and you can spot this magical cottage tucked away in the French Alps.
Hidden between the mountain and the sky, the five-bedroom property blends in seamlessly with the landscape around it; a natural piece of camouflage that continues to boggle the mind even after you have been inside.
“It belonged to my family for generations but was left abandoned,” its owner Nadège tells me.
I smile, convinced that she is joking: there is no sign of her home anywhere. Look at it from the North and you can see a small sliver of the roof and the cosily converted attic. It is only when your reach the South face that the whole imposing structure is revealed: a stone, rock, wood and lime creation spread across three floors, almost as if the builder had hewn it out of the rock face.
Ask any house hunter to name Portugal’s bright spot and they’ll say the same thing: the Algarve. But the latest report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says the bright spot is something else entirely: rental property.
The lettings market “continues to benefit from the fallout in sales”, explains RICS, as those unable to purchase their own home rely on renting accommodation instead. The result is an economic climate that has turned everyone into an unwitting landlord.
Mary Hayes bought her apartment in Cabanas, near Tavira, with no intent of letting it out. But even she is aware of its “excellent rental potential” – not just from the locals but the tourists as well.
“We originally purchased it in 2004 as a holiday home,” she tells me. “As with a lot of people, we’d been looking for years for a place to buy. We read about Cabanas in a rough guide to Portugal so decided to have a holiday in the village to have a look around.”
More advice on selling property online from SellMyProperty.org, the leading international For Sale By Owner advertising service.
This week, Sell My Property turns its attention to the most essential step in selling your house: creating a listing. Once you’ve signed up with Sell My Property and you log in for the first time, you are automatically taken through to the “Create a Listing” page.
What goes into a good property listing? Which details should you leave out?
Here are seven simple steps to creating a good property listing:
1. Give it a name
We don’t mean “Brian” or “Audrey”. This is the part that will grab people’s attention or turn them away, so include all the important stuff here. How many bedrooms? Is it near the beach? Can investors expect a high rental yield? Combine them into a snappy name, e.g. “2 bed flat on Murcia coast. Refurbished. 7% return”, and you’re good to go.
2. Add a reference
Don’t worry: this one is just for you, so you don’t have to come with anything catchy. Designed for sellers with more than one property to advertise, this field helps you tell the difference between your multiple listings when looking at the “Manage My Listings” page.
You cannot use any special symbols here, but any combination of alpha-numerical characters is fine. Perhaps “Brian” or “Audrey”.
3. Mark it with an “X”
No one wants to buy a house if they don’t know where it is, which is why Sell My Property always includes a map as part of the listing (see a listing on TheMoveChannel.com for an example). Using our location finder is an easy way to pinpoint your property’s exact position, or if you prefer, you can use another maps service, for example Google Maps, and copy the coordinates into your listing.
4. Write a brief description
Consider this an expanded version of your property’s name, including all the vital statistics and unique selling points in a few sentences. Keep it simple and to-the-point to capture buyers’ attentions as quickly as possible.
5. Insert images
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so make sure you make the most of them. With our basic listing package, you can upload up to 10 large images of your property.
Read our detailed tips on how to take a good property listing photo, then pick one of them to be the main listing picture – an exterior shot usually works best. The other photos are then displayed in the order you upload them, so take care to add the best exterior images first before moving on to interior images of rooms and, eventually, any shots of the surrounding area or a floor plan.
6. Add a full description
This is where you can really sell your property, so make sure you read our guide on how to write a listing description first. Once you’ve got something written, go to the “Further Information” tab to add it to your listing.
7. Tag it with keywords
Keywords are what will help people find your property. Swimming pool, two bedrooms, Murcia, rental income; those are the kind of words you want to be including. But we’ve saved you the time and hassle or writing them out manually. Simply click on the “Autocomplete” button and we’ll generate the keywords using your description – another reason to take extra care when writing it.
And it’s as easy as that. Once you’ve finished all seven steps, hit the “Save” button and congratulations! Your property listing is live – and you are officially selling your home.
With property portals and online lead generation making it even easier sell real estate without the help of an estate agent, how to sell property online is a question that’s becoming more important for homeowners around the world.
But don’t panic: Sell My Property is here with all the advice and tips you need to make sure your home sells quickly and for the right sum. Following out last guide on how to price a home, we turn to the next most important part of a property listing: the description.
How do you write an effective property description?
Here are Selll My Property’s six simple steps:
1. Be honest
This is the most obvious thing to bear in mind when writing a property description, but that’s because it’s also the most important. Incorrect or misleading details will not only lead to disappointed buyers, cancelled transactions and wasted time – they can also lead to lawsuits. Make sure you target the right buyers by including accurate information, but also take care; if you mention the dimensions of a room, be careful that your measurements aren’t out.
2. Be positive
Being honest is one thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be positive. If your property is great, say it is. If the view of the landscape is beautiful, don’t shy away from it. If it’s newly refurbished or in immaculate condition, mention that.
3. Be concise
The internet is a marvellous thing. Gone are the days of tiny newspaper adverts; now, you can write as many words as you like. But just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. No one wants to read 1,000 words on a home, no matter how pretty the garden is. Make sure that your information is accurate and detailed, but don’t waffle on. Uploading an extra five pictures to show what the bedroom looks like is far more effective than an essay giving a tour through the house. Remember: if you lose your buyer’s attention halfway through a listing, they may never come back.
4. Be creative
Warning: This house is not suitable for vampires or those allergic to 300 hours of sunshine per year.
Don’t be afraid to bend the rules: property descriptions have a lot of elements that need to be included, but there’s no strict law on how to present them. It’s all very well to give a detailed walkthrough your home, but if your potential buyer is bored by the third paragraph or your listing sounds like a copy of the property next door, you won’t get anywhere. Your property needs to stand out as a unique opportunity; your listing needs to do the same.
5. Highlight the key features
Prose is all well and good, but buyers will be looking to learn one thing from your property listing: why should they invest? The shortest way to tell them? Bullet points. Highlight your property’s key features in short, simple points that are clearly distinct from the paragraphs in the rest of your description. If you’re aiming to sell to an investor, make sure you highlight the potential yields from the property. If it’s a holiday home, emphasise the lifestyle appeal, such as distance to the beach or local amenities.
Make sure you include (in roughly this order):
- Number of bedrooms
- Information on the individual rooms
- Facilities / landmarks nearby
- What the outside of the home is like (e.g. Is there a garden?)
- Other interesting/unique information (e.g. Historical facts. Is it a church conversion?)
6. Proofread, proofread, proofread
No one wants to buy a huose in Spain. They do, however, want to buy a house in Spain. After you have finished writing your description, read through it for errors so that your listing appears as professional as possible; creating the right impression is vital, especially if you want to avoid buyers thinking they have the upper hand in any future price negotiations.
And there you have it. Be short, accurate, creative, positive, informative and professional and watch the enquiries come rolling in…
Church conversions are becoming increasingly popular around Europe, but it’s not just England and France where you can pull up a pew: Italy is getting in on the game too. And new admirers are being converted every day.
“It gives an unexpected, wonderful sense of history,” Annamaria Negri, owner of a converted Catholic vicarage in Marche, tells me. “One imagines the countless weddings, baptisms, funerals, and other social events that have taken place within the walls in the course of a millennium. You feel like the caretaker of a piece of history.” Continue reading »
One of the most important decisions you can make when trying to sell property is the price. If the price isn’t right or the tag is too high, buyers will skip your property listing and move on to the next one – it’s no coincidence that one of the main search filters on all property portals is the price.
So how can you make sure your price is fair? How can you avoid losing out on what your home is worth?
Here are Sell My Property‘s five steps to getting your house price right:
You may have lived in your home for several years – perhaps even your whole life – but your buyer has likely never set foot in it before. All those memories? The price your originally paid? They don’t care about that. The concern for them is how much they can afford, not how much you need to raise for your next deposit. Before you even start to think about your price tag, take a step back and distance yourself. You’re selling a property – not a home.
Check the competition
Before you can price your property competitively, you need to know how much the going rate on the market is. A Comparative Market Analysis is the traditional practice, which involves hiring real estate agents to evaluate the value of your home, but with selling property online, the game has changed: the competition is listed right next to you. Check the portals you will be listed on with Sell My Property, particularly TheMoveChannel.com, and see what sellers of other properties of the same type are asking.
Look at your location
After the type of property, location is the most important factor in the value of your home. Is it near a beach? Is it in a holiday home hotspot, such as Murcia? A buy-to-let market for young professionals or students? Perhaps a luxury home in a major city, such as Paris? Again, check the competition on property portals to see how many properties are in your area and what their asking prices are.
Consider the market
Wider market trends are also important to consider. Is the property in a recession-hit country where prices are low? If so, it may not be the best time to sell. Is it in an economic safe haven, such as London, where buyer interest is high, regardless of value? Is it located near a university or an area where tourist numbers are high? If your property can be sold as a buy-to-let, make sure you mention it: the option of additional rental income can make the difference between an expensive lifestyle purchase and a long-term profitable investment.
Add an incentive
Sometimes buyers need an additional enticement to commit to a purchase. If your property has been on the market for several months with no enquiries, try lowering the price for a limited period – and explicitly mentioning it in the listing as a discount. Other incentives, such as including furniture, may help attract first time buyers, while you should also draw attention to other financial benefits, such as an ongoing stamp duty holiday.
For more on selling your home online through Sell My Property, read about our available packages.
Looking to sell your home? A bad property photo can make or break a property listing; even a brilliant property can look terrible if the pictures are poor. SellMyProperty.org knows this – that’s why we allow you to upload up to 10 large images with our basic listing package.
But what are the tricks of the trade to make sure your house doesn’t look like a second-rate slum?
Here are seven easy steps to a good property listing photo:
Get a tripod
Wonky photos are always bad. If a house looks like it’s tilting to one side, or half the roof is missing, potential buyers will either think the home is of poor build quality or that you have something to hide. Don’t give them an excuse and get yourself a tripod, or make sure hold the camera straight!
Pick a nice day for it
This one sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget the impact the weather can have on a property’s appearance. Rain and clouds are bad, of course, making everything seem gloomy, but too much sun can harm your listing too, casting shadows over the property’s details.
Just like when people come to visit your home in person, first impressions are what matter. A messy garden or a dirty driveway will only turn away house hunters, who will automatically presume that the inside is equally untidy. But don’t just rake up the leaves and clear the rubbish bags; move your car out of the way of the photo as well.
Once you’ve tidied up the outside, do the same for the inside. Clear up clutter and hide dirty clothes, empty the bins and polish the furniture. But don’t stop there: you want your rooms to appear spacious as well as clean, so re-arrange the furniture to make sure it does. Taking the time to stage the room carefully can pay dividends.
No pets allowed
Dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes. Whatever the animal, get it out of shot. They will either look messy and untidy, which is bad, or they will look cute and adorable – which is worse. The last thing you want is to let your buyer get distracted from what you want them to buy. You’re trying to sell property; not pets. The same goes for children too.
How would you choose to light an interior photo? Close the curtains and turn on the lamps, right? Wrong. Instead of creating uneven lighting, which will send shadows over half the room, open up all your curtains, pick a bright day and let natural light do the work for you.
Access all areas
Don’t be afraid to take lots of photos. Sell My Property lets you add up to 30, but having more is no bad thing: the important thing isn’t taking a handful of photos to begin with, but choosing the right ones.