Posted on Monday, October 14, 2019


September really was a remarkable month at Ralph James. In fact, it was one of our best months of a turbulent year with 20 sales agreed on a total property value of £9,092,500.


According to Rightmove, that means we sold more homes across the RH1 and RH2 postcodes than any other agent which is obviously a brilliant result, but those sales didn’t simply fall into our lap from listing homes on Rightmove and waiting for the phone to ring. We had to creative, and we did!


Six of the sales we arranged were on homes that were not even on the market. We spend a lot time digging deep with buyers to discover all their whys, hopes and dreams for their move, which often brings particular people to mind when we’re out on valuations, and particular homes in mind when a buyer talks about the type of home they’re looking for.


With the ongoing uncertainty over the timetable of Brexit, we’re noticing that people who are willing to sell aren’t necessarily putting their property on the market straight away for fear of it going stale. So it’s up to us to create a way around that.


Finding out just how motivated each and every potential buyer is, how clear they are on what they are looking for, and exactly when they want to move helps us give homeowners some assurances that the one-off viewing we want to arrange has a good chance of turning into a sale.


But that story also works the other way around. The sellers of four homes that we sold last month were looking to stay in the Reigate and Redhill area but had nowhere to go, so we had to set about finding them all a new place to live: lots of discussion among the team over who’d seen what; would it suit Mr and Mrs X; do the timescales work; can we get them round?


Moving on to properties that were publicly available, five of the homes we sold last month had already been on the market before the owners came to us. In some cases, those people had been trying to sell for as long as 6 months and were understandably downhearted or disillusioned, wondering whether they’d be able to sell at all in the current climate.

We found a buyer for this house on Ridgeway Road in Reigate in one week after it had been unsuccessfully on the market with another agent for almost 3 months.


The house had been marketed at £925,000, about £25,000 over it’s likely sale price. But is adding on less than 3% really enough to destroy its chances of a sale? Surely anyone seeing a property for sale at £925,000 would likely assume the owners would accept an offer of £900,000, so you’ll still get people with that budget, yes? Well, no.


In fact, this sort of pricing can reduce the audience of a property buy up to 50% because of the way the property portals work. The old ways of “trying out a price” are still very often used by many estate agents, but with Rightmove’s price band searches this can be remarkably detrimental to a property’s chances of selling. Which is why marketing a property between Rightmove’s price bands is something we try to avoid wherever practical. Instead, we use those price bands to your advantage.


So for this property, given that Rightmove has price bands that end at £900,000 and £1,000,000, and given that the likely sale price is £900,000, we marketed the house at £900,000 to make sure that not only everyone looking between £900,000 and £1,000,0000 would see it, but also those looking UP TO £900,000.


Not everyone searches above their price limit and we can’t know who will be searching in what way on what day, so we use every tool we can to give a property the widest audience.  And the result was a sale one week after being instructed.


This house on Somerset Road in Reigate was on the market for 6 months with another agent for 6 months last year.

Working together, our Redhill and Reigate teams found a buyer within a short space of time.


Poor marketing had stifled the selling chances of this house on Woodfield Close in Redhill when the owners came to us to get a fresh start.


We generated 50 viewings over 3 months and in the end it Carole, our Saturday viewings lady, who had a moment of inspiration when showing some people another property that this one might be just the thing they were after. And she was right! This goes to show the benefits of really involving Saturday sales people in what is going on – often they are simply given a list of addresses and keys and left to it, but we make sure that EVERYONE who works at Ralph James is familiar with the property we have for sale in Redhill and Reigate to ensure we don’t miss a trick.


What this proves is that you can sell your home right now, whether you are putting your property on the market for the first time, or even if you’ve been struggling to find a buyer for a while. We invest heavily in fantastic marketing to give every property we list a fantastic launch pad, but our approach has also rejuvenated the fortunes of many homes that had been languishing with their first agent. So even if you are feeling stuck, we’d love to hear from you to see if we can help you with your move.