Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2016


Property is an expensive business these days, and not just in Redhill and Reigate. People are busier – and prices are higher – than they’ve ever been. So to catch someone’s eye, and ultimately their money, it’s vital that a property looks like an irresistible offer.


The reason a property doesn’t sell is never, ever its location. It’s simply either or both of profile and price. A location can never be changed so to say it prevents a home from selling is to say it can never be sold. Well, we don’t think there’s a single property that can never be sold.


So, let’s do profile first.


By profile we mean the presentation of a property to the marketplace by the chosen estate agent. We’re going to assume for this article that the homeowner is keeping the place clean, tidy and uncluttered.


For us photography is king, yet some of the images we see of properties for sale are, quite frankly, embarrassing. It’s no wonder a property fails to sell when being marketed so badly.


Let’s take an example at Royal Earlswood Park, home to some of Redhill’s best apartments.  It would be difficult to make a property here look bad, but one unlucky owner found their home advertised with these dreadful photos and somewhat short of interest.



After weeks on the market, the agent advised reducing the price to £375,000, effectively saying: “It’s not our fault, it’s yours”. Now, an excellent way for an estate agent to lose their properties to a competitor is to be unfailingly awful and then ask for a price reduction – it works really well.


Predictably, the owner sought a second opinion. We’d recently sold two other properties in the development and, less than 30 seconds into our visit, it was abundantly clear this apartment would sell for more than £375,000.


The owner switched to us and we had these photos taken.



Within 5 days of marketing we’d agreed a sale at £390,000, £15,000 more than the owner was being asked to reduce to, presumably with a view to taking an offer on that. Sadly, this is far from an isolated incident and we’ve helped many homeowners sell for more than they’d been stuck at.




If an owner was absolutely delighted with the efforts of their estate agent but getting few or no viewings and/or no offers, it sounds like price might be the issue.


Our advice would be to check to see if the current asking price matches similar nearby homes, both for sale and recently sold. Is there an inconsistency?


There is? Great! Who’s to blame?


Sometimes, estate agents get the price wrong. This is usually through genuine enthusiasm for a property (remember, we’re human too), but yes, it can be a ruse to win the business: one that usually ends in tears.


Sometimes, homeowners insist on asking too much money, convinced they’ve got the best house in the street or simply through “needing to see what happens”.


And sometimes, things just don’t go as hoped.


Whatever the reason, price reductions should have the aim of being one-time events – successive token reductions are a drag for everyone and do little to make a property attractive. Do it once, and do it right.


Less than 5% usually makes very little difference. Buyers are hard wired (or media trained) to knock 5% off advertised prices, so £100,000 would normally need a change to £95,000 to find a new audience. It’s not an exact science, but it’s a good rule of thumb.


Above all, there must be teamwork between estate agent and homeowner. They must work together – and feel like they are working together – to never lose sight of the end goal. If the agent demonstrates that everything they do and say is with the owner’s best interests at heart, and if the owner is clearly open to all the advice they can get, a sale will naturally follow.


If you’d like us to help you sell your property, we’d love to hear from you.