If you’ve been on the market for a few weeks with few to no viewings, the initial excitement about selling your property is likely to be wearing off. It’s only natural to be emotionally attached to your home and it can become frustrating and upsetting that others don’t necessarily see the true value of what you are offering.
It’s important to recognise though that price is not always the main factor in struggling to sell you property. Time and again we see properties hitting the market where you can tell right from the outset that they’re going to stick around for a while.
ONE SINGLE ISSUE IS NEVER THE PROBLEM
Quite often the problem is present because the valuer didn’t feel comfortable raising the issue at the initial appointment. In the majority of agencies, the valuer is not the person you’ll end up dealing with day-to-day so they are not held accountable by you. Why would they create a difficult conversation for themselves or risk telling you that the value you are expecting is way too high because of X, Y and Z? That inevitably falls to the staff back at the office after you have already been on the market for 8 weeks with barely any viewings.
But if you drop the price a bit and wait another couple of weeks, that’ll solve the problem right? In short, no; and the reason comes down to buyer psychology. After a property has been on the market for 8 weeks or so, it starts to suffer from what we term “buyer-fatigue”.
People searching for their next home will have seen it popping up with the same pictures time and time again and think “there’s that house that’s still not sold, it’s still available, people must think its too much”. That herd mentality then has a downward effect and your listing stagnates, getting less and less interest.
HOW TO RE-IGNITE INTEREST IN YOUR PROPERTY
There are a couple of ways to do this. Firstly, if you are sticking with your existing agent you’ll need to be dropping your price by at least 3% in order for the listing to reappear in the latest property portal feeds. These go out to active buyers, alerting them to the latest property listings. Secondly you’ll need to combine that with a completely updated set of photos so people aren’t still scrolling past it.
The only other way to refresh you listing is to switch agent. This doesn’t have to be seen as two fingers up to your current agent, it is just a simple fact of marketing. If you do not want to drop your price, but you feel that by making a few changes you stand a good chance in the latest portal buyer updates, then you need to switch agent. But before doing that it is worth understanding a bit about how the majority of agencies work.
If you go onto Rightmove and click Find Agent, you can pick the one you are on the market with and navigate to “View all properties”. This will tell you how many properties they have on the market. You can then do some basic Maths.
A typical local agency with a high profile will have maybe 150 – 200 properties on the market. In the office there are perhaps 4 sales negotiators in during the week and at the weekend they work on a rota, so 2 negotiators will probably be on hand to take calls. It is physically impossible for that agency to service that many properties at all important weekends, and here is why.
WHAT AGENTS WILL NOT TELL YOU!
If you are on the market, you would probably expect at least 1 viewing enquiry for your property at a weekend. Most vendors will be expecting that too. Most agents are open for a total of 10 hours over Saturday and Sunday.
To take the initial enquiry and qualify a potential buyer and enter their info into the system, takes about 5 minutes on average. They then need to call you and chat about it, so that’s usually another 5 minutes. They then ring the viewing enquiry back and confirm the appointment, this is then booked into the system, so 2 minutes for that.
You are therefore looking at 12 minutes per viewing booked. If 150 properties have 1 viewing enquiry, that will require 1800 available minutes to service them all. That is 30 hours split between 2 staff, so 15 hours each. There are 10 available hours at a weekend for the 2 available sales negotiators and that’s assuming nothing else takes up any more staff time, which it inevitably does. It isn’t factoring in break times either!
It is inevitable that a huge chunk of viewing enquiries cannot be taken or called back, which means your property misses out on potential interest during all important weekends.
WHY AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH WORKS
Here at The Agent we decided to operate in a different way and our approach is starting to become more common. We are not driven by listing as many properties as possible, because with the best will in the world you cannot provide a good level of service. Enquiries are missed and “hot leads” are missed.
Instead our clients have one accountable agent assigned to them who deals with a manageable number of properties at any one time. Communication is improved and difficult questions from surveyors and lenders are handled swiftly giving properties a better chance of going through to completion.
If you are going to switch agent, do a bit of research and ask whether it is feasible that they can physically deliver on what they promise. A bit of Math will in most cases reveal that they can't.
Hopefully that has all helped give a bit of insight into why your property may be struggling to sell. If you would like a second opinion on your property marketing please just get in touch via the contact page, or simply give us a bell. We’re not pushy and we’ll be honest with exactly what you need to do to achieve a sale in your required time frame.