This week during my Podcast I went one step further and brought you another incredible guest, somebody who I’ve been working with very closely over the last couple of months. I had Verity Wakley from Douglas Gordon with me. She was the agent who has sold our flat in London and we are so, so pleased that that’s finally gone through.
If you want to watch the video:
If you want to read the transcript here it is in full:
So because we’ve just done the sale, of that flat, I invited Verity on today because I thought she would be very much best place to tell us about what’s going on because there’s been so much discussion in my Facebook group, Property Investment Mastery, where people who are buying and selling in London or having a completely different experience from people who are buying and selling in the north of the UK.
So I thought we’d have a conversation about that and I have transcribed the contents of that conversation for you guys below
Me: So let’s have a talk about selling, because obviously we’ve just sold. To make that property look good, I had it fully repainted and I’ve got it staged now. I know that that’s not always necessary and I’m quite a perfectionist in that I could not have had my properties going to market without that. There was no way, I needed to look the best that it possibly could have been.
But asking you if anybody out there is looking to sell right now, what are your top tips for making sure that you get a good price for it, but also shifting it quickly?
Verity: I think you did the perfect thing. I actually would recommend that to everyone. You know, it’s like when you start a car, you clean it, you got rid of the scratches, you make sure it looks perfect, you take out, you know, all the children’s toys.
I think my top tip would be to make sure it’s looking at its best. So, you know, you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds in the property, but I would declutter, if it’s vacant maybe put in a bed so people can sort of imagine themselves living there. The things that sell quickest for us are the things that look nice and people buy into the lifestyle, especially first time buyers, you know, they don’t have the appetite for a project. They want something that they can move straight into, they can imagine themselves having a glass of wine and you really do have to make sure the property looks its best.
Secondly, you need brilliant photos. Marketing is everything. That can mean the difference from it going within a couple of weeks to at sitting around for a couple of months because the Internet has kind of a blessing and a curse. Everything is so accessible and people could look at photos and say, Oh, I’m not going to see that and, and actually write it off without going to the doors.
Making sure you use an agent that has good marketing, good pictures is on the right websites as well. Just to give you the maximum exposure for the property.
Me: Which websites would you recommend?
Verity: So, on the market, prime location. I mean we also advertise on mum’s net tellergrapgh. I think you want to have as much exposure as possible. Some agents use Instagram and Facebook and I think ed to make sure you’re going to be out to that, the maximum amount of buyers that you can say you want to capture that whole audience and you just need to make sure double check that agent is going to get the most exposure.
Me: What should they then be asking that agent, regardless of where they are in the country, to make sure that that agent is getting the best expenditure, the most exposure. I know some people can think, oh, I don’t know if I want to ask this or I’m a bit nervous to ask. What would you expect someone to be asking you?
Verity: They ask me about marketing to find out what websites we are on and how we market a property. I expect them to ask me how many buyers we have on our database. I mean, in my office in particular at my company we share a database. So I’m able to pull buyers in from right across London in a couple of clicks. You should find out if your agents are franchise, if they just have one office.
The things that sell faster at the moment are with agents with a huge database because you’ll often find that buyers will register in one area but ended up buying in a different area. So we utilize that by calling through those buyers. So you need to, you know, find out how many buyers they’ve got have access to and find out about marketing.
Me: So if you then look online and you, you find that the pictures just aren’t doing it justice, what, what should you say to agent? Can you ask them to go out and take more pictures?
Verity: Absolutely. I would never feel offended. I want my clients to be 100% happy with their photos. So you can 100% say to the agent, I’m not happy. Can you come and take some more pictures? 10- 15 pictures is about the average. Most agencies you don’t pay anything until it sort of exchanged and completed. So you need to be happy that you’ve got the best marketing and the best exposure for it.
Me: Then when it comes to the description, what should you be telling her agent so that they can write the best description?
Verity: I will ask people if there’s anything particular they wanted in it. But we often we write them ourselves. So I will go around and look at the key selling points. So you know, does it have all street parking, does it have a south facing balcony? Um, does it have access to a swimming pool? You need to make sure that the best things about your flat!
Me: If you were then going to stage the property like I did, what would you as an agent what would you expect me to be putting in there?
Verity: So, if it was vacant, I would definitely recommend putting a bed in. It sounds really silly, but people buy into stuff like that, you know, they want to imagine themselves living. Um, I do, we’ll say probably make sure that was a sofa and somewhere for dining as well. It’s all about sort of selling that dream to them and making it real. I think sometimes they’re like, oh no, the bed wouldn’t fit in there. So you have to stage it.
Me: How long would you want the furniture to be in there?
Verity: I would probably recommend once the mortgage offer is out or once you’re close to exchange.
Me: So any other tips for making the property sell quickly?
Verity: Yeah, so I think, you know, you don’t want to price yourself out at the marketplace. Obviously, you know, you want to get the best price for your property, but you need to be realistic at the moment. The things that are sitting around for a long time are the things that have been priced too high and you know, we haven’t got the traction on those, so you need to be quite realistic.
I would say use a London based the lister! Good solicitors have made my deal say much quicker to go through. You might have to pay a little bit more, but it really will make the process a lot easier.
I’ve lost deals because it’s about solicitor and you just need someone that’s proactive. Um, in the same way you should have a proactive age. And I think at the moment because the market has been a little bit tougher, you need people to are going to go above and beyond for you.
To hear the rest of our conversation check out my podcast!
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