Selling a house can be pretty daunting. We don’t do it very often, and there’s a lot financially at stake; you’re selling what was probably one of the most expensive things you’ve ever bought.
Luckily, there are a few ways that a healthy interest in data and technology can shift the advantage to your side.
In this article we take a look at some of our favourite ways that data and technology can help you sell your house.
Estate Agent Performance Data
There are a huge number of estate agents operating in the UK, and all of them seem to offer some version of the same service. How can you be sure who has the right experience and ability to sell your home? How can you tell who will get you the best price, until they actually sell your home?
The answer is historic performance data. The outcomes an estate agent has achieved in the past is a pretty strong indicator of how well they’ll perform in the future.
Luckily there are a number of places where you can get access to the sort of data that will help you figure this out:
- Property portals
Property portals (like Rightmove, OnTheMarket, and Zoopla) are great places to get a sense of the market. You’ll be able to see what else is for sale in your area, which agents are the most active, and what sort of prices people are asking for.
Some portals will also show you how long a property has been for sale, and how much the asking price has been reduced. Keeping track of this information will help you to see which estate agents have experience in your area – and which estate agents are struggling to sell the properties on their list.
- The Land Registry
Unlike property portals, the Land Registry looks at completed sales. This means that you can find out how much properties in your area actually ended up selling for (rather than the amount the sellers were asking for). Add this data to the information you got from the property portals, and you’ll know which estate agents are most likely to sell for the asking price, and which had to accept significant reductions in price.
- Comparison Tools
If you want to save yourself time, there are free online tools available that will do all the work for you. For example, this tool. It processes data from the Land Registry, the major property portals, and their own databases to figure out which agents in your area: have the most experience, sell properties the quickest, and achieve the highest percentage of the asking price. Their data will help you figure out which estate agents are most likely to secure you the best outcomes on your home sale.
Most people will see your property for the first time online, so you want to do everything you can to make sure your advert stands out. Of course, professional photography and a sensible price should be an obvious feature.
If you want to really elevate your listing, consider adding some form of virtual tour. Not only will this make your online advert different from the thousands of others that home buyers will see, it also reduces the number of people viewing your home just out of curiosity – saving you and your estate agent time to focus on the serious sellers.
There are a couple of ways you can add a ‘tour’ of your home to your online advert, depending on your budget and your estate agent’s technological capabilities.
3D Virtual Tours
3D virtual tours are one of the most in-depth ways to view a property without actually visiting it. You’ll need to work with a specially trained photographer, who will take photos of your home and turn them into a 360° simulation. Once completed a potential buyer will be able to ‘walk through’ the images online, and see the space from every angle – as if they were actually standing in them.
A more accessible – and much cheaper – version is a video tour. Instead of a simulation built up of separate images, a video tour is a recorded walk-through of a property. This option is a little more limited, because the viewer is restricted to what you show, and will have to pause the video to get a closer look at individual elements. But it is still an effective and engaging way for buyers to see your home before they decide whether to view in real life.
Tracking Your Sale
Once you’re up and running with your estate agent and advert, it can be tempting to take a step back and let fate take its course. But, if you really want to make sure you’re going to secure the best results for your home sale, using data to track key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you see how well your home sale is going – and let you know if you need to make any changes.
We’d recommend monitoring:
- How many people have seen your online advert
Knowing how many people have seen your online advert will give you an idea of how attractive your property looks online. If you’re not getting much traction within the first two weeks it’s probably an indicator that your photographs aren’t attractive enough, or that your asking price is off putting.
You should expect some ‘window shoppers’ online, but if you’re getting a lot of people looking at your property online, but not coming for a viewing, this is also a warning sign that something needs to change. Keeping a record will help you be objective about your advertising and pricing strategy.
- How long your property has been on the market
This might seem like a pretty obvious thing to track, and it is. But, you would be surprised by how many people don’t take into account what the length of time on the market actually means for their home sale.
If you’ve done your research with comparison tools and property portals, you should have a good sense of how long properties in your area take to sell. If your property has been on the market for longer than average for your area it’s a really good indicator that either: your estate agent isn’t working hard enough, or your property is overpriced.
On the other hand, if your property is getting multiple offers much quicker than average, it might be a sign your home was undervalued, and you should try and negotiate a higher selling price.
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