The process of selling property in Scotland isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. Most property sellers in Scotland will make one of the following 5 common mistakes. Here’s how to avoid them!
1. Believing the Estate Agent’s Valuation is the Most Important Thing
Estate agents may overvalue your property to get your business. They may be overly conservative. Or they may simply get it wrong. The willingness of a buyer to pay the price that you want is mainly based on: the Home Report valuation; the ‘asking price’; the level of competition from other buyers.
These things are achieved by: your estate agent having a good relationship with an accurate firm of chartered surveyors who provide the Home Report; sensible pricing tactics; finding as many sellers as possible through marketing the property as widely as possible; tapping into a database of buyers; your estate agent securing interest from every possible buyer to heighten competition. The estate agent’s valuation is important, but it’s far from everything!
2. Penny-pinching on Photography and Marketing
We see sellers paying upwards of a couple of thousand pounds to sell their property but who try to scrimp on spending £150 for professionally-taken edited photographs or £100 on marketing products that could get their property in front of 65% more buyers’ eyes. Photos form 95% of a buyer’s first impression of the property and will determine whether they will go and view the property at all. The number of buyers finding your property online determines the level of competition. Saving £50 on an estate agent that doesn’t provide advertising on the UK’s largest property advertising website or who isn’t open 7 days a week, for example, is a false economy.
3. Focusing Only on the Estate Agent’s Fee or Commission
MOV8 is well known for great value estate agency fees, so why would we discourage sellers from focusing on these? What matters is how much money you have in your pocket at the end of the sale. So look for an agent who seems to have the motivation to fight for the very best price for you, who has a good track record and who has positive, believable customer reviews. Spending a small fortune on an estate agent won’t necessarily leave you with the most money in your pocket either. Weigh up the pros and cons of all options and you’ll probably land somewhere in the middle with an agent who provides great service, has a proven track record of results and who offers sensible, affordable pricing.
4. Forgetting that Estate Agency is Only Part of the Sale Process
You’ve verbally accepted an offer from a buyer…congratulations! Now the legal process (conveyancing) starts and there is still a lot of work to do. Roughly one in three sales in the UK falls through between verbal agreement of the sale and the legal conclusion of the sale. This can be because the buyer doesn’t have the finance to purchase the property. It can also be because of solicitors not progressing transactions quickly enough or because of poor communication between the seller’s estate agent and solicitor. So, remember when you are choosing your estate agent that you also need to choose a conveyancing lawyer.
The conveyancing can cost a fair chunk of money, sometimes more than the estate agency. If your estate agent is cheap but receives a £400 kickback from a firm of solicitors that they insist you must use, you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. There are significant benefits to choosing a company that provides estate agency and conveyancing services under one roof, like we do.
5. Focusing Only on What Estate Agents Do for Sellers
It’s fantastic that your estate agent provides you with an excellent service. However, you aren’t buying your own house! Most sellers don’t ask enough questions about how their prospective buyers are treated. Good questions are: how many websites do you advertise my property on; will potential buyers in the rest of the UK and even further afield be able to find my property; will buyers who desperately want to arrange a viewing of my property after 5pm or at the weekend have to wait until you reopen on Monday?
It can be worthwhile to mystery shop your potential estate agent. Or you can focus on who made it easy for you to arrange viewings, particularly when you enquired in the evenings and weekends. If your agent doesn’t properly service buyers, that service isn’t worth the money.
If you’re thinking of selling your property, you might also want to check out our article: How to Get the Highest Valuation for Your Property.
You can organise a free valuation of your home or get a full, transparent breakdown of the costs of selling your home with us by calling 0345 646 0208 (Option 1) or by emailing [email protected].
Alternatively, you can instantly book a free, professional pre-sale valuation by clicking here to instantly book your appointment online.