Making your home stand out when your neighbours are selling at the same time

You’ve decided that the time has come to sell your property, but your neighbours have also put their house on the market – what do you do?

Tim Dansie, Director of Jackson-Stops’ Ipswich branch, shares his insight on how you can ensure you’re in the best possible position when you come to sell your home.  

How can I ensure my home stands out against my neighbours’ property?

First impressions count, so it is important to present your house in the best possible light. Clean, up-to-date décor is a necessity, particularly if you are competing with a neighbouring property. I often suggest that homeowners repaint their home where necessary and sharpen the woodwork to give the home a refresh.

It is also essential to use a high-quality photographer that enhances the key features of the property, using the best angles and sharp shots. Think about the timing of the photography. Light in the morning tends to be a lot better for taking flattering photography than light in the afternoon and when taking them be aware of your position – you don’t want your shadow looming across the image, or a reflection of yourself in a mirror to be captured. This isn’t the time to be arty or creative. A wide-angle lens will show off your home’s proportions in the best way – avoid the fisheye lens at all costs!

I’m considering waiting to sell until my neighbour has sold – is this the right move?

You shouldn’t hold back if a neighbouring property is also on the market. If two properties are for sale on the same street interest in one property will often benefit the other, doubling the chances of finding a buyer. As long as the home is in good condition and on the market for a fair price, there is no need to hold off selling.

The competition on my street is from a developer – is the fact my home is lived in an advantage?

Absolutely - homeowners are far more likely to put effort into ensuring their home is comfortable and inviting to prospective buyers than developers. From my experience, vendors are often the best people to take buyers on a tour of their house as they’ll likely be proud of their property and know the details of the home inside out.

Should I use the same agent as my neighbours or a different one?

I would recommend using a different agent to your neighbour if you are both selling at the same time. This way you can guarantee that the agent is solely focused on doing the best for you and your property.

What negotiating strategy should I take in this scenario? How should I price my property?

If you want your home to sell it’s imperative you take some time to do your research. Before consulting an agent, the first step is to scope out the competition. How many properties similar to your own are currently on the market in your area and for what price? How long have they been on the market for?

Then the next step is to contact two or three agents who know your property type like the back of their hand. Each of the agents should be asked to bring with them comparable evidence of similar properties they have sold in the last two years to support their suggested guide price as it not recommended that sellers go with the highest value or the lowest agent fee but the agent who is most credible.

How do I get a buyer to choose my property when the others on the street are similar in looks and layout?  

You only get one chance to make a good first impression so make it count. Many owners of detached country homes don’t tend to use their front doors on a regular basis but anyone coming to view a property should be shown through the main entrance. This means a spring clean may be in order to dust away the cobwebs, polish the letter box and check the doorbell works.

Don’t make any potential buyers do the leg work; if the drive is off a busy road make sure the gates are open ready for their arrival as you don’t want them to become too aware of the passing traffic, any trip hazards such as children’s toys should be safely tucked away in the toy box and four-legged friends should be on their best behaviour until it has been established whether the viewer likes them or not.

Remember, small details can go a long way so tidy up any toys and clutter, cut the grass and don’t forget that a bunch of freshly-picked tulips from the garden can be a great finishing touch – and may even work as a conversation starter!

If you’re currently looking to sell your property, please get in touch with your nearest Jackson-Stops branch.