Four ways to improve the sold rate on property sales

Posted on 22 March 2024
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Four ways to improve the sold rate on property sales

There are lots of property stats that make news headlines – average house prices and mortgage rates to name two – but there are few that fly under the radar. Nevertheless, they are worth talking about as they can affect the success of a sale – and the success of an estate agency business, that’s why we compiled four ways to improve the sold rate on property sales. 

One stat that didn’t make the front pages summed up the nature of the sales market during 2023. In a recent weekly round-up of UK property market trends, Chris Watkins revealed only 52.8% of properties listed by estate agents last year resulted in an exchange of contracts, i.e. were actually sold. You don’t need to be Einstein to work out that almost half of sellers were left despondent. 

 It appears no one is immune to the ‘failure to exchange’ trend. Earlier in 2024, it was reported that Manchester United legend , Sir Alex Ferguson, had slashed £250,000 off the asking price of his Cheshire mansion after struggling to find a buyer. 

Even those properties that are marked ‘sold subject to contract’, or ‘sstc’, aren’t guaranteed to make it to exchange. According to statistics interpreted by Open Property Group, 31 sales fell through every hour during the first week of March 2024. This alarming figure means 1 in 5 sales collapse, leaving the seller to start the marketing process all over again.   

With these stats in mind, here are 4 ways to improve exchanges on property sales: 

1: Price realistically from the start: Slashing the asking price can be a red flag, especially if the property has been on the market for some time – or if it’s the latest in a line of reductions. Buyers may assume there’s something wrong with the property, with the seller obviously desperate to sell. 

 Pricing realistically from the start will give any property the very best start. If the offer matches what purchasers are prepared to pay in the current market, there is no reason why the property should languish. A home’s condition, location and any covenants, however, must be taken into account when valuing. 

 While it’s tempting to be drawn into a ‘business will be given to the agent with the highest valuation’ fight, it can be everyone’s undoing. An inflated price heightens the chances of a property being overlooked by a buyer and undervalued by a mortgage lender’s surveyor.  

2: Be flexible when it comes to property access: If a buyer is keen on a property, every effort should be made to get them on a fast-track to exchange. Any delay dampens enthusiasm, jeopardises a chain and potentially forces the purchaser to pursue an alternative property.    

 Keep everyone happy by always saying yes to viewing requests, running open house events to reach the biggest pool of purchasers, letting in surveyors and mortgage valuers as quickly as possible. 

3: Include quality assets: Assets can include a floorplan, photographs, a property description, and a virtual tour, and their quality can determine whether someone feels compelled enough to request a viewing. Buyers draw up a shortlist based on what they see, either online or in print. They will dismiss a property if it isn’t fairly depicted or will question its viability if the essential assets are missing. 

Several studies show that the lack of a floorplan will discourage potential purchasers from enquiring, while analysis of Rightmove listings found those with floorplans see up to 30% more traffic than those without. Even worse is a listing without any photos. 

 While it’s easy to get hung up about a property’s size or condition, failing to share all assets with a buyer will discourage enquiries before you’ve even had the chance to start a conversation.  

 4: Provide more upfront information: While The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team has published Parts A, B, and C of its Material Information initiative, not every listing or agent will be disclosing the most pertinent features about a property at present. 

 New research has, however, highlighted how agents who provide enhanced property information to buyers at the first point of marketing can actively reduce the number of aborted sales. Sprift analysed 1.2 million listings between 1st January 2022 and 31st December 2022, finding agents who did not provide advanced information had a higher average fall-through rate. 

 More upfront/advanced information at the start of the marketing phase will attract genuine buyers likely to proceed, reducing the risk of them withdrawing their interest during the conveyancing/survey stage. 

How can Viewber help? 

Viewber can become an integral part of your sales process, helping to increase the chances of every home reaching a successful exchange.  

Our network can attend any property in the UK, whether that’s to open the dwelling up for a specialist surveyor to compile advance information, attend a property to create a floorplan or take photographs, create videos and virtual tours, compile a property condition report or provide feedback on the local area.  

We also offer accompanied viewings seven days a week – including weekends, evenings and Bank Holidays – and can run Open House events to maximise the number of prospective buyers who walk through the door. 

If you’d like to open an account with Viewber, get in touch. There’s no contract, no minimum or maximum order, and no obligation to use us on every listing. 

Four ways to improve the sold rate on property sales.

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