If you´ve ever sold an overseas property, you´ll know that it doesn´t always happen as quickly as you might expect. But when a property has been sat on the market for a long time, then it’s generally due to one (or more) of the reasons we´ve outlined below.
If your property has been sat on the market for a while, then you need to be asking yourself some questions. After all, as much as you many have instructed an estate agent to manage the sale, the property is still your responsibility… if you don´t think things are happening quickly enough, THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT!
1. YOU DECIDED THE ASKING PRICE
When you first listed the property for sale, who dictated the asking price? A common problem we often find is that the price the property is advertised at was dictated by the owner… 99% of the time, this is the biggest problem!
Time and time again, we will be asked to do a valuation of a property, we´ll tell the seller X, let´s say 100,000€ for the sake of this example… The owner of the property will then completely disregard the valuation and insist that the property is worth more, and insist on the property being marketed at a higher price…
PRO TIP – Listen to your agents valuation, they´re the experts in the field, not you.
2. YOU DIDN´T RESEARCH YOUR AGENTS
Spain really is full of estate agents and there are new agents popping up every day. So when you chose your agent, what factors did you consider before making a decision? Does the agent have the relevant credentials? Industry experience? Successful track record in sales?
When hiring an agent, you need to know who you are hiring. A lot of big claims are made by agencies that have been set up overnight with 0 experience, then all of a sudden, they´ve been established in the area since 2008… PRO TIP – Research your agents, call them out on their claims.
3. YOUR AGENTS AREN´T COLLABORATING
So you´ve found an agent you like and trust, and you decide to list your property exclusively with them for 6 months. Does this mean that this agent is the only agent marketing your property? IT SHOULDN´T!
Many agents work on a STRICTLY NO COLLABORATION basis, meaning that if another agent contacts them with a client that is interest in buying your property, then that agency will not allow the viewing. WHY ON EARTH NOT!? Because they don´t want to split their commission, that´s why!
But as an owner, you´ll never know that this is happening. Now ask yourself, if your agency was turning away buyers from another agency, how would that make you feel?
If we list a property EXCLUSIVELY, then not only does it cost you less, but your property is also listed on dozens of other local agencies´ websites. As well as all of the major overseas portals of course.
Ask your agency to show you proof of collaborations. You´ll be able to see this by the number of listings they have on their website… for example, do you think an agency of just a handful of staff will have 1000+ direct listings? I don´t think so…. many of these listings will have been imported from their collaborators, and vice versa.
4. NOT TARGETING THE RIGHT MARKETS.
Yes, we´re predominantly an English speaking estate agency, but does that stop us from tapping into other foreign markets? Absolutely not!
We´re in Spain, so naturally, our nearest and biggest market is the Spanish, so we have Spanish speaking agents. The Belgian, French and Scandinavian markets are also huge, any many of the enquiries that come through overseas portals will be in these languages.
So how is your agent dealing with these enquiries? Google translate maybe? With these foreign markets, anything shy of a sale person speaking their own language just isn´t good enough. This is a property purchase after all, not GCSE French.
5. POOR PRESENTATION.
Everyone thinks their home is beautiful, thats a given, but the fact of the matter is that you need the property to appeal to the masses, not just your friends and family that tell you what you want to hear.
When you have your appointment for photos, a good photographer will do a bit of titivating and rearrange things slightly in an effort to stage the property, but it isn´t their job to clean and tidy your home. And let´s face it… it would be a little awkward for the photographer to ask you to tidy your room…
PRO TIP – If your property is already listed, then take a look at the photos and ask yourself, “Is this how the property would look if the in-laws were visiting?”
6. SITTING TENANTS.
If you have a rented property, you will of course have spoken to the tenant before putting the property on the market, after all, you´ll need the tenants to help arrange the viewings with the agent. But how about this for a little secret… YOUR TENANTS DON´T WANT YOU TO SELL YOUR PROPERTY!!!
They may have said, “Yes of course I´d be happy to allow viewings, anything to help!”, but really, they´re only saying this because they´re fearful that you´ll give them notice to move out if they don´t agree.
The reality of it is that the tenants won´t allow an agent to view the property while they´re not in, and they won´t make sure that the property is as presentable as it would be if the agent was showing a vacant house. Granted this isn´t all tenants… but we´ve listed and sold A LOT of properties in the last 14 years, and there´s nothing worse than an owner asking us to sell a property with sitting tenants.
The conversation generally goes like this…
Seller: “There´s a tenant in the property on a long term contract, but they´re happy to allow viewings”
Agent: “Ok no problem, will we be able to arrange to get photos of the property?”
Seller: “No, but here´s some photos I took on my mobile of the property about 7 years ago…”
So if you feel that any of these relate to your situation, then get in touch today! If your thinking about putting your property on the market but don´t know where to start, then get in touch today! You literally have nothing to lose, but you could gain a tonne of valuable information that will put you in a better position to sell.
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