Monthly Archives: August 2014

The psychology of selling a home.

More and more people are deciding to save themselves several thousands of pounds by not going down the traditional local estate agent route by choosing to sell for as little as £500 using an online agency. How to do this and why you don’t need an estate agent.   As a result most people will need to be aware of the “psychology of selling” when showing  potential buyers around their home and follow a few easy tips to help sell their home.   

High street estate agencies rely on the fact that most people do not conduct viewings very well and do not know the tell-tale signs that buyers can give out.   Even worse, some owners do not even prepare their property to show it at its best and maximise the chances of an early sale at the best possible price. Phil Spencer’s TV programme Secret Agent is based on this.  

Viewings 1But by using simple psychology there are many things that sellers can do to virtually double the chance of a successful sale. Even though most are common sense and somewhat obvious, hardly anyone does them, so you can use this to your advantage to give you the edge over similar properties on the market in your area. 

Arranging viewings

This will be the first contact you will have with your potential buyer. It is important to be bright and cheerful and try to get into a conversation. If the caller asks specific questions about the home be honest and truthful, but be concise and never give anything extra as this may bias their opinion of your home before they have even set eyes on it. 

Try to arrange the viewing some time during the day, at a time perhaps when there will be fewer people at home.  Try to find out how many will be viewing and make a definite appointment.  Make a note of their name and the time and date of the viewing and be accommodating.  Make sure you give the buyer clear directions on how to get to your home, where to park and perhaps landmarks to watch out for on the way.  Include your postcode for use with a SatNav. 

First impressions count – kerb appeal

Front doorIf the buyer is not impressed with your home in the first few seconds of walking up to your front door, there will be nothing you can do to convince them to make an offer, no matter how fantastic the inside of your house is, their minds will already be negatively focused. Conversely, if they like what they see you are well on the way to selling your home!


  • Make sure your front garden is a tidy as possible.
  • Prune any trees, cut any hedges and make sure the path clean and free of all weeds and mildew.
  • If possible, plant some bedding plants to provide a bit of colour.
  • Sprinkle some Sulphate of Ammonia on your lawns. In just a day (after watering in) it will turn your patchy grass into a perfect green lawn. Be sure to cut it regularly to maintain the attractive stripe effect.
  • Pay particular attention to your front door. Clean it and re paint it if necessary. Polish any brass or chrome to make it look brand new, because buyers can and do judge the house on their initial impression of the front door.
  • Clean all the windows and wash down external paintwork.
  • If possible remove your car(s) from driveway.
  • To make your gardens look bigger, tie back shrubs and hedges, and put away any swings and slides.
  • Add compost to the flowerbeds. This will show your garden at its best and  hide  any persistent weeds. 
Preparing the home for a viewing

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FREE cavity insulation for 9 in 10 homeowners

Save energy this winter by getting your home insulated for FREE!

Great news for UK home owners as British Gas says “nine out of ten will be able to get loft and cavity wall insulation for free” as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). No  you don’t have to be on benefits, over 60, or have minimal savings to qualify! 

Most of the big six energy providers are giving free boilers, plus loft and cavity wall insulation, to some people who get tax credits and have an income of £15,860 or less, or are receiving certain benefits such as pension credit. But British Gas is giving away FREE loft and cavity wall insulation to anyone with a suitable home – you don’t need to meet any benefit criteria – you don’t even have to be a British Gas customer!  See British Gas Free Cavity Wall Insulation 

That’s right it’s completely free – nothing to pay at all, ever! Unlike the extensively promoted Green Deal, designed to help people make energy efficiency improvements to buildings by allowing them to spread the costs through their lower energy bills over several years, rather than paying 100% in advance of energy savings. 

So how can it be free?

Heat loss in a house

Where the heat is lost

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is an energy efficiency programme that was introduced in the UK in early 2013, replacing the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP). ECO places legal obligations on the larger energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic energy users. It operates alongside the Green Deal and the big energy companies have obligations to spend money to make UK homes more energy efficient, through ECO. If they miss their targets, they face large fines. This is why it is being offered free and why British Gas has changed its criteria for free insulation to include anyone with a suitable home. Homes that are not suitable are those built using timber or steel frame as they already have insulation in the frame. Most new homes built since 2000 will already have cavity wall insulation. 

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Why are house builders and their agents still deliberately mislead buyers

New homes – all sugar and spice and all things nice?   That’s what the house builders would have you believe.  Slugs and snails and snagging list tales would be closer to the truth!  

Included with last weekends Mail on Sunday was a property paper called ‘The Location’ described as – “44 pages of property inspiration.”   Within it’s covers were some of the most outrageous superlatives I have ever seen used by house builders and their selling agents to describe not only the new homes being advertised, but also the location of the developments.

 Builder ads 1

Not once were the adjectives used to describe the homes and developments backed up with any tangible statement of explanation.  Here is another translation of what the builders say and what it really means

Of the homes they were described as:

“Bespoke”  Implying that they are being built to a buyer’s own specific requirements rather than in all probability, a one-off design forced by the planning process.

“Contemporary”  This just means “of the same age; present-day” yet it is frequently used to imply state-of-the-art features, designs or specifications.

“Exclusive”  This commonly used to imply the development or properties are one of kind – hardly the case with most new homes.

“Uncompromised quality”  Really?  How is this substantiated?  So there we have it, this development does not “compromise” on quality, implying or more usefully, confirming that others do.  

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