Tag: How to sell your home

“All estate agents advertise in the same places”

If you have ever been told by an agent that all estate agents advertise in the same place, this is one blog you may want to read.

Every estate agent marketing in the same place, in the same way, may have been the case a few years ago. But in today’s housing market, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  If an agent says this in their pitch for your business, they are out of touch with today’s buyers.  There is no way that this agent is going to do an outstanding job, when it comes to selling your home.

The legacy of the property portals

Up until the last few years, it was generally accepted by both the public and by agents that portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, On The Market, etc. mattered in the property market.  The wealth of new portals that have been added to the list in the past couple of years, would at first glance, appear to confirm this as very much being the case.  If an agent discusses with you how they are listed on all the major portals, this is a good thing, portals are a tool in an estate agents marketing toolkit.

However, if an agent tells you that their competitor isn’t on one or more the major portals, do not assume this is a bad thing. Nor should you discount the competitor.

The perception that you have to be listed on all of the major portals to show it to the most people and get the best price. Therefore it doesn’t matter which estate agent puts your home on the market as all estate agents advertise in the same place (ie the portals).

If this was the case, why do agents fees vary so? why do they claim they can sell your home faster, smarter and for a better price than their competitors?

If estate agents advertise in the same place, then all estate agents get the same result?

If we were all fishing from the samel pool of buyers. Waiting for one of them to get “hooked” on our listing. Surely buyer demand would be for us to all charge the lowest fee possible.  Therefore, no agent would be better than another at selling. There would be no skill involved, no strategy. It would all be down to gaining listings of properties and getting the listing price right.

Sadly, this is why some agents are focused (and rewarded via their commisson) on the amount of properties they get onto the market. As opposed to being rewarded for the amount of homes they sell.

Agents have become quite reliant on Rightmove and the like.  Properties that are listed straight onto the portals are only showing to the buyers who are registered with those portals.  These buyers are looking at every property listed that day, regardless of which agent shared it.  With the lack of houses coming onto the market currently, when a good, correctly priced house that meets their needs is listed, they will call in for a viewing. As will everyone else that sees that house go online.

There are lots of potential buyers that are waiting for a house like yours to be listed. All you have to do is select an agent that will make your house look at good as possible online. Then all being well you’ll get lots of viewings. Followed by a flood of offers and you’ll sell you house for well in excess of the asking price, right?


Buyers now browsers

The potential reach of the portals is huge, the trouble is they cast their net wide and pull everything in. Signed up for portal alerts are not just good to go buyers. By good to go we mean one’s that have all of their finances in place. Who have sold their own home or have no property to sell.  The portals bring those that are not yet “good to go” The people who have a property that is on the market but not yet under offer. People who want to find somewhere before they put their property on the market. The people who like to see what’s on the market locally to get an idea of what their property is worth.  The day dreamers, and of course the nosey neighbours.

The proportion of people that are able to put in an offer may be small compared to everyone that is signed up to the alert. Buyers that are ready to offer are there and they will snap up any suitable house that comes along as quickly as they can.  An agent that markets properties through portals alone would argue if the buyers are there, why do I need to do anything else?

This is true, but some buyers have moved on…

Savvy, buyers that are snapping up property

Rightmove and co have been around for 15+ years in mainstream estate agency. Whilst it’s sounds like it’s still young, think how attitudes and technology have moved on in that time. Even if you only consider that the introduction of the smart phone, apps  and social media.

Buyers are no longer all lurking in one place. Waiting for a portal alert to notify them of something new that’s come onto the market.  They have moved on.  They want to see property before it hits the portals and has fierce competition, particularly in today’s busy market place. These buyers are not waiting, they are finding new ways to find properties ahead of the competition.  They have everything in place to ensure that when their dream home comes onto the market that they are in the ideal position to make a genuine offer. And, if that offer is accepted, that they are able to proceed with the purchase.

Busy people

Whilst these buyers are proactive, motivated and want to buy. They are also busy people.  They don’t want to be ringing agents asking what properties the have coming up. Or viewing properties that don’t match their criteria, because the agent strongly recommended they took a look.

These buyers want solutions. The solution being a suitable property that matches their budget and requirements, delivered to their phone/device before it is shown to other competitive buyers that are still waiting for a property alert to go off.  These buyers are wanting to buy homes before they go online to the portals.

Innovative Estate Agents

In recent years, estate agent suppliers and technology firms have been developing technology to streamline the housing industry and make the role of a agent more proactive. Giving them additional platforms to find buyers and engage with them. The “PropTech” industry has sped up with the arrival of Covid-19 and the need to limit viewings and/or conduct them remotely.

Early adopters of the wealth of technology that is out there currently, have seen massive changes in the way they sell houses.  One of the biggest changes is the speed in which they can reach serious buyers.  Many agents are now reporting that they are selling properties before they are listed online.  Some agents are ditching the portals all together.

Innovation and technology are making some huge changes to the property industry currently.  We think it’s a very exciting time.  Which can only raise standards, and enable us to give a better service to their clients. There maybe some agents that say it’ll never change. All buyers will remain with the portals and the new technology is a fad or gimmick.  But then, there were many agents, not so long ago that said the property portals would never take off either!


At Harrisons Homes we sell the majority of our properties “behind the scenes”. Before they are listed on the property portals.  We do this via our Heads Up Property Alerts service and via our social media networks. We know that not all buyers are tech savvy. But we also know that motivated buyers will want to know what is new to the market. So we ensure we keep a personal touch for those that would prefer a phone call.

If you would like to know more about how Harrisons can sell your home, please call our team today on 01795 474848.



Tag: How to sell your home

So you have decided to move home.  This is an exciting new chapter of your life and you want to get on with it.  But first you need to sell your home, to do that you need to select an estate agent. With so many agents out there, all eager for your business, you may well be wondering, how to compare estate agents?

There are many ways to compare agents, but they are all based on the idea that you are comparing like for like.  The truth is that agents can vary wildly, in terms of  marketing your home, results, customer service and of course, fees.  The best way to research and compare agents is to use a selection of the options listed below, make a shortlist and invite two or three agents out to value your home and select the one that you believe is best placed to sell your home.  We will come back to the valuation process later on.

How to find an estate agent near me?

Just because you live in any given area it doesn’t mean you’ll have heard of the best estate agents locally. Gone are the days of the typical estate agent with a shop front on your local high street.  Many now work from home, out of offices, or are 100% online.  So before you compare agents, you need to find out who is performing well in your local market.  There are a couple of ways in which you can do this:

Ask around

Without a shadow of a doubt, asking friends and neighbours in your local community is the best place to start when looking for an estate agent.  Chances are, most people you talk to will have either used an agent or will know someone that has.  Ask them for a recommendation and for tips as to what they would have done differently when they sold. It’s also worth asking on social media.  This will certainly give you a sense of which agents are respected locally (and probably which ones are not)

Do a board count

The majority of homes that come up for sale will have a board outside saying they are on the market.  Visit local streets with properties that are comparable to yours.  Count up the sold board (don’t include the for sale ones, you are looking for an agent that can sell your home, not win your listing).  Which estate agents have the most sold boards?

Online comparison tools

Type into Google “How to compare estate agents?” and you will find ad after ad for online agent comparisons tools.  These are great to use and give you an idea of how agents in your area are performing. However, this shouldn’t be taken literally. These comparisons services need to pay for themselves.  Their main service is to direct business to an estate agent in order to get a share of the agents fee.  In addition, some comparison sites charge estate agent to be on them, so you may not get a true picture of how agents perform locally.

How to compare estate agents on my shortlist?

Now you have a shortlist of agents, it’s time to invite them out to value your home and listen to their pitch for your business.  Before you do, it’s probably a good idea to understand some of the key points that agents will raise during their visit.

How an agent will sell your home

This is a tricky one, and probably the one that you will find the most trickiest to navigate through.  As any agent that turns up to value your house will want to tell you how they sell faster, higher, better and cheaper (!) Than any other competitor and will probably come armed with a wealth of documented proof to show you.  Unless you have a masters degree in statistics, these probably are not where you should be focusing your attention.


Up until the last few years, it was generally accepted by both the public and by agents that portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, On The Market, etc.  Mattered in the property market.  The wealth of new portals that have been added to the list would at first glance appear to confirm this.  So agents valuing your property will tell you that they are listed on all the major portals. And they should be.

However, this is not the whole story, especially in a market that is as hot and fast paced as it is in Kent right now.  And the market is showing no sign of slowing anytime soon.

So rather than asking the question, “which portals are you listed on?”  you need to ask the question “How do you market my home before it is listed online?”

Pre-qualifying buyers

This is very important.  You don’t want to waste time and energy getting your house ready for multiple viewing only to discover they aren’t able to make an offer. It may be they have a house to sell, they don’t have a mortgage in place or worst still, they just like having a look round houses at the weekend.  Ensure that any agent you are considering using is able to explain how the pre-qualify potential buyers.  This is especially relevant now, as we adapt to living with Covid-19.

High Valuations

You may find that one agent values your home much higher than the others.  This can be very flattering. It could mean that you may be able to buy something better than you had hoped.  But beware, ask the agent how they have arrived at that figure.  Ask also for examples of comparable houses that have sold for this kind of money.  Sadly, some agents will value your property at the top end just to get your business, as they are targeted for bonuses based on the amount of homes they list, not sell.

Low Fees

We all want a bargain, but a lower fee doesn’t mean that you are necessarily getting a bargain.  An estate agents job, is to negotiate with both the buyers and the sellers to get the best possible price for you home, in the current market conditions.  If an agent is prepared to drop their fees (and reduce their income) to win you business. Can you be sure that they are doing to work hard to negotiate the best price on your property sale?

Who will progress my sale?

Currently in the UK, one in three (33%) of house sales fall through.  There are a number of reasons for this. One of the best ways to keep your sale on track is by having an experience sales progressor in house. Very often this important part of the sales process is either passed to a central call centre outside of the local agent’s branch. Or outsourced to a separate company, where the agent has little control.

We’ve also put together a list of questions to ask your estate agent, which you may find useful here

Securing Sales

Once you have agreed an offer on your home, we recommend having a reservation agreement in place, that allows buyers and sellers to commit to each other and make sure the sale is safe and less likely to fall through.

Contact terms

Don’t forget to as how long the contract period is. This is a very important part of how to compare estate agents.  Agents that are confident they can sell your home with not tie you into, long contract periods.  With properties selling so quickly. Contract lengths of 4-6 weeks should be more than enough time for you to find a buyer and agree an offer.

Why you should consider Harrisons Homes

Harrisons Homes have recently been awarded Gold and the title of Best Estate Agent (Sales) in Kent. By the prestigious ESTAS awards, due to our outstanding customer feedback. If you would like to know more about us, or why we believe we are the best placed agent locally to sell your home. Please call our team on 01795 474848

Tag: How to sell your home

Has your house been on the market for a while with not so much as the hint of an offer? Or have you only received offers far below the property’s market value? Then read our guide to 5 mistakes you may be making if your home isn’t selling

1. Your home is poorly presented

A messy, clutter-filled property sends all the wrong signals to potential buyers. Put yourself in the buyers shoes, does your home have kerb appeal? Make it look appealing outside, mow the lawn, weed the beds, clean the windows and doors and remove any rubbish.  Then, continue inside.  Clear the clutter, put some things into storage if possible.  Give buyers the opportunity to see how they may live and use the space.

2. Poor Marketing

Properties should be marketed directly to motivated buyers whose requirements match your property. Viewings should be kept to motivated buyers who are in a position to make an offer only.  Ensure your property is being marketed outside of the the portals, it should be sent to your agents database of buyers looking for a property that matches yours. It should also be shared on social media and via the agents website.

When it is listed on the portals

Many homes get lost then they are listed on the property portals.  Potential buyers have access to hundreds of properties to consider online. If your property doesn’t stand out, they will swipe past.  At the very least your home needs multiple high-quality photo’s, detailed information and floor plans.

3. Buyers not viewers

Many properties in the current market place are attracting many viewings.  This feels like a good thing until you think about who is coming through your door to view your home. Are the viewings from buyers? Buyers that have their own property under offer and have finances in place?  If they are cash buyers, does this mean that they have demonstrated they have cash in place to purchase? Or will they have to sell a property in order to buy yours for cash?

Ensure you have viewers that are able to buy before they view.  Not only is this less work and disruption for you, it’s also a legal requirement during Covid-19 restrictions.

4. The asking price is too high

One of the most common mistakes for homeowners struggling to sell is they have set the asking price too high. This can make it difficult to secure viewings, let alone offers. Properties that are priced too high and then reduced can take months longer to sell than those priced accurately in the first place.  Ask prospective agents about how many price reductions they have done in the last six months in your area.  If, in the current market this is quite high, it should be an indication that their is something wrong in their valuation process and this can cost you money if your house doesn’t sell swiftly

5. A Poor Estate Agent

The choice of estate agents can be overwhelming, from traditional high street agents to online operators. But not all agents are created equal. If yours isn’t proactive in securing viewings, has poor customer management skills or has too many clients to handle, your property will take longer to sell.  Always check reviews and ask for recommendations when selecting an estate agent to sell your home.

Read our guide How to compare Estate Agents to give you more help and advice on choosing the right agent for you


Tag: How to sell your home

The damaged caused when your home doesn’t sell quickly can be costly, both emotionally and financially. In this article we explain the why it’s not great news when your home doesn’t sell quickly. And how to ensure your house sells within four weeks of going onto the market.

Sittingbourne Estate Agents

What a year it has been for the Sittingbourne property market: the Stamp Duty holiday causing a frenzy, the pandemic changing people’s perspectives on what they want from a home, and a constant lack of properties coming onto the market. With buyer demand still high, the prospect of your home not selling fast has probably not crossed your mind, especially when you see homes in your area come on the market one day and sold the next. But what damage is caused when your home doesn’t sell quickly?

The first 4 weeks

As you know, many homes in Sittingbourne, Faversham and Sheppey are selling well within the first four weeks of being placed on the market, but did you know how crucial these first four weeks are?  This is the period when your home is launched by your estate agent, buyers become aware and viewings are abundant.  Your expectations will be high, and your estate agent should be working tirelessly to market your home effectively in a variety of ways. They know that what they do within this first few weeks can impact the speed of your sale.  It’s the optimum time to make things happen.

What happens after four weeks?

After four weeks a property starts to become stale, and you could see enquiries and viewings dwindle. A good agent will be constantly reviewing their marketing and looking for new opportunities to attract potential buyers.  They will also be having an honest conversation with you on why they feel that your property is not appealing to buyers.

But does the fault lie with you or your agent?

what happens when your house doesn't sell within four weeks

A buyer’s perspective

Homebuyers are savvy, they know all the tools to help them find their next home. They will no doubt have alerts on property websites so they are informed as soon as a new property in Swale hits the market.  When they start to look they will be doing their research, and one thing they will always note is how long a property has been on the market.

What would you think if a house was still not under offer after four weeks or more?  Like most people, you will no doubt be wondering what is wrong with the property if it hasn’t been sold yet.  You may decide to view the home, but even before you have walked through the door you will already be in the mindset of making a low offer, because there must not be any real interest.


We can not stress enough how price can have such an effect on the attractiveness of your home to buyers.  Your home, as soon as it is listed, will be compared with other houses within a similar price bracket, and if your home seems overpriced it will be noticed instantly. Of course it is alluring to have an estate agent tell you they can sell your home for a wonderfully high figure.  But is that an actual fact based on their ability with recently sold properties in the area? Could be. Or is it a tactic to try to win your business?

At Harrisons Homes we are not here to list properties, we sell homes. We use our experience in the local property market, understanding which streets are on the up, and those areas that are falling out of favour. When we appraise your home we take so many factors into account. Including condition, presentation, location and up-to-the minute data. We always aim to achieve the highest possible price for your property, and we will not inflate that to win your business.

Overpriced homes will sit on the market longer; you will probably find yourself frustrated when the agent requests you lower the price a few weeks later.  More reductions could follow. The quality of the offers you receive could be a lot lower than you had ever expected. Choose an agent who can back up their figures with their actions – do your research to find the right fit for you and your property.

How to sell your home fast

Presentation – do the work

If you have been browsing property websites in the search for your next home, you will notice those sellers who have put in the work to ensure that their property is looking its best for potential buyers. You will also notice those who haven’t. Often there could be something off-putting.  Such as a cluttered room, an untidy bedroom, a unloved garden, that can put you off going to view.

Unless your house is a project you need to make sure it is presented properly using home staging methods. Ensuring your home is clean and organised is a great start. However, it isn’t just about having an immaculate home but projecting the lifestyle that your home gives.  You only have to watch house programmes, or flick through home magazines to see home staging in action. A loaf and breadknife stylishly placed on the kitchen work surface, a thoughtfully placed throw on a bed with a book at its side; these little touches add warmth and personality to your home.

Having the mindset ‘buyers will see past …’ will never win. They may view your rooms as small due to the amount of stuff inside them. ‘Too much work to do’, could be another view point if the décor is tired, and a couple of odd jobs are spotted.  And these views, and more, are made whilst looking at your property online. Why place your property in a challenging position when with some work, you can attract buyers easily.

Get it right from the start

You need to get everything right when placing your home on the market. The price, the presentation and also your choice of agent. The damaged caused if your home isn’t under offer in the first four weeks is hard to repair. We are often contacted by sellers who have had struggles selling previously, and come to us for a fresh approach. Get it right from the start by calling us on 01795 474848 today.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also find these interesting.

How to reduce the risk of my house sale falling through

Is my house priced correctly?

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