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Selling houses privately Ė get the 4Ps right

Selling houses privately can take a long time..if you fail to grasp the 4Ps - product, price, promotion and presentation, and how they should be applied to sell your house quickly.

Even if you decide not to be involved in your sale to any great extent it helps to understand how the 4Ps influence your sale. However it becomes vital when you take on the estate agentís role.

Getting a fast sale will almost certainly involve your buyer believing your house is good value. Occasionally you might strike gold and find a buyer who believes they MUST buy your house. But this is the exception.

And don't forget we never said that selling houses privately was easy but a little understanding goes a long way.

Your product - bricks and mortar

You need to try to get yourself into a frame of mind where you can stand back from your house Ė itís your home after all Ė and see it as others might see it.

This is harder than it sounds for home owners as unlike an agent you are unlikely to have the benefit of being able to compare your house with many others like it. But unless you can see its strengths and weaknesses and how these can be enhanced and compensated for it for its unlikely your Ďproductí will achieve its full potential. And this means you won't meet your goal of selling your house quick for a good price.

'Bricks and mortar' will also form the basis of your own house valuation before you set the asking price. An appreciation of what type of sellers your house will appeal to, also shapes the marketing of your proeprty.

Don't rush to set the price

If you fail to price your house incorrectly, both for your target market and local market conditions, youíre could fail to get a quick sale. Or worse, you could lose money by selling your house too cheaply - a common occurance when selling houses privately.

There's always a balance to be achieved depending on your priorities. Donít be lulled into thinking that because your next door neighbour got £X for their house three months ago you can do the same now. Market conditions can change.

The single best investment of your time when selling houses privately is to research your own house valuation. The time involved will repay itself many times over.

Ultimately a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. And you have to keep in mind your ultimate goal which is to sell your house quickly.

Promoting your house

Selling a house is all about promotion Ė itís almost certainly better to use a number of different tactics in combination to reach the widest audience. After all, promotion of the property needs to find and attract the right buyer. Promotion can be expensive. When selling houses privately you need to spend wisely.

Some owners who need a quick sale supplement their agentís activities with their own adverts Ė which can be a good idea as long as you appreciate that you may end up paying the agentís fees in any event. Today there are more options than ever before including selling houses online, placing newspaper and/or magazine adverts and flyers.

What's more selling houses privately means can really turn your creativity on. It's long been our belief that too many people are bound by estate agency/industry conventions when it comes to marketing and advertising their house.

Presenting your house for viewings

Within the last couple of years the importance of presenting your house looking at its best has become better understood by a wider audience. We have a multitude of TV programmes to thank for that.

More and more people realise that the emotional appeal of a house (not the brick and mortar stuff) clinches the sale.

We estimate that round 65%-75% of properties being sold are presented to the market with an eye to buyer appeal. But thatís a whole lot of properties that arenít.

The bottom line is your potential buyers must be able to imagine living in your house. But there can be problems if you take this to extremes Ė especially for starter homes sought by first time buyers. This is because you can be tempted to increase your price to such an extent that lenders' valuations are unable to match your expectations.

And don't forget, selling houses privately from start to finish makes YOU part of the presentation and puts your lifesyle under the spotlight.

Its generally more fun buying a home than selling a house, but selling houses privately does enable you to control the most important details involved in the sale.

Selling houses privately is a balancing act

With a grasp of the four basic elements that shape your house sale you'll now understand that selling houses privately is something of a balancing act.

The property, the way it's presented, priced and promoted must all complement each other. If something is out of balance you reduce the probability of getting a quick house sale.

How do you translate this into pratice? Examples; don't over-egg the description of a house that is scruffy; you can't turn a two bed flat into a family home even it's close to a great school; don't necessarily limit your promotion of a house located in a rural setting to local publications; if you want a premium price, justify it in your advertising.

Today's buyers are quite savvy. They do their homework, so should you.

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