Sell it yourself: The Brochure

At The Good Agent we believe that everybody has it in them to sell (or let) their property themselves so we provide some guidance for people who want to do so.

On our site (www.thegoodagent.ie) we break the selling and lettings processes into handy steps and at each step we provide the tools, advice, and support that enable you to carry-out that step.

In this blog we will post that advice. What’s the catch? I don’t think there is one. You could like us on Facebook (here) if you want to or just share this with someone who might find it useful.

This entry: The Brochure

Crucial, is the word I would use to describe your property’s brochure. Something like 90% of people start their search for properties online (if we are to believe Daft’s marketing campaign) and this doesn’t surprise me. In fact, I’m surprised it isn’t higher.

The first thing people search by is the Triumvirate of location, bedrooms, and price. You can’t change the first two and you’ve probably had some guidance (be it formal or otherwise) on the price so, for the moment, that is also fixed. Once searchers have a list of properties that match these criteria, they do two things: read the blurb and look at the photos, i.e., inspect the brochure. Their next decision – view or not to view – is made at this point. That is why your brochure is so important, but, delightfully, it’s pretty easy to get right.

The Photos
I think Brian at First Point Property says in best:

Using high quality photographic equipment, specialist software and several years experience… to produce exceptional images… in order to give your property the additional aesthetic boost to assist in making your property stand out, bringing people through your front door and even introducing purchasers. More viewings, means more of a chance of selling at a better price.

In summary: You’re not going to get beautiful photos using the camera on your phone; get a professional in and let him/her to their thing. It’s worth it in the long-run.

Floorplans
Floorplans aren’t always essential, but some viewers like to be able to picture the size and layout of a property before viewing. Posting floorplans in your brochure means that people who view the property will have a much better idea of what to expect so won’t be surprised by, for example, a small bathroom. Floorplans normally result in a higher quality of viewers.

General tips
There are some general rules to property brochures, some of which may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people trip-up on the silliest of things…

  • Sell your property. (I told you some of these were obvious!) Be positive throughout your brochure. Use language that makes the property sound attractive. The goal of the brochure is to make the reader take the next action; that action could be just getting them to call you for more information or it could be to make an offer.
  • Stay honest. There may be times when you need to sweeten-up the truth; for example, “Needs TLC” is an acceptable way to describe a property that needs work as it conveys a truthful message in a positive manner. However, to state that that same property is in turn-key condition is not acceptable as it is misleading.
  • Be descriptive and specific. Whenever possible, use specific terms to enhance general descriptions. For instance, if you have a kitchen that you wish to emphasise in your brochure, insert facts into subjective statements: “The kitchen is complete with beautiful maple wood floorboards and pristine granite countertops…” is much better than “The kitchen is complete with beautiful floorboards and pristine countertops…”
  • Know your audience. If you are selling a property that will appeal more to families, keep this in mind. Tell them about quiet neighbours or near-by schools. Similarly, if your property is more likely to be bought by young professionals, list entertainment hot-spots like popular pubs.
  • Grammar. This isn’t your thesis, but it is always good practice to avoid spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

The area
Location location location! If you haven’t heard that before where have you been hiding?! Although you don’t have much control over the location of your property, you still need to sell it. List the good aspects of the area:

  • The people: neighbours, community, etc.;
  • Transport: is it close to public transport or a convenient road? If so, how far? (Remember, facts are good);
  • Amenities, e.g., shops, museums, restaurants, schools. You don’t know what the people who are reading your brochure are interested in so list all the amenities that are close-by, but keep your audience in mind. Having pubs close-by may be an attractive feature to some, but not to others;
  • Utilities: which utility providers operate in your area? Is broadband available in the area? Do all of the cable / satellite television have a presence in the area?

The property
Be clear, be concise, be factual. Describe the layout of the property, i.e., what rooms are downstairs and what rooms are upstairs giving a brief and specific summary of each room and highlight any features of interest. For example, “Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms with the main bedroom enjoying the large circular bay window which includes feature stained glass”.

When people are looking for a property, they will have certain things that they will be looking for, so you don’t want to lose a potential buyer just because you forgot to list something. When adding a room, think about the type of room that it is, the features that a buyer would be looking for in that type of room, and which of those features your room has.

Kitchen:

  • Sink type (deep basin, double sink, etc.);
  • Washing machine;
  • Dryer;
  • Cooker (Aga, etc.);
  • Microwave;
  • Dish washer;
  • Build-in units;
  • Fridge/freezer;
  • Breakfast bar;
  • Ceiling (high, etc.);
  • Size;
  • Windows / lighting;
  • Flooring;
  • Television points;
  • Phone points.

Bathroom:

  • Shower (Power shower, electric, etc.);
  • Bath (two person, Jacuzzi, etc.);
  • Sink type;
  • Ceiling (high, etc.);
  • Size;
  • Windows / lighting;
  • Flooring;
  • Towel rails (heated, stainless steel, etc.);
  • Storage;
  • Built-in units.

Bedroom:

  • Ceiling (high, etc.);
  • Size;
  • Windows / lighting;
  • Flooring;
  • Bed type (double, single, twin, etc.);
  • En suite / wash hand basin;
  • Storage (walk-in, built-in, etc.);
  • Television points;
  • Phone points;

Dining room:

  • Ceiling (high, etc.);
  • Size;
  • Windows / lighting;
  • Flooring;

Sitting room:

  • Ceiling (high, etc.);
  • Size;
  • Windows / lighting;
  • Flooring;
  • Television points;
  • Phone points.

Garden:

  • Size;
  • Flower beds;
  • Grass;
  • Patio;
  • Tree type;
  • Water features;
  • Direction that the garden faces;

Additional features
The best way of defining a clear list of features is to go through your house, room-by-room, and pick-out the feature points. For example, these could be:

  • Fireplaces;
  • Bay windows;
  • Recent improvements, e.g., new kitchen or bathroom installation;
  • Storage;
  • Flooring;
  • Garden features, e.g., fountain, attractive fencing or hedgerow;
  • High ceiling;
  • Wooden flooring;

For any more information or guidance:

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About The Good Agent

I am a co-founder of The Good Agent, the smart new way to sell of let your property. I, along with my partners, hope to change the estate agent industry for good. This blog aims to touch on issues in property (sales and lettings), start-ups, the online revolution, and other pertinent topics.
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