How to sell a canalside house (and how I can help)

Some hints and tips on selling a canalside house, and how I can help you.

How to sell a canalside house (and how I can help)

Let's start with the selling process. Have you seen this post I wrote? It's a helpful guide to the process in the UK. There is a lot of useful information to think about, especially if you have never sold a property before, or if you haven't done so for many years.

How to sell your house in England
Let’s run through the 30 steps of a typical house sale in England.

I used to be an estate agent

I am no longer an estate agent so I can't directly sell or negotiate sales. However, I can help with marketing if you want to reach canal enthusiasts directly. I do not receive any commission for helping to market your property.

Links to estate agents' Rightmove listings are included on my mailing lists and in posts for subscribed paying members, at my discretion. Only paying members can see posts with Rightmove links, and most of these people are actively looking to buy, so it's a great way to reach this niche audience.

That being said, most sales are to people looking either fairly locally, or in a specific geographical area, so don't worry too much about reaching the specialist market nationally. 

This service is free for sellers. If I decide to include your property, it will continue to appear in my posts for as long as you're actively on the market.  

I can also post details on my website on a dedicated fully public page - just for your house. This costs £15. I can use the exact words and photos supplied by yourself or your estate agent, or I can edit the text to suit my audience here. I am grateful for a any little £ tip if you appreciate my efforts, whether rewriting the text, or adding historical details.

Working with estate agents

My usual advice is to use an independent solo agent (my group was eXp, but there are others), ideally one with only a handful of properties on their books, so that they have enough time to devote to your house, and so they have the maximum possible motivation to help you sell, as their income and reputation as an individual agent depends on their success. 

Make sure you check the agent's draft details carefully to ensure that they are technically correct, e.g. accurate info on mooring rights, that canals don't flow, narrowboats aren't barges, etc. 

Be sure to work in useful key words which someone may be searching for, such as 'mooring', '___ Canal', 'canalside', 'waterside', 'views', 'towpath'. 

You could also ask the agent to upgrade to Premium on Rightmove and add your property to the Waterside category.

Pricing

Price realistically, not at the price your agent used to entice you to go with them!

In an unsettled market there are less active buyers in the marketplace, so it can take longer than we're used to, and it is especially important not to overprice. 

It's a good idea to price on one of Rightmove's price brackets, so that your house comes up in the first batch when people are looking in that bracket. The searches are in 10k brackets up to £300k, then in £25k brackets up to £500k, then in £50k brackets up to £700k, then in £100k brackets up to £1million, then in £250k brackets up to £2 million, and so on.

Presentation

It's essential to present your house well and keep it clean and tidy. I like Phil and Kirsty's advice to invite a very tidy friend over to help you with some tough, objective advice on decluttering and styling. It can make a world of difference, especially in a difficult or competitive market.

If your property is vacant keep the grass cut, and keep bushes trimmed. If there are unused aids for an elderly person, remove them if possible. Tone down any old-fashioned decor with a coat of white paint if you can.

360 Tours

I can do a 360 virtual tour for you if you are within easy striking distance of my home in Tamworth. Each of these tours have their own dedicated page on my website. They cost £25. Your estate agent can add one of my tours directly to their Rightmove listing if they don't offer 360 tours themselves. There is no extra cost for that.

Magazines and social media advertising

Magazine advertising is always an option. There will always be a bit of a lead time though, so this is not so good in a fast, competitive market. 

You might like to email Waterways World and ask whether they would be interested in featuring your house as the property of the month. (Feel free to name drop me to Andrew Denny if you do this).

You could also advertise in a local canal restoration, volunteers, or enthusiasts magazine.

Get your estate agent to post in the various waterways Facebook groups, or do it yourself. If you leave it to the agent, tell them they must avoid estate agent speak. People don't like it!

They should also be posting your property on other channels, such as Instagram.

Conveyancing

If you don't have a solicitor, I'd be happy to recommend mine. I don't get a commission from her - I just trust her to give a great service - and that's priceless! Drrop me a line if you'd like her details.

I hope that helps a bit!

Sheridan

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