Selling a country/rural property is a very different beast to selling a property in a town or city. Here is a quick guide for ensuring a successful outcome. For more advice check out our Country Property page.
1 Identify your market –
Most buyers reasons for moving generally fall somewhere between the spectrum of Necessity and Desire. Necessity – I NEED to move for a job, school catchment, a growing family etc. Desire – I’d LIKE to move as I want a view, to escape the ‘rat run’, to have access to the coast etc. Both play an important part in any decision, but whereas purchasing in a town or city may fall closer to the ‘Necessity’ side of the scale, a move to the countryside (whilst factoring in practical considerations) often falls within the ‘Desire’ camp.
This is key when determining ‘who are you selling to’. If the property is near a local school it may well appeal to younger families, but could actually deter older couples whose children have already flown the nest. If the property is on a steep gradient or has a stepped garden, then it may have lesser appeal to those moving into the area to retire. Tailoring the marketing – even down to the wording in the brochure, is key into creating that all-important right first impression.
2 Choose your timing carefully
Properties look more attractive in better weather. A cliché, but true. This is doubly so for country properties, as a large part of their appeal is going to be the immediate location, which clearly will be more appealing bathed in sunlight rather than rain! With, in our experience, over 40% of buyers coming from outside the area, those who have far to travel will often check they can be reasonably assured of good weather when they book a viewing. Equally, your agent should be aware of any upcoming distractions or events which could lead to a change in demand when you’re looking to launch onto the market (general elections, budget announcements, and school holidays are the more obvious ones). Country properties can be more susceptible to this than town properties if the buyer is seeking a lifestyle ideal.
3 Presentation is key
Whatever a buyer’s reason for moving, a country property must most of all be appealing to the eye before it can win over your buyer’s heart. Your buyer may not be overly familiar with the area, and so that ‘first impression’ can make or break the property. Whether its having a professional ‘stager’ in to dress the home for photographs, an elevated shot to encompasses the surrounding fields, a Virtual Tour to expand on the advantages of choosing your home: ensuring that your property is presented in the best possible light is paramount. Remember also to make it welcoming on viewing days: a lit woodburner on cooler days, a welcoming coffee, warm lighting, comfy cushions on the garden furniture: you’re selling a lifestyle so be sure to demonstrate it well.
4 Why will they choose your home over others?
Whist it is hoped that your buyer has taken the time to research the area, discovered the hidden walks and sedate picnic areas, eaten in the local pub and worked out the commute to work (all before arranging a viewing), the fact is that most people who look at country properties are looking within a radius. This radius can be of the coast, a town, or even within a radius of existing family. It doesn’t matter what it is; what does matter is that it is likely your village is one of several that ‘tick the box’. Extolling the unique quirks and virtues of both your home and the area you live in is what will help your property stand apart from the rest.
5 Pick the right agent A.K.A Local Knowledge, National Reach
Perhaps an obvious point, but one that is easily overlooked in the modern world of slick marketing and the hunt for the lowest quote. It is likely that your home will be the most expensive asset you will ever own. To ensure a successful outcome, properties require a deft touch and an experienced hand at the tiller, and a competent, knowledgeable agent will be able to demonstrably achieve the best possible price for you. How this is achieved clearly differs from house to house, agent to agent, but any firm worth their salt should be able to lay a clear strategy outlining timeframes, the target market, likely reception, and objections to overcome.
A final imperative for a country property: the agent must be able to evidence an in-depth local knowledge to inform and assist buyers who are unlikely to be familiar with the area. Intertwined with that is the ability to reach a wider audience nationally. Both form the very crux of successful marketing of country properties. For more advice check out our Country Property page.