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For most homeowners, selling your house is a significant decision, one that often feels final and irrevocable once you put your property on the market. The pressure to get the pricing and strategy right from the start can be overwhelming, and there's little room for error without incurring substantial costs. There is, however, a way to test the property market without fully ‘signing up’ to selling.  If you find yourself in a situation where you're considering selling your house but aren't entirely committed for various reasons, this article hopefully answers some questions for you.

The Reasons for Hesitation

There are several common reasons why homeowners might hesitate to list their property on the open market.  You may be keen to sell your current property, but you haven't yet found your dream home. You don't want to rush into a sale and be left with nowhere to go and the pressure of a keen buyer can sometimes be a distraction from really focusing on finding your dream home.

Perhaps you're concerned about the intrusion of hoards of potential buyers coming to view your property. You value your privacy and don't want a constant stream of strangers wandering through your home.

Maybe you’re not ready to share the news.  You might not be ready to disclose your plans to friends, family, or neighbours. Selling your home is often a personal decision, and you may want to keep it under wraps until you're sure about your intentions, or certain you have a buyer and a new place to move to.

The Challenge of Traditional Approaches

Traditionally, testing the marketing price of a property involved listing it at a slightly higher price to gauge buyer interest. If it sold quickly, that was great; if not, you had a clear signal that your asking price was too high. However, this approach has become less viable in today's digital age.  Buyers can very easily find information on how long your property has been advertised on the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla and whether the price has been reduced.  Ultimately this shouldn’t be a problem as you are just aligning the price with the market conditions but some buyers will view the reduction as desperation, and therefore you’re open to accepting a ‘cheeky’ offer.

The Impact of Online Listings

The rise of property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla, and Onthemarket has changed the game completely. When your property is listed online, a historical record is created. Potential buyers can see when you initially listed the property and at what price. This transparency makes it challenging to adjust your pricing strategy without raising eyebrows.  The portals also provide information on how long you have owned the property for and how much you paid for it.  They can then make their own judgment on its present value based on local value increases.

Once you've launched your property at a particular price, making significant price changes can deter potential buyers. They might wonder why you're suddenly dropping the price and question the property's value. This situation can lead to longer time on the market and potentially a lower final sale price than you might have achieved with a more accurate initial listing.

The Importance of the First 4 Weeks

The first four weeks after listing your property are crucial. During this time, your property receives the most publicity and promotion through your estate agent’s social media platforms, email newsletters, and property portal listings. If you start with an inflated price during this period, you risk wasting valuable marketing opportunities.  Equally, if the price is lower than the market value, you could be losing out on thousands of pounds.

The Soft Launch Solution

In today's unpredictable property market, it's essential to be cautious with your pricing strategy. Rising markets can sometimes compensate for initial overpricing, but in more uncertain times, it's crucial to get it right from the start.

Now, let's explore a more flexible approach - the "soft launch." This method allows you to discreetly showcase your property to a select audience without relying on social media, property portals, or for-sale signs. It's an excellent way to gauge buyer interest without disclosing your asking price to the world.

The advantages of a soft launch are that you can keep your plans to yourself until you're confident in your pricing strategy.  Obviously some neighbours may become aware of your plans when they see people meeting an estate agent on the driveway, and this is very difficult to avoid, but at Langford Rae we discuss a plan of action with you on how we can be as discreet as possible.  

With selective exposure, you control who sees your property, reducing the intrusion of curious neighbors and time-wasters.

If the soft launch doesn't yield the desired results, you have the flexibility to tweak your pricing and strategy before going live on the open market.

By testing the market in this manner, you can refine your approach and avoid wasting those crucial initial weeks of premium marketing with an inaccurate price.

Selling your property doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing decision. If you find yourself in a situation where you're considering selling but have some reservations, a soft launch is a valuable option to explore. It allows you to test the property market discreetly, maintain your privacy, and adjust your strategy as needed. When the time is right to go live on the portals, you'll do so with confidence, knowing you've set the correct pricing strategy.  You may, however, have secured a buyer within this period of time.

If you're interested in testing the market with a soft launch to ensure your property's marketing price is correct, reach out to our property experts today. We're here to guide you through the process, providing valuable insights and helping you make informed decisions that align with your unique circumstances. 

Don't let uncertainty hold you back; take the first step toward selling your property with confidence and contact Langford Rae Property Agents on 01689862770.