Sell for a record price: Know your buyer and design for them

Avatar of Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe

· 4 mins read

Hopefully, you have made an allowance in your budget for finishing or dressing your property. If one rule remains true in this industry it is this - a professionally dressed property will always sell quicker and for more money than an empty one. Despite how clever buyers are, they just cannot see themselves as happily or easily in a sparse space than one adorned with a colour coordinated palette and multiple complimentary scatter cushions. While certain Swedish furniture providers may appear economically preferable, get this done by a professional. A few thousand pounds of professional dressing and furniture hire actually will make a difference in value by an order of magnitude by removing reasons for the buyer to look elsewhere.

Residential property development can be very profitable, however equally costly if not approached with vigilance. In this blog series over the coming weeks, we reveal our 15 key lessons that are the result of experiences in the recent past. These lessons have been learned the hard way, sharing our experiences so you don’t have to make these same mistakes. Hard work, determination and the deal modelling tool coupled with these rules to live by will lead to that long and profitable property development career you dreamt of.

An undressed flat, which sold luckily in a good market:

Vs. A dressed flat which achieved a record price the day before it went to market:

Before starting this process however, it is hugely important to identify who is going to buy your property. By who, we are unlikely to know the actual individual as this level of predictability is not currently known to us. ‘Who’ means what type of person, where they come from, what their financial position typically is and what style they generally adhere to. This information can be very easily gleamed from local estate agents - find something of a similar size and location that sold very well (i.e., quickly or went to sealed bids) and ask what types of people were bidding on it (incidentally, those that lose out on a sealed bid will typically forget they had a budget if something similar comes to market soon after).

A rental investor will typically look for a good, general finish – appealing to a wider range of tenants, whereas a specific geographical buyer will bring definite tastes and layouts that will immediately pull at their expandable purse strings. This is an instance where big individual developments can become incredibly risky; if selling a single residence in central London, say a 6 bedrooms house in Mayfair for £20,000,000 – the foreign national buyer percentage will be higher. However, an Asian buyer will be drawn to something completely different to that of an Arabic buyer, and the same can be said for a European. Hopefully, with smaller properties the end user is typically describable from similar local sales. Easy is preferable, not lazy.

As such, the time you spend researching your potential and mostly likely purchasers will make the process inevitably simpler and realise a faster sale. Don’t make the mistake of basing things on your own taste – while this might be lovely, you are selling the property, not buying. Be generic wherever possible but above all be impressive – within your budget; £5,000 spent professional dressing a flat is the difference between an ok kitchen and a bespoke one. The furniture will far more likely sell the flat than the kitchen will.

Seamlessly underwrite your next property development deal using our online modelling tool at – Model Better, Fund Faster

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