Avoiding the Gossip when selling your home

June . 2011

Selling your house under any circumstance can be a stressful experience.

As soon as the ‘For Sale’ sign goes up, friends and neighbours want to know why you’re leaving and the gossip and speculation starts. Then there’s the ‘Open House’ days and viewings to cope with, particularly the time-wasters just interested in a snoop.
For personal reasons, you may wish to keep your house sale a private matter.  You could be downsizing, going through a divorce, financial difficulties or even an illness you don’t want to publicise.

In a normal marketing campaign your property is exposed to as wide an audience as possible. It involves easily-identifiable photos of your home, its interior and garden being published on the internet and in the local press.

Selling your house discreetly

So how can you successfully sell your property without friends and neighbours getting involved (at least until you are ready to tell them)?
I can tell you how we do it for our clients. We work through our own private and extensive register of contacts and serious buyers.  This means we sometimes only have to make one or two calls to secure the deal. If more open marketing is required, we show hiqh quality photos which capture the character of the property but don’t give away its location. This could be something as simple as a small pane window or roses around the front door.
Our main challenge in arranging the viewings is making them as inconspicuous as possible – especially if neighbours overlook the property. Our ‘cloak and dagger’ tactics sometimes include turning up in jeans so that we don’t look like estate agents.  Another trick is to meet the viewers at a nearby landmark and arrive at the property in one car to avoid neighbours being asked for directions. And our methods work.
Very recently, we sold a beautifully located house in North Dorset at a premium price after just one viewing by a committed and motivated cash buyer. And near Tisbury, we had three serious buyers battling for a lovely house which we quietly sold to the highest bidder without any of the neighbours being aware.
There are ways and means of avoiding unwelcome gossip and using a good agent with a flexible marketing approach is a very important part of the process.

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