By Siobhan Chesher

You don’t have to be in property marketing to know that moving house is a hassle – and selling a house is worse.

But it needn’t be, as the growing number of buyers taking up part-exchange deals will tell you. In fact, it’s one of the big drivers of property sales on new-build developments.

Part-exchange is an option one of our housebuilding clients only began offering in certain regions in recent years, but a property market analysis found it’s already being used by one in three of its buyers.

Even at the top end of the market, it’s an effective property marketing tool.

And there’s a simple reason why that is – it takes the fear out of selling a house, a fear that has haunted sellers for a decade, despite estate agents’ marketing.

For years, people expected to make a profit on their property when it came time to sell-up and move on. And they expected to sell quickly, such was the demand in a sellers’ market.

That changed with the financial crisis in 2008. Demand for housing rapidly contracted and no amount of skilful property marketing helped. The horrible words “negative equity” made a return.

Scanning the street

For Sale signs stood outside homes for months instead of weeks, while stressed-out homeowners peered from behind their curtains, anxiously scanning the street for someone … anyone … who might be looking to move.

Many sellers – used to the boom times of the 1990s and early 2000s and scared by property market analysis news stories – eventually gave up hope of ever selling, took their homes off the property market and decided to stay put.

But the lure of a move proved too great. Perhaps they needed more room. Perhaps they wanted a more modern, eco-friendly home. Perhaps estate agents’ marketing tricks reeled them in. Whatever their reasons for moving, they decided to buy a new-build home.

However, that nagging doubt that their current home would ever sell just wouldn’t go away. Step forward the part-exchange, a sales model that has driven car dealers’ success for decades. If it works for wheels, why not bricks and mortar?

Many builders are finding that part-exchange is outperforming other property marketing incentives such as free floor coverings, fixtures and fittings upgrades, help with fees or Stamp Duty/Land and Buildings Transfer Tax. It is by far the most popular offer.

Clock is ticking

There are even online services, separate from the building firms, which will set up your part-exchange for you.

The reason its success is growing is that it’s hassle free. The buyer doesn’t need to worry that the clock is ticking down to their moving in date while their home lies on the market, still awaiting an offer.

They don’t have to worry whether it will make the valuation in the Home Report – the deal has already been done. It shows property sales can go through without the worry.

There is no concern about moving out before their new home is ready just so they can fit in with the demands of the person they are selling to.

And similarly, they won’t have to take out a bridging loan when they move into the new place, as the sale of their old home will be in the hands of the housebuilder.

Even the selling process is simpler, with no need to get an estate agent involved – so no fees to pay there either.

It’s the flexibility that part-exchange gives buyers that is its biggest selling point. A clever property marketing tool means they are not tied to anyone’s plans but their own.

It’s a fine example of marketing as a service – and how meeting the needs of the client does everyone a favour.

We understand the demands of the property industry. To discover how we can help your brand harness the power of online, call us now on 0800 612 9890.