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When's the best time to sell your new-build development?

Quick, quick, slow… Off-plan or on completion – Sowerbys reveals the best time to sell your new-build development
Sell off-plan before breaking ground or invest in a knock-em-dead show home to spark buyers’ imagination?

It’s a quandary many developers tussle with and, in truth, the need is dependent on many factors including the site, scale of project plus, of course, pace of the market.

When demand is high, as in the current market, buying off-plan is more commonplace and attracting buyers at an earlier stage can be advantageous for both developer, providing a guaranteed return on investment (ROI), and applicants who have the potential to tailor their future home’s specification.

“We always encourage developers to go to market during a build,” says Sowerbys’ Land & New Homes manager Richard Cheal, “and many will complete a show home to showcase the project’s specification and finishes.

“It’s not always possible with smaller sites, but you can often achieve great success with a ‘coming soon’ marketing strategy which whets the appetite of buyers.

“Previous projects can play a part in the successful marketing of a new development, and for a first-time developer with no evidence of earlier work, it could be more of a challenge but it’s not impossible.

“We recently worked with a developer on a project of five, luxury properties on the north Norfolk coast, their first in Norfolk. With a portfolio of developments over the border in Suffolk, we were able to point applicants towards these while creating a detailed marketing brochure with a full specification of the Norfolk properties to help them successfully sell in the early stages.”

The perfect match

Selling early in the construction cycle creates greater opportunity for a developer and buyer to develop a strong relationship and evolve plans and designs for the property.

“Every project is unique and it depends on the developer’s preference for launching to market early,” says Richard.

“At the moment there is a huge appetite among buyers to secure a new home early and choose the finishes for their future home.

“Many developers are flexible and will offer a list of extras beyond the standard specification, particularly on smaller sites. This can often help to convert a sale and enables us to negotiate a happy marriage between the two parties.

“The benefit of selling early is that it allows a developer to move forwards with future projects. Our team is hugely mindful that for developers it’s all about the next site and project, and that’s why we work with most on a long-term basis to help them keep things moving forwards with a flow of funding.”

On show

For developers who do choose to invest in a show home, the stakes are high with an impressive standard set by local firms. From initial plans to completion, many work closely with interior designers and landscapers to create a superb property which brings a blueprint to life and enables prospective buyers to envisage themselves enjoying a lifestyle home.

Well-lit, temperate and decorated with luxury furnishings, the show house provides a lead magnet to attract buyers to the site, experience the ‘look and feel’ of the project and is often pivotal in converting sales in ‘real time’.

With the events of the past 18 months, show homes have also provided a huge asset in the marketing of a new development, with video enabling virtual tours and online campaigns that attract significant views by prospective buyers.

“The market is incredibly hot at the moment, and we’ve even had sales from long-distance buyers after watching marketing videos of new-build properties over the past year,” says Richard.

“There’s no doubt that a show home is an incredibly powerful tool when marketing a new development and we are even able to create CGI brochures before a show home is available to bring a project to life.

“Our approach is tailored to each developer’s needs and preferences, and it’s one of the reasons why I believe that Sowerbys’ approach to marketing new developments stands head and shoulders above the standard industry approach.”

     To speak with Sowerbys’ Land & New Homes team, call 01603 281024 or visit The Old Rectory, 21 Oak Street, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 9DX