Primarily house hunters are driven to make a decision to buy based on the location of the property that best suits their needs, the space it offers and perhaps most importantly whether it is priced correctly in the context of comparable homes in the area and what sort of demand in the market there is. Here we take a quick look at the things you can do to help sell your home without too much trouble or cost.
We know it’s not really practical to box everything you own for the duration of the sale and invariably taking lots of pictures off the walls just throws up more decorating challenges. However, if buyers are too busy looking at your belongings spilling out of every cupboard and drawer it might not convey the feeling of space you’d hoped. Also, be objective about how much furniture you have. If you’ve acquired a few extra items over the years, it might be worth tucking a few bits into the shed or garage if you have to shuffle round them to get from one side of a room to the other.
To decorate or not?
If your house was refurbished in the past few years, but has picked up a few scuffs along the way it would be an idea to splash a bit of gloss paint where needed, but realistically if the kitchen and bathrooms are twenty years old then painting your box bedroom may not make a huge difference to a buyers decision or, the price you achieve. We do find modern built homes that need a good lick of paint tend to benefit more from doing so, as buyers looking for the convenience of a more recent build don’t tend to want to bother with such efforts, which can make for a disproportionately harder sale. A good estate agent will be able to tell you if something needs attention and why.
Spick and span
It costs next to nothing other than a little time and elbow grease, but a clean and tidy home suggests the owner has taken care of the property. We frequently sell homes that haven’t seen any real changes in 40 years, but if they’re polished and gleaming buyers can happily see themselves in it, even if a larger investment will be required in the near future. So run a vacuum cleaner around, clean the skirting boards, polish the windows, clear the kitchen surfaces and make sure the light bulbs all work.
The Glory of the Garden
“Our England is a garden that is full of stately views, of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues, with statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by”, so wrote Rudyard Kipling. Hiring peacocks might be bit much, but a well-kept garden can make all the difference to a buyer. Some of us are more green fingered than others, but at least ensure the lawn is kept well mown in the spring and summer months. If there are any trees or bushes that are taking up a disproportionate space or blocking light in the house or garden, then see they are cut back before marketing your home. Even if you just have a small patio garden, a few potted plants and a table and chairs in a sunny spot could make a difference.
Pick the right estate agent
It’s always best to appoint an estate agent to conduct the viewings on your home. You might think “nobody knows the house like me”, but you won’t know the buyer and what’s important to them and sellers frequently fall into the trap of talking too much and not listening enough or feeling awkward showing their home, which then creates tension.
In our experience, buyers will feel much more comfortable on a viewing without the owner present. When choosing an agent, ask questions about their experience in the local area, who’s working with them to sell your home and what experience do they have? What other properties have they sold recently in the close vicinity? An agent who doesn’t know much about schools, transport links, local planning restrictions, titbits of local history or current news or prices in the area is more likely to be a hindrance than a help and could easily cost you a sale or put you in a weaker negotiating position to get the best price. We’re always happy to be closely questioned by our prospective clients, safe in the knowledge we’re experts in our field and know our marketplace inside out.