Tips to sell your home
You only get one chance to make a first impression so follow our tips to make sure prospective home buyers see your house looking its best – and feel safe and secure while doing so.
Do those ‘little’ jobs: You know the ones we mean. The ones you’re going to do when you get round to it. That uneven shelf. That broken handle. That unfinished paint job. The time to get round to them is now because prospective buyers are going to be looking at your house with a very discerning eye, meaning they will probably spot them straight away. You don’t want to jeopardise your house sale for the sake of a couple of hours work.
Declutter and organise. Clutter can make your home seem smaller than it is and if there’s one thing buyers always want, it’s space – now so more than ever. In a post-lockdown survey, two-fifths of Britons reported that they would prioritise space for a home office if they were searching for a new property. Perhaps if you clean out that space under the stairs, a small desk and chair could fit there? If you don’t have time to sort your clutter, box it up now and store it off the premises.
Be realistic about the value of your property. To make sure you don’t overprice, or underprice, your property, it’s important to do your homework:
- Check out recent sold house prices in your area, using a number of online agents. You can even look at property ads in local estate agents so that you can compare similar properties
- Arrange for sale price estimates from three local estate agents, which are free, so that you can get a realistic idea of the current market sale value of your property.
Choose the right agent. Do your homework with local agents. Which company seems to be selling a lot in your area? Which company has been successful in selling properties like yours? Go into their offices and see what their customer service is like – because that’s the service your prospective buyer will receive too. How were they when they came to your property to value it?
Maximise kerb appeal. Ensure your house looks good on the outside. Pictures of the outside of your property will feature prominently on the ads in both the estate agents’ shop windows and online, so if it’s not looking tip top you might lose the sale before the buyer has even stepped over your threshold. There’s plenty you can do without spending a lot of money – tidy the garden, weed between paving stones, wash the windows, paint the front door or fence and put some welcoming plants in pots alongside your front door. If your rubbish and recycling bins typically sit at the front of your house, make sure they are out of sight for the photos.
Help your buyer to feel comfortable - and safe. You may improve your chances of securing viewings if you can offer potential buyers a ‘virtual viewing’ before they book a physical one. Your estate agent can arrange this when they visit your property to take pictures for marketing.
Your estate agent will know the latest rules and make sure that you adhere to them.
Before any physical property viewings take place, you may want to consider the following:
- You may have additional requirements that you’ll need to discuss first. For example, only one household and support bubble is allowed to visit at one time (in addition to the estate agent), but would you prefer to set a limit to the size of the group? Do you want them to wear face coverings?
- Make sure your house is spotlessly clean, swept, vacuumed and polished to a high shine. All surfaces must be cleaned with standard household cleaning products, ideally lightly fragranced so that the property smells as fresh as it looks. Avoid heavily perfumed products though as this may give the impression that you are trying to mask an unpleasant odour.
- Leave all internal doors open so that potential buyers don’t need to touch them and there is plenty of ventilation.
- Provide access to handwashing facilities and provide separate towels or paper towels if you can. You may even want to put hand sanitizer inside the front door if you have a table there.
IMPORTANT: The above is not advice and is provided as guidance only. You should discuss and agree all arrangements with your estate agent before inviting viewers into your home and check the latest government advice.
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