Here are a few great tips from Sally Sellwood for a stress-free property sale to help put you on the right track!
Timing There are usually more people looking for properties to buy as we come out of the dreary Winter months and into the Spring, and again towards the end of the Summer/early Autumn, so these are good times to sell. Prices may be better and there will be more buyers around, so get yourself all lined up and ready to go at that point. Your house will look better in photos if the sun is shining and the garden is looking healthy and green, so think about that when instructing an agent.
Target Market Who do you think might buy your property? And how can you make sure that your home appeals to those people? It’s a balance, because you don’t want to ‘pigeonhole’ your house, but definitely worth thinking about. For example, making a workspace somewhere in the house without annexing the second bedroom will mean your house appeals to the professional couples you think are the ideal buyers, but won’t alienate young couples with a small child who might need the second bedroom.
De-Clutter and De-Personalise We’ve all watched the TV programmes and read the magazine articles, but it really does pay to spend time sorting the house out. Not only from a selling perspective, but also, looking ahead, for your own move. People need to be able to imagine themselves in the house, so it really is worth risking your childrens’ wrath, and taking down those One Direction posters. It’s also worth putting stuff you don’t use on a day to day basis away – in the loft, or in storage, as well as any big bits of furniture, to make rooms feel bigger. Clear away toys from the garden and coats and clutter from the hallway – first impressions count – put away all those bottles in the bathroom and clean up in the kitchen.
To makeover or not… You can do wonders with a tin of neutral paint to liven up a tired looking property. But even regrouting the tiles in the bathroom and kitchen can bring them up looking new, or changing curtains to a lighter pair can brighten a room. If you can’t redecorate, do make sure everywhere is as clean as possible – beds made, clean towels, sparkling bathroom. If you can stretch to flowers, then do so – not in an over the top kind of way, but some strategically placed vases will brighten things up.
Clean up for viewings The initial declutter & clean up before instructing an agent and having the photos done can feel like a monumental effort, but don’t blow it by letting things slide once the board is up. Keep on top of the cleaning, and make sure everything is as tidy as possible before potential buyers come round. Pop the lights and the heating on, and make sure there’s somewhere for the buyer to park. Try and avoid cooking anything really strong smelling the night before, and maybe think about a plug-in air freshener in the hallway to give your house that ‘fresh’ feeling!
The admin – Estate Agents, Solicitors… Get at least 3 valuations, and don’t necessarily go with the agent who suggests the highest selling price. You can do your own research quite easily and find out what similar houses in the area are on the market for, and equally what they have sold for recently. Find someone who knows the local market, who is keen to sell your property and who you feel you can relate to personally – you’ll be in contact a lot over the next few weeks! Shop around for a conveyancer. If possible, instruct your solicitor to get ahead with conveyancing early to prevent hold ups down the line. Remember that you will also have to get all your own paperwork on the property sorted out, for example building certificates for any structural building work carried out, and any valid work guarantees for damp, etc.
Shout about it It may be worth putting the word out among your friends and neighbours to see if you can generate some initial interest. Once an agent is instructed, make sure you get a board up, and continue to let people know that your house is for sale.
During a viewing you’re best to make yourself – and your family – scarce. Make sure the house is spick and span and ready for the agent to do his thing, then go out. If you do show potential buyers round, be organised: decide the order you will show the rooms, starting or finishing with the best ones, and guide viewers around the property once. Be business-like, and don’t get bogged down in details (especially negative ones) or waffle on in answer to any questions. If there are any real selling points, do point them out but not in an over the top kind of way.
Who to sell to If you have a number of potential buyers, get as much information as possible about their circumstances, and think carefully before automatically plumping for the one offering the most money – a good buyer is just as valuable as the money he or she is offering. Consider how people are financing their purchase – cash is great; are they first time buyers (may need handholding, but will be keen to close the deal); what is the chain behind them like? Make sure you have a firm idea of what you want to achieve from the sale, and be prepared to compromise in negotiations.
Keep pushing forward If only it was as simple as finding a buyer and agreeing a price. The UK conveyancing process is a fairly tortuous one, and it’s in your interests to keep it going to avoid your buyer getting bored, changing his mind etc. Make sure you are available to answer questions and deal with paper work, and make sure you keep on top of your own solicitor.
Thanks to the Author: Sally Sellwood
Here are just a few reasons to choose Martin & Co to sell your property...
We sell or let a property every 7 minutes during office hours throughout the UK, we can sell yours
We know how to make your property stand out on the Rightmove and Zoopla websites
We will advertise your property on our own website which receives 250,000 visitors per month
We have almost 200 high street offices, thousands of sign boards and hundreds of branded cars - our brand is well recognised
across the UK
We will contact matched buyers on our database the very same day that you approve the property details
We can arrange 2D and 3D floor plans, and professional photography, to present your property to its best advantage
We will accompany all viewings, and provide you with informative feedback
We will work really hard to achieve the best possible price for you
We can recommend legal conveyancers who will keep you apprised of progress every step of the way until your sale completes.
Why not contact the York branch for more details on 01904 648888