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How to Sell your House Fast

Taking steps to prepare your property for sale can be the difference between selling quickly and getting the best price for your property, or your home remaining on the market for a longer period of time and not realising its maximum price potential.

How long does it take to sell a house?

The average time from listing a property to receiving an offer has traditionally between 10-12 weeks, with a further 12 weeks required to complete the sale.

However, in the current market with exceptionally strong buyer demand, the time between listing and offer excepted has been reduced dramatically.

All transactions are different, with varying levels of complexity, so timeframes could be shorter or longer depending on the circumstances of your sale.

What is the quickest way to sell a house?

Selling at auction can be a great way to secure a quick sale.

Sales at online auctions, known as the Modern Method of Auction, must complete within 56 days of a bid being accepted, which can be much quicker than selling on the open market.

Top tips for a fast house sale

Preparing your property before you put it on the market could help you secure a faster sale and a higher sale price…

1. Make a great first impression

Buyers often make up their minds about a property within minutes – and sometimes without even stepping inside.

So, making sure your home’s exterior has the wow factor can help to make an amazing first impression when buyers arrive for a viewing.

Your exterior checklist

Tidy the front garden, removing bins, toys, bikes, etc

Mow the lawn and remove weeds

Jet wash driveways and paths

Clean front windows

2. Stage your home

Think about how potential buyers would want to use your home and then showcase how it could work for them.

Home staging can make a huge difference to the impact your property will make on buyers – and all that’s required is a little vision and a small budget.

Your staging checklist

  • Clear away clutter and store any large items to make your property feel more spacious
  • Lay your dining table to show how your home would work for an evening dinner party
  • Switch on lamps to light up corners, even during the day
  • Plump up cushions on your sofa and make your living room feel welcoming with some fresh flowers
  • Make up all beds and furnish with soft cushions

3. Set the temperature

It's not just the visual appearance of your home that will have an instant impact on potential buyers.

It's also how the property makes them feel.

So, if you've left the heating off and opened all the windows to remove any lingering food smells and your viewing is in the middle of January, your property will feel cold and unwelcoming.

Equally, if your viewings take place during a hot summer, having all the windows closed in such searing heat will make your home feel uncomfortable and stuffy.

Try to set a temperature in your home that feels welcoming and suits the season you’re in.

4. Align your property’s description and viewings

Think about what your buyers want before you decide with your agent how to market your home.

If you decide to advertise your property as a three-bedroom home, but the third bedroom is being used as a walk-in wardrobe or home office, you could consider switching it back to a bedroom if this is important to your buyers.

Make it easy for buyers to visualise how they would use your home if they were to buy it and ensure the online description matches what they’ll see when they arrive for a viewing.

5. Neutralise your decor

If your property has an extremely personalised décor, you should consider toning things down ahead of any viewings.

For example, bold, vibrant colours on walls can make it hard for buyers to see themselves living in the property with their own things.

It’s not necessary to paint every wall in Magnolia or white.

But you should consider lighting more neutral tones that won’t distract buyers from the space on offer.

Wallpaper, too, can be distracting, so consider removing any feature walls and going for light, neutral paint throughout your home.

6. Freshen up your carpets

Worn or stained carpets can be immediately off-putting for buyers, who will know instantly that they will need to spend money replacing them should they buy your home.

This could impact the offer they make, or whether they even opt to make one at all.

If your carpets are dirty, consider bringing in a professional cleaner to bring them back to life.

And if they’re worn beyond repair and are not an accurate reflection of your home’s finish, think about spending some of your moving budget to replace them.

If you're lucky enough to live in a period property with traditional wood flooring, meanwhile, you'll want to show it off in all its glory.

But there's a chance it's been worn down by traffic so try stripping it back and applying a fresh coat of varnish.

7. A stand-out kitchen

One of the first things buyers look for is a fully functioning, modern and spacious kitchen – a real heart of the home.

While fitting a new kitchen can be costly, and should only be done if you know your property's value will increase, there are things you can do to spruce up your space without breaking the bank.

New worktops can make a big difference to a kitchen and can provide a clean and fresh appeal to buyers.

Or you could paint your cupboard doors the colour of the moment and replace the handles.

Alternatively, have your kitchen re-tiled.

Tiles can easily date a kitchen space but replacing them doesn't have to be costly.

8. Focus on cleanliness

Your property’s cleanliness will also be a focal point for buyers.

An unclean home will come across as un-cared-for, meaning buyers may wonder if there are any other issues that have been left un-rectified.

Kitchens and bathrooms can be havens for dirt and grime, so spend some time performing a deep clean in these rooms – or bring in a professional cleaner.

9. Work with the right estate agent

Spend some time researching agents in your area and speak to family and friends for recommendations.

Look online for reviews of each agent and then speak to your chosen shortlist about their fees and how they’ll market your home.

Do they market properties on the major online portals, like Rightmove and Zoopla, and on social media platforms?

Do they know the area and what buyers are looking for?

Have they got a strong database of potential buyers looking for homes like yours?

Ask each agent about their experience of selling properties like yours in the area – a good agent will have a superb track record and excellent testimonials from previous sellers.

10. Support your agent

Of course, you’re paying an estate agent to sell your property, so the bulk of the workload should always sit with them.

However, there are many things you can do to support their work in marketing your home.

Promote your property on your own social media channels and ask friends and family to share your posts linking to your listing on the major online portals.

Also, be proactive and accommodating when your agent needs something from you, such as some documentation or a last-minute viewing appointment.

And always make sure your property is in the best condition possible so that late viewings can be booked in by your agent.

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