Selling your property can often take months, particularly in a buyers' market. That can lead to frustration and, if you need to move quickly for financial reasons, a whole lot of stress you could do without.
But it is possible to secure a fast sale at a satisfactory price. You just need to know what YOU can do to make your home stand out from the crowd.
Here are Martin & Co's best tips for selling your house quickly...
1. Dress your home to impress
2. Be realistic with your valuation
3. Tell everyone you're selling!
4. Pack before you've sold
5. Use all your space
6. Use your outdoor space
7. Fix and clean up
DRESS TO IMPRESS
Imagine your home as the star of a glittering West End production. It's taking the lead role so you'll want to ensure the spotlight is on it.
If you've ever visited a show home, that's the look you're aiming for! And you'll need to ensure it stays that way for the whole time the property is on the market. Viewings can come in at short notice, so making sure your home is presentable at all times is crucial.
Dress your furniture with plump, appealing cushions or a nice throw and ensure everything is clean and crisp.
Place some flowers on the tables and, if you need to, hire in some additional furniture to add a wow factor. Most importantly, use natural and internal lighting to your advantage. Open the curtains for day viewings, but also switch on lights to boost the feeling of space.
A REALISTIC VALUATION
Of course it's natural human instinct to go with an estate agent that values your home at the biggest price. We all want the best sale price we can achieve, after all.
But this is not always the best option. Set a benchmark valuation in your mind before inviting agents to value your property. While an agent valuing your property at £10,000 more than another might seem appealing, if your property is over-valued and remains on the market for six or even nine months, that is actually costing you money over the long-term.
LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU ARE SELLING
Good old word of mouth can still do the business when it comes to selling your home quickly. So, put the word out!
Tell your neighbours, family, local newsagent, milkman, friends and everyone on the school run. There's a strong chance that one of those people will know someone looking for a property just like yours!
Also, use social media to your advantage. A good estate agent will market your property effectively on channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but you can play a key role by also advertising your home on social media.
You never know where a buyer will come from, so ensure you have all bases covered!
PACK UP YOUR THINGS
As we mentioned when talking about dressing your home, the photographs used to market the property are the one thing that will it stand out against other properties.
So, with that in mind, pack up all your family photos and other personal items before the camera starts snapping.
While important to you, buyers will simply see items like these as clutter. They are viewing the property as their future home, so images of the current owners and their children will only stifle their ability to do that.
USE ALL YOUR SPACE
Multi-functional homes are in huge demand from modern families. So, if your dining room is empty because you eat in the kitchen or living room, show potential buyers how that space could be used.
Create a 'snug' with a small sofa and bean bags, where the kids can watch movies without disturbing the viewing habits of their parents! Or perhaps create an office space. Home and flexible working is becoming more and more common, so a usable and comfortable office space can be a huge selling point.
SELL THE OUTDOORS
Even though winter is fast approaching, it doesn't mean potential buyers will only be looking at the inside of your home.
Late autumn and early winter can actually be a lovely time of year to present your outdoor space. The colours of the leaves add a feeling of warmth even with the temperature dipping, so ensure your lawn is mowed and tidy and that pathways are jet-washed and clear of falling leaves.
Make sure the front of your property matches the effort out the back, too. It's the first thing people will see when they arrive for a viewing so make sure paintwork is crisp and clean and lawns and paths are clear and presentable.
Moreover, if the verge outside your home is in need of a weed and mow, do it. Cash-strapped councils tend to avoid sprucing up the pavements, but it could make a big difference when those viewers turn up outside.
FIX THOSE LITTLE ISSUES - AND CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!
That lightbulb that you never got around to replacing might not seem like a huge issue, but to picky buyers viewing dozens of properties, it could have a negative impact. And be sure - buyers do turn the lights on and off!
They also open cupboard doors, try the windows and turn on the taps. So, if any of those little jobs are still outstanding, get them fixed before you put your home on the market.
Most importantly, and this takes us back to the show home mentality required for selling property, ensure your home is spick and span. Buyers won't want to eat their dinner off your kitchen floor, but if they think they could because it's so clean, that can only be a good thing.