Top 10 tips to sell your home
- Choose the right estate agent
Selling a house is a stressful business. So choosing the right estate agent who is going to minimise worry and maximise results, is a vital first step.
Ideally you should have two or three valuations before instructing your chosen agent (all agents will offer a free valuation). Estate agents may all look the same, but standards and most importantly results massively vary. You should look for recommendations, research agent websites, read their reviews and see who is selling the most in your area. For sale boards are a great indicator of this, drive around and see which agent has the most boards up in your town.
The fee charged will either be a percentage of the sale price or a flat fee. Either way, do not be afraid to try and negotiate. Online agents generally charge their full fee even if they don’t sell your property and offer a much stripped back service in comparison to a traditional agent who will work on a no sale no fee basis. A recent data study by TheAdvisory.co.uk comparing high street agent’s vs online agents found that proactive high street agents generate 48% more viewings, 64% more offers and achieve 5% more on the sale price.
- Take home price indices with a pinch of salt when establishing an asking price
We are constantly bombarded with conflicting reports of house prices rising or falling, and it can be hard to know which one to believe.
However, these contradictions exist because they rely on different data. For example, Nationwide and Halifax house price indices base average property values on mortgage valuations, while the Land Registry records what the home actually changed hands for – though by the time the figures come through they can be a few months out of date. The Rightmove house price index uses asking prices which can be very different to the actual value of a property – which, of course, is what it actually sells for.
And these are all averages anyway, even with regional data, the price your home fetches can depend on the area, the pocket of that area, the street and, in some cases, even which end or side of the street the home is on.
Don’t be too swayed by your own expectations when it comes to establishing an asking price for your home, taking the average of two or three valuations is always best advice.
- Increase your property’s ‘kerb appeal’
A potential buyer could be put off even before they have set foot inside your front door if they are given a bad first impression. You want them to walk up the drive or path already feeling impressed and excited to see more.
So do what it takes to create that lasting first impression. Make sure the exterior of your home is up to scratch and if your front door or fence is looking tired, brighten it up with a lick of paint. Put up hanging baskets to add colour and if you have a garden plant some bedding flowers. Move bins out of view and clear away anything unsightly.
- Spruce up and de-clutter (Get photo ready!)
Making your home attractive to a buyer needn’t mean an expensive décor overhaul. Chances are it won’t be to the buyer’s taste anyway. But you should freshen up rooms with a neutral lick of paint in warm tones.
Make sure your rooms are clutter-free and as light and airy as possible. A mirror hung in the hall can give the illusion of space and a few vases of flowers or some plants can freshen up the house.
A kitchen is a big selling point, so make sure all the worktops are clear and that it smells fresh and clean. If you do have pets, ask a relative or friend to look after them while viewings are taking place. While you love your furry friend, chances are your buyer won’t – or worse still, they may be allergic.
- Bear in mind that little things count
Don’t forget the detail either. Chances are the buyer will be nit-picking as they will be looking at a number of properties and weighing everything up. So get around now to those annoying little maintenance jobs such as a long overdue light bulb change.
- Define each room
Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the house so it’s essential that each room is shown off to it highlight its purpose. If your dining room is full of work papers or exercise equipment for example, return it to its original purpose. It’s also important to de-personalise, for example by taking down posters in the kids bedrooms – so the buyer can see the potential for the house and where they would put their own items.
- Stay out of the way!
Getting your agent to show the viewings is best advice, (this should be included as standard from your agent) the potential buyers can look freely without feeling as though they are intruding and the agent will make them feel at ease and ultimately be better at selling your home than you. If you are home, let the agent take control, stay back out of the way, yet on hand to answer any questions if needed.
- Make the most of outdoor space
Gardens or any type of outdoor space can be another great selling point – but an overgrown jungle could see your buyer running mile. Not only will the space look smaller and ‘forgotten about’, if paying out for a gardener isn’t in your viewer’s plan or budget, it could completely put them off the property. Make sure pet mess is cleaned up; last thing you want is the potential buyer to accidently step in pet mess.
- Choose the best buyer and best conveyancing solicitor
Once the offers are on the table, your next big job is to choose the most reliable buyer.
Safer buyers include those who have already sold their home and are in rented accommodation, chain-free first time buyers, and cash buyers who do not need a mortgage. Bear this in mind but depending on how many offers you get, this choice might not be a luxury you have.
Obviously there will be other factors you need to take into consideration such as how quickly you need to sell and whether you have found somewhere to move in to yourself. Your agent should be actively involved checking chains, finances and offering advice and support.
It is very important you select a good solicitor and again your agent will be able to make recommendations of reputable local firms.
- Relax you’re in safe hands
Selling your home will be stressful, but knowing you’ve picked the best agent in your area should help to put your mind at rest. Trust your agent (they have a legal obligation to act in your bests interests).
Try and relax. Be realistic about timescales and don’t place unnecessary pressure on yourself by setting unachievable targets or timeframes. In 2018 the average time in the UK to agree a sale was 102 days. Let your agent guide you through the process, they will be happy to help at every step.
Newquay Property Centre is a 5 star reviewed agent, having won numerous awards for best in class and customer service. NPC consistently sells more residential re-sale property in the area than any other agent. We always work on a no sale no fee basis and are very competitive on fees. We have a designated sale progression executive which helps to keep our fall through rate low (well below the national average) and can arrange mortgages, conveyancing solicitors. Whatever your needs give us a call, we’re happy to help…