If you’ve been considering selling for a while, then now may be the perfect time to do it, as the UK is currently experiencing a rise in house prices. December saw a rise of 1.5 percent over the previous month, to push the annual increase of house prices to four percent, according to data from Halifax. This, along with return of confidence to the property market after last year’s general election, makes it a great time to sell. But what are buyers looking for, and how can you make sure that your property is the best that it can be?
Choose the Right Agent
Selling a house is no doubt a stressful affair, so choosing the best estate agent for you, who is going to handle everything professionally, efficiently and appropriately, is an essential first step. You should find an agent with proven and current experience that can attract plenty of viewings, so take the time to research the estate agents that are in your local area. Make sure they’re good value for money, are proactive, and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Love at First Sight
House buyers will usually form their first impressions within seconds of walking through the front door – in fact, some may already start to decide how they feel about a place just by the look of the outside. If your property has a front garden, then you should definitely spend time giving it some TLC. Changes as small as a few potted plants and a leaf-free pathway can make the world of difference and make your home seem immediately more inviting.
Home Sweet Home
This should go without saying, but having tidy, clean rooms in preperation for a viewing is of the utmost importance, as one of the biggest turn-offs for potential buyers is mess. They want to be able to see how much space they’re working with, so it’s important to make the rooms as decluttered and spacious as possible. Spend some time cleaning and sorting each room from top to bottom, paying close attention to those rooms that usually get messy such as the kitchen and bathroom. It’s also worth considering that if there’s too much furniture, or things like children’s toys scattered around, it could potentially make the property feel smaller.
Speaking of keeping the house fresh – if you have any pets, despite how cute you may think they are, it’s important to consider that potential buyers could be allergic to them. Pets can also serve as a distraction from the property, not allowing the viewer to fully take in the house, so leaving them with a neighbour or family member will ensure that the focus remains on your home.
Let Them Look
Make sure you keep yourself out of the way, too. When a potential buyer has come to view your property, they need to be able to wander freely around the house so that they can get an unbiased feel for the place. After the viewing, though, be on hand and prepared to answer any questions that your visitors may have.
The Fine Line
One of the more difficult problems that you may face while preparing your house for a viewing is treading the line between making sure your house feels homely whilst also making sure the viewer can see its potential. Buyers want to picture themselves living there, so it’s essential that each room is shown off to it highlight its purpose. Just try not to make it look like some sort of generic hostel.
Fix it Up
Checking for any broken guttering, and fixing any cracks or holes are small DIY jobs that are easy to do, and one less thing that the buyer will have to think about. The chances are that the buyer will be nit-picking, since they’ll be looking at a number of properties in their house search. Get around now to those annoying little maintenance jobs, even if it’s as small as changing a flickering light bulb.
A Lick of Paint
We would recommend painting over bright coloured walls – lots of people are put off by bright colours in a property, and, worse still, certain colours can make a room feel smaller. Opt for more neutral colours instead of bright ones, and, if you want to keep some personality or colour to a room, then it’s best to do it through accessories like pillows or flowers.
A Picture Tells a Thousand Words
With more home buyers searching online for properties than ever before, when it comes to selling a property, good pictures are extremely important. In order to attract potential home buyers to your front door, you should make sure that an estate agent takes good, professional photos and makes the property look as spacious as possible.
Choose the Best Buyer
It’s important to remember that your choice is just as important as the buyers’. Once an offer is on the cards, the next big decision is to choose the best buyer. It’s worth considering safe buyers who have already sold their home and are renting a property, or cash buyers who do not need a mortgage. But there will, of course, be other things you need to consider, such as how quickly you need to sell the property, and whether you have found somewhere to move in to yourself.