Selling your home

Top Tips For Sellers

You’re thinking of selling, most likely you will have invested many thousands of pounds in your home. Now that time has come to sell a little further investment could make all the difference.

This investment may be your time, it may be money or both. What is certain that investing in the selling process yourself along with your agent and their advice will undoubtedly help effect a sale more readily and most likely at a better price.

Here are some tips based on over thirty years industry experience that have proven to be very successful and could help you sell your home too.

  1. See Your Home As Your Buyers Would – Take photos of your property, particularly the inside. Especially when viewed in larger format they will give you a fresh perspective your property. Rather than seen through your own eyes the camera as they say never lies. The photos will enable you to look objectively at each room and make adjustments accordingly.
  2. Ask A Friend & Your Agent – We Brits are notoriously house proud. This can sometimes get in the way of our seeing the negatives of our own homes. We all know that someone (more than one if you can) who isn’t afraid to tell us the truth. Get them to give you their honest feedback about your home. Yours agent sells houses for a living, they know from years of viewing feedback the common issues buyers raise of things that put them off about a house, so ask them to comment. Remember whatever they say don’t take it personally but do try to take it on board.
  3. De-Clutter / Re-Arrange – Given the plethora of TV property programmes these days then this process is now more commonly accepted and practiced. It is however extremely important to do it. You don’t have to be a Feng Shui expert or an interior designer. Simple things like having just one room full of “stuff” instead of having a number of cluttered rooms. Doors that don’t open fully because of the unit, wardrobe or sofa behind them can immediately convey to a buyer that a room and possibly the house is too small! Rooms that are used for an unusual purpose, consider where possible dressing them to sell as they are intended or more conventional use. These are simple, effective but not always apparent changes that really make a difference.
  4. First Impressions – Are absolutely vital, not just for viewings but especially for when your agent comes to take your photographs. How your house looks for your photos will be captured and preserved for all to see on internet. This is your biggest and best advert so help your agent help you by presenting your home to its best advantage. This also most definitely applies to the front elevation of the property. Does it have “kerb appeal”? Do trees block the vista of the house and or take natural light from a room? The decorative condition of the windows, soffits and fascias is key to a first impression. Similarly focus on the entrance hall as this is the first and last room viewers will see.
  5. Feed Their Senses – Its not just how a house looks that is important! How a property smells is very important too. As consumers we all like to think we are street smart, savvy, not taken in by the smell of fresh coffee, cakes baking in the oven or the latest room fragrance device. The truth is “we are”. It is a “natural” reaction and like many of a prospective buyer it may be an unconscious one. Remove the source of less attractive odours too. In addition fresh flowers are a real plus, colour co-ordinated to a room and not too fragrant and they can work wonders.
  6. What Should I Do With The Animals on Viewings? As much as your pet is one of if not the most loved member of your household, some buyers may be scared of your pet or put off the house at least by their presence. It may however not be practical to take your dog out for a walk every viewing, or easy to catch your cat to pop them in their basket each time someone is coming round. If you think your pet could be a hindrance on viewings then why not ask your agents to check with the prospective buyer before they come as to whether they are ok with animals.

  1. CERTIFY, ITS WORTH IT! Where a house has been improved make sure buyers get to know about this. “Consumer Protection Regulations” mean that agents cannot make statements about your home unless they can prove them. So if you have warranties, guarantees and or invoices available, let your agent know. They can then use this information to substantiate statements promoting your house more positively making it stand out from the crowd.

    Similarly it is essential to make available copies of building regulation approvals and or planning permissions in order to fully extol the virtues of your home and enable a more swift legal process post sale too. Perhaps keep a “log book” which you or your agent can use when showing buyers round! A good agent should ask you for them to enable them to sell your home as positively and as effectively as possible.
  2. DON’T MISS A VIEWING. We appreciate that you can’t always be available to accommodate viewing requests, however your agent might be able to. You know your home intimately, but your agent can too. Especially with the help of a log book you have prepared or the documents you have provided. Agents are sales professionals and most agents are therefore adept at carrying out viewings, understanding the needs of the buyer and selling your home to clients in the best way possible. You might even consider giving your agent a key, you never know when your buyer is going to call.
  3. TIME IT RIGHT. When booking viewings be aware of local factors that might influence buyers. If you live near a school for instance this for many is an undoubted positive, but perhaps avoid viewings at busy drop off or pick up times. Perhaps also avoid viewings at rush hour if you know queues in the area are a problem. Is your garden sunlit only in the morning? Then where possible avoid pm viewings and vice versa. If the viewing has to be carried out at a less advantageous time then ensure that you and your agent prime and advise the buyer how the sun floods in in the morning/afternoon, before and at the viewing thus overcoming any later negativity.
  4. ACCURATE PRICING! Agents have a bad press over trying to secure your business. It is perhaps only human to believe that the agent telling your home is worth most is the one who must be right. This obviously isn’t necessarily true. Neither is the lowest price necessarily right either. The answer, seek justification! Test the agents knowledge of the locality, on what are they basing their appraisal of your home, ask them to show you the evidence as to how they form that opinion. When setting the asking price ensure that the asking price matches the timescale you wish to sell within. A good agent will give you a range of figures. The price you commence marketing at when chasing the perfect house that has just come to the market should be very different to that where you are just testing the market and have no need to achieve a sale within a restricted time period.
  5. SPEED UP YOUR SALE. Help your home moving partners to help you! Choose and appoint your solicitor as soon as possible. This will help avoid unnecessary and potentially costly delays a time once a sale of your home has been agreed. Wherever possible respond to your agent and solicitor in a timely fashion. This is especially true when your agents is readying your property for the open market. Under “Anti Money Laundering Regulations” your agent and solicitor are required by law to obtain confirmation and or approvals and documentation. 1) “Proof if ID” such as a valid passport or valid photo card driving licence, “Proof of Residency” such as a bank/building society statement or utility bill no more than 3 months (other documents can be accepted contact your agent for further advice). Once received from your agent then swift approval of the same will enable the agent to commence marketing.