Selling your home is a big decision - and like most things in life, going the extra mile often pays dividends. You'll sell faster, for more money and spend less time quibbling over the final sale price. Our friends at GetAgent.co.uk recently spoke to the team here at Housekeep about how London residents can be sure they sell their home in the most efficient way.
1) Get rid of the clutter
When a buyer visits, they need to be able to imagine what life would be like in your property. And it can be difficult to do this if you a lot of stuff on show. Consider placing some of your belongings in storage, or leave them with a friend and organise to get your home professionally cleaned. Remember to leave some personality though, as it gives unimaginative buyers ideas on what the space will look like if they did decide to move in.
2) Make everything shine!
Over time, wear-and-tear sets in, making your property look unattractive and giving potential buyers a reason to start negotiating on price. Make any minor repairs necessary (pin holes, cracked tiles, torn carpets, limescale etc) and think about adding a fresh coat of paint to make the place look clean and new. Again, this makes it easier for people to imagine themselves living there, and will make them feel like moving in will be a smooth transition, with no need to spend time and money cleaning and repairing it themselves.
3) Make it light and airy
After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer looks for in a new home. Lighting can make rooms feel bigger, and the property more attractive. Replace broken light bulbs (and consider increasing the wattage), clean the windows and replace the lamp shades. If you are looking to apply a fresh lick of paint - there are certain colours in particular that can make rooms look lighter and more spacious.
4) The kitchen is king
Your kitchen matters. A lot! Quick fixes before selling almost always pay off. For example, replacing countertops can cost a few thousand pounds, whereas a buyer may try to knock off £10,000 off if they look dated. New cabinet hardware, a thorough clean of the cooker hood and extractor fan and a fresh coat of paint are both quick and inexpensive ways of improving the look of your kitchen.
5) Make it look homely
You never have a second chance to make a first impression. You never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door, so try to keep your house tidy at all times. Plants and flowers add colour and life to a room. Pleasant, homely smells, such as freshly baked bread or brewed coffee, also contribute to making your property more attractive.
6) The outdoor space matters as well!
Outdoor living spaces can add a lot of value to a property, but can quickly turn into a major turn-off if the space looks unkept. Trim the bushes, mow the lawn and remove any dirt from any outdoor furniture. It can also be a good idea to consider giving the front door a fresh coat of paint.
7) Know the market conditions
Knowing the market will help you figure out is now is the right time to sell. Is supply high or low? How does it compare to other months? High levels of supply may indicate that there is demand, but this also means more competition. Find out how many properties are currently on the market that are similar to yours, and whether any properties near you have sold recently. Do a search for similar properties on Rightmove or Zoopla, and size up the competition!
8) Choose a top local agent
Local estate agents add value because they know the area well, the reasonable value for your property, and will keep list of prospective buyers. Using an estate agent comparison site can help homeowners see property sales data and make a more informed decision based on how quick the agents have sold the property and the original valuation of the property compared to the final selling price.
9) Choose the right buyer
Depending on how popular your property is, you may well end up having to choose between several offers. The price is of course one thing to consider, but you also want to be sure that you’re picking the right buyer. It can be incredibly frustrating to have a buyer that pulls out at the last minute, so this is something worth considering. Safer buyers include people who have already sold their home and are living in rented accommodation, chain-free first time buyers, and cash buyers.
10) Plan your move
It normally takes about 9 weeks to find a buyer for a property in London. But first-time sellers often don’t realise that the conveyancing process can then take another 11 weeks. All in all, the entire process can easily take 5 months to complete.
If you're selling to buy a new place, managing the chain isn’t always easy - and it can happen that you’re left without a home for a couple of weeks. Have a backup plan in place in case this happens. Storage services, such as Spaceways can make life dramatically easier for you by keeping your belongings safe for a reasonable fee, and you can easily find short-term lets on sites like AirBnb to see you through until your new place becomes available.