With property increasing in value in the North West throughout 2016 & 2017, and further increases forecast, it is a great time to be moving house. Even though there are more buyers around there are many things you can do to help sell your house faster and achieve the best price.
Here we give you our top 10 tips for selling.
1. Get a proper valuation
Don’t just rely on area averages, online calculators and website estimates. The Halifax and Nationwide house price indices are based on mortgage valuation & mortgage applications, and do not take into consideration cash purchases and actual completions. Even the Land Registry statistics (which show real selling figures) are slightly out of date by the time they are released.
You need to get a knowledgeable estate agent to value your property based on your immediate area and all the things that make your property different to the ones around it. David Warburton, director at WeLocate says “We always advise sellers to get 3 agents out and decide which valuation you trust most. Beware of agents over-valuing to win your business and then tying you into a long contract to give themselves time to reduce your price when they can’t sell your property.”
2. Identify your target market
Think about who you are looking to sell your property to. Is it a first time buyer? A growing family? There is a good chance that your lifestyle and needs from a property have changed significantly since you moved in, that is probably why you are looking to sell. You should prepare your home to be attractive through the eyes of your buyer; maybe turn the ‘office’ back into the 3rd bedroom, create a child friendly garden space if it is a family home etc. Remember, YOU aren’t buying your house!
3. First impressions last
Buyers won’t decide to buy a property just by looking at the front but they may decide NOT to buy it. ‘Kerb appeal’ as it is commonly known. Tidy the garden up, jet-wash the driveway, paint the fence, clean the windows, soffets and facia boards, put some pot-plants or hanging baskets out. Bins at the front of the house can also be off-putting.
If a buyer can see that you take care of the outside of your property they come in with a much more positive feeling and won’t be thinking ‘what else is wrong?’ when they are viewing.
4. De-clutter and de-personalise
Less is more. We want your buyers to walk into every room, see the space on offer and imagine themselves living there. Too many personal items and clutter can be off-putting and make a room look smaller than it actually is. Where possible, pack things into boxes and put them in the loft/wardrobe/under the bed.
5. Freshen up and get straight
What about those little jobs that you’ve been meaning to do? Re-grout the bathroom tiles, paint the skirting boards, fix that loose door handle, weed the garden path. You can guarantee that your viewers will inflate the cost of every little job so make a list and tick the jobs off so you are ready to stand out from the crowd. A single light bulb out will have some buyers questioning your electrics!
6. Prepare a buyers’ guide
Give your buyers information that they want to know but agents are not obligated to provide. How much is the council tax? How much are the electricity and gas bills? When was the boiler last serviced? Do you have guarantees for work done? These little things can make you stand out more than other agents’ properties.
7. Make the most of outside
No matter how big or small your garden, make it an inviting place to relax. Even the smallest yard can benefit from wall plants, a mirrored wall to give a sense of space or a nice table and chairs. Make sure any lawns are well tended to, leaves are cleared and plant beds are clear. As with driveways, jet-washing a patio can bring it back to life.
8. Give them space
If you do your own viewings don’t walk into every room first. Let the buyers walk in, this way the room looks larger and you aren’t filling the room as they enter. If the agent is accompanying the viewings for you, say hello then stay out of the way but be accessible to answer any questions they may have before they leave.
9. Is the best offer the best offer?
You may well find yourself in the luxurious position of having multiple offers on your property. If you do you should consider the buying position of each candidate: are they a first time buyer, have they already sold, are they chain free, maybe a cash purchaser?
Sometimes if there is a small difference in the offers it is wiser to go with the safest bet.
Especially if you have seen a property or are competing against other buyers for somewhere then maybe accepting the offer from the buyer who can move fastest is the best option.
10. Choose the right agent
In this age of digital marketing you can look at your chosen agents marketing strategies. Do they take fantastic pictures of clean, tidy rooms? Is there a floorplan on every property? Are the descriptions exciting and do they make you want to look at their houses? Then it is all about fees and contract length, don’t get tied in for months and months, in this market your property should be selling fairly quickly. Also make sure you have a ‘no-sale, no-fee’ deal, no matter how cheap it is your agent must have a motivation to sell your property.