With the property market increasingly getting back on its feet, the demand for housing has grown and in contrast to more recent years, it is once more becoming a competitive field.
Last year, there were more house hunters than ever before with over 100 million people visiting the Rightmove property portal in January. A new year typically brings the desire for change and with people feeling a little more punch in their pockets after the falling cost of food and petrol prices, consumer confidence has been given a lift.
In light of this, you maybe be thinking about relocating. Whether it’s a move to that dream house, a fresh start somewhere new, an upgrade for a new family addition or even to downsize, you will be wanting to maximize your chance of a sale.
So what can you do to increase your house value and chance of a quick sale?
De-Clutter and De-Personalize
Clutter doesn’t sell homes, it makes them look small, disorganized and unattractive. The last thing a potential buyer wants to see is your personality scattered all over the place. New buyers need to see themselves living in your house so you need to tidy away your daily items and remove your belongings (photos, ornaments, kid’s posters). Don’t leave the rooms bare but make sure you demonstrate that it is a welcoming, functional home. A simple step but it could be the difference between your house selling over another similar property.
Install the Essentials
If your home is missing essential pieces, like inside doors or central heating, get them installed as soon as possible. If you live in a hot climate, make sure your house has an Air Conditioner too, or the impression your house is going to give off to potential buyers is hot and sweaty. Buyers want to walk into a house that looks complete, not one where it looks like they need to spend a lot of money as soon as they move in. With the essentials in place, you can charge a higher price for the house, meaning the investment will pay off massively.
A fresh coat of neutral paint and a couple of new kitchen doors can do wonders to smarten up a tired-looking property. By keeping the colour neutral, it keeps a light and bright look, allowing potential buyers to in vision how they would make a stamp on the house without have to remove yours first. You don’t need to go over board but is important that you fix any damages. New fittings, tiles, front door colour, lights and even floral additions can all help give off a new much friendlier, fresher feel. First impressions count so make sure your viewers are greeted with a household cozy and warm welcome.
Whilst it is crucial you need to freshen up your place keep in mind the cost involved. Fixes are needed but for example, don’t waste money on a brand new kitchen when you could consider a new paint job as there is little chance you will make your money back. Getting industrial cleaners in to really make the place sparkle will be money well-spent. Rather than replace, have the carpets, sofa covers, oven and windows cleaned to give off a clean and new look without the large costs.
The Right Price
With so much capital tied up in any property, everyone wants to get the best deal possible when it comes to selling their property. Do your research, you need to make sure that you are asking a reasonable and competitive price for the property in your area. Agents don’t charge for valuations so make sure you get at least 3. From this, you will be able to gauge a realistic price. By using a reputable estate agent, you will get honest and accurate advice on what you should be expecting to receive in your local area.
When it comes to price related to estate agent fees, this is also an important part to consider. It is cheaper to sell sole-agency rather than multi-agency. If you give your first agent 4 weeks, it will give them the best chance and motivation to quickly sell your property. Always attempt to negotiate their fees and get a written copy of any deal you agree on.
You can ask for advice on associated selling costs with your solicitor and you can also get advice from your mortgage lender on any redemption penalties. This will give you an indication of what price you can afford to sell at.
Instructing an Estate Agent & Solicitor
As mentioned, it is important to get a variety of agent opinions. It isn’t always best practice to go for the one with the highest valuation or even the one you may end up using.
When it comes to agent’s exclusivity contracts, negotiate the minimum time possible so that you can get out or change if you’re not happy with their service. You will always want some one who is fair, invested in the sale and an active operator in the local market.
You should always be over prepared so it is a smart idea to instruct a solicitor to do your conveyancing early on. Get them to write up a draft contract and apply for title deeds while you gather all of your own paperwork on the property.
Who Is the Best Buyer?
When you’re eager to move, you often want to accept the first bid you get (depending on the price), especially if you’re waiting to move into a new residential property. An air of caution must be taken here however, as many people get it wrong. The person who offers the highest price is not always the best choice. Liaise with your agent about potential buyers and push to find out as much about the buyer’s situation as possible. Ask the following:
- How they’re financing the purchase? (cash buyers are best)
- Are they first time buyers?
- Do they have a related transaction?
- Are there any forward chains that could complicate completion?
- Are they property investors returning to the market?
These questions should give you a better idea about the buyer’s current position. The last thing you want to happen is a for a sale to stall or fall through as it will delay the process and you’ll have to start the whole search again. When you have a clearer picture, you will be able to make a more informed decision on who the best buyer for your property is.
About The Author: Veronica Pembleton
With several years of experience writing in property journalism. Veronica delves deep into the world of housing, reviewing the latest trends to deliver the current news that is effecting the market we live in.