Many people want to own their own home, but despite this desire, selling a property can be a long and stressful slog, even in London where the market has started to slow.
The best way to sell a home is obviously to sell it quickly – to do that you need to make your property as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks of the trade that will convince your viewers to make those offers and buy your home.
Getting the price right
The first step to making your home an attractive prospect is to ensure that you have priced your property at the correct level for its size, modernity and location. Everyone knows that house prices are high but that does not mean you can ask for an over-the-top price, even if you are in the nation’s capital. In fact, pricing your home too high will probably mean that you do not even get viewers, let alone offers. If you are employing an estate agent to sell your home, you can usually trust them to set an appropriate price, but do not be afraid to change it if you think it too low or too high. Review local market data to see how much other properties are going for in your area and to give you an idea of what your own asking price should be.
Create a good first impression
You need to look at your home with fresh eyes when you are getting it ready for views. Familiarity often means that you overlook your home’s faults, but be assured, your viewers will not do the same. Property viewing is an area where a first impression matters, so be sure the frontage of your property looks attractive. This means tidying up any front space you have, whether that be a driveway, pathway or garden. If a garden, take up weeds and trim overgrown hedges. If a driveway or a pathway, pull up the weeds from between the bricks and use a power washer to give the brickwork a thorough clean. Then move on to the front of the house. If your front door is looking a little shabby, give it a touch-up with a fresh coat of paint. Clean the windows, inside and out, and the windowsills. Here is a little tip: if you want to get an idea of what your viewer will see, look up your address on Google Maps and see a photograph.
Cleanliness is key
It should go without saying that the most important element of any home is its cleanliness; untidiness can be overlooked, but if a property looks dirty, then it is a definite turn-off for viewers. While you may not feel like having a thorough spring cleaning, this is the first thing you should do inside your home. If yours is a smoking household, clean the soft furnishings: sofa covers, cushion covers and curtains, to eliminate any stale smoke odours. If you have a dog in the family, then you will need to do this to get rid of the doggy smell, too. Vacuum rugs and carpets and steam clean hard floors and vinyl floors, especially in the bathroom and kitchen where hygiene is most important. Dust all surfaces and wipe down all worktops.
It is important to remember that your taste in interior decoration may not be the same as your viewer’s tastes, so you may want to tone down some of your bolder decorative choices. This may involve painting your walls a neutral colour and replacing patterned curtains with plainer fabrics. If you want to update your home and perhaps increase its market value, you could consider installing wooden window shutters, as these are a very fashionable choice for homes and have several positive selling points. They are neutral window dressings so will complement any colour scheme, but are also great insulators, helping to keep heating costs down.
Decluttering is essential to make your home attractive to viewers. Too many items of furniture and knickknacks will create a visual block for viewers who are trying to picture their own furniture and ornaments in your home, as well as making spaces seem smaller. Remove as much ornamentation as possible without making your rooms look bare. Clean up after children and pets rather than leaving their toys lying around. However, do not feel obliged to de-personalise by removing family photos and other personal items. Such pieces help to create a feeling of warmth and homeliness.
When selling your property, you need to make it as easy as possible for a buyer to move in and quickly make it their home. Ensure a quick sale by tidying, cleaning and decluttering to show off your home to its best potential.