Make Your Home as Marketable as Possible

 By Michael Bruce, CEO of Purplebricks

The first part of the year is an exciting time, as we look ahead and begin making plans for the coming months. It is also a time when many people feel inspired to make a fresh start, and contemplate putting their homes on the market.

However, with lots of people thinking along the same lines, how do you ensure that your property stands out from the crowd? Here Michael Bruce, CEO of hybrid estate agency Purplebricks, shares his top tips for how to sell your home in 2015…

(1)    Never underestimate the importance of ‘home staging’

Michael Bruce says: “It is really important that potential buyers are able to picture themselves living in your property. Whilst a couple of personal photos on display can help to create a nice, homely atmosphere, too many can be a turn off. Always make sure that the curtains are open, the lawns have been mowed and there are no cars or bins blocking up the driveway in order to make the very best impression on viewings.  A viewer will generally get a very early view as to whether a house is right for them (usually no more than 90 seconds)” 

(2)    Pick your price carefully

Michael Bruce says: “In a crowded market it is crucial that you choose the correct price to market your home at. It can be a sensible move to set a slightly lower price point in order to spark competition and encourage a flurry of bids. This strategy can result in the property finding its own value, and will hopefully enable you to achieve an over the odds offer.  Remember there are very few people who will buy £10 for £11.  There are far more who will buy at £9.50 and the more competition the higher the price.”

(3)    Think carefully about your agent

Michael Bruce says: “It is very important to choose your estate agent carefully when looking to sell your home.  It can be the difference between sleepless nights and peace of mind.  The expert advice they offer could be the difference between getting a speedy sale, or your property sitting on the market for weeks, so it is vitally important that you trust and value their opinion.

Make sure that you also fully utilize all the professional tools that they have at their disposal. At Purplebricks our Ezie online platform means our customers have full and instant access to everything that is happening with their property instantly 24/7. ”

(4)    Make sure your pets take a back seat

Michael Bruce Says: “Whilst the majority of UK homes are pet friendly, it is important to remember that the presence of animals may be off putting for a potential buyer, and could even be a deal breaker. If you do have pets, I would suggest making sure that they are out of the way during viewings and that any ‘extras’ such as food bowls, litter trays, toys etc. are cleaned up and kept out of sight.  You may strike lucky and have a real animal lover walk through the door however, you may also encounter the complete opposite… “

(5)   Be prepared

Michael Bruce says: “Once you have put your home on the market it is important to make sure that you have all the relevant paperwork such as insurance documents, planning permission and building regulations in order. I would also advise securing a good solicitor, even before you have accepted an offer so that you are totally prepared and ready to move forward.”

(6)    Make sure your home has ‘curb appeal’

Michael Bruce says: “Remember, the front of your property is the very first thing that a potential buyer will see. Give the front of your property a facelift by replacing any damaged gutters, giving the front door a lick of paint, and adding some plants around the door step. All these things will help to make a great first impression on potential buyers, and could make the difference between them deciding to put in an offer, or not.

(7)    Keep it tidy

Michael Bruce says: “It’s the most basic trick in the book but tidying your house from top to bottom before a viewing is essential. Potential buyers need to be able to really inspect the property so removing clutter and ensuring everything is spotless will make your home much more appealing. Rooms that should be given particular attention are the kitchen, living room and bathroom. Also, make sure that the windows are also given a good clean.”

(8)    Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes

Michael Bruce says: “Before anyone views your home it can be a good idea to do a little test run and try to look at the property from the buyer’s perspective. Stand in the doorway of each room as if you are viewing them for the first time, and ask yourself honestly would you buy the property based on what you are seeing. It can also be useful to ask a friend or relative to view the house – somebody who can give you their honest opinion and help you spot things that you have previously overlooked.”

(9)    Keep your colours neutral

Michael Bruce says: “Buyers can easily be put off by bright colours and over-the-top themes. Remember that buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the house they’re viewing straight away, so by keeping colour schemes neutral, you are more likely to attract their attention.”

(10   Make the necessary repairs

Michael Bruce says: “Buyers want a home that has been taken care of. Often it doesn’t take a lot to revitalise a room – just a fresh lick of paint or repairing a few cracked tiles however, it can make all the difference when it comes to buyers putting in an offer. Most buyers will still have a list of repairs that they want doing before closing, but it’s worth doing as much as you can in advance to ensure that they put in an offer in the first place!”

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