Nobody wants a lengthy house sale. Aside from the fact that it's one of life's great stress tests, the costs will soon begin to mount up and the likelyhood of the whole thing collapsing increases by the day.
However, being prepared and taking some well thought out steps to get your home looking its best can substantially reduce this stress and help you to sell your home even quicker.
Estate agent comparison website www.getagent.co.uk has compiled their top tips for selling a house, including making the right impression, getting professional pictures taken and choosing the right estate agent.
Increase your property's kerb appeal
The outside of your property is the first chance to wow potential buyers and to get them interested in seeing more. Little things can make a huge difference to the kerb appeal of your house, so make sure you cut the grass, sweep all of the paths, move your bins out of view and clean up anything unsightly.
For a touch of colour, think about adding inexpensive hanging baskets and planting some bedding flowers; these types of flowers really make a statement and provide a focal point for the outside of the property. It is also a good idea to cut back any overgrown bushes and to clean any patio areas. A well maintained garden can help prospective buyers visualise themselves using the garden.
It is also a good idea to freshen up any tired or outdated exterior fixtures such as fences or garden furniture and make sure that any external windows and doors are in good condition, are clean, and all latches and handles are in working order.
Repair and clean
Many buyers want to move into a house without having to make a lot of changes, so making minor repairs is an important factor when selling a house. Fix any fixtures or fittings that are broken such as cupboard handles, kitchen tiles or holes in walls. It is also a good idea to replace any threadbare or well-worn carpets as this could put off potential buyers too.
When staging your home for viewings it is imperative that the property is clean and tidy. You don't want it to be a show home and look unlived in, but a good clean will make the house more presentable.
Watch out for the smells
Bad smells are known to be one of the biggest turn offs for prospective buyers, so making sure that your drains and sinks are clean, your food bin is disinfected and that your house is aired out can make a big difference.
Estate agents have been using pleasant smells to sell houses for many years. Freshly baked bread, cakes and muffins are popular but impractical for most home sellers, however brewing fresh coffee or lighting a citrus scented candle can help express a homely feel during viewings.
If potential buyers cannot envisage themselves living in a property, it is harder for them to make a decision. People often find this difficult when looking around houses and one of the major reasons for this is clutter.
Think about moving out or storing any bulky furniture and try to declutter as much as possible, but leave some of your personality to shine through. Open spaces and neutral colours often make small rooms feel bigger and make it easier for buyers to imagine their belongings in the space.
A fresh lick of paint
Many home buyers are looking for a blank canvas, something they can customise to their taste, and they are much more likely to be interested by neutral colours than bold ones. Neutral colours will also help to make your home seem lighter and bigger and allow viewers to easily envisage how they could adapt the room to their needs.
Light blues, pale greys and pastel yellows are all good colour choices and provide a relaxing, warm and inviting feel to a room.
Adding finishing touches
Make sure that all of the windows are dressed properly with blinds, curtains or net curtains as windows without any dressing tend to make a room feel impersonal and run down.
Wall mounted mirrors can make a room feel bigger and are perfect for providing a light and airy feel to dark areas.
Add a touch of colour by bringing plants and flowers into the house; fruit bowls are also a good option and provide a wonderful smell too. Cushions and throws are an ideal choice for adding inexpensive pops of colour to a room and to convey a comfortable and warming feeling.
Spend money to make money – updating and conversions
This tip may seem a bit counter intuitive, but spending a little bit of money before selling your home can pay off in the long run. Simple updates such as changing the bathroom tiles or adding new cabinet doors in the kitchen can make a big a difference to the saleability and value of a property. An estate agent can make recommendations on what types of updates and conversions can add the most value, as well as advise you of what prospective buyers are looking for property wise in the local area.
If you have enough spare cash to make a conversion, why not adapt a loft space into an extra room or build a conservatory for some extra space? These types of updates can add value to the house and make it a more interesting prospect for potential buyers.
Find the right estate agent
Finding the right estate agent is key to selling your house quickly and for the right price. The estate agent will value your property, market your home to potential buyers, handle viewings and liaise with solicitors. Finding an estate agent that knows the local area, trends and provide a good service is imperative for a quick sale.
Estate agent recommendations from friends and family are always good to follow up on, however doing the research and comparing local estate agents can help you pay less fees and get more money for your house.
To take the stress out of comparing and picking an estate agent, comparison websites are hassle-free and save time. These websites can quickly provide users with helpful information about estate agents in the local area, their contact information and some will even provide users with current information on the local housing market so that they can make an informed decision. They can then put you in touch with your chosen agent to get the ball rolling.
Hire a professional photographer
Whether you are hiring a local estate agent or are putting your home up for sale through an online agent, a picture tells a thousand words so don't cut any corners here. Although some estate agents have their own photographers, many do not, and taking pictures usually falls to the agents themselves. This can cause lacklustre or dull pictures being marketed by the estate agents which could put people off.
Stand out from the crowd and get your house noticed by hiring a professional photographer. For a small fee they will make sure that your house is presented and staged in the best way possible to attract the most potential home buyers.