Normally, the way it works is that if you want to buy a new home, then you will need to sell your current property in order to move forward. You will then use the equity (the amount at which you sell for minus your current mortgage balance) as the deposit for your next purchase which might be topped up by savings. But many people don’t look to sell their own property until they have identified the one they want to buy. So, how do you sell your home quickly?
The way a home is marketed and presented when it is listed for sale can have a big impact on your ability to sell your home quickly.
It goes without saying that your asking price should not be way over the odds for your area. Don’t be caught in the trap of listing with the estate agent who suggests the highest potential sale price as it might be too high. With the advent of Zoopla and Rightmove, the initial “splash” onto the market is a good indicator of whether your price is right. In the first two weeks, if you get no initial interest, then there is a good chance it has been over-valued as newly listed properties generate interest.
The next tip can be difficult to imagine, but when it comes to viewings, you need to inspect your own house as if you were viewing it for the first time yourself. If it has good “kerbside appeal”, (i.e. it looks nice as you drive up to it) that will be a great first impression.
It’s a bit like the old saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
Think of the small things such as a freshly jet-washed drive and neatly cut front lawn. This indicates that you are the kind of person that looks after their home. Therefore, the potential buyer is likely to think that the inside will be as nice as the outside. An early win!
You also need to have a good tidy. Remove any clutter from the front of the property, e.g. children’s bikes and toys etc. Make sure your front door looks appealing (clean) and the doorbell works. Go wild, treat yourself to a new doormat! After all, you’re looking to sell your home quickly.
Once the outside is sorted, you then need to inspect your house room by room. You should pay special attention to your kitchen and bathrooms. Cupboards and wardrobes should be neatly stacked and free of clutter. If you are a smoker, the smell can put people off, so give the house a good airing before your potential purchaser arrives. And remove anything that you think has a smoky smell about it. Interior doors should all be freshly painted. Polish the brass fixtures and ensure all doors open and close nicely, no broken locks etc.
You ultimately want your buyer to feel at home and relaxed as they view your property so try and avoid having pets or young children getting in their way as they move around. That said, if it’s a family home you are selling then just a couple of family pictures and paintings can help as it will them envisage bringing up their family there too.
Although you want them to feel at home, you also need to keep the place presentable. Your bathroom should be spotless. Put away any items, cosmetics etc that aren’t in daily use, co-ordinate your towels and flannels to ensure nothing is mismatched and don’t leave items of clothing scattered around on the floor.
Lighting. Ensuring the house is well-lit with all the lights turned on in darker rooms and having curtains and blinds open makes your home feel nice and warm. But please make sure all the lightbulbs are working. Also, think about cutting back any large interior plants that block out light.
One of the key things is to ensure your home is immaculately clean. Wash your curtains, blinds, wipe down your walls and clean all your floors and windows. All repairs should be up to date too and clean bedding on the beds. Windows should be sparkling clean inside and out. New carpets in smaller rooms can be an inexpensive way of creating the impression that your house is welcoming and has been well cared for. Plain painted walls create the idea of a “blank canvas” that the buyer can personalise. No one likes the idea of scraping wallpaper off walls if it can be avoided!
Despite what people claim about “baking bread” smells (this is corny and old-fashioned), ensure there are no cooking smells lingering whatsoever.
Buyers are also attracted by the idea of “space”. Therefore, if you have anything that you are storing outside of cupboards, pack it away, including anything on your kitchen tops.
In terms of your garden, make sure to do a general clean up and remove all rubbish. The viewer may want to look inside your shed or garage so don’t just throw everything in there. On that point, if you can, clean up the garage so that it looks like a car could fit in there if required.
As with the front of the house, cutting the grass can create a good impression. If you’ve got time, doing a bit of weeding along the paths and walkways can also go a long way.
Another area of the outside to think about is any fencing you have. If there are holes, for whatever reason, this can give a bad impression! So, make sure to get these fixed if required and a fresh lick of paint can go be a big tick in the box of the buyer.
People buy from people, so I always think it’s better if you do the viewings yourself as the seller. You will no doubt feel very passionate about your home and can show it off in its best light, albeit pointing out any small issues that you have encountered over the years (“We had a leak, we fixed it”) to present a balanced view. But be conscious not to crowd them. Let them walk around on their own, if appropriate so that they can talk between themselves if there are two of them.
Finally, remember the emotions attached to buying a home. If you have a family it helps to accentuate it has been a happy home for you, this is sure to rub off on the viewers if they are thinking of raising a family also.