How to move your property sale forward
Pushing your property forward to the front of a bustling and competitive market is not an easy task given the current economic conditions. Despite many experts predicting that the recovery of the UK housing market will continue, there remain several barriers between you and a quick house sale.
Whilst the economy and house prices are again on the up; banks are still wary about lending to anyone with a deposit of less than ten per cent. In addition, with frequent coverage of negative equity and repossession, buyers are more and more conscious of getting value for money on their house purchases. Despite these issues, however, there are still several ways to move your property forward to the front of the property buying queue.
Get rid of all your clutter.
You might like living a certain way, but your prospective buyers may not. So get rid of the old football and fashion magazine piling up for months and the piles of DVD cases next to the TV since you moved in.
Buyers want to see evidence of a lived-in home, but they also need to imagine living in it. If your possessions are littering the entire property, your buyers may struggle to picture themselves living there.
If you need to keep all those bits and pieces that accumulate during life, it may be a good idea to rent some temporary storage or give them to a friend for safekeeping. You could also sell them on eBay or at a car boot sale and make yourself a little extra cash in the process. However, try to avoid the temptation of hiding your clutter under beds, in drawers, in cupboards or the loft – you never know where your prospective buyers will want to explore during property viewings. A de-cluttered house will allow imagination to run riot, which could be a great way to move your property forward to the front of the house buying queue.
Commensurate with a ‘blank canvas’ theme, it is essential to allow prospective buyers to imagine their possessions in your home. However, if your house has niche furniture and very distinctive colours, you’re running the risk of alienating people and stopping their imaginations from roaming.
If possible, it may be a good idea to choose a neutral colour scheme for the main rooms in your home. Sticking with whites, subtle pastel shades, and classic ‘new home’ colours will mean they blend into the background – allowing the rooms of your home to be the stars of the show. It may also be a good idea to put your niche furniture items into storage and replace them with more generic pieces.
Move your property forward by attending to repairs.
Mainly if your target buyers are first-timers, your home should be ready to move into. The last thing a young couple or young family wants to think about when moving house is the expense and inconvenience of repairs. Ill-fitting doors, holes in walls, damaged tiles and threadbare carpets are amongst the most common bugbears amongst first – or second-time buyers. Attending to those niggling repair jobs shouldn’t cost you a fortune, but it could mean moving your property forward in the minds of cost-conscious buyers.
A clean house is a more desirable house in the eyes of prospective buyers. The cleanliness of a property does not affect its market value, but a lack of cleanliness can stick in a buyer’s mind for a long time. So whilst vacuuming carpets and polishing door handles is important, your cleaning should be detailed and centred on the areas of your home that often get neglected. For instance, pull out-static furniture and appliances and clean behind them. Grease and dirt can accumulate around cookers and fridges in even the most spotless kitchens, and some buyers will look this closely.
Create ‘kerb appeal.’
Not many house sales are fully secured based on first impressions, and many are lost. However, when potential buyers arrive outside your home, they should look upon your property somewhere they want to live. So your gardens should be tidy, and the fascia of your house well maintained. If you have a lawn, make sure it is neatly presented and free from weeds. Remove unnecessary kids’ toys, rubbish and dead leaves. In short, make it somewhere people would want to spend their time during the summer.
Create kerb appeal with doors and windows, as well as brickwork. So it’s vitally important that all your doors and windows are presentable and in a state of good repair. It may also be worth having your brickwork pointed if it has seen better days.
Enhance light and space
Particularly during the spring and summer months, natural light and the illusion of space are important ways to move property forward to the front of the housing market queue. See our guide to marketing your home in the summer months. Choosing white for the halls and main living areas of your home will magnify any natural light, but it’s also essential to allow that light to flood into your home wherever possible. Remove anything in front of your windows that block light, and consider taking down blinds and switching to thinner drapes and curtains. Just consider seasons when working out what to optimise.
Space is vital to most families, and anything you can do to enhance it could work in your favour. For instance, some carefully placed mirrors can create an optical illusion of space and make a room look lighter. It would help if you also planned precisely where your furniture should be for viewings – whilst keeping it to a minimum. Ask a friend or colleague for an honest opinion on the space available in the main rooms of your house. If they believe more space would be attractive, you may want to remove all but the essential furniture items in your home, which may require some temporary storage space. And although it may seem obvious, dirty windows mustn’t be a barrier to natural light. A home staging specialist will set up every room in your home to make the best of the available light and space.
It also might be worth investing in a little extra lighting if your home is dark in places. Unnecessarily dark rooms often look smaller, so identifying where additional light is required is always essential for the house selling process.
Set the scene
Although creating a ‘blank canvas’ and allowing buyers’ imaginations to run wild is a great way to move your property forward to the front of the house buying queue, it’s also essential to create an ambience of real life, love and comfort in your home. Home staging specialists are relatively expensive to hire, but they are adept at creating living areas that appeal to target buyers. Rather quaint yet straightforward touches, like the addition of flowers, warming cooking smells from the kitchen (think cookies, not pickles!), and an open fire or burning candles are all additions that may help a buyer indeed fall for your house.
Property buyers don’t usually expect to enter a perfect home with no signs of family life. SeeiHowever, seeings in the garden or people enjoying a coffee in the kitchen can give buyers a unique insight into what is possible in your property.
Give buyers a little freedom.
There must be someone there at all times to answer a buyer’s questions during a property viewing. However, it is equally crucial that buyers are allowed to soak up the ambience of a home without feeling pressurised. By all means, create an information pack on your house and various aspects of the local neighbourhood, but try not to sit on buyers’ shoulders as they walk around your home.
Depending on where in the UK your home is, moving a property forward to the front of a buyer’s wish list is not an easy task. There may be several hundred houses for sale, all vying for the attention of buyers.