If you want to sell your home quickly, and at a good price, it’s important to make your home as saleable as possible from every aspect.
So here’s a checklist of things you must get right to attract your buyer and get the deal done to everyone’s satisfaction:
1. Choose the right time of the year
It’s not much good trying to market your home when no one’s paying attention. That’s why experts advise the very best time to put a property on the market is almost always early to mid-spring when there are more keen purchasers about. One reason for this spike is that parents usually prefer to move into the catchment area of a school their children will attend well in advance of the forthcoming academic year. In addition, the weather from spring through to late June is a great time to view any prospective new home and see it at a time when it should be looking its very best.
Summer may seem a logical time to put your house on sale, but there can be problems. A green garden with leafy trees and flowers in bloom certainly creates a good impression, but buyers are busy and their heads are full of getting away on holiday. So you may be selling to a limited market.
Given decent weather, early autumn can also be a popular time to sell and might be a fruitful second option if you really can’t manage spring. But experts are unanimous in suggesting you should abandon any marketing efforts as Christmas approaches and the real winter sets in.
2. Get your asking price right
As a rule of thumb, your home is only ever worth what a buyer is prepared to pay. Essentially, that means pricing your home at a level market buyers will consider reasonable is absolutely crucial to your chances of selling.
The process of achieving this involves researching comparable properties in your particular location. So you will want to know: What is the going rate for a house of much the same size and in similar condition, which is in your neighbourhood and has access to the same amenities as your property?
Looking up the prices of recently sold properties will give you a feel for market trends,.This information will inform you as to whether prices in your own micro market are rising, falling or remaining fairly stable. You must remember too that financial volatility in terms of mortgage rates and/or prospects for the wider economy will also exert an influence.
Evidence of local economic trends also plays a part. Potential buyers will see infrastructure such as major roads or shopping malls being built, or new businesses moving in, as signs the area is moving upmarket and will thus be happier to offer higher prices. However, any closures of garages and grocery shops may be an inclination the area is in decline and will tend to drive down house prices.
It’s always wise to get an estate agent’s opinion about marketing your home at the right price to sell.
3. Get your paperwork in order
When you sell your home. you will have to provide mortgage documents as well as paperwork to cover a variety of evidence requirements. Some documents such as title deeds, floor plans and electrical certificates will be required for all properties, and many others will require planning permissions, building regulations certificates and perhaps a builder’s warranty too.
If you bought your property less than 10 years ago, then you will also need an energy performance certificate, and serious buyers will also be interested in seeing recent utilities bills and the learning the cost of home insurance for the property.
Should you be selling a leasehold property then a copy of the lease is a must. And in addition, any ongoing legal disputes (e.g. boundary disputes, or haggles with neighbours or insurers) should ideally be resolved before you consider going to the market. Otherwise they are likely to impact upon your chances of a quick sale at a good price.
4. Find the right estate agent
Unless there are other compelling priorities, you should choose an estate agent with local knowledge. And if you want a quick sale, you need an agent with a healthy volume of prospective buyers and a good track record of consistently successful transactions. These considerations are the ones which will have most influence over how soon your home sells, so choosing an estate agent on price alone and just going with the cheapest is always a mistake.
5. Preparing your house for a quick sale
Experts agree that would-be buyers tend to focus on certain areas and details. One of these is certainly garden boundaries, so having tidy, well-defined boundaries in good repair will definitely be considered a positive. And with household interiors, those viewing your property are trying to imagine themselves living in your space, so removing the clutter and mess of your own personal items will aid your cause by helping them maintain that focus.
6. Remember the smaller details
Experience suggests that building features attract attention, so make sure fireplaces, patio doors and extensions are in good repair. And likewise, don’t neglect faulty door handles or broken light switches for the same reasons. One last point of interest: house hunters spend a lot of time inside looking out through windows, so getting those views in good order is always likely to pay off.