Top 10 tips to sell your home

1. Pick the right real estate agent

Selling your home is very stressful. So finding the right person to help you sell it will really help relieve the tension.

When picking an agent, make sure to ask them how they market property so you can work out they’re aware of all the best websites to list on and if they use up-to-date marketing strategies. In most cases a referral from a friend or colleague who sold is the best way to find a good agent.

Agents will charge a fee as either a percentage of the sale price or a flat fee. Make sure to ask if VAT is included in this and definitely negotiate and let them know if you’ve been offered better rates elsewhere.

Be aware if you work with a couple of agents you could end up paying double fees, so check the terms of any contracts you sign.

2. Don’t home price reports too seriously

Constantly different news sources report house prices rising or falling a significant amount. Through Covid house prices have risen significantly but it’s not universal how much they have.

The reason contradictions exist is because house price indexes are created from different data. Different banks and agents create indexes based on the average property values connected to mortgage valuations, whilst land registries record the actual price the property sold for. Some indexes also look at the asking prices of properties to base their estimates.  All this is to say, be aware of using these indexes.

All these are averages too, and things like the area, the size of the land, the street, and even the side of the street will impact the price of the property.

The best way to come up with an asking price is to ask for a few agents’ best guesses and take an average of the three. You can also take a look at similar properties in similar areas that sold recently and do an average of these also. 

3. Create a positive first impression 

Possible buyers may be off put by your property before even stepping inside the house. So before listing you should do things like water blast your driveway, paint the exteriors and clean up the garden. Also move the bins somewhere out of site!

4. Declutter and clean

The inside of your property also needs the same kind of treatment as your exteriors. You won’t need to buy expensive new furniture (and in some cases agents will even stage your home with furniture if they think it will help.) However you should definitely fix up any paint work, and make sure to do a deep clean getting dust from all those unlikely area.

You should also make sure to declutter rooms as much as possible, so if that office space is full of old books, it could pay to pack them away and pop the boxes in the garage or storage. A few fresh flowers and some plants could also make the house more attractive to a buyer.

Kitchens are often a key area a buyer will decide on, so make sure to put away any unused appliances, clear worktops and make sure the oven and surfaces are clean and smell fresh. 
If you have pets you should get them out of the house for the showings with friends or a kennel if need be.

5. The little things matter

Bear in mind that the smallest details can sway some buyers. As many buyers will look at dozens of houses before they make the decision to buy. So doing all those frustrating small maintenance jobs (like cleaning mold from outside tiles) should be done.

6. Define each room

It really helps to show off each room to buyers so they can imagine living in the house. So if your living space has your cross trainer in it, it would make sense to try return it to a living room space and not your gym. Also taking down more personal items like posters and photos is good so buyers can imagine the house with their own stuff. Removing extra decorations like sculptures or nick knacks also helps.

7. Leave for open homes

If you have open homes or appointment viewings, you really shouldn’t be there. The agent will make sure the buyers aren’t rummaging through your possession and it’s better that they can view each room freely.

8. Gardens are selling points

Outdoor spaces and gardens are often in high demand, but a moldy patio, old outdoor furniture, moldy fences or overgrown trees is a huge turn off. Overgrown gardens can also make the area smaller and if you can afford to spend some money making the garden more presentable it is money well spent. It also gives the impression that you have looked after the rest of the house well.

9. Choose the most reliable buyer

Choosing the most reliable buyer when you have a number of offers can save a lot of stress.

This means looking more seriously at buyers who have sold their home and are renting, cash buyers with no need for a mortgage or chain-free first time buyers. If you don’t get many offers you may not have this option. However it always saves stress to choose a buyer who can actually commit.

10. Be flexible

Selling a property can take time, markets shift and sometimes you’ll need to list your property more than once to sell. If you can hold off a year when the markets are down, or can move quickly if the markets are hot then you’ll be better placed to get a good price and sell your house.