We’ve now had the first ‘hottest day of the year’ headlines which means we have made it through to Spring. For the property market, Spring is an optimum time to sell your property, with trends showing the largest numbers of buyers active in April, May and June.
How can you get ahead of the market and ensure you hit or exceed asking price on your property? We’ve collated the best tips in the industry to give you that extra push.
1) Select the best agent for your needs
Selling your house can be a stressful process and whilst there’s no evidence to suggest it’s one of the most traumatic times in your life, it’s not always that enjoyable. The whole process can be drastically improved by making sure you choose the right agent to get the ball rolling for you. An agent will stay with you from going to market through to completing, and often you’ll lean on them to help move things along in your chain.
Select three agents with fees you’re prepared to pay, get valuations and choose the agent you feel is the best fit for you. Cheapest isn’t always best and traditional agents have a huge amount of experience and local knowledge. Equally, online agents own a growing percentage of the market and offer a lower price, but still well-featured service.
Use a free agent comparison site, such as netanagent.com, to get the ball rolling.
2) Stop living in your house (mentally, not physically)
It’s tried and tested advice, but every time you turn on a property show across any TV network, you’ll see people being advised to make subtle changes to a house to neutralise it and, more often than not, ignoring the advice. ‘I don’t like the colour’, ‘they’ll want to see my train set’ and ‘who doesn’t like Fifi’s dog toys strewn across ‘her’ bedroom?’.
Let’s put it bluntly – unless you’re an interior design genius, buyers aren’t interested in your taste. When a house is bought, it’s bought for what it could eventually be, not what it is now. Your property needs to be spotlessly clean, well looked after and, above all else, a canvas for the dreams and aspirations of the buyer.
3) No parking!
On viewing day, park your car well away from your property. If you have an open house, talk to your neighbours and see if they would be willing to move any vehicles parked by the roadside for a day to create a stunning first impression.
Ease of access and parking is of critical importance – you’d be surprised how often this is overlooked. When looking for a personal property, this blog author has arrived at a property in the past to find a motorboat parked on a shared drive, making it a bit of an obstacle course to park at the property! Stunning work done on the house itself, but this exterior detail killed the deal.
4) Clean all of your windows (both inside and out) and polish your mirrors
Whilst there’s only a 12% chance the sun will be out across the next three months, it will likely be low, and pouring through your windows into your spotlessly clean house.
It’s incredibly easy to forget your windows and mirrors during your home preparation, but it’s incredibly easy to spot and, to a buyer, it shows a general lack of care despite the cleanliness of the house.
If the windows are never cleaned, chances are a lot of DIY tasks are still sitting on a list.
5) Getting the temperature right
Yes, it’s Britain – yes it’s Spring. This means one thing, you can’t predict the weather. It might be 20 degrees for a day, and then dip down to eight degrees, with squally showers. Either way, your buyers want to walk into a temperate paradise – don’t think that, just because the first day of spring has come, it’s time to remove the thermostat from the wall to protect your heating bills.
Keep the house at a steady temperature on viewing days, even if you wouldn’t normally have the heating on. Buyers make snap decisions, a cold house on a warm day is lovely in Summer, but in Spring your buyers will have a niggling doubt that they’d be sitting in duffle coats across the Winter.
6) Choose the right buyer
You’ve followed steps 1-5 (we hope) and received offers on your property. Congratulations! Keep this tip in mind before you do anything else though – much like choosing the right agent, choosing a buyer shouldn’t be a decision based purely on money. Whilst it’s incredibly tempting to pick the buyer who offers the most, there’s more than just money to consider.
-Can your buyer move within the time frame you need?
-Is the buyer chain free (in an ideal world) or part of a simple, short chain?
-If mortgaged, does the buyer have a Decision in Principle? How quickly will they have full approval following an accepted offer?
-If a cash buyer, is the money in place or does the purchase rely on other assets being sold?
You’ve put in a huge amount of work to get to this point in the process, and with a few months of legal process now to take place, make sure the buyer you choose stands the best chance of seeing the process through and making your home their home. If you have any issues at all during the process, speak to your agent, who, as part of their fee, is there to advise you – alternatively, visit citizens advice for impartial advice throughout.