New to selling your home or been a while since you last went through the process? Our Sellers' Guide gives you an overview of the sales process so that it’s a successful move all round.
Our job is helping you to achieve the right value for your property and that includes preparing it for viewings. Make a start with the jobs listed below, a few weeks before putting your house on the market, so that your house is prepared for the photography and to avoid last-minute panics at what can already be a stressful time. Then you can, contact us to arrange a free valuation
Make sure the exterior of the property is free from rubbish and the garden is tidy with mown lawns, trimmed hedges and a weed-free approach.
Paint grubby walls, or those in dark or unusual colours, in light, neutral shades.
Remove extra furniture and put it in the garage (or into storage) to make the rooms appear bigger.
Attend to repairs such as broken drawer handles, cupboard doors hanging off their hinges, and missing bathroom or kitchen tiles. Replace any burnt out light bulbs. Remember that soft up-lighting is more flattering than a harsh ceiling light. Check the plumbing, windows, curtains, and blinds. They should be clean, unbroken, secure, and operate properly.
You’re almost ready to have your property valued but with the high-level maintenance taken care of, your next job is back to basics.
Clean out cupboards and wardrobes. Hire a steam cleaner to remove carpet stains, and keep on top of taking out the rubbish. Check all rugs, lino, and wooden or tiled floors. They need to be clean and in good condition.
Remove anything from shelves and windowsills which may be noticed as a prospective buyer enters the house.
Thoroughly clean the toilet, bath, shower, sink, mirrors, and cabinets.
When you’re ready to instruct an agent, and start having viewings, it’s time to add the finishing touches.
Put fresh flowers in as many rooms as possible. Put a new toilet roll in the holder and clean towels in the bathroom. Make the beds!
Make sure your home smells fresh. Brew coffee, bake bread, and light those scented candles. Avoid air fresheners as they smell too artificial.
Ask a neighbour or friend to look after your pets. Not everyone likes pets, and some prospective buyers may even be allergic.
List all the non-obvious things that make the property attractive, like a particularly sunny spot in the garden, friendly neighbours, good local shops. It's small things like these can really help create the best impression.
It's important that we can let people view your property at a time that's convenient for them. Give us a set of keys so we can organise accompanied viewings, leaving you free to get on with other commitments. Rest assured, we will sell the best features of your house on your behalf - it's in our interests as much as yours.
Don't worry if the first few positive viewings don't lead to a sale. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your home or the way it is presented. However, do be open to any feedback from viewings and be prepared to listen to ideas to make your property more appealing.
When an offer does appear, you don't have to accept the first one. It is worth discussing with us whether we think more could be achieved by waiting. On the other hand, do think about what criteria might prompt you to consider offers below your asking price, such as cash buyers or chain-free buyers; a swift sale may save you money in the long run.
A survey may reveal repairs that are needed which could affect the price a buyer is willing to pay. If you are concerned about such potential issues, we can help arrange an independent survey, through our sister company esurv, for your peace of mind. Negotiation doesn’t have to be just about the asking price. For example, if you are trading up and your house is perfect for first-time buyers, be aware of how you can help them. Offer to leave some furniture or soft furnishings like curtains.
The excitement of accepting an offer is the start of the process of transferring the property from your ownership to your buyer. This takes several weeks. Our top tip for this stage is to be prepared. Make sure you have legal representation – if you need help with this, we have a specialist conveyancing package for sellers, so that you can move to the stage of exchanging contracts and setting a completion date, so you are ready to go.