From choosing estate agents to preparing your property and receiving viewers, selling your home can be a stressful time. It’s also not a market most of us enter very often, so things can change dramatically between buying, then selling a house a few years later.

Real Estate Agent, Agent, House

From choosing estate agents to preparing your property and receiving viewers, selling your home can be a stressful time. It’s also not a market most of us enter very often, so things can change dramatically between buying, then selling a house a few years later.

Knowing how to prepare and what’s expected of you, as a seller, can make all the difference.

Estate Agents

A good local estate agent will make selling your house much easier. But how do you find a good one? There are no hard and fast rules, just a few good strategies to minimise the risk.

Choose an agent that specialises in the type of property you’re selling. Some specialise in selling flats, for instance, whilst others focus on family homes. The ones who already have plenty of properties similar to yours will have the most suitable buyers on their books.

Get at least three property valuations, but don’t necessarily go with the highest. A good tip is to trust your instinct. Does the price sound right to you? Do you believe what the agent is telling you? If they sound trustworthy to you, they’ll sound that way to buyers too.

One way to get some insight into how an estate agency operates is to visit them first as a buyer. If you like their attention to detail, the questions they ask and how keen they are to help you as a buyer, you’ll have more confidence to approach them as a seller.

Finally, don’t be afraid to negotiate for better terms in contracts and fees. Have an idea of what others are charging, what you’d ideally like to pay and what your maximum is. Find out exactly what level of service you can expect for the contract you’re signing.

Remove The Hassle Factor

Before offering your house for sale, fix up the little things that could put buyers off. Anything that could potentially be seen as a hassle once they move in, needs fixing. These things include:

  • Decorating or touching up scuffed areas such as skirtings or doorframes
  • Replacing broken catches, latches, handles or hinges
  • Fixing dripping taps
  • Tidying the garden
  • Cleaning grubby areas such as bathroom or kitchen tile grouting

The list could go on, but you get the idea. It all comes back to the old advice of sprucing up your property’s kerb appeal. As a rule of thumb, if it needs doing, do it. The consequences are fewer interested buyers and/or a reduced sale price because the buyer doesn’t want the additional expense of fixing problems.

Setting the Scene

Having fixed the problems, brightened up the decor and eliminated clutter and pet smells, what else can you do to woo potential buyers?

The answer is, show them the lifestyle they’re aspiring to. Rather than fixating on anything specific which you might easily get wrong, subtle suggestions work to convince buyers they could effortlessly live the life they’re looking for in the space your house provides.

For instance, depersonalising the space by removing items like family photos, kids artwork or trophies or anything of a religious nature, allows viewers to see the space as their own. Along with depersonalising, generally declutter at the same time. Make space in closets, remove unused kitchen appliances, and scale back collections of items. Too much clutter can make even large spaces seem small and claustrophobic.

Next, deep down cleanliness, right into the corners, gives the impression of attention to detail. Buyers will feel they could move right in and not have to worry what might be lurking, unseen. Hand in hand with cleanliness goes tidiness, so always make and dress beds before a viewing, straighten window treatments and curtains, and plump up the cushions on the sofa.

Getting a good estate agent and presenting your house in the best way possible, at the right price, sets a solid foundation for a smooth transaction. Hopefully it won’t be too long before you’re arranging removals.

 

Drew writes for Black Brick Relocation Agents, based in London.