How to sell your house
Thinking about making a move but not sure if it's the right time? According to the experts there is no better time to sell, so get that house on the market, but not without reading these tips first
With so much time spent at home recently it’s easy to see why people have been getting itchy feet. Too many to-dos on the house jobs list, feeling cramped with the kids under our feet, tired of working from the kitchen table… And the figures stack up – according to Rightmove, we’re in the strongest Spring property market for a decade!
So, with the Stamp Duty holiday extended until the end of June and tapering off until September, now is the time to take the bull by the horns and sell up! No idea where to start? These top tips from Belinda-Jane Guilfoyle of Trend & Thomas Estate Agents in Rickmansworth, will be sure to turn your home into hot property.
Designate a home office
The huge change in the global working culture, which looks set to continue post Covid, means that a home working space is essential. Over the past year, we’ve seen home offices being built in gardens and converted garages, but if you haven’t already got an obvious office space, think about where you could present one. Whether that’s simply putting a small desk on a landing with a lamp, or replacing a guest bed with a desk and shelving area in a box room, it will help potential buyers visualise themselves working there.
Lockdown forced us to create multi-functional spaces in our homes, with dining rooms doubling up as gyms, and kitchens becoming classrooms, but buyers want clarity. It is very important that when they enter a room they instantly know what the purpose of it is. No-one wants to see paperwork and tech overtaking dining space or yoga mats and kettle bells vying for TV viewing spots. If you have a room that lacks a clear identity, create one, so the buyer can be certain the house will work for them.
Re-vamp your outdoor space
Being able to socialise in the garden has been a revelation after being locked down for so long. And with the weather improving, making a feature of your outside space, however small, is key right now. A balcony needs to be clean, with a few pots, and a table and chair placed in the sunniest spot. Tidy up larger gardens and set up furniture for summer entertaining, even create an obvious barbecue area. Consider putting away children’s toys – it can be off-putting if viewers are not in the same life stage as you.
Boost your broadband
Buyers are now running mobile and broadband speed tests on properties from their phones during viewings which is wise. We are ucky in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire that the coverage is relatively good, but do your homework before a buyer spots any issues. If your home struggles you could upgrade your modem, buy a booster or a range extender to ensure it is working as well as possible. And don’t forget to tell your agent if you’ve done so, as they’ll pass that on to the viewers. Likewise, if you’ve installed any high-end tech or home entertainments systems – that could really appeal to a buyer.
Master kerb appeal
Research suggests it takes just eight minutes to make a decision on a new home. That’s only 480 seconds to make a winning first impression. A pot or two of flowers at your front door will instantly say ‘we’ve taken care of this home’.
Remember to clean windows AND window sills, replace your dusty old doormat, wipe down your front door and repaint if necessary, sweep paths, (a pressure wash is a good idea) and remove any debris. If your bins are kept at the front of your house clean them up and avoid viewings on collection day. Attractive house numbers and door knockers can make an impact, too, and be bought fairly inexpensively.
Be a good seller
Have your exit plan in place so you’re ready to move quickly. Know which solicitor you will use (get recommendations from your agent and local friends) and get ahead by completing elements such as the contract and sales pack prior to an agreed sale.
Make yourself easily available for viewings – discuss the best times with your agent in advance and stick to that. This will avoid wasting time trying to contact you for availability. Try to keep the house tidy so it’s always viewing-ready. Put all your excess paraphernalia out of sight if you can – consider investing in some temporary self-storage space if necessary. But don’t put off viewings because of a bit of everyday mess. Most buyers can see through it if it’s the house for them.
Trend & Thomas Estate Agents are based in Rickmansworth and buy and sell property within greater SW Herts.