December 29, 2021

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

Making the decision to sell a property is a big step and for a multitude of reasons vendors can be keen to just get it onto the market as soon as possible once the decision has been made. Taking a bit of time though to look at your home objectively can pay dividends when it comes to receiving offers.

Whilst extensive works such as new kitchens, bathrooms and extensions are the headline grabbing things to do before selling your property, it is the more minor things that tend to hinder sales and affect value. There is only so much that the welcoming smell of home cooking or baking bread can do to create an inviting atmosphere for your home.

By getting the small jobs done (that are not a big deal in and of themselves), but collectively work to make a property look tired or in need of some TLC, you can overcome many objections from buyers.

By “small jobs” we’re talking about the things we perhaps all tolerate or live with day-to-day, but are picked up on by purchasers and indeed the surveyors when the property is assessed for mortgage purposes. Things such as:

  • Loose cupboard and drawer handles

  • Wobbly door handles

  • Dripping taps

  • Loose toilet seats

  • Dripping showers

  • Discoloured work surfaces, particularly solid wood surfaces

  • Small frayed bits of carpet near doorways

  • Not enough loft insulation

  • Leaky gutters

  • Chipped paint on doorframes

  • Scuffs on walls, in particular stairwells

  • Scratches on things like window ledges where a pet dog may have jumped up regularly

  • Stiff doors that don’t close properly

  • Untidy paint work along skirting boards

  • Overgrown plants near the entrance, in particular ivy

Even in a rising property market, mortgages are still approved based on what a surveyor believes the value to be. If your home is looking tired this doesn’t help in getting it valued up by the lenders surveyor to a level that the buyer has offered on. It is this sort of thing that leads to sales collapsing or a need to reduce the agreed price.

First Impressions Count

The approach to a property sets the buyers mood before they even walk through the door. If they are presented with a great looking home on the exterior, it means they enter in a positive frame of mind, willing to overlook minor downsides that your property may have. A fresh coat of paint to a front door, trimmed bushes and hedges, fresh gravel if needed, some colourful plants in large pots and a clean of all soffits and other areas will help to lift the exterior massively.

Know your running costs

People have always wanted to know how much a property costs to run, but with environmental matters high on the news agenda and big changes on the way in terms of energy efficiency standards, it is more important than ever that you have a handle on exactly how much your home costs to run

If a potential buyer is particularly interested, it isn’t a bad idea to just have everything written down and you can have the agent provide this to them at viewings.

Get your agreement in principal sorted and use a mortgage broker

For a lot of people who need a mortgage, their first thought is to just go to the bank or do a Google search and see what GoCompare throws up. This won’t give you access to some of the best deals out there and there are some particular deals that are only available through a broker. Yes, you will pay them for their services but over the course of your mortgage term they will have more than paid for themselves.

We’ve worked with a few brokers over the years and can highly recommend Roots Mortgages. They have thousands of lenders on their panel and are bound to have something that suits your circumstances.

By having your mortgage agreed in principal before you start looking, you can ensure your property search is accurate and estate agents are more likely to take you seriously. With the market as busy as it is, many agencies have also started asking to see proof of funds before arranging viewings.

Don’t list with multiple agents

As Estate Agents we understand the reasoning behind vendors putting their property on the market with 2 agents. The belief is that there will be more incentive to compete to sell it. The reality is quite different.

Agencies are extremely busy at present and are more likely to focus on the properties they are guaranteed to get a fee from. It also looks a bit desperate and buyers are likely to come in with low offers in the belief that a quick sale is needed.

Do your research and know what you are looking for

In a rising market you want to have everything in place and know exactly what you are looking for if you are to secure the property you want. Submitting lots of viewing requests for different types of property all over the place can suggest that you are not a serious buyer. It may be fine for the first 4 or 5 viewings with an agency, but as you start to become a regular caller asking to view every kind of property on the market you will become known as a bit of a “tyre kicker”. You are then less likely to be accommodated when it comes to booking viewings on popular properties.

Have a drive out to possible areas at different times of the day, write out a list of must-haves and make sure that agents in your area have your search criteria registered. A pro-active agent will be calling out on this list before a property even hits the portals so you need to be registered in order to know about things first.

If you are a client of The Agent we proactively assist with sourcing your next home and using our local contacts to identify suitable properties.

Avoid using national chain solicitors

If the phrase “you get what you pay for” applies to anything it is conveyancing solicitors. There are a lot of online estate agency services out there offering to “sell your house for free” on the basis that you sign a contract agreeing to use their associated solicitors.

We would highly advise against this. Whilst they can be fine if everything goes smoothly, it can be an absolute nightmare for both estate agents and other solicitors when things hit a snag.

It is a cliché, but the purchase and sale of your home is likely to be one of the highest value transactions in your lifetime. Why scrimp on paying for the service that is critical to protecting your interests and making sure your purchase goes through to completion?