Selling your home is never easy and it can be difficult to know exactly how much time and money to invest in attracting buyers. A volatile market leaves many people uncertain about how much their house is worth and how quickly it can sell, but many need every extra penny and day they can get when they’re dealing with the costs and time involved with selling, buying and moving properties. Weighing up how much of this time and money you can afford to splash out on getting a quicker and potentially more valuable sale is a challenge, to say the least. Even in a good market, the sale of your house will always come down to the house itself.
Whether you’re thinking about putting your house up for sale or it’s been on the market for more months than you’d like, our top tips for selling your home are all affordable and efficient ways to move the process along that much quicker. Even if these tips don’t directly add value to your property, they could help you attract more buyers that are willing to pay that little be extra to secure the deal.
Get the right estate agent
With so many websites offering supposedly cheaper and easier ways to save on agent commission costs it can be easy to underestimate the value of a good estate agent. If you’re selling your home there’s a good chance you’re also property searching and preparing for a move yourself, a combination that can make a lot of stress. Things only become more stressful when you’re trying to muddle through a process that you probably don’t have a lot of expertise on. Even if this isn’t your first time selling your home, chances are there’s still a lot you could learn.
This is where a good estate agent really pays off. Someone with years of expertise and knowledge to take at least some of the burden can save you significant worry and get the best results. Do some digging online and take a close look at recommendations to find the balance between proven results and affordability. An agent with the latest know-how, modern marketing techniques and able to maximise viewings for an affordable rate will make an enormous difference to how quickly you sell your home, and potentially how much money you get.
Make the right first impression
The real first impression of any home is the approach to the door, and research has shown that about 22% of viewers’ focus goes on exterior features. From the street immediately outside the front gate to the front door itself, most buyers will form an opinion of your home before they even walk through the door.
To make sure you make that first impression really count, spend some time clearing up any space outside the front as well as the exterior of the house itself. If you have any greenery or garden area out the front, make sure it is trimmed and neat rather than an overgrown garden. Sweep your path your front door and de-weed where necessary. Wall, fence or gate looking a bit tired? Try and fix any cracks and broken bricks or stone and give your gate or fence a lick of paint to freshen it up. The same principles go for your front door, windows and other external features.
Declutter and spring clean
Believe it or not, clutter could be the number one reason your home isn’t selling. Research has revealed that 24% of buyers’ focus goes to clutter and mess around the home, making it a huge distraction from all the main selling points as well as leaving a bad impression.
Decluttering is always good practice when preparing to move and it can save a lot of time and money in storage and removals, but it’s also essential to selling your home. Dedicate some time to sorting through your house top to bottom and dumping or selling anything you don’t need and tidying everything else to leave surfaces clear. You might be surprised by how much more spacious your home will look once all your clutter has been cleared away. If you want some advice on clearing your home clutter, you can read our guide on decluttering.
Once you’re done with decluttering, don’t forget to have a good spring clean as well. Just like clutter, any dusty or dirty areas can be a huge distraction and leave a bad impression on buyers. Give everything a good scrub and don’t forget those tight spaces that might draw the attention of a picky buyer. Again, you might be surprised by how much more spacious and brighter your entire home looks with everything looking and smelling good.
The finishing touch to your spring clean needs to removing any personal items like family photos and sentimental knickknacks. While these might be meaningful to you, for the strangers viewing your home they’re no more than clutter. The same study showed that females were especially distracted by personal items and much of the time they spent looking at clutter and mess lingered on the personal effects in particular.
While it may sound harsh, depersonalising your home simply means leaving a blank canvas for potential buyers. It will let people more easily imagine themselves living there, and that’s a one-way ticket to a quick sale. As well as personal photos and sentimental objects, you should also depersonalise the house a whole. This means returning each room to its true purpose, like removing any files or office equipment from that dining room-slash-home office. Again, this will help viewers see themselves living in each room or leaves it to their imagination to make the room what suits them.
Fix the little things
Rather than splash out on laying a new floor or redecorating the whole house, don’t forget to fix all those little things. A broken light fixture or a cracked bathroom tile might not seem like a big deal to you after months or years, but to a potential buyer, this is just one more job to do when they move in. Just like clutter and dirt, these simple things can be incredibly distracting and detract significantly from all the other good things about your home.
Make sure you take a close look at your home before you invite any viewers and plan to fix anything outstanding as quickly as possible. Things like grubby sealant, messy grouting, leaks and cracks shouldn’t take long to fix but you will need to stop putting them off and act.
If you do decide that you need to crack the paint out, stick to neutral colours. Cleaning and fixing your home will hopefully clear up some areas that you might have previously thought you would need to completely redecorate, but you’ll still need to try and get rid of any bright or bold décor. Remember that this type of décor is personal taste, so you’ll need to personalise it just like your personal items to help buyers better picture it as their dream home.
Don’t forget as well that bit of white paint can seriously brighten a room up and make space seem much bigger which is never a bad thing when you’re trying to sell. It may seem like a bit of hassle to repaint, especially if you’re faced with potentially repainting most of the rooms in your home, but a few extra days here could save you a few extra months once your house is on the market.
Make the most of outside space
You looked at the front, now it’s time to take it to the back. Outside space can be a huge selling point for any home especially when buyers are deciding between two or more properties. In fact, nearly a fifth of a buyer’s attention is spent looking out of your window, so it’s up to you to make sure they like what they see.
If your back garden or outside patio area is looking a bit worse for wear, take everything you did out the front and replicate it here. Cut the grass, trim back any greenery, de-weed any patio sections and add a bit of garden furniture. Don’t go crazy spending money on a new garden furniture set or pretty greenery, but make sure your garden is as homely as your house.
Buyers will also be looking at your neighbours and the overall privacy of the garden, so make sure any fencing is fixed to define the boundaries and spruce them up with a lick of paint. If you have any trees or greenery as part of your natural boundary, make the most of them to accentuate the natural privacy.
Choosing the best buyer
Naturally how quickly your house sells will always come down to the market, the area and various other factors. If you do follow these tips, however, and are in the lucky position to pick from a choice of buyers, you can make the following process quicker and easier by choosing wisely. Look for a buyer that has already sold their home or are in rented accommodation, first time buyers that aren’t in a chain and cash buyers.
With your house finally sold it’s time to start planning your move, including any potential storage and removals. Fortunately, our expert team have years of experience working with movers in the Berkshire area and can help you secure affordable and stress-free storage with removals thrown in as well.