Selling your home with success
We all dream of selling our home quickly at the asking price and for the sale to go smoothly. If we’re honest some of us even expect this to happen, and why wouldn’t it? We love our home and expect others to feel the same.
But like all dreams YOU have to make them come true…not just hope for the best and trust to luck. We’ve been working in the property industry for years and have seen dreams come true as well as see them shattered.
All the successful people in life work hard behind the scenes and make what you see on the surface look easy. Professional sports people don’t just turn up and play well, they work tirelessly every day when you’re not looking. So the important thing to understand when you dream of selling your home quickly and for the best price is; it’s not easy, it doesn’t happen on its own. For most of us, this is the biggest transaction of our lives, so why not give it your best.
So if you want to achieve the dream here are a few things you can do to help.
We don’t just wake up one day and decide to move house, there is always a catalyst. People usually fall into two camps those that are “pushed” and those that are “pulled”.
The “pushed” are those people that are driven by trying to improve on what they currently have, primarily this is by people climbing the property ladder and have outgrown the property they live in. They crave more space whether inside or in the garden. Most young families go through this at some stage when either the house becomes too small or they want more garden for their growing brood. Down sizers are often in this camp too as they are pushed by their health and a house may be just too much to look after.
The “pulled” are those that are drawn by a new place, or situation. Many people that fall into this category have a change in situation such as a job or moving with a partner. Others are lured by a chance sighting of their dream home or plot of land.
It’s important to understand your own motivation for moving so you can fully commit to getting moved.
Once you have understood your motivation it’s important to plan, there should be two elements to the plan. Where do we want to move to and what things are important in the new property. Remember to include the things that the new place must have and those that you are prepared to compromise on. It’s often enlightening to find that if you are buying with a partner you don’t share all the same things on your wish list.
The second part of the plan is how to maximise the chances of selling quickly and for the highest possible price. The most important thing is to make your home the most desirable it can be to a prospective purchaser.
Finances are often the biggest hurdle for people and it’s worth getting this organised early to avoid disappointment. Very rarely do people buy well within their means, for most of us buying a new home involves stretching ourselves and in this situation getting the very best price when selling can relieve some of the financial pressure.
Preparation (phase One)
Preparing your house for selling is hard work, don’t be under any illusion that you can put your house on the market without any effort and it will sell for the optimum price. Unless your house is immaculate and in show home quality all the time (which just means you have already done the hard work) then be prepared for blood, sweat and tears. You may have noticed that there is a section further down called preparation phase two, this is because I believe if you do it in two hits with a short gap between it allows you to regroup and analyse your progress (and take time to catch your breath and take expert advice).
The first phase should involve removing as much as possible of the everyday clutter. If you’ve not used it in the last week then it’s a contender to be removed.
The best way to complete phase one is to be brutal, it’s better off to be too stark and reintroduce things back in during phase two. Now is the time to deep clean, get into all the areas that have been missed over time. It’s about creating a space that you can look at objectively and make decisions.
You can always speak to the agent during the valuation about any feedback and advice. But bear in mind that you may need to push the agent into giving you frank and honest input, remember they are pitching at this stage so will not want to offend you.
When it comes to getting valuations it’s important to make sure you get the right selection of agents, 3 is usually the recommended but you may want to get more. Valuing a property is an art and not a science, yes there are ways to get a good idea including price per square foot and the price of local sales but each property is individual and people buy with their hearts as well as their head.
Once all of the valuations are in you should take the time to analyse each one. If they are all around the same value then great, this is a good indication that you should market at this level. However if you have a large spread in values then it may be worth asking for justification. Don’t be lured in or flattered by an over the top valuation, the single biggest reason a house doesn’t sell is the wrong marketing price.
Select an agent that you trust and that gives you sound advice. We specialise in property marketing and think that this is the single most important factor in generating enquiries. Be sure that you instruct an agent that produces the best marketing, as this is what attracts buyers. Agents that invest in the best marketing are not always the cheapest but this can have a huge impact on achieving the very best sale price.
Preparation (Phase Two)
Phase two is where you can assess your previous efforts. The house should feel very empty and you should be craving your creature comforts. Try and resist the temptation to haul all the old things back from the loft, garage and cupboards, if done correctly a lot of stuff should now be at the charity shop or recycling centre anyway.
Whilst the house is less cluttered check to see if everything is in working order and tackle any DIY or unfinished jobs. You may decide to be bold and change the décor, this might be a good time to tame down any OTT decorating, but be careful not to go bland.
Now with all this in place it’s time to dress the house carefully. Take inspiration from interior magazines and the web. You may want to buy soft furnishings, new bedding, furniture etc. to entice buyers and make your home look amazing, remember all of this can be taken with you.
Once you have selected an agent it’s time to instruct, ensure you read the contract carefully and ask questions if you are unsure. Have a for sale board, there is no reason not to, if you are worried about neighbours finding out then tell them in advance. They’ll know soon enough with viewers coming and going and if they suspect, a quick look on the internet will surely confirm. Discuss arrangements about viewings and any protocol you would like followed such as shoes off, pets etc.
Nowadays the majority of people search for properties online and making an impact can make all the difference. Rightmove is by far the most popular property portal in this region and it’s important that your agent lists your property on here. In fact it’s so ubiquitous that you’ll probably struggle to find an agent who doesn’t.
So the next thing is to discuss the strategy, can the asking price be tweaked so you appear on page one of the search. Can your property be enhanced to premium listing? (this costs extra so be prepared to pay). Your agent should be able to give you advice on whether they think this will help.
Professional photographs will make all the difference, be sure though that you are getting a professional, just because the agent has a “professional” camera doesn’t mean the results will be good, equally I’ve yet to see a wedding photographer do a property justice. A floor plan is no longer a desirable element it’s essential, buyers expect them and you should too. Be sure though to check the plan thoroughly we’ve seen some astonishing mistakes and omissions over the years.
If you are prepared to put in the effort and not leave things to chance you are giving yourself the best chance of selling quickly and for a great price. And as they say; if you’ve given 100% to the preparation and planning then you’ll never be left thinking “I wonder if we could have done better?”