The current state of the housing market can make it difficult to sell your home, even if it’s in a desirable area. Even when you’ve found a buyer, broken links in the chain can soon put you back to square one, so it’s important to do everything you can to ensure your home is as attractive to potential buyers as possible. While there is no secret recipe to guarantee success, following these tips will increase your chances of realising your ambition.
1. Set a realistic price
Dramatically dropping your asking price should be seen as a last resort, but it helps to get the price right at the outset. Do some research into the average asking prices for similar houses in your area, and ask estate agents for their advice. You can also have a survey carried out on your home, which will identify any problems that may come up when a potential buyer does their own survey and allow you to set a more accurate price.
2. Get a good estate agent
This one sounds obvious, but a poor estate agent can mean unnecessary hold-ups and bad advice throughout the selling process. It’s generally advised to get at least three different agents to assess your home and provide information on similar properties to yours that they have sold recently. Personal recommendations from friends or family who have recently sold a home can also be a big help.
3. Spruce up your home
Ensure your house is clean and tidy whenever potential buyers come around for viewings, and take care of small cosmetic jobs such as repainting gates and fences and weeding the garden. Try to look at your house through a buyer’s eyes – in some cases, it may even be worth redecorating in a neutral style so any visitors can more easily imagine putting their own stamp on a home. Old tricks like baking bread or cookies just before buyers visit are a bit cheesy – just focus on making everything look neat, spacious and well-maintained!
4. Take good photographs
Once your house is shipshape, make sure your photographs are showing the property in its best light. Find the angle that makes the rooms look biggest and use natural lighting as much as possible (ie wait for a sunny day and open all the curtains and windows). Take outdoor shots with the sun behind you, and emphasise attractive features such as wood beams and fireplaces if you have them. If you have the budget, it may even be worth hiring a professional photographer.
5. Choose the right buyer
If you’re lucky enough to attract more than one buyer who’s prepared to make an offer, think carefully about which one is the most likely to go through with the sale. As long as they have a mortgage, first-time buyers can be a godsend as there is no chain behind them to worry about. Don’t always take the highest offer for your house – it’s worthless if the sale ends up falling through!
6. Consider other options
If everything else has failed and you desperately need to move, there are some other options available to you. Professional property buying services will buy a home in any condition, and complete the sale extremely quickly – often in a matter of weeks. You will typically be offered around three-quarters of the market value of your home for this convenience, but this trade-off can be worth it if nothing else is working.