Be as sale ready as you can be – meaning you make sure you do things such as speaking to your mortgage adviser, having a solicitor lined up in advance, and getting all your documents in order amongst other aspects. With an industry norm of 30% of sales falling through, it is important to get yourself organised and reduce the time potential buyers have to pull out.
Pre-empt what information your solicitor may need from you – Any window and door certificates, boiler warranties, building regulations certificates, the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as well as any legal documents – will speed up the selling process. You’ll need to ensure you have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (or commission one) in order to market your property in the first place; check to see if your estate agent offers this as a service.
Make first impressions count – When buyers view homes, they will generally make up their mind about whether they like a property within a few minutes. It is known that the way the property looks from the outside (kerb appeal) plays a big part in influencing this decision. Tidy up the front garden or give the front door a fresh lick of paint, so that when they’re approaching the property from across the street, the first impression is a positive one.
De-personalise your home – A buyer will want to imagine your home as their own. Having your home full of clutter and with too many personal belongings on display can prevent them from doing this. Make sure you de-clutter and put some of those knick-knacks that make your home look too “you” into storage, so that buyers can imagine putting their own stamp on the property.
Get your tool box out – Keeping parts of the home that add value to the property, for example, the kitchen or bathroom, in good condition, can increase the appeal of your home. Whether it’s just a fresh lick of paint, new kitchen equipment or fixing that wonky shelf, it is important that these parts of the home are in the best condition possible before you start marketing the property.
Choose a well-established estate agent – Check out your local ‘sold’ boards – this is usually a good indication of which estate agents are doing well in your area. Get valuations from three different agents, and always ask about the particulars of their marketing activities; are they going to promote your property across different channels and reach a wide audience? A good estate agent will get your property in front of the right potential buyers’ eyes, will have plenty of buyers registered, be proactive and will be able to command a higher asking price, ensuring that your net proceeds from the sale are maximised.
Get a pet sitter – You may consider asking a friend to look after your pet for the afternoon to ensure that a potential buyer is not put off your property due to a pet-specific odour or a fear of dogs!
Make the most of your estate agent’s expertise – They live and breathe property sales, so they’re adept at pre-empting what questions buyers are likely to ask, and are able to effectively market your property. So when it comes to answering any questions or concerns from potential buyers, your agent is best positioned to respond.
Be flexible – This is important throughout the sale process. If a potential buyer wants a night-time viewing after you’ve had a long day at work, consider allowing them to view the property. The more potential buyers that view your property, the more likely you are to get an offer, so flexibility can really pay off.
Consider an open house – Many estate agents hold open house events, meaning you open your house to all of their registered buyers who might be interested in the property for an hour or so. This can be a great way to get people into your home in one viewing and may reduce the number of times you need to put an effort in making your property viewing ready.