Market your home the right way and you’ll get the best possible price when you sell. Here’s six easy ways to get your house ready to maximise your asking price…
Getting the best price for your property
No one wants to sell their property for a cut-price figure, and there are a few simple steps that will help you appeal to buyers and have them clamouring to pay the asking price for your home!
Some people go to town and give their home such a makeover that in the end they don’t really want to sell it. But unless your property is full of potential that you haven’t yet realised, and you are sure you will recoup the cost of any major renovations or building works, you can carry out some simple tasks to make it instantly more appealing in order to be worth the best possible asking price.
If you do think your home can sell for a great price with an extension or a loft conversion, perhaps maybe even planning permission within the garden, have a chat with a few estate agents first, to find out what valuation you could get both with and without your major building project. This should help you decide whether it’s worth the extra time, effort and investment.
In reality, most house hunters are looking for a property that is clean and tidy, light and spacious, and offers plenty of storage. So here’s our list of the most simple tasks that are quick and easy and relatively affordable for you to carry out before your property even goes on the market.
1. Declutter and deep clean
Get rid of the clutter and give the house a deep clean. Clutter makes it look as if there is not enough space for all your possessions, which can be a red flag for anyone upsizing. They will be hoping to have a new home with a place for everything, so this is what you need to show them. Getting rid of clutter is a good idea anyway if you’re planning to move – after all, who wants to pay the removal company to move mountains of stuff you should be getting rid of? Don’t be tempted to just shove everything away in cupboards – serious buyers are bound to open the doors, and crammed storage spaces will send out the message that the house is not big enough for them. As an added incentive to get rid of excess stuff, you could even make a bit of extra money by selling your unwanted bits and pieces online or at a car boot sale.
If you can’t face a deep clean yourself, bring in the professionals. Many cleaners and cleaning companies will do one-off deep cleans – they’ll get far more done in a few hours than you will, so it’s worth paying for this service. And don’t forget the carpets – grubby or smelly carpets are a turnoff, so either hire a carpet cleaner or again, bring in the professionals.
Speaking of odours – if there are any, they won’t help your house sale. It’s hard to tell if your own house smells, so ask a trusted friend to come in and give it a good sniff! If you have animals, make sure all their bedding is washed, and keep litter trays outside while you have viewings. Freshen up furniture and curtains – either by cleaning or using a fabric spray – and ensure drains have been cleaned through. The smell of stale cigarette smoke is especially off-putting, so make sure you get rid of that – and smoke outside until the house is sold!
2. Up your kerb appeal
First impressions really count when you’re selling a property. Many buyers will do a drive-by of a prospective property before they even ask for a viewing, so if you don’t impress on that first look, they won’t even get inside the house to see your fabulously clean and clutter-free home!
Go outside and look at your home with a critical eye – how does it compare with other homes on the street? Does the garden need attending to? Does the front door look glossy and inviting or a bit shabby? Could your drive do with weeding, or does that fence panel need fixing? Making your property look well maintained and cared for from the street is half the battle won.
3. If it’s broke, fix it
We know how it is when you’re busy with work and family life, all those little jobs get put off. The broken lock on the toilet door, the kitchen cupboard that doesn’t hang quite right, the bit of plastering that you quickly patched up yourself. Kitchens and bathrooms are especially important – they should look clean and well cared for. Brightening up grout between tiles, for instance, can make a huge difference. Buyers will be looking for a well-maintained house – if there are obvious things that haven’t been looked after, they will suspect you haven’t cared for the major things, like the plumbing or heating. Devote a weekend or two to getting these jobs done and, if you’re not very handy, get someone in to do them for you. A dodgy DIY job is not what you need at this stage.
4. Make it neutral
This means two things – move anything too flamboyant and too personal. Buyers need to imagine they could see themselves living in your home, and moving straight in. Seeing rows of family photos, trophies, rosettes and kids’ drawings on the wall makes it harder for them to picture themselves living in the property. You don’t need to get rid of it if you don’t want to, put it in storage or with a family or friend until you move. On the flip side, be careful not to make the house look too stark and clinical.
Likewise, while you don’t necessarily want to decorate the whole house (unless it’s really looking shabby and could be perked up with an all-over paint job), you should consider getting rid of any ‘way out’ colours that will be hard to paint over. Ideally you want to offer a blank canvas for any prospective buyer. If they can’t get past the fact that they’ll have to spend hours painting layer after layer over your purple wall or black skirting, they’ll be factoring in the cost of getting a professional to do the decorating when they make an offer and in some cases, the upheaval may just be too much like hard work.
5. Sell the dream
Buyers are not only buying a home, they are buying a new and hopefully better way of life. Buying a home is the largest purchase most of us will ever make, and with that purchase we hope our lifestyle will improve. If you can sell that aspirational idea to them, you are on to a winner. Think about ‘staging’ your property – you can get ideas by visiting show homes.
Showing there is space for a lovely seating or dining area in the garden is going to appeal to buyers who have only had a cramped patio before; presenting a clutter-free living room to buyers with small children who are surrounded by toys in their own living space will be a big bonus. If you can’t face baking cookies or fresh bread, buy some fresh flowers.
6. A room for everything
When we live in a house, we often use rooms for more than one purpose. We might have a desk in the spare room, or the dining room might double up as a playroom. When it comes to selling, make the room’s purpose clear – have the dining table set for dinner, or get rid of the clutter from the spare room and pop some nice bedding on the bed to make it look inviting. In the past we might have said that you should convert an office back to a bedroom, but in these days of home working, showing that there is a dedicated space for working might be a big selling point.
So that’s it – six easy ways to help you get the best price for your property, without the need for major building or DIY projects. So what are you waiting for? Get selling!
Established in Berkshire in 2004, J Finance Ltd is one of the leading financial planning companies in the area. We serve clients across England and Wales. If you would like to discuss this subject or any other financial matter, please contact us on 01635 521 300 or email email@example.com.