In the very early days of Rock My Style I put together a feature with house buying tips. I had intended to follow with a post all about selling homes shortly after. When reader Marianne mentioned she was putting her house on the market it reminded me a selling houses feature was long overdue. Well better late then never.
Unless your name happens to be Dorothy and you have a very spangly pair of glittery shoes then you’re not going to find your dwelling can miraculously move location. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to disguise a dual carriageway or a dark garden but there are a few things you can do to make your home more saleable.
Give Rooms Purpose
You might have lived in a house for four years and never used the spare room as anything other than a storage area for your laundry. However for the purposes of selling consider popping a bed in the room. At the end of the day you need to try your best to sell a lifestyle. If your target buyer is a young family then help them see how a cot or bed could be positioned in a room, if it’s young professionals then try to add elements to sell the entertainment lifestyle even if it’s a very small bar tray slotted in one corner of the room.
There’s a balance here between creating a clinical home devoid of all charm and a personality laden property. You may have incredible vision but it doesn’t mean your potential buyer will have the same imagination so help them see the home they can create for themselves by paring back your possessions. By all means keep a few photos on show, light a few scented candles and leave some treasured trinkets on display but perhaps take down the images from your boudoir shoot. Folks want to imagine themselves living in the house, not feel like they’re stalking you.
Choose Where To Invest
Avoid Seasonal Flowers
Dressing your home with flowers always helps with the aesthetics and adds a gorgeous fragrance too. Personally I would avoid having any photos taken with any flowers that are extremely seasonal. Perhaps it’s just me and my hawk eye but if a property is on Rightmove in September with daffodils on the table I have to ask myself why it’s taken so long to sell! Of course there could be a million reasons why this is the case but it may be better to choose year round blooms such as roses for your photos.
Do Your Homework
You don’t just need to sell through a standard estate agent, you can go it alone or opt for an online only agent. If you do go through a third party then be sure to get several quotes and valuations to get the best idea of your home’s value. Also always check the small print. I do know someone who was caught out when they found out their fee was a percentage of the asking price, not the final sale. The agent didn’t do anything to help the seller get the best price as they knew they would get paid regardless of the selling price. Cheeky.
A savvy buyer will return for a second or third viewing at different times of day but try to take advantage of the best features of your home and arrange a first viewing when the house looks its best. Is your living room bathed in afternoon light? Are you on a road with busy traffic in the morning? Try to arrange first viewings to play to your property’s advantages so prospective buyers fall in love with your house and are willing to compromise if there are a few elements which aren’t on their wish list.
When I was selling my old pad I refrained from being present at the viewings for a variety of reasons; it was an extremely small property so I didn’t want to clutter up the space; viewings took place mostly during office hours so I was at work and also I was paying an estate agent to do their thing. I also couldn’t guarantee I wouldn’t get a bit emotional about the whole thing. Our prospective buyer probably wasn’t interested in me babbling on about how I’d picked my colour scheme. I’m interested to read the approach others took to being present (or not) at viewings.
If you’re selling in the winter and are letting an agent handle the viewings then do consider how you’ll make the property as inviting as possible. Can you pop back before the buyers arrive to pop on the heating and turn on the lamps or even set up a timer to do it for you?
This goes without saying and is really quite self explanatory. However I’m sure we all have a few tales to tell of when this matter has been overlooked!
James and I were very lucky to sell our home within a matter of days during the depths of the recession but as we all know I’m no expert at this so please do chime in with your tips on selling your house. What has been your experience of selling?