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Sellers Guide

When it comes to selling your property, it is down to you to present your house as one that appeals to prospective buyers. There are several small precautions you can take to ensure that the snapshot of your home that is seen by buyers is one that entices them towards the property.

Repairs and maintenance:

In order to sell your property for the best price possible it is advisable that the house is presented as unblemished as possible. However, before any renovation is undertaken, it is worth calculating the maximum potential value of your property. It is senseless to spend £20,000 on property improvements just to add £10,000 on the sale price. Research through property papers and liaise with estate agents to work out asking prices for similar properties.

Several maintenance tips when selling your property include:

  • Finish off small DIY jobs - touch-up chipped woodwork and replace washers on dripping taps.
  • A well-kept garden, pathway and fence are immediately appealing.
  • Water can cause major problems in unwanted places. Check your roof and guttering and replace broken tiles. It's worth casting an eye over the drains too. A drain cleared before a blockage occurs is easier on the nose and the wallet!
  • A regular lick of paint will keep a property looking good and keep deterioration at bay. A newly-painted front door with shiny brass fittings always creates a good impression. When selling, a surveyor will be able to spot if attempts at 'sprucing up' your property are simply quick fixes - he'll be much more impressed by ongoing maintenance.
  • Cutting the lawn can be a last-minute pick-me-up. Feeding it a couple of weeks beforehand will brighten it up and make it look healthy.
  • If your fitted kitchen units look tired, simply replace or paint and varnish the doors. This will be much cheaper than buying a new kitchen. If the units are in fairly good condition and only look dated, just replace the doorknobs, handles and taps. Another economical trick is to fit good, solid worktops on to existing units.

Look and feel:

When selling your property a lot can be achieved by transforming the personal aspects of the house. The potential buyer wants to envisage them and their family living in the property, so create a warm and positive atmosphere to your home to help them along with the process.

Several tips for this include:

  • Paint walls - a pale, plain shade maximises the feeling of light and space and enables buyers to imagine their possessions in the property. Research shows that most buyers prefer natural, earthy colours to bright, bold shades. Although there's a wide range of paint colours available, magnolia is still the top-selling colour.
  • De-personalise your rooms by removing personal items such as family photographs and children's drawings which may distract potential buyers. Buyers should be looking at the property, not the owner's possessions. Removing clutter makes it easier for buyers to imagine their own belongings in a room.
  • Plant pots can provide colour in your garden. If you don't have the time to fill your own, you can always get some ready-made.
  • Flowers and a bowl of fruit will brighten up a room and provide a pleasant smell.
  • Organise rooms - a property will be more appealing if rooms have a specific purpose and this allows buyers to see the full potential of the property.
  • Revitalise a bathroom with a green leafy plant, new taps, a shower curtain and a light pull. All these items can be picked up cheaply from DIY warehouses.
  • Coloured bathroom suites are out and old-fashioned white is back in vogue. If you've got an avocado or pink bathroom, consider investing in a white suite. It will add value to your property.
  • Restoring fireplaces and period features, such as ceiling roses and cornices, can add thousands of pounds to a property. If you don't have a fireplace, a striking picture can work equally well. If you decide to install a fireplace, look for an original period grate and surround in reclamation yards.
  • Pick up more ideas in Homes DIY and Design Inspiration sections.

Other additional hints when selling your property:


  • Avoid strong food odours - don't cook food such as fish or curry before a viewing as the smell will linger. The smell of freshly-baked bread or fresh coffee is said to provide a welcoming feel to a home.
  • Ask friends or family to look after any pets during viewings.
  • Try and make viewers feel comfortable. Offer them a coffee and ask them if they need any further information about bills or local amenities.

Best Times To Sell

The importance of realistically pricing property to sell

As we are all aware, the property market has faced much uncertain over the past couple of years. We are no longer in a period where any house on the market, at practically any price, will almost certainly sell.

This is why it is vital that each property on the market is priced realistically and accurately. This does not mean selling a property at an undervalued price it simply means that if you wish to sell your house then it must be priced correctly. Any unprofessional agent can quote you high valuations and misguided figures, but achieving the sale in this climate is another matter altogether.

When selling your house it is imperative that the final valuation figure that you receive is based on experience and knowledge of the area by highly trained local agents. A useful exercise would be to ask for the values of comparable properties, just so you can get some realistic sale values in your head. The last thing that anyone wants is your property for sale sitting and stagnating on the market for months with little interest because an agent has overinflated its value just to get you on board.

Selling your home is equally as stressful as purchasing a new property so ensure that you do all you can to value your property at its correct price.

Seasonal change influences house sales

As with many different markets, seasonal change greatly influences the selling of property. For instance, Spring is a good time to sell your house as this is the time that many people use to purchase so they can get their children into new schools by September. If you wish to capture these Spring home movers, then you should be looking to put your house on the market by the end of February ready for an active period close to May and June. The advantages of a Spring sale means that you have longer days to fill up your home with as many viewings as possible, with more natural light and in bloom gardens added advantages.

Another season ideal for selling your property is Autumn. Putting your house on the market in early September means you will appeal to buyers hoping to move in before the Christmas period. However, beware as the Autumn selling window is short and the best prospect for selling your home would be in the months of September and October as these offer enough time for the sale to complete before Christmas.

If you still end up searching for a buyer for your property after the Autumn selling window then they will usually be in a stronger position, as post Christmas signals a traditional market slowdown.

In spite of all these factors it ultimately comes down to you when selling your home. If you are motivated and prepared to market your house correctly then selling your property becomes a much easier task. In the end, you are the determining factor.

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