Selling your house is one of the most stressful things to do, from finding a conveyancer, to having strangers through your front door, there’s a lot to deal with. If you are considering moving house but are being held back by the fear of what it entails, I’ve got you. I’ve bought and sold several properties over the past 20 years and these are my top tips so that you are prepared and ready for selling your house.
Let’s be honest, you want to get the most money that we can when selling your house don’t you? So when an estate agent steps through your front door to give you a valuation, you want your house to be looking pretty darn good! The first, and easiest, thing you can do is to tidy up. Go through each room and see what can be tidied away to make it look neater. Do you have a pile of laundry waiting to go away? (I hear you, my washing machine seems to be permanently going). Are the sides of the bath full of bottles of shampoo and bubble bath? Is your razor lying on it’s side in the bottom of the shower? Can you see the floor in the kids’ bedroom or is it buried under a mountain of toys? Just giving each room a tidy will not only make them look better for the estate agent, but you’ll feel better because you won’t be looking at so much clutter. Once everywhere is tidy, give each room a dust and vacuum.
Get The Agents In
The next step is to get a valuation so you know how much your house could sell for. I recommend asking three agents to come round and value your property and then use the average of their prices to set the price for selling your house. Use the agents’ experience and ask them for their advice whilst they are looking round your house. Have they sold many properties like yours recently? Is there much demand for a property like yours? Is there anything you can do to make your property more attractive to buyers? They won’t tell you to do something crazy like add an extension on, but they may tell you to do minor things such as making an office space look like a bedroom by putting a bed in there. It’s up to you whether you act on their advice, but remember that they see a lot of houses and generally know what is likely to stop you from selling your house.
De-Clutter and Deep Clean
The items that you may love having on display in your house may look like clutter to a potential buyer, so consider packing some of them away and just keeping out your favourite pieces. If you have a small room are you able to remove any larger pieces of furniture and re-purpose them in another room, or put them in storage, until you are ready to move? By removing these items you will make a room feel more spacious, which will appeal to a buyer. Make sure you consider each room and any outdoor spaces when you go through this process. If you have a lot of items to get rid of, you may want to consider hiring a small skip if it is going to be easier than filling your car up and doing numerous trips to the tip.
After you have de-cluttered and tidied up, give your house a deep clean. Wash the kitchen cabinet doors, clean the areas where any pets eat and sleep, give the tiles in the bathroom a scrub and wash the windows (if they need it). It’s also really worth freshening up your carpets and the most simple way of doing that is with one of those products that you shake onto the carpet and leave for a while before vacuuming it up.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate and other affiliate links. If you clicked the link then made a purchase, a small percentage of the sale price would be paid to this me. It doesn’t cost you anything more but it saves me having to put 50p in the meter! (If you don’t know what that means, ask your parents!)
Act On The Agent’s Advice
If the estate agent gave you any advice during their valuation visit now is the time to act on it. So if they told you to repaint a wall or clean up some mould do your best to get those things done. Pay attention to the outside of your property at this time too, if you have lots of weeds on your driveway can you pull them out or put a treatment on them to kill them? Have you got lots of dead plants? If you have, pull them out as it’s better to have empty flower beds that are neat, than ones that look like they haven’t been tended to for years – remember that the first impression a buyer gets of your property is as they first walk up to it and it all adds to the likelihood of you selling your house.
Once you feel that your house is ready for selling, give the estate agent the go-ahead to start booking in viewings. You can either be at home and do the viewings yourself, or you can give the agent a key and they will do them while you go out. There’s no right or wrong option, it’s purely down to your personal preference.
Viewing Day Action Plan
The most important thing to do on the day of a viewing is to give your property a general clean and tidy. You’ve done the big tidy up and clean so this shouldn’t take long. Give everywhere a dust and hoover, wipe the kitchen worktops, do the dishes and put any animal bowls away (or make sure they’re clean if they need to stay on view). Upstairs, make sure the bathroom is clean and put some bleach in the toilet to eliminate any unwanted smells. Make the beds – on a side note, make sure everyone is out of bed before the viewing because there is nothing worse than viewing a room that has someone asleep in it!! Yes that has happened to me more than once and no I didn’t buy those properties! (babies are the exception to this rule, if they need to sleep then let them).
After you have tidied, open some windows (but not so many that it is freezing) so that there is some fresh air flowing through the property. If it is a particularly cold day you could put the fire on (if you have one) so that it feels warm and cosy – buyers will remember somewhere that felt like it was selling a lifestyle. If possible, have some fresh flowers on display and light a candle or two, but be wary of ones with strong scents as not everyone will like that.
If the estate agent doesn’t call you within 24 hours of the viewing give them a call and ask for some feedback. If you have followed the steps above and you have set a sensible price for your property you should sell fairly quickly, but if you find yourself in the situation of still being on the market after a few months you may need to consider lowering your price.
Selling your house can seem very daunting but once you start the process you’ll realise that it’s not as tricky as you thought!
If you’re thinking about starting a renovation project have a look at the posts following our renovation journey.