1) Call other agents and ask them to revalue your house. Your price may be too high. Of course you won’t want to lower your price but if you want to sell then you may have to. With a lower price you should get more viewings, and if you get a lot more, then buyers could outbid each other. It’s down to how much you want to sell.
2) View your house with fresh eyes. Do any rooms need a lick of paint? Providing you choose neutral colours new paint can add freshness to any room, it’s cheap, quick and you can do it yourself. If you want to be more creative you could add a bright colour to one wall and have matching accessories but that will add to the cost.
3) Check your house f or DIY. Handles hanging off the cupboards, dripping taps, windows without curtains or not hanging properly make the property look uncared for. You want people to want to live in your house. Sure you will get the buyers who want to renovate property, but they will also want to pay less money. Most buyers do not want to renovate property, especially if it is a family house. Book in a couple of weekends and evenings to get those jobs done.
4) Smells – sounds grim, but does your house smell? Do you have pets? Dog-owners can become used to the smell of their dog but to non dog-owners, it can be very off-putting. You may need to clean your carpets and deodourize the furnishings. One house I’ve seen turned out not to have a u-bend in the loo… easily fixed and problem gone. People want a fresh smell in the house and especially in the bathrooms and kitchens. Avoid cleaners containing bleach as the smell of bleach will linger. If you have a coffee machine, then great, put it on before you have any viewings. It’s a very welcoming smell.
5) What’s the first impression of your property. Check from the outside and make sure it’s a good one. Especially if your property has been on the market for a long time and you’ve give up hope, the outside of the property might look neglected. Keep it looking good – you only need one person to buy your property. You need your front garden in especially good condition – doesn’t take much time and makes a big difference. Keep the hedge trimmed and everything looking well cared for.
6) Cleanliness. For every viewing, make sure it’s really clean. Sure, first impressions are hugely important, but after a favourable first impression, people begin to look closer. They want to live in a clean house and feel good. Dirt will turn people off your property.
7) Declutter. People want space. If your property has been on the market for a while you may have let things get cluttered. Have another clear out, tidy up and generally create space. You want to create a light, spacious and welcoming feel to your house, and where people will be able to imagine themselves in your property.
8) Ask a few agents to value your property. You may need a new agent with a new set of house details. Talking of which, check your house details – do they actually sell your house? Are the photos good and is a floor plan included? Some house details can be so poor, even negative with unflattering photos. Check that your agent is actively doing his job of selling your properly, not merely listing it. If he is not enthused by your property then you need another agent. Also, if he has had
your property on his books for a long time, then he may have lost hope in selling it and this may come out in his voice or odd comment to potential buyers – hopefully not, but worth checking out.
9) Say Yes to all viewings and be ready an hour before – agents can turn up early. Viewings are great on one hand, but you need to prepare for each one. You’ve got to tidy up, clean and ideally, be out of the property. People who are viewing your house really are interested in actually buying your house, even if their property isn’t on the market. Clean and tidy and then go out and do something nice – at least then you’ll come home to a nice, clean house and you’ve had a good time, even if it’s just round to the neighbours. And most definitely, let your agent have a spare key. When you come to sell your house you’ll be paying your agent a hefty fee so make use of them. Do not show potential buyers around yourself unless you are a salesman – in your nerves or over-keeness to sell your house you may hamper a sale instead.
10) When you’ve done what you think you need, enter your house as if you were a buyer and what do you see? Make more changes to give the best impression you can. It’s a detail but flowers always add freshness, brightness and show you care about where you live. In making these changes hopefully you’ll have the bonus of enjoying your property more whilst you live in the property!
Good luck with your house sale.
Susy Copus writes for the UK Property Search Engine, Wheres My Property and Renovate Alerts, the site that finds property to renovate.