Selling a house is (quite rightly) viewed by many as being one of the more stressful processes a person can go through
However, being prepared and taking some well thought out steps can get your home looking its best and substantially reduce this stress, in the process, helping you to sell your home even quicker.
To set you on your way, estate agent comparison website www.getagent.co.uk has compiled their tips for selling a house...
1 First impressions matter
The outside of your property is the first chance you get to wow potential buyers, getting them interested in more. Little things will make a huge difference to your property's kerb appeal, so make sure you keep the grass cut, the paths swept, your bins out of view and clean up anything that could be considered unsightly.
If you'd like to add a touch of colour, consider adding inexpensive hanging baskets and planting bedding flowers - these can really make a statement and offers a focal point for the outside of the property. It's also worth cutting back overgrown bushes and cleaning your patio areas too. A well-maintained garden will help prospective buyers to visualise themselves using the garden.
It’s a good idea to give any tired and outdated exterior fixtures a freshen up, such as fences or garden furniture, and to ensure external windows and doors are in good condition, are clean and all latches and handles are in working order.
2 Repair and clean
Buyers typically want to move into a house which will not need major work done, so minor repairs will be an important factor when selling a house. Ensure any fixtures or fittings that are broken are repaired, such as cupboard handles, kitchen tiles or holes in walls, and it will also be a good idea to replace any threadbare or well-worn carpets that could put off potential buyers too.
When you're staging your home for viewings, it’s imperative that the property is clean and tidy. While you don't want it to be a show home and look unlived in, a good clean will make the house appear far more presentable.
3 Watch out for smells
Bad smells are one of the biggest turn offs for prospective buyers. You can get around this by ensuring your drains and sinks are clean, your food bin is disinfected, and your house is aired out - this can truly make a big difference.
Estate agents have been using pleasant smells to help sell houses for years. Freshly baked bread, cakes and muffins are all popular choices but are impractical for most home sellers. Simple tips include brewing fresh coffee or lighting a citrus candle which can help to create a homely feel during viewings.
Potential buyers will be put off a property if they cannot picture themselves living there. People will often find this difficult when they look around houses, with clutter being one of the major reasons. Consider moving out or storing any bulky furniture you have and try to declutter as much as possible.
However, be sure to let some of your personality shine through. Open spaces and neutral colours typically make small rooms feel bigger, subsequently making it easier for buyers to imagine their belongings in the space.
5 A fresh lick of paint
Home buyers would typically like a blank canvas, which can then be customised to suit their taste. Subsequently, they are far more likely to be interested in neutral colours as opposed to bold ones. Neutral colours will also help to make your home appear lighter and bigger, allowing viewers to easily envisage how to adapt the room to their needs.
Good choices include light blues, pale greys and pastel yellows, as they provide a relaxing, warm and inviting feel to a room.
6 Adding finishing touches
Ensure you have dressed all the windows properly with blinds, curtains or net curtains as windows without any dressing will tend to make a room feel impersonal and run down.
A great tip for making a room feel bigger is to buy wall mounted mirrors - they're great for providing a light and airy feel to any dark areas.
A touch of colour can be provided by bringing plants and flowers into the house. Fruit bowls will be a good option too, providing a wonderful smell. Cushions and throws make a great choice for adding an inexpensive injection of colour into a room, conveying a comfortable and warm feeling.
7 Spend money to make money
This could seem counter intuitive on the face of it but spending a little bit more money before selling your home can pay off in the long run. Updates such as changing the bathroom tiles or adding new cabinet doors in the kitchen can make a big difference to both the saleability and value of a property. Estate agents can recommend the types of updates and conversions that will add the most value, as well as advising you of what prospective buyers are looking for property wise in the local area.
If you have the spare cash to make a conversion, why not consider adapting a loft space into an extra room or building a conservatory for some extra space? These updates can add value to the house and make it a more interesting prospect for potential buyers.
8 Find the right estate agent
Finding the right estate agent is key to selling your house quickly and for the ideal price. Remember, they will be responsible for valuing your property, marketing your home to potential buyers, handling viewings and liaising with solicitors. An estate agent who knows the local area, trends and provides a good service will be imperative for a quick sale.
While it's worth getting recommendations from friends and family, you should also do your research and compare local estate agents to help you pay less fees and get more money for your house.
You can take the stress out of comparing and picking an estate agent, as comparison websites are hassle-free and time-saving. These websites provide users with helpful information about estate agents in the local area, including their contact information, and will provide users with current information on the local housing market to help you to make a more informed decision. They could even put you in touch with your agent to get the ball rolling.
9 Hire a professional photographer
Whether you're hiring a local estate agent or are putting a home up for sale through an online agent, a picture can tell a thousand words, so you shouldn't cut corners here. Some estate agents have their own photographers, but many do not, and taking pictures will usually fall to the agents themselves. This causes lacklustre or dull pictures to be marketed by estate agents which could otherwise put people off.
However, a way to stand out from the crowd and to get your house noticed is to hire a professional photographer - for only a small fee, they will ensure your house is presented and staged in the best way possible, helping to attract potential home buyers.