How to sell your home faster for more money
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
‘Staging’ your property can give it the edge when it goes on the market - here’s how.
Most sellers want their home to be bought within a reasonable timeframe and for the best possible price, so it’s worth thinking about what specifically helps both of these be achieved.
Housing experts agree that ‘staging’ your property, to show it off in the most desirable way, can add thousands to its value. These are just some of the things you can do to help your biggest asset achieve the best price.
Clear out the junk…
Hiding or binning unnecessary, ugly, very personal or fussy items will help make rooms more attractive to would-be buyers. It is also a good idea because if you do it before you sell, you will have less stuff to pack up and take with you to the new place. If you can’t face losing it forever, put it in storage.
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…But leave some personality
Don’t turn it into a generic hotel, however. You need to keep some characters and personal items can inspire unimaginative buyers and prompt them to think what they would do if they lived there.
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Maximise the space
Don’t try to cram too much into each room. Remove bulky furniture that makes the room seem smaller. Allow space by only showcasing your home with a necessary amount of furniture and simple accessories. This helps people be able to imagine what the property would look like with their own possessions in it too.
Ensure it smells sweet
If there are any funny odours lurking, try to eradicate them by freshening up rooms with scented candles, neutralizing air fresheners or aromatherapy diffusers. Clean carpets in advance of putting your property on the market, banish any smelly pets elsewhere during viewings and open the windows. Clear drains and wash bedding, as nasty niffs are a huge turn off for buyers. Brew coffee or bake before folk come to see your home.
Invest in a coat of paint
Give the walls a lick of fresh paint in a neutral tone. This makes rooms seem lighter and larger and creates a ‘blank canvas’ for viewers to envisage their own décor dreams. Definitely dump any strong or quirky hues, such as slime green, student orange or scary purple! And to make a fabulous first impression, don’t spare the front door while you’ve got your paintbrush out. But do give that a lick of bright paint to cheer up your visitors’ entrance.
Make minor repairs
Holes in walls, cracked tiles or very worn carpets are not going to pull in the punters. Try to tempt them in by sprucing up your home and making any necessary alterations or fulfilling any basic obvious requirements.
Clean until it shines
Remove any limescale, repair tile grout and wax wooden floors to make the prospect of living in your home more appealing. Clean the windows inside and out.
Tidy the garden
Cleaning patios and outside furniture, trimming bushes and cutting the grass might not seem like they will add much value to your home but they are relatively easy to do and make it more likely to sell.
Consider investing in the kitchen
Kitchens are the most valuable room in a property. They are worth more per square foot than other rooms and the quality of your kitchen can truly make a difference in swaying undecided buyers. It is expensive to upgrade counter tops but doing this can add a lot of value. Some sellers like to pay out for new white goods and although you might not recoup the full cost, doing so could help you make a quicker sale. Refacing kitchen cabinets is much cheaper than installing a whole new kitchen. Again, hide or remove bulky items and simply leave out a bowl of healthy fresh fruit.
Use mirrors and light
Adding mirrors to small rooms and hallways make a place look bigger and lighter. As obvious at it sounds, always ensure working light bulbs are in every light fitting and put lamps in any dark or dimly lit corners. A warm lamp in a bathroom creates a cosy homely feeling.
Light the fire
If it’s cold, light your fire and burn pinecones for their gorgeous smell to make your home warm and inviting. At the very least, make sure any fireplace is clean before you show people round.
Dress windows properly
Bare windows really make a home seem very rundown and unloved. Suitable curtains or blinds on every window is a great idea, even if you have to shell out for some cheap Dunelm or IKEA ones just to do the job.
Add plants or flowers
When it comes to bringing life and colour to a home, introducing a few carefully placed plants and vases of flowers can do the trick.
Trust the professionals
If you have entrusted the sale of your home to a professional, which most people do, then they will know how best to answer any difficult questions and what to downplay about the property. If there are any less desirable features such as noisy neighbours, for example.
It can be hard to know what areas are worth spending on and which are better to leave. Ideally you don’t want to be parting with lots of cash at this stage, unless it is to replace or repair something fundamentally important to a sale – or it is a cost-effective relatively risk-free investment, which is likely to significantly increase the chances of a better sell.
There is an argument for cashing in on any obvious conversions, such as turning the loft or garage into extra rooms. While this can add value, there is no guarantee you will get all the money back and many sellers are too busy for the upheaval or put off by inconvenience. It might be that you opt to get planning permission for a loft conversion, which is sought-after but cheaper and less hassle than paying for the loft conversion yourself.
Phew! It sounds pretty exhausting work, eh? There are no rigid rules and you might prefer to employ tradesmen, cleaners, gardeners or other maintenance workers to do some or all of the above. Moving house is stressful and the resulting reward will hopefully make all the effort worthwhile.
Local estate agent Adam Golder – managing director of JW&Co Langleys in London Road, St Albans – offers his top tips for helping sell your property more quickly and for the best price.
Realistic pricing is key
“It is important to generate interest and a sensible price should attract more purchasers, even some competition, and can drive up the price”, he said.
Choose your agent wisely
“The estate agent needs to be professional and efficient. Clearly understanding the needs of a client is very important, as is building a rapport”, according to Adam.
Use clear photographs and attractive marketing
“Make sure your agent uses all the relevant portals and that they have a good website for maximum exposure”, stresses Adam.
Highlight potential for improvement
Adam suggests that it is crucial that any potential opportunities the property has for extension and enhancement are flagged up to prospective buyers, subject to the usual planning consents.
“Naturally, the usual housekeeping is essential in ensuring a clean presentation – declutter rooms, mow the lawn, air the rooms, clean surfaces”, he recommends.
Adam also advises clients not to spend money unnecessarily replacing bathrooms or on new flooring.
Visit www.jwandco.co.uk for more information about the estate agency services available.