The vast array of property-related TV programmes proliferating our screens is certainly an indication of our appetite for home improvement. Presumably this has something to do with pride of ownership and making the most out of "an Englishman's home is his castle".
However, once you come to sell, you may understandably be more focused on your next property than the one you are leaving. It is surprising how many properties we see offered for sale where the vendor has not taken advantage of some simple things that can be done to increase their chances of selling whilst maximising their price.
Bear in mind that we are not just selling bricks and mortar, but an aspirational lifestyle, as most people purchase a better property than the one they are leaving.
A recent survey among estate agents identified key aspects of property presentation that they regard as important to get right when selling. 77% said that decluttering the interior was among their top three tips, 68% included a thorough interior clean, 48% highlighted the need to tidy the garden, 40% suggested neutral decoration, 35% recommended a fresh coat of exterior paint, and 24% felt a new kitchen or bathroom was important.
Interestingly, gadgets, technology and security features ranked surprisingly low, with less than 1% of agents citing these as important, presumably as these are things that can easily be added at a later date as required although a fast broadband speed is of course critically important. A survey by Rightmove suggested that homes with slower broadband tended to sell for up to 20% less than those with fast broadband!
It is interesting to note that, apart from the broadband issue, the above figures overwhelmingly point to the need to create a strong first visual impression, and this concurs with our own findings that whilst buyers do not always know precisely what they want, they certainly know it when they see it. Our job is to help them get to that point!
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Steven Celimon - Director