How to get your home ready to sell
Are you thinking of moving in the New Year? The housing market is busy, so this might be the right time to take advantage of the momentum and put your own home on the market.
There are record numbers of homebuyers looking right now, so make sure you give yourself the best chance of attracting them – and getting the best price for your property.
Here are our top tips to make your sale as successful, quick, and hassle-free as possible.
Choose the right estate agent
If you haven’t had your property valued yet, get that booked in as soon as possible. We recommend you get at least two agents around to value your home, and choosing the right for you is super important.
Here’s a list to help you know what to look for:
- How experienced are they in your area?
- Have they successfully sold properties similar to yours recently? Find out how long it took them, what prices were achieved, and what the difference between their initial asking price and the sold price was, if any.
- When it comes to the fee the agent charges, usually the most important things to keep in mind are:
- The amount of money the house sells for: the sold price minus the agent’s fee.
- How quickly the sale will happen.
In other words, going with an agent who charges slightly less commission, but ends up taking much longer to sell your property – and then achieving a lower price – may be false economics.
Dealing with an estate agent who provides a great service, is responsive, proactive, and an expert in your local area, will make a huge difference to the whole experience, and will most likely get your house sold faster.
Get the price right
Don’t be swayed by the agent promising the highest price for your home. It’s tempting, but if you end up over-pricing the property, it will only prolong the process, and you’ll have to reduce the price further down the line anyway. A recent study we carried out found that you were twice as likely to sell your home if it sold based on the first listed asking price.
Instead, ask the agent to provide evidence to support why they recommend that asking price. And again, look at their recent history in the area.
The first two weeks your house appears on Rightmove is usually when it gets the most attention from home-hunters – especially during this busy period. So if it’s priced correctly, with the level of exposure it could be getting, you may even end up with an offer in the first couple of weeks.
Have all documents ready
Your estate agent and solicitor will ask for various bits of paperwork throughout the selling process, so if you can gather together all the relevant documents ahead of time, you should avoid delays further down the line.
Some of the paperwork to consider rounding up include:
- HM Land Registry title documents
- Gas checks completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer (or Corgi-registered engineer prior to 2009)
- Electrical checks – an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or a NAPIT or NICEIC certificate/report from a registered electrical competent person
- FENSA or CERTAS certificates for windows
- Planning permission for any major work carried out
- Building regulation completion certificates and builder’s guarantee certificates for alterations or additions
- Subsidence guarantees/warranties
- Damp guarantees/warranties
- Party wall agreements (if relevant)
- If a listed building, listed building consent for interior and exterior works
- If your home is in a conservation area, conservation area consent for works
- Any title insurance policies you may have taken out to solve title defects
Getting your home ready: decluttering and photography
You’ll want to spend some time de-cluttering and making your home look as presentable and attractive as possible, so that as soon as you’ve instructed your agent they can get straight to work.
The quality of the photos that appear on Rightmove play a big part in determining the level of interest the property will get. Low quality photos of cluttered and messy rooms put some people off, whilst high-resolution images of bright, tidy, well-presented homes are attention magnets.
An important note on photography – today’s technology can produce extremely high-resolution images, videos, and virtual tours, which is great. But be mindful that you don’t reveal more of your home than you should. Private documents, medical papers, financial information, or anything that reveals personal information about you should be kept out of view.
Here are some ideas to make your home look amazing when it’s on display:
- Make it light and airy
Darker rooms generally look smaller than lighter ones, and this can be a big turn off for potential buyers. So we’d suggest making sure that blinds are open, and curtains are apart, to flood your home with light.
- Keep the garden tidy
The front garden is the first thing that a potential buyer will see, so make sure that you give them a reason to smile straight away.
Similarly, the back garden can be a deal clincher, and an impressive outdoor space could set your home apart from the rest. Here are some suggestions for things to tick off your list:
- Bathrooms and kitchens
These two rooms are the most expensive for a buyer to upgrade. However, if you’ve made an effort to clean and declutter them, you’ll be giving potential buyers another reason to be positive about your home. So, here are some of our top tips:
- Making this room mould-free is a must
- Store toiletries away where possible
- Clean shower doors
- Keep the toilet seat down
- Keep worktops tidy
- Keep utensils organised and food in cupboards
- Put washing up away
- Clean the windows
- Tidy away any indication of pets being in the house, as your prospective buyer may not be a pet lover
Check out our full seller’s guide and find out everything you need to know before selling your home.