Six ways to add value to your house before selling
Most people are amazed when I tell them that the majority of houses for sale never sell.
When I say that less than 50% of the properties advertised on this web site won’t find a buyer it’s worth considering what you need to do to help increase your chances of being one of the ones that does. The key to selling a property (assuming you do actually want to sell it) is to remember the three P’s. ‘Price, Promotion and Presentation’.
1. If your property is listed on Rightmove then you’ve already taken advice from an estate agent as to the asking price you should quote. Remember, it’s just a guide you are NOT saying “I will sell if someone offers me this much”.
2. If you are serious about selling then it’s important to let people know. It’s unlikely that the buyer of your home is known to the agent and even if he is you need competition from others to drive up the price. So promote your property even if you feel uncomfortable doing so. That’s your agent’s job so let him do it.
3. Consider putting up a ‘For Sale’ board for at least two weeks. It can include a ‘viewing by appointment’ slip but it will alert casual buyers passing by who may not be registered with agents and it helps views not to get lost when coming to see the house.
4. Clean and tidy your property. Make sure that buyers leave squabbling over who will get which bedroom and not remarking about the ring around the bath! Money spent clearing/cleaning up is always money well spent but don’t feel you have to redecorate since painting one wall or room often makes others look drab and sad by comparison.
5. Mend things that are broken. If a cupboard door is off it’s hinges then mend it. You may have go the knack of lifting the front door to close it but it leaves visitors wondering of that’s broken what else doesn’t work? Fix broken glass in a window, fix the dripping outside tap you always promised to get around to. They cost little but leave the buyer with the impression that not only is he paying for things that work but that that this house is a much loved home!
6. Make sure that the rooms are as described. We all live differently but if you have described a room as being a bedroom then put a bed in it. We all giggle when the agent opens a door announces “the bathroom” as if it might be a home cinema! I once met a guy who used his bathroom as a dark room. This is fine but it meant that my lady client saw herself bathing in a room with a red light in it and cold black and white images hanging dripping into some chemical. For her a bathroom was warm and inviting.
Rarely is a garage actually used to store a car in but if you use yours as an outlet of Big Yellow Storage then at least leave a passageway that allows buyers to walk to the back and to see up into the roof space when you say “we always planned to convert that into a games room”.
Six things that might make the difference between selling and staying put. If you think that you might want to move then give your property the best chance of finding someone to love it as you do. Spend a little time helping the next people appreciate the place you called home.
Henry Pryor is a buying agent. He is a regular commentator on the BBC and in a number of national newspapers. http://www.henrypryor.com/