You may be excused for thinking that this is probably the worst time to try and sell your house. Statistics tell us that, depending on where you live, house prices have fallen around 20% from their 2007 peak. Couple this with the fact that a lot of potential buyers are struggling to raise the finance and you are faced with something of a challenge. However, if you get certain things right, there is no reason why you can’t get a satisfactory result.
The most important aspect to get right in the current market is the asking price. Many sellers are in the mistaken belief that they can take the 2007 peak price and lop a bit off. This is unrealistic – as mentioned earlier, property has fallen in value substantially. You must be prepared to price the property realistically in order to get the interest from potential buyers. The best way to do this is to take advice from local estate agents; they will instantly have to hand information about how much similar houses have been sold for and how much the competition are asking for their properties. Of course you can do this research yourself by making use of websites such as zoopla.co.uk and houseprices.co.uk, but they won’t be as up to date as the agent.
All too often, sellers are not giving the right first impression of their home. Make sure that the photographs that your agent uses to market the property are flattering ones. If you’re not happy, don’t suffer in silence – get them changed. Even worse is the pamphlet that just has one picture, giving potential buyers very little eye candy to go on. Kerb appeal is something that sellers also seem to forget. A little work on that front garden or a lick of paint to the front of the house could make all the difference. Don’t forget that buyers can afford to be picky in the current market, so you need to grab their attention immediately.
Now we get down to the ‘House Doctor’ stuff and talk about giving your house a makeover. It’s a bit of cliché but is still incredibly important when selling your home, because the fact is, that a lot of potential buyers simply can’t see past the piles of books or the smell of your golden retriever. Top tips in this area include decluttering, a lick of paint and make sure the place is clean! Remember neutrality; pastel shades for the walls and tone down any quirky excesses that you may indulge in.
Don’t splash out on major projects to simply try and sell your house. Given the state of the current housing market, it is highly unlikely that you will get your money back from a fancy new kitchen, bathroom or even an extension. It would be more advisable to advise prospective buyers on the property’s potential, and if you have planning permission, even better. Simply having the potential for improvement can be a big pull for potential buyers.