When it comes to selling property, you need more than nice photos and a jazzy description to make a great sale.
While those are undoubtedly important, there are a few key things you can do to boost the price of your home – and hopefully walk away with more cash once the new owners have signed on the dotted line.
Don’t rush the process; the more effort you make before the property goes on the market, the better.
To help you along, we have spoken to property expert Giles Milner from Chestertons estate agency to get the low-down on what makes a property more valuable.
From sprucing up the outside to fixing the small stuff, here are his top eight tips.
Clear the clutter
Imagine looking through an interior magazine and seeing the beautiful homes displayed within stuffed full of items that are never used and just take up unnecessary space.
When it comes to selling property, less is more.
So get rid of the broken bike in the garage that you’ll never fix and clear up the random bits and pieces that have accumulated in your spare room that serve no purpose.
Giles says: ‘Not only is clutter unattractive, but it also makes room look a lot smaller than they actually are.
‘This is the cheapest, easiest thing to do to increase value, even if you have to hire some storage space for the short term.’
Saying goodbye to the clutter now also means you won’t take it with you when moving into your new home.
Don’t let damp dampen the price
It might cost you a little money now, but it could mean a lot of money later.
Giles says: ‘Many old properties will have some damp issues which will either put prospective buyers off or will encourage them to knock the price down.
‘However, addressing the damp with new damp proof course is often surprisingly inexpensive so it’s worth doing before you move out.’
Take a cue from interior designers
Could the bathroom do with a lick of paint? Would updated lighting add another layer of excitement to the living room?
Take an honest look at your property and see if there are cheap ways you can transform rooms to entice buyers to open the purse strings.
Giles says: ‘If your property isn’t in the best decorative condition, it is worth spending a bit of time or money on doing this.
‘Newly-painted walls can make a room look bigger and brighter.’
Don’t ignore the small stuff
Time to tackle the stuff that you’ve taught yourself to ignore – like the fact that the kitchen cabinet door is a little loose or that broken fridge light.
Giles says: ‘Buyers are understandably cautious and so even the smallest issue could put them off paying full price for your property.
‘Reduce the risk of this by addressing all of the minor issues such as cracks in the walls, broken lights, dripping taps, cracked windows etc.’
Give a full history on the home
Giles says: ‘People like to see the service history when buying a used car and properties are no different, so collate all the information you can such as guarantees for things like windows or damp proof courses, gas and electrical safety certificates, receipts and manuals for the appliances and fixtures etc.’
And if your property has a very unique history in itself – maybe the ceiling beams were imported from Italy or a famous writer once lived in the property – include that information, too.
People like details.
First impressions matter
OK, so you’ve thrown out all the junk, fixed all the small stuff and tackled the damp.
Time to spruce up the outside and focus on first impressions.
Giles says: ‘It’s now a bit of a cliché, but curb-appeal is important as buyers will often make a judgement on a property within seconds of first seeing it.
If that first impression is positive then it is much more likely that they will be positive about the rest of the property; whereas if it’s negative, they could immediately be put off.
‘Spend time on your front garden, paint the front gate and door, make sure the pathway is in good condition and make sure the bell works. ‘
And don’t forget to pay attention to all senses – including scent.
‘The same goes for smell,’ Giles adds.
‘If a buyers smells damp, strong cooking smells or mustiness (or worse!) as soon as they open the front door, they will be put off and less likely to spend a good amount of time properly looking around.’
Add some furniture
Have you already moved into your new home?
It might be worth keeping some of the furniture in your old place until it’s sold.
Giles says: ‘Research has shown that empty properties are harder to sell – and often sell for less – than those that are furnished or dressed.
‘This is generally because buyers find it easier to imagine and gauge the space when there is furniture in place.’
You could also hire a stager.
Giles adds: ‘If your property is not already furnished, there are a number of companies that will rent you artwork and furniture to dress the property for sale.’
Get planning permission
Opportunity is always appealing.
Giles says: ‘Extending up, down or out can add serious value to your property but many people don’t want the disruption of doing the work when they know they will be moving out.
‘A good compromise is to get the necessary planning consent so that the new buyers know that they can extend and add immediate value if they wish.
‘Just having this planning permission in place will add value as it removes any risk for the new buyers.’
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