Well, the property bubble has well and truly burst and if you aren't in negative equity you are doing better than most. It is a buyers market and most people are putting off selling their homes until the worst of it is over. But for some, selling their home is something they have to do. Whether it is a job relocation or they need to downsize, getting the best possible price for their home is absolutely essential. Even more so nowadays.
Buyers can afford to be very picky and generally, a splash of paint simply won't cut it any more. Not when the house up the road has made a bit more of an effort. So what is the absolute minimum you can do to get the best price for your home?
- Make sure your home is marketed at the right price. You need people though the door and if yours is even a few thousand above the one up the road then you will not be competitive.
- Look at your home from a prospective buyers point of view. Is it as nice as the competition? Does it have extras such as double glazing or a conservatory – if not then you need something else to entice them to buy.
- De-clutter and put everything you don't need into storage. Even empty the loft, as people may well want to assess any extension potential. A house full of clutter will look small.
- Go neutral and paint the walls in light colours. Accessorise with your soft furnishings. This will make the house look light and bright. While you are at it, clean your carpets.
- Go round your home and fix everything which you were going to put off. A buyer is unlikely to have the extra money to fix even very small things. An unfinished home will put people off.
- A new kitchen and bathroom will always sell a house – but if this is out of your price range, then new doors on the cabinets and a very clean bathroom will work wonders.
- Tidy up your garden. New turf is very cheap and easy to lay and even a bit of decking can make a boring garden into an attractive outdoor space. Make sure you set up your outside furniture to show how the space can be used.
- Think about the neighbours. A quiet word to encourage them to tidy up their front garden can make your home much more appealing. No one wants to live next door to a tip – even if the neighbours are lovely! If they won't do it then offer to do it yourself. It will be worthwhile.
- Make sure the prospective buyers are aware of all the benefits of living in your area. Point out the parks and talk about how good the schools are. You are selling a lifestyle as much as a home.
Making a huge effort can mean a reward of several thousand pounds on your asking price. Don't be afraid to wait for the asking price if you feel your home is worth it – but be objective. A cheeky offer might be a good thing if it means a quick and easy sale. Once it is all over you can concentrate on enjoying your new home too.