When considering selling your home or a buy-to-let property, it’s crucial to prioritise making sure it’s in the best possible shape for potential buyers before it goes on the market. This will ensure you don’t negatively affect its value or extend the time it takes to sell.
However, there’s no need to start planning extravagant home improvements like new kitchens and bathrooms: new buyers often prefer to remodel properties themselves.
But how you present your property will have a big impact on its marketing price, so here are five important tips that won’t break the bank and could help you get the best valuation as well as improve your chances of achieving a successful sale.
You don’t have to live in a mansion to create a sense of space – or in a studio flat to feel cramped. Most of us are guilty of cluttering our homes with additions we don’t need, and this can erode the sense of space that may have initially attracted us to the property.
So, remove anything that doesn’t have to be there, and you will be amazed at the difference a simple clear out can make to the marketability and value of your home.
Most people find it hard to visualise themselves living in a new property if it’s overly dominated by the personal belongings and photos of the current owners or tenants.
Striking a balance between ensuring a room is homely, but not overly personal, is crucial to helping prospective buyers see the potential in a new space.
Estate agents know this is important and will often reduce the value of a property if they feel it isn’t inviting enough. So, pack up the photos of every cat you ever owned and tuck them safely away in a box until you’ve achieved your goal of selling up and moving!
Do the ‘sniff’ test
Nobody wants to walk into a property and be hit by a barrage of pet smells or for that matter, yesterday’s cooking odour. As such, cleanliness and pleasant smells can go a long way to creating an attractive and homely environment.
It’s also important to remember that estate agents are human too, so they won’t appreciate properties that fall below acceptable standards of hygiene and this could affect how your home is valued. Some tastefully arranged flowers and subtle air fresheners should do the trick and can help most homes enhance their appeal.
The old adage says that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and when it comes to property marketing, that means you have to maximise the curb appeal of your home.
So, if your front façade needs a bit of filler or a lick of paint, then don’t be shy to get your hands dirty. You will easily recoup the cost and in most cases, you won’t need to hire a professional to get it done.
You should also make sure your garden and driveway (if you have them) are clean, neat and tidy. Remove clutter or anything that shouldn’t be there, like garden rubbish or rusty old barbeques.
Select the right estate agent
This is probably the most important step. Most people will ask friends and family for recommendations, but these can quickly disappoint if you don’t achieve your desired outcomes.
Traditionally, you probably would have invited three or four agents over for an onsite appraisal. However, that typically only represents around 20 percent of the market, meaning there could be an 80 percent chance you don’t get the best deal or valuation. In addition, in today’s new normal of social distancing, inviting multiple agents into your home may not be a step you are ready to take.
There are many ‘instant’ online valuation tools (known as Automated Valuation Models or AVM’s in the trade) but these use one-size-fits-all algorithms that can easily under – or over- value your property by up to 40 percent. Their primary function is usually as lead generation tools for websites to capture your personal data.
It is therefore far more advisable to use real agents wherever possible, and to take advantage of innovative technologies such as dedicated property apps that are providing new ways to help you along your property journey.
Moovshack, for example, has an in-app home appraisal tool that invites multiple local agents to send you their arm’s length home valuations directly to the app, ensuring you’ve got the best chance of achieving the most accurate results.
However, it’s important to remember that the best agent isn’t necessarily the one offering the highest valuation or the lowest fees.
Instead, it’s likely to be the one who responds quickly and inspires you to feel your safe in their hands, because if that’s how they deal with you, it’s probably how they will deal with potential buyers too – and that could make all the difference to the final outcome.