Are you desperate to sell your home but it just won’t shift?
This could be the best article you will read this month!
With UK house prices largely static, chartered surveyors sat around twiddling their thumbs, and estate agents offices merely “Keeping the lights on”, you could be mistaken in thinking that you will NEVER sell your house, but we’re going to share with you some tips to spruce up your home, increasing its value and making it, in theory, easier to sell in today’s tough market.
The average British house price fell by 2.4% in August 2012, apparently, due to sellers’ fears of a double dip recession and combining this with the low number of new homes being built in England also falling for the second quarter running, the outlook really doesn’t look that good.
So who is buying houses just now?
Well, many people are finding it very tough to make ends meet, let alone sell their home. House prices rose very sharply in the boom years after 1999, but in our opinion they rose too fast and are over valued.
This is especially so in the Eurozone where countries such as Spain, placed far too much emphasis on property, but in England houses are still also way too high, so our first piece of advice to sell your home would be to PRICE YOUR HOUSE REALISTICALLY!
The boom years of UK housing market in the last decade saw a high rate of housing equity withdrawals.
This was mainly driven by buyers taking on more debt in order to move into a bigger property, or borrowing money against the rising value of their home to buy stuff or to purchase home improvements like conservatories and exterior wall coatings.
This process seemingly ground to a halt when the financial crisis hit in 2008.
The market would start again if first-time buyers started to secure mortgages in large numbers again, however, the NAEA, a group of estate agents, said that reckoned confidence in the market was low, with 17% of overall house sales made during May 2012 going to those buying their first home, compared with 24% in April.
They further went on to say……
“At what is a very turbulent time for the economy both here and in the eurozone, which has prompted tighter mortgage restrictions from the major banks and placed increased pressure on household finances, the government should be doing all it can to stimulate housing market activity,” said NAEA president Mark Hayward.
So that doesn’t seem too great. The market is being restricted by the (in) activity of the banks, but some houses ARE selling despite the gloom reported in the newspapers, but stopping short of looking at all aspects of the UK property market, we offer some advice on how best to prepare and present your home, to potential buyers.
Adding value to your house
Even if you decide afterwards the time isn’t right, you will still have improved your home on a budget, making it a much nicer place to live!
How to spruce up your home for sale.
Selling houses is not easy any more, and effort has to be made, coupled with some elbow grease too, in order for you to prepare your house for sale on the open market.
We’ve put together some tips below, to make it easier, but again, be realistic, these tips will help, but they are not a magic pill, so don’t expect a flood of people pushing and shoving at the front door for a viewing!
1. Clean your house thoroughly!
There is nothing that puts buyers off more than a dirty home and if you are looking for adding value to your house you need to clean it up. They themselves may live like pigs (but don’t realise it), but nevertheless, dirt and grime can be quite “personal” (!) and a dirty house immediately shows the buyer that you could not care less and really have made zero effort to sell your house, or at least prepare it for sale.
Get the gloves on and start cleaning.
Sweep up the outside, including paths, driveways etc and pay special attention to the front of the house. Make sure your doorstep, porch and front door are immaculate, paying attention to any brass fittings, and the doorbell, make sure it is not covered in dirt after years of use!
First impressions really do count!
Replace any old carpet with new, if possible, or if not, cover any stains with rugs and make sure you hoover the house well, mop down any floors, and a good tip is to clean the kitchen very thoroughly as this is one thing that a woman will want to see.
Can she imagine herself in here?
Put bleach down all drains, the smell given off, gives the impression of a VERY clean house, even if it isn’t immaculate.
Make sure your curtains are clean or if they look awful anyway, why not buy some cheap ones, just to dress the window up a bit. Of course make sure your windows are clean too, they won’t appreciate the lovely view (!) if they cant see through the glass for filth.
Ditch that clutter!
Tripping over children’s toys, last weeks underpants, and old bones left by the dog, is not my idea of a pleasant walk around a house that could potentially be mine, so make sure that your house is presented well and do tidy up, as well as clean, it makes the world of difference and if you don’t sell, or it takes some time, it will still be a calmer and nicer place in which to live.
If you are pushed for space, then be realistic and maybe think about chucking some stuff out that you really don’t use or need any more, or of course donate old clothes and furniture to your local charity shop, so in a way you do yourself a favour, and get some great karma by helping a charity too!
When we left our last house, we gave a lot of stuff away to charity, and a month later they actually sent us a letter of thanks and the fact our stuff raised over £500 for them!
Can you smell something…..?
If you can, then so will your potential buyer.
In fact often odours in the house we either get so used to them that we don’t notice (eg a musty smell in one room), or the smell of dogs or other animals, or smelly drains, cigarette smoke etc. These are all BAD odours and will put your buyer off buying the house.
You must replace that BAD odour with a GOOD odour, such as lighting incense candle or joss sticks, plug-in air fresheners, or better still, if you know someone is coming around to view the house, bake a cake, or bread, or at least, make some freshly ground coffee. These types of aromas are used in shops and supermarkets to make people hungry and buy more, so use that to your advantage.
Make the buyer HUNGRY to buy YOUR house!
Our final tip. Apart from the cleaning and de cluttering, and of course depending on your budget, a pit of decorating would not go amiss, after all, when someone views a house, they also have to work how much it is going to cost them, if they do buy it, to do any repairs, painting or improvement.
If those jobs are already done, you stand a far better chance of selling as the buyer knows they won’t have to spend out more after they have bought your house.
So, we decorate both inside, AND outside to correctly prepare our home for the housing market.
External painting and repairs will generally cost more than inside painting, and also decorating in the rooms is something that most people can do themselves, however for the outside, it’s best to call a specialists company in, such as NEVER PAINT AGAIN UK to carry out any essential repairs and painting to the walls out in the street.
They can be contacted on (0800) 970 4928 and they will send around an assessor to survey the outside of the house, which is free, and they can give you a very good price to have the exterior done up so it looks fantastic.
In fact their work comes with a 20 year warranty too, and this can be a handy tool to show people the entire outside of the house is guaranteed, so a good selling point.
Internally, make sure you emulsion all the ceilings white, replace any scruffy lamp shades etc, and make sure the walls are painted a nice NEUTRAL colour.
When the person comes around to see the house, make sure all the doors inside are left open, the rooms are bright, airy and without smells, dirt or clutter, and make the person feel welcome when they view your home.
Stick to the tips above and you stand a better chance of selling your house this year.