We all have that odd cupboard overflowing with stuff (generally the one no one likes to open), or one room (sometimes the box room or otherwise known as dumping ground room) that just constantly accumulates junk, to the point where you start to think items are breeding in there because it just seems to get worse each time you take a quick peep, or those wardrobes that are almost bursting at the seams with clothes you will never wear again or sadly cannot fit in anymore…sound familiar? Well there is no time like the present to use the extra time at home we all have to get stuck into some of these dreaded tasks, that will certainly stand you in good stead with potential buyers before you put your property onto the market. Prospective buyers like to see clean rooms, so that they can envisage themselves living there, so helping them to do this by removing the excess clutter that has accumulated in every nook and cranny is key!
2. Deep spring clean
You only get one chance to make a great first impression! Make it count when potential buyers come to view your home. By taking this time to do a deep spring clean, you can ensure prospective purchasers see your property in the best possible light. This includes everywhere being spotless! Think of the ‘show home’ effect when you view new build properties; the way they are presented in such a way it makes you think of yourself living there. Along with the bricks and mortar nowadays we are often selling a certain lifestyle or aspiration that goes with it. People need to imagine what the property would look like if they were living there. Some buyers often find this difficult, so make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space you are offering. Do not make it look too clinical; as it is important to leave some personality, but not too much! Consider removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel too small and replacing it with smaller furniture where necessary. Clean windows, skirting boards, kitchen cupboard fronts, worktops, clean Get rid of any limescale, clean and repair tile grout, wax wooden floors, get rid of all odours until it sparkles! and make sure there are no cobwebs anywhere will all help to make sure you create a brilliant first impression! So, time to get that Mrs Doubtfire hat on and get to work! With the kids being off school, you can even rope them in too while teaching them valuable life skills – thank us later!
3. Odd jobs
Just like the hoarding cupboard, we all have a list of ‘odd jobs’ that have been on the list since forever (the one your partner will generally shy away from whenever you mention it!) The odd light bulb that needs changing, the fence panel in the garden that needs replacing, the front door that needs a lick of paint, the odd door handle that is missing…you get where I am going with this, the list could be endless….but for a small investment, the rewards will by far out weigh the initial outlay of costs. Time to hold your partner accountable and keep busy, so get that B&Q slot booked today.
4. Tidy gardens & external of property
Tying in with the first impression, the front of your property is the first thing a prospective buyer will see. Are you happy with the way it is currently presented? If not, use this precious time to do the things you would want to do to make a difference to people’s first impression. Making sure the front door is clean and repainted if needed, de-weed the gardens, jet wash the patios/ decking, get the lawns mowed and make sure the soffits and facias are as pristine as they can be. Are the gutters clear of any moss…you get the idea! While the sun is shining and we are restricted to enjoying ‘Costa Del La Casa’, there is no excuse and nowhere to hide, just get stuck in and make the most of it.
5. Get organised with paperwork
While doing the declutter and spring clean, you are bound to come across the paperwork draw or personal file with all the relevant documents you may need when selling your property. Getting your personal and property paperwork ready and in one place, will save you lots of time when you need to make this readily available to the designated solicitor acting for you in the sale and the mortgage broker looking after your mortgage. Things like your personal payslips or company accounts, relevant property guarantees, property deeds (if you have them), should all be located and kept together in a safe place for when you will need them. Having everything ready at the outset can save you up to four weeks of unnecessary time later down the line, when you are trying to work and do the school run etc. This will ensure a speedier turnaround once you have found the right buyer and more importantly your dream home.
6. Speak to an independent mortgage broker
I am a firm believer that moving house can either cost you a fortune or save you a fortune in the long run, and usually this comes down to choosing the right property professionals to work with who are experts in their field and finding the right mortgage broker is part of this. A great independent mortgage adviser will be able to tell you your borrowing potential and can look more or less at the whole of the market for you in terms of finding you the best deal that suits your situation, based on your own personal circumstances by truly understanding your needs and how this fits into your bigger life plan. Whereas going direct to your own bank, they generally don’t offer a full advice and recommendation service and of course can only sell you their own products, therefore you will be none the wiser as to whether it genuinely is the best option for you.
7. Research solicitors
Tying in with the above point, working with a good solicitor that you know has a great reputation and you can trust to look after the legal side of things is crucial. A good solicitor that maybe costs a little more but does a brilliant job making sure you have no issues when you come to re-sell your next property can be worth their weight in gold. Over the years, we have certainly seen the other side of this coin, in terms of a what a cheap no frills solicitor can cost, if the legal side of things wasn’t carried out properly in the first instance. Where things have either been missed or not dealt with correctly at the land registry, this can have huge implications going forwards. Our best advice is, do your research, get a few quotes, check feedback and testimonials and get genuine recommendations from people you know and trust. It is worth spending that extra time while you have it, to do thorough research before you commit to anyone.
8. Get property shopping list together
Now that you know your budget from the mortgage adviser you are working with, sitting with your partner and understanding what you really need from your next property, along with things you ideally want is a great exercise to do while in the research stage. Getting your property shopping list together will help you get a feel for what is available on the market within your budget and also help you when chatting to estate agents and registering your details with them for new properties coming up. It is also worth discussing what you can compromise on versus what you can’t. It is difficult to accommodate all ten tick boxes, so this can help you with the decision-making process when you are viewing properties.
9. Choose right estate agent
Another obvious one and of course this was bound to be on the list, but just like finding the right mortgage broker and solicitor, working with the right estate agent can either massively help you achieve a greater equity pot from your overall move or hugely hinder it! This is for you to do your own research and decide, but please remember you are selling your biggest tax-free asset. Even though we are in the lockdown period, most estate agencies have adapted and we can now offer virtual valuations to still see your property and have a chat to talk through a suitable sales and marketing strategy to help get you the best possible price when you are ready to go onto the market. We always recommend speaking to a few agents, doing your extensive research including looking at all the online reviews, speaking to past clients and going with the agent you like and trust the most to do the best job for you. And please remember, their selling fees is just one factor, as the cheapest estate agent is often the one who gets you the best selling price to guarantee you achieve the most equity from your move. Would you rather have £1 today, or £10 tomorrow?
To arrange a virtual valuation contact our friendly team on 01925 407210 or visit our website:- https://www.harper-williams.co.uk/valuation
10. Prepare plan in readiness for viewings
Work with your chosen estate agent depending on the sales and marketing strategy discussed, to have an idea of what the forward plan is going to be around viewings, especially using this time while we are in lockdown to get prepared and organised in readiness for your first lot of physical viewings is very wise. Again, most estate agents can now offer virtual viewings in this interim period, and although we have had some success so far in terms of potential buyers registering their early interest as the outcome, they are advising to be notified as soon as physical viewings can take place. Being ready to rock and roll with physical viewings and know what the ideal strategy is going to be, will give you a great head start of being on your way to a successful sale!
For any questions we have not covered in this blog, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team on 01925 407210 who are still working and more than happy to help and have a chat about your concerns.