How to sell a house: five things to consider
If you’re hoping to sell your home in the coming months but you’re unsure about what to prioritise or where to spend for the best return, we’ve created the useful guide below. Whilst it isn’t exhaustive, it’s a good place to start and it covers the essentials on solicitors, the importance of a great estate agent and how to present your home to appeal to potential buyers.
Before you begin to market your home, find a good solicitor. If you don’t have one already, use a recommendation from a friend or you can ask us to suggest some trusted names. It’s important to bear in mind that you get what you pay for and a responsive, proactive solicitor can be the difference between a smooth and successful transaction or potentially losing a frustrated buyer.
Get your paperwork in order ready for those first conversations with your solicitor. Fill out your seller information forms for them. Do you have all of the necessary documents and permissions for any work that you’ve undertaken to your home? After the Grenfell Tower tragedy, you should pay special attention where any wood-cladding is concerned. You need to have your paperwork organised at the beginning of the selling process in order to prevent lengthy and detrimental delays further down the line.
If you have limited time for redecoration, spruce up the high-traffic parts of your home and don’t worry about tackling the entire property. You should focus on smartening key areas such as hallways and kitchens and re-paint them if there are noticeable scuffs.
It’s essential to consider the front of the house and its ‘kerb appeal’. Is there any pointing that needs attention? Are your plants looking well maintained? You should also paint doors and window frames if they look like they need it. Most buyers will make up their minds before they even cross the threshold, so never underestimate that first impression.
Take this opportunity to declutter your home – it’s the perfect excuse to clear-out things you don’t find useful anymore. A clutter-free space will ensure the marketing images are as appealing as possible and when prospective buyers are viewing, it’s easier for them to imagine themselves and their belongings there. Clearing away piles of books, bursting cupboards and boxes of old toys can also help to visually maximise the amount of space and its usability.
Conversely, if the home you’re selling is currently empty, or if it’s occupied by tenants, we can bring in a professional interior stylist and some prop furniture to improve the appeal of the property prior to being photographed. Find information on our styling service and an example of it leading to a successful sale, here.
Choose an agent who can understand and appreciate the value in what you have created. Importantly, make sure the person you’ll be working with has experience in what they do. If your agent is relatively new to the profession, they’ll miss opportunities and may not be able to successfully negotiate on your behalf, nor will they be able to navigate difficult situations that often arise during the conveyancing process.
At Aucoot, we keep the communication going between all parties and solicitors to make sure that a sale progresses as smoothly as possible. This is where the best agents earn their keep – they’ll do all the hard work to get a positive end result.
Utilising their expertise, your agent should be able to provide you with a sensible yet dynamic marketing plan to use as a starting point. This should be treated as an ongoing partnership and the strategy can be adjusted together throughout the selling process. Meaningful feedback from viewings is really important and will help build a picture of the market’s response to your home. It will also inform next steps.
If you’re planning to undertake renovations to boost the value of the property, there are areas where you’ll get a better return on your investment. Generally speaking, you should always spend on a quality kitchen and bathroom but don’t overlook the less obvious touchpoints such as flooring, door handles, switches and sockets. These are the important details that ensure a home feels considered and well put together.
If you want to add additional space by extending, it’s important not to cut corners. Carry out the work as if you were doing it for yourself to live in. Good buyers will appreciate the thought and attention to detail that has gone into the project. If you’re considering where to invest on an extension, go for a larger and better-flowing kitchen and living space (if they’re not already spacious) because that’s where people spend most of their time. Another option here is to go halfway and obtain planning permission for an extension without undertaking the project yourself. If the design is interesting, people will feel more confident taking on a potential project if it already has permission.
If you’re going down the route of extending or remodelling quite significantly before selling, consider employing a good architect to ensure you’re making the right design choices. See our Design Directory for a selection of talented architectural practices whose work we admire.