With the smell of fresh-cut grass in the air, blossom coating the trees and longer, warmer days, it’s no wonder that spring is traditionally the time that people start to think about moving home.
We’ve seen an incredibly buoyant property market so far in 2021, largely due to the stamp duty holiday extension, with Rightmove reporting record breaking months for buyer activity and demand starting to outweigh supply, putting sellers in a very good position.
Even now with the extension deadline looming, we’re seeing large levels of activity from buyers who are re-evaluating their baser needs, with WFH space and gardens becoming the most searched for terms on property portals.
High demand and correctly priced properties are being snapped up faster than usual whilst we’re also seeing a return from buy-to-let investors looking for opportunities in popular commuter towns with good lines to London such as Croydon, Bromley, Penge, Catford and Sydenham.
With competition high and buyers knowing exactly what they want, it’s more important than ever to ensure your property is priced correctly and looking its best. Fortunately, there are a number of preparations and improvements you can make to ensure your home is ready for potential buyers. Here at Key Property Consultants, we share our top tips for those looking to sell.
The 3 D’s – Deep Clean, Declutter and Depersonalise
It probably goes without saying that in order to prepare your property for sale, it’s a good idea to have a good clear out, not just for viewings but ready for the marketing photos to be taken. First impressions count, especially on property portals with lots of competition, you need to make a lasting impression with excellent photography and show your property in the best possible light.
While rental properties can get away with looking more “lived in”, for sales properties, you’re showcasing the possibilities of a life in your home. Buyers will fall in love with your home if they can imagine themselves there, so clearing off the sides and walls of memorabilia and family photos can help them envision a life there. This is a subtle selling technique, similar to staging a property – offering buyers the possibility rather than the reality.
First Impressions Count
We’ve already covered the importance of first impressions in photos and at viewings for the inside of your house, but this is equally important for the exterior of your property. Your house may be stunning inside, but if the outside doesn’t look great you jeopardise your sale. How does your property look from the street? Would you want to live here? Does it look well-maintained?
If you’re not confident in the assessment of the exterior of your property, a good agent will be able to advise for example if any gardening or maintenance work would benefit the sale. Sometimes, trimming back overgrown shrubbery and a freshly painted door is all it takes! Likewise for apartments, ensure the communal areas are looking their best so the building looks well cared for.
A Well-Maintained Home is a Loved Home
While you may be used to living with a broken cupboard or a leaky tap, it’s these little finishes that may well tip a buyer over the edge, particularly if they’re looking for a property “ready to live in”. A well-maintained property gives the impression that it has been looked after and although small maintenance issues may not seem like the end of the world, they can cause buyers to wonder what else might be wrong and deter them from making an offer or make a lower offer than they otherwise would have.
Redecorate and Redfine
It’s normal for a home to build up general wear and tear over the years, but if you’re selling, it may be advisable to complete some minor redecorating and maintenance work such as a fresh lick of paint or re-siliconing the bathrooms to show your property in its best light. You want your property to appear as a blank canvas for prospective buyers, so always go neutral where possible.
It’s also a good idea to redefine rooms, for example, over the years a bedroom might become a games room/home office/gym – you want prospective buyers to walk into a room and clearly see what the room is for and allow them to visualise their own stamp on it.
Nail the Viewing
When it comes to face-to-face viewings, you want to offer prospective buyers a glimpse of a better life – final touches such as making beds presentable, ensuring towels are neatly folded and leaving lights on, curtains and windows open (if it’s warm enough) can go a long way. Eliminating any bad odours or potentially distracting noises is also a must. There’s a reason real estate agents in the movies bake bread or cookies right before an open house!
If you’re thinking of selling and making the most of the buoyant property market we’re currently experiencing in South East London, get in touch: 0203 793 2033
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