According to the latest house price index published by Halifax, the value of house prices have fallen by 0.4% in August, with an annual decline shown to be an even lower 0.9%. If you are trying to sell your house this will not come as good news, but some people cannot afford to wait until the market picks up. So what do you do if you really have to sell and get the best price in what is now a buyers market? You have to optimise your property and make sure that you are showing off your house in the best possible light. With these few tips you should get the offers flooding in!
1. Add some kerb appeal
This is your first chance to make an impression on a potential buyer and you know what they say, you only ever get one first chance. So make sure you have done all you can to create a welcoming vibe to the walk upto your front door. See that any fences are painted or repaired, cut hedges to make them look neat and tidy, add a couple of pots with brightly coloured plants in them either side of the entrance, if you have space. Red plants are supposed to be lucky and welcoming, as is a red door. Tidy up any hanging baskets or add some if the outside looks quite bare. Put your bins away and make sure you have cut the lawns.
2. Clean up and de-clutter
Any potential buyer will not want to walk into a house that smells of pets, smoking or old food cooking odours. We are not talking about a major redecorating overhaul, just some simple cleaning and making sure that the rooms smell fresh and have been aired. If you can afford a lick of paint then choose an off white or neutral shade and paint the whole house in this colour. Get rid of all your personal items, such as family photographs, any very unusual art work and clear away any piles of books or magazines that may have accumulated over the years. Add a couple of vases of fresh flowers or put some tall plants in the hallway. If your rooms tend to be on the smaller size than hang some large mirrors in them to create the illusion of space. The kitchen is usually a major selling point of a house so make sure this is spotless and clear off any worktops.
3. Give each room a purpose
A buyer will want to be able to walk around your house but picture themselves living there. If your spare bedroom has been used as a dumping ground for rubbish over the years, then restore it back or a buyer will not count it as a room in its own right. So make sure your rooms show what they were designed for, even if it means borrowing a put you up bed for that spare room. With children’s rooms you can take down personalized posters and replace with cheap art work or leave bare. Let your buyer see the potential in each room but don’t tax their imagination too much!
4. Make the most of your outdoor space
Your garden can be viewed as another room in the house, so long as you market it as such. Think of it as another multi functional room, dependent on the weather. If you have a space where you all congregate as a family, make sure your potential buyer can see this easily, or point it out to them. Spruce up garden furniture by giving it a clean and adding a tablecloth, if the weather is nice, will allow your buyers to envisage themselves out there enjoying the garden in the summer. If however, your garden is full of weeds, fences need repairing and the lawn is overgrown, all they will see is an extra job on the to do list. Remember, make it easy for them!
5. Be realistic about selling
It might be that after you have employed all these tips a potential buyer still does not come forward, or you might not get the offer you were hoping for. You have to make a decision then, whether you want to either accept a lower offer, keep your house on the market or withdraw it altogether. It’s important to be realistic about what you were hoping to get for your house. A good way of seeing what other houses are selling for is to check up on the Land Registry records, where recently sold houses and prices are available to view. Here you will be able to ascertain exactly how much you should be getting for your house, and if you want to take a loss, how much of one you are prepared to.