DBPR asked property experts Mark Parkinson, Charlie Parkin and Ben Horne to offer suggestions on preparing your property for a spring sale…
Mark Parkinson of Middleton Advisors:
“After winter, capitalise on breezy Spring days and open your windows to allow your house to enjoy some fresh air on warmer days. Do attend to any niggling DIY jobs, ensuring that chimney stacks are checked following the strong winds and severe weather, mortar can have been damaged. Attend to paintwork and freshen up any rooms and exterior woodwork in need of attention. To really present the interior of a property in best condition, hiring a professional cleaning company to undertake a ‘spring clean’, to clean windows inside and a window cleaner for the outside, will give your property a real boost. Likewise, at this time of year, gardens receive a buyers attention, making an effort to give the lawn a spring cut and tidy borders and paths will make the property look cared for, and encourage buyers to feel they are not inheriting a burden.
This is the time to clear and tidy boots and coats from your hall. If your home looks cluttered people will think you don’t have space to store everything. Buyers want to see how your home can become theirs they do not want to see your children’s toy, shoes and boots littering the hallway or rooms used as general dumping ground.”
Charlie Parkin of Aylesford International:
“Keep your property as immaculate as possible inside and out. If it has been on market for some time listen to what the agents say and their feedback, this will guide you as to why your property is not selling and you can implement changes. Also a price reduction could help a sale to be more forthcoming and will attract new prospective buyers entering the Spring market.
It’s important to be flexible and accommodate viewings whenever possible. Make sure all paperwork with your solicitor is fully up to date and so avoid any delays in conveyancing
After such adverse wet and windy weather over the past winter months, it’s important to fix all structural problems and ensure all maintenance inside and out is carried out before bringing your property to the market.”
Ben Horne, Middleton Advisors:
“Set the guide price to sell, which is probably lower than you’re hoping to achieve. Not only will this attract buyers to view, but buyers are also having to factor tax increases in, so guide prices need to reflect that. One well known selling agency was successful in selling properties in an otherwise stagnant market last Autumn by guiding just below a fair market price. Buyers then congregated in the absence of seeing value elsewhere and the bidding on nearly every occasion took the price paid well beyond expectations.
Photos – For anything with a decent garden or land a buyer wants to see the aerial view to get a feel for where the house sits in its plot. Ask your agent to get the drone up to take a picture.
Extras – Information on running costs is really useful, and will help if a buyer is choosing between two or more properties. The EPC is ok, but a statement on annual cost of oil, water, electricity etc from the vendor will help buyers compare accurately.
Portals – Rightmove is good, but for agencies signed up to On The Market this is where properties will appear first. It may only be a couple of days quicker, but hours matter in the context of seeing a house and agreeing terms before your competition.
Other – If your property has been available through a peak selling season (Spring / Autumn) and you haven’t had an acceptable offer, ask yourself why. Take advice from your selling agent, who will know what is selling and at what prices.”