Improve Your Chances of Selling Your Property

These are challenging times for the housing market. Whilst we are just starting to see the green shoots of recovery, there are still probably more properties that there are willing buyers. When the market is in this state you need an edge if you hope to sell your property quickly.

You need to make the property as attractive as possible and also make sure its best features are emphasised to potential buyers.

Price Your Property Realistically

No matter how great your property is, it is unlikely to sell if it is overpriced. Even if it means selling for less than the price you paid, you have to be realistic. Take advice from your selling agent but also do your research. Scour the internet for similar properties in your area, see what they are on the market for and try to price yours at the same level or even a little cheaper.

Remember though that when it comes to buying a property every buyer sees himself/herself as a wheeler dealer and it is rare in today’s market to receive an offer that matches the asking price. Buyers will always want to negotiate down so you should think about adding perhaps £5,000 – £10,000 to the price you are expecting to achieve.

Get an Honest Assessment From a Friend or Relative

The owner of a property is usually the worst judge of it. You may think your decor is beautiful but others may think it is terrible. You may get so used to little defects that you don’t even see them any more but rest assured a buyer certainly will.

You should therefore think about having someone you will trust and who will give you a frank and honest opinion have a look around the property as though they were an interested buyer and point out any problems that need to be corrected as well as any good features which need to be better emphasised. Don’t be offended by any comments, you have to be thick skinned if you want to maximise your chances of selling.

Make Sure Your Property is Online

The first place most people look for a property these days is online. There are quite a few popular sites such as Rightmove and Fish4Homes and you must make sure your property is there otherwise you are missing out on a swathe of potential buyers. Your selling agent can put your property online but you can do it yourself too.

Have a good look at your profile and compare it to others. If you were buying a property would you choose your own? Make sure the pictures and the write up show the property in its best light and if they don’t, don’t be afraid to ask for them to be changed.

Most property search websites allow users to filter by price band so where possible try to make sure your property does not end up just outside a particular band. For example If you would be prepared to accept £195,000 you might be tempted to put it on the market for £205,000, but that would make it invisible to any buyer who filters out properties over £200,000.

Make Your Property Clean, Neutral and Clutter Free

You must give your property a thorough clean before putting it on the market and you must keep it up until it is sold.

If you have any items of furniture or other things which are starting to look a bit tatty or dated then put them out of the way. Remove any clutter, the more blank the canvas so to speak, the easier a buyer will find it to imagine himself or herself living there. This will also make rooms look bigger.

Try to paint as many rooms as possible in neutral colours. You may love a particular decorative style but if it is too loud or striking then someone else will be bound to hate it and it could cost you a sale. Noone ever hated magnolia!

When taking pictures for the sales material try to do it in the daylight. Open all the curtains and blinds and put the lights on too, this will help make the property look warmer.

Make Sure the Key Selling Points are Emphasised

Think about the main selling points of your property. Have you had it extended? Have you had an expensive kitchen or bathroom suite fitted? Think about the area too. Does it have a particularly low crime rate or is it in the catchment area of a really good school? These are all things that might just tip the balance in your favour and you need to make sure they are referred to prominently in the sales literature and on the internet.

Consider Converting a Loft or Garage

This is obviously quite an expensive option and for some people will not be practical, but it could make a huge difference. As long as there is other suitable off street parking a garage isn’t nearly as important as it once was for housing a car, modern cars are harder to break into and less likely to rust, so it is a great space to convert, as is a loft.

Adding an extra bedroom can open up your property to many more potential buyers. No matter how much a couple might like your two bedroomed house, if they already have one child and are planning another they know they are going to need three bedrooms and will have to look elsewhere.

As an alternative to an extra bedroom, a garage or loft conversion could be used to house a more unusual feature, such as a home office, gym, home cinema or games room and bar. This type of feature can really make a property stand out and make the buyers feel like they are getting a bit of a fantasy. Imaging the following two adverts: “3 bedroom semi detached property with detached garage” or “3 bedroom semi detached property complete with a fully equipped 10 seat cinema with bar”. Even if the particular feature you choose isn’t something a potential buyer is interested in, it will still make your property stand out.

The cost of the equipment for a cinema or gym is much less than you might think too, perhaps around £2,000.

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