What should I do before selling a house?

Don’t put that ‘For Sale’ sign outside your house just yet. The following tips will stop you from making the most common mistakes sellers make, will drive the value of your home upwards, and help sell your property far more quickly.

Are You Sure You Want to Sell?

You may think you’re ready to move on to pastures new, but there’s a chance that selling may not be a great idea. Consider these questions:

 

    • Would an extension be better? If you need more space, it may be cheaper to build an extension or converting your attic instead.

 

  • What are house prices like? If the market is a little volatile, you may want to hold your horses. If you sell and take a wee while to find a new place, you may see yourself priced out of the market.
  • Are you in negative equity? Negative equity is a tricky situation to be in, and selling is often not the best option. Consider whether it’s worth trying to weather the storm.
  • Should you rent your home instead? If your property is primed for the rental market and house prices are still rising, consider renting your property out instead. If you go down this route, don’t stretch your finances beyond what’s responsible.

 

Be Selective About Renovations and Repairs

Yes, renovated homes will sell for more than those that are in a slightly less than perfect state. But that doesn’t mean you should go all out when it comes to renovations. Before selling your home, renovations have to either 1) deliver bang for your buck or 2) help convince the seller to put in an offer. These are our favorites:

 

 

  • Landscaping. This is easily one of the top ways to add value to your home without spending a boatload of money. You can multiply your investment simply by using a bit of fertilizer, weed control, and conducting a general ‘sprucing up’ of your garden.
  • Install a new garage door. If your current garage door looks a little dilapidated, replace it. If you do it yourself, you’re looking at a 200% return on your investment. Easy decision.
  • Repair what’s obviously broken. You don’t want your house to give off the wrong impression. Repaint the rooms that have seen better days, replace broken windows, fix loose railings, and get rid of all signs that scream ‘neglect!’. All of these are relatively low cost and while they may not add huge amounts of value, they’ll crank up interest in your home.

 

Make Your Home Look Presentable

Sellers often assume that buyers will be able to look beyond the mess. Not so. People are all about first impressions and a home that’s messy, dirty, and in a general state of disrepair won’t do well on the market. Here’s what you should do:

 

 

  • Go for the deep clean. You want your home to look as near to a showhome as reasonably possible. This means getting rid of foul smells. Scrub the floors and get rid of any stains. Clean the carpet and make it look as new. Your bathrooms and kitchen should sparkle.
  • Get rid of the clutter. Buyers don’t like clutter, period. If your hoarding habits have made your home look a bit of a mess, it’s time to do something about it. Consider a short-term storage unit, for example.
  • Get a professional photographer. It’s amazing how many sellers put up photos that have been taken with an old digital camera or an iPhone that probably belongs in a museum. You want high-quality photos, not snaps with terrible lighting and all the wrong angles. Hire a professional to attract interest.
  • Take the ‘you’ out of your home. A little personality is fine, as it creates a warm and friendly environment for buyers. But you want people to imagine your home becoming theirs, so ensure your home isn’t completely full of personal stuff like cheesy family photos, loads of toys, books, etc.
  • Get the right lighting. It’s so important to have the right lighting for your home. You want things to seem bright and cheery, not dark and downcast. Invest in some decent light bulbs that set a welcoming atmosphere.

 

Be Willing to Wait

Our final tip: be patient. If the market isn’t quite right and offers aren’t streaming in, don’t feel pressured to take the first bid that comes in. You can always wait a little longer for the right opportunity.

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