Avoid the worst selling mistakes
Here's a quick guide to the stuff you shouldn't do when selling your home:
Mistake one: Being inflexible about viewings
As intrusive as viewings can be, try to be flexible about timings. If someone wants to pop by at 8am on a Saturday morning or 7pm on a Friday night, agree to it. If you really want to sell your home, you need to be flexible.
If you're too busy to make the time, simply give your estate agent a door key, or he or she can easily access your home for viewings, even when you're not there.
Mistake two: Putting buyers off
There's a lot that puts buyers off. Make sure your property doesn't by avoiding cooking foods such as fish or curry before buyers come round, and if you're a smoker, start smoking outside. Clean up any cat litter and empty the bin. Get rid of any weeds in the garden, and hide your gnomes.
Finally, beware the classic advice to bake some bread or have some coffee brewing as viewers pop by. If you try to mask smells too much, prospective buyers may think you have something to hide. So just get rid of any odours and use a tiny bit of air freshener instead.
Mistake three: Picking a bad estate agent
Is your estate agent marketing your house properly? How much experience does he/she have with selling properties in the area? What does the property brochure look like? What are the photos like on the estate agent's website?
All of these questions are ones you should be asking yourself. If your home isn't being marketed properly, it won't sell.
When advertising your home, don't simply use a photo of the exterior. Potential buyers want to see what the interior looks like so take photos of as many rooms as possible (and make sure you've tidied them up first – remove bins and close the toilet seat).
Ask your estate agent if it's possible to include a 'virtual tour' of your home on the estate agent's website. These are always popular with buyers!
Mistake four: Making costly improvements which don't add value
Popular home improvements, such as an extension or conservatory, could cost you thousands more than they add to the value of your property.
If you think home improvements could still add value, then do your research before you spend anything. Ask a local estate agent if they think it's worth your while and find out what buyers in your area are really looking for.
On top of that, you may be able to cut the cost of home improvements by shopping around for cheaper materials and labour. And you can make sure you don't waste money needlessly by taking out a loan or a mortgage with a high interest rate.
Still, it always makes sense to keep a close rein on how much you spend on home improvements. If your bathroom or kitchen is in urgent need of an update, try to do the work as inexpensively as you can. So before you rip out your old kitchen and renovate it in the hope of enticing buyers, think about replacing the cupboard doors and handles for a modernised look that won’t cost a small fortune.
Similarly, a tidy garden will help to make the right impression on prospective buyers, but you may want to think twice before shelling out thousands on a landscaping bill!
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