Spring is seen as the prime time to sell your home. But is accepted wisdom always right? The Christmas break is a time when many people make big decisions, including whether their current home is still the right place to live. With less properties on the market, the New Year can be a good time to market your home if you follow some basic rules.
Properties in more isolated locations can appear to be even more remote during the winter when the roads can be muddy, slippery or covered in snow. However, Cambridge City properties and houses in more central village locations have always sold well in Janaury and February.
Keep photos up to date. Nothing suggests a stale property more than tinsel on the tree or snow on the ground when it is a beautiful Spring day in February.
Try and keep viewings to the day time. And open curtains and clean windows to let in the light. Making your home appear as light and bright as possible is crucial on shorter, darker days.
Make viewers feel welcome. Light the fire or turn up the central heating and maybe even offer a cup of tea to potential buyers.
Tidy the garden. Sweep up those leaves and cut the lawn if possible. You may have been leaving these jobs until Spring but you are trying to show off the full potential of your home.
You might have just found the perfect new home and are keen to get your house on the market as soon as possible but pausing for a moment can reap big dividends. Making initial impression count can make all the difference when it comes to getting offers. Having a ‘they can take us as they find us’ attitude rarely results in you achieving your price expectations.
We’d never dream of selling a car without washing and polishing before uploading photos to the internet, so why wouldn’t you do the same with your biggest asset. So here are my top tips for the things you must check before you allow potential buyers to come round.
1. Walk up to your front door imagining you are a buyer. The entrance is the keystone of your kerb appeal. If the front door needs a lick of paint, choose a tasteful colour. Check that your path is clear and move the bins away from the front of the property. Make sure the outside lights work and think about some architectural plants in pots either side of the doorstep
2. Make your entrance hall a welcoming space. Nothing ruins the first impression more than a crowded hallway where you have to fight your way past coats, shoe racks and piles of post. Clean any windows in your front door, re-paint in a light neutral colour if necessary, put in a higher wattage bulb in your hall light and put any bulky furniture into storage
3. De – clutter. A buyer needs to be able to see the potential of every room. You might be moving because you have outgrown the space but you don’t viewers to be left with that impression. Pack up the clutter, remove large pieces of furniture and if necessary rent some storage space for the duration of the viewings.
4. If the sun isn’t streaming through the windows, the right lighting can make all the difference. Poor lighting can make your home feel dark and drab so install brighter modern lights to make your home seem sunny, cheerful and up to date.
5. Think like a buyer. Now is the time to look at your home with fresh eyes. Check for peeling paint in the bathrooms, polish those light switches and tighten the screws to fix those rattling door knobs. You don’t need to overhaul the bathrooms and kitchen if you are selling (leave that for the new people) but you do need to show your house has been looked after and is loved. Buyers tend to over-estimate the cost of repairs so fix the kitchen drawer, replace the broken front light and oil the front gate.
6. Your garden is one of the most important spaces at the property. Pruning, trimming and landscaping will make sure your garden presents a positive first impression. And now is not the time to argue with the local council about who mows the verge outside your house. Swallow your pride and do it yourself (at least while viewings are taking place).
7. And keep on top of the cleaning! While some potential buyers can ignore last night’s take-away on the worktop or the washing up in the sink, most cannot and will imagine themselves living in “your” space, as you present it. If your home looks (and smells) clean, viewers will be far more likely to see the potential