There are so many reasons for selling a property, from simply deciding to move to handling the estate of a deceased family member. No matter what the prompt has been, it can often feel like time is of the essence. Once we’ve decided that we want to sell, we want to get it done as soon as possible. But there are several things that you must, and several more that you should, do before you put a property on the market.
Some of the items listed below will be required by sales agents, and others will make the property much more attractive to potential buyers. And remember, first impressions count so don’t forget improvements on the exterior. Let’s get started!
Start Getting Rid Of Things
This first point is for your own peace of mind as much as anything else. Getting rid of excess clutter is a great way to show off the full potential of the property to anyone interested in buying. It will also give you a better idea of which areas need additional work. Decluttering is always a good idea whenever you are moving, but it can be a surprisingly emotional experience so make sure to leave yourself enough time to do this.
Make Those Repairs…
If you have been putting off making repairs to your property, now is the time to get to work. It is going to be blindingly obvious to any surveyors and potential buyers if there are any faults requiring maintenance. Not sorting these issues out will either drive people away or it will drive the price down. If you have a lot to do and want to get the sale moving quicker, it could be worth bringing in a professional rather than doing it yourself.
…But Don’t Turn It Into A Building Site
The time to make big home improvements that will make your house more valuable is not in the weeks leading up to you putting it on the market. You can tell people looking around that the kitchen will look great when it’s finished but remember that you want to be showing the property at its best. If you do have any ongoing building work which you cannot ignore, then make sure that it is completed before you start showing the place.
Hire A Professional Cleaner
While we certainly would not want to cast aspersions on your own cleaning abilities, selling a home is one of those times where it pays to bring in a professional. You need to remember that the tiniest detail can be the difference between someone agreeing to buy and walking away, and it makes sense to whittle down as many of those potential problems ahead of time.
Remember that you will have grown used to all the little places that collect dust and the certain smells some rooms can get when they aren’t getting aired regularly. It’s also worth noting that, even though restrictions are lifting, people will want to see that a new property has been professionally cleaned before they move in.
Make Sure All Your Safety Checks Are Up To Date
This is something that every agency will check and it’s something that every potential buyer will ask about. You need to make sure that your boiler has been recently serviced and is up to the safety standards required. You should have a plumber come to conduct a thorough inspection of your pipes and waterworks. If a toilet isn’t flushing properly or if a tap is making a groaning sound when it turns on, you need to get that fixed. You should make sure that all your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have been recently tested.
You should also make sure to commission an EICR report. An Electrical Installation Condition Report should be carried out at least once every ten years for private domestic residences, and every five years in rented domestic or commercial installations. It provides a detailed summary of the state of your electrical circuits. Trade Facilities Services conduct surveys for both domestic and commercial properties, and they always place safety first.
Don’t Forget About The EPC
When you sell a property, you are legally required to get an Energy Performance Certificate. This will tell anyone looking at your property how much it will cost to power and heat the property, and it will tell you where improvements can be made. If you don’t commission an EPC, you could be fined up to £5,000. Your estate agent should be able to secure one for you as part of their duties, but if you are going the DIY route when it comes to selling then you should go through the government website. They’ll tell you how to go about finding a domestic energy assessor.
Lose The Personal Touches
This point can be a little trickier, but if you want to show your property in the best possible light for potential buyers, then you will want to show its potential rather than everything that you have brought to it. As we mentioned, decluttering will make a big difference when it comes to maximising space, but it is also time to get rid of the personal touches that you have made to make this property your own.
Don’t Forget About First Impressions
We’ve covered the inside of the property, but what about the outside? The exterior of a property has a surprisingly big impact on whether people will decide to buy, so make sure that your windows are in good condition. Have a look at the roof to see if there are any improvements to be made. The driveway is another classic problem area, and you will want to make sure that your front garden is neat and tidy.
Find A Conveyancing Solicitor
You might think that the paperwork ends with your estate agent, but the legal part of the deal needs to be handled by a solicitor. You should find a good conveyancing solicitor as early in the process as possible. The process can be a lengthy one and your first choice may not have time in their schedule. With an estate agent and a solicitor in place, you can then think about what wiggle room you have on your pricing and what to do if the buyers’ survey shows any issues.