Getting your home ready to sell

In July the Government announced it was increasing the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. This was a welcome boost from those looking to sell, as well as Estate Agents. Following this update, Sky News reported that £37bn worth of house sales were agreed in July – the busiest month for home buying for ten years according to Rightmove.

Rightmove also attributed the boost to those in London and its commuter belt having a desire to move to more rural locations, as people are now working from home more, plus investors are now looking to make the most of the savings.

So if you’re considering selling your house this Autumn, whether that’s to find somewhere more rural, upsize or downsize, check out our top tips for selling your home.

For some of you, this might mean a bit of a clean and declutter, but for others, there might be some bigger jobs on your list that you need to get done. Now remember, whilst it’s important that you make your house as attractive to potential viewers as possible, size and location often come first, and décor third. You don’t necessarily need to spend huge amounts of money on big projects in an attempt to add value. Ultimately, you’ll be guided by how the market is doing and the competition around you. Here are our top tips for getting your house ready:

  • Declutter – this goes for any room, but if, for example, you’re kitchen sides have every kitchen accessory going on them, box up the ones you don’t use and declutter those surfaces. If there’s anything you don’t use, list it on local Facebook groups, so you’re not taking up more space in the garage. And anything you get rid of now, won’t be taken to your new home.
  • Tidy up the garden. If you’ve got wide hedges, trim them back to reveal more space and open up your garden. And if you’re a keen gardener, with dense borders, you might want to lay some turf down to make it easier for potential buyers.
  • Jetwash the patios – it’s amazing how much dirt and grime you can lift up by spending a couple of hours jet-washing the patio or driveway to give it a new lease of life.
  • Giving everything a deep clean. There are plenty of Facebook groups with people offering their latest cleaning hacks, so if you’re struggling with the oven or have a mildew issue – if you can’t find what you’re looking for online, ask away on the cleaning forums. But make sure you give your house a thorough deep clean, including shower doors, mirrors, windows and sills.
  • Neutralise the statement walls – you don’t need to repaint every wall in the house, but for any bright and bold painted walls or patterned wallpapers, consider if it can be toned down. White painted walls are very popular these days (and cheap to do), so don’t feel you have to opt for traditional magnolia.

Picking the right estate agent

There are a range of online estate agents as well as the usual ‘high street’ estate agents, and you’ll need to assess what’s right for you. Whilst local agents will know the area and can sell in the benefits, they still tend to work on a commission basis which is paid on completion of the sale.

However, the likes of Purple Bricks, Yopa and Doorsteps.co.uk work on a flat fee basis which is normally payable upfront, depending on which agent you use. Some will allow a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis for a higher overall cost. The online agents, on average, tend to be cheaper than paying commission through traditional agents, but you will need to manage viewings yourself. Whoever you choose, make sure they’re advertising on key sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla for maximum exposure for your property.

If you still can’t decide, check out this report from Which? Outlining the pros and cons of both.