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Tips for Selling Your House

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Presenting your property well and keeping things moving is key to success. To give you the best chance, here are some tips for selling your house. We’ve looked at everything from listing with an agent to solicitors to give you the best chance. 

Tips for selling your home

  1. Get the timing right
  2. Figure out your finances
  3. Maximise property value
  4. Choose your estate agent carefully
  5. Declutter
  6. Scrutinise your listing
  7. Make the first impression count
  8. Maximise space 
  9. Get clever with lighting
  10. Ensure your home is marketed well
  11. Find a good solicitor
  12. Choose the right buyer 
  13. Micromanage the sale
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House selling tips everyone should know

While every situation is different, and there are no hard fast ‘rules’ necessarily, there are ways to make things easier. Remember, it’s not just the viewings that matter – think of the bigger picture. 

#1 – Get the timing right 

On average, it can take around 6 months to sell a house. However, this can see significant delays depending on a range of factors, including property chains – and whether the market is ‘hot’ or ‘cold’.

Knowing if it’s a good time to sell isn’t all about house prices, it’s a very personal decision. For example, are your income and job stable? 

#2 – Figure out your finances

Ensure you can afford it by doing your sums early on. From estate agent fees to solicitors, the cost of selling a house adds up, so it pays to get prepared. 

A common trap many homeowners fall into is underestimating how much they’re likely to pay. 

Here are some average costs* you can expect:

Legal fees£800-£2,000
Removals£500-£1,000
Cleaning costs£50-£150
Estate agent fees1%-3% of the sale price

*Note: these are typical estimates only, the actual cost of moving house will vary widely depending on property price and other factors

If you’re buying a property also, there will be even more costs on top of this, such as stamp duty and mortgage fees.

#3 – Maximise property value

It’s a good idea to have a rough idea of how much your home is worth before speaking to estate agents. This is a key step in the process of selling a house.

A good place to start can be looking at the sale price of similar properties in your area. 

Now’s also the time to maximise value while you can, to hopefully maximise your potential sale price. Some ways to do this include:

  • Check the energy performance certificate – is the rating good?
  • Apply for planning permission (even if you don’t plan to carry out any work). If approved, it can increase property value
  • Carry out any home improvements if needed
  • Replace the carpets 
  • Give the walls a fresh lick of paint

Note: location can significantly boost property value also. Is your area up and coming, or are there any planned works that will appeal to new buyers? Of course, these things are out of your control, but it’s helpful to put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. 

#4 – Choose your estate agent carefully

Wrong agent or wrong price are usually the main reasons a house won’t sell. So, ensure you pick carefully. 

Online estate agents can be cheaper, but they may not have the local insider knowledge a high street agent does. Also, with the online option, you’ll likely pay upfront, rather than a percentage of the sale price. 

It’s important to beware of agents’ asking prices early on. If it seems massively inflated, it might be a tactic to try and win your business. This is another reason why it’s important to do your own ‘valuation’ early on. 

Choose an agent with a track record of selling your type of property, in your area. Also, look at how they market their other properties – is it up to standard?

#5 – Declutter 

It can be tough to strike the balance between ‘decluttered’ but not ‘depersonalised’. Prospective buyers will want to be able to see themselves living in your home, without it feeling too empty or soulless.

  • Ensure your property has personality
  • Remove any excess furniture or unused belongings
  • Help people fall in love with a ‘lifestyle’ as well as a property
  • Opt for neutral colours and colour schemes 
  • Showcase your property in its best light 

#6 – Look closely at the listing 

Chances are, the first place potential buyers will see your home is on a property portal. They’ll decide in seconds if it piques their interest. So, ensure the property listing sells your property well. 

Some key things to pay attention to:

  1. One annoyance buyers have is a lack of photos – ensure you have enough
  2. Ensure the photos are high quality 
  3. Make sure the property looks clean and tidy
  4. Does your home stand out from others?
  5. Does the listing feature any key selling points? 
  6. Get an accurate floor plan
  7. Ensure the description is accurate and well written

#7 – Make the first impression count

When it comes to property viewings, first impressions count, so ensure yours makes a good one. You want to encourage buyers to come back for another. 

  • Remove (or cover up) any stains on the carpet 
  • Get clever with lighting
  • Remove any bad odours 
  • Maximise space 
  • Ensure your home has good kerb appeal
    • Windows in good condition
    • Well maintained garden
    • Roof in good condition
    • Well-painted exterior (including the front door) 
  • Spruce up the kitchen 
  • Make it feel open and airy

It’s a good idea to duck out of the first viewing if you can (and if you have pets take them with you), let the estate agent do their job. 

#8 – Maximise space 

Even if you don’t have huge amounts of square footage to play with, there are plenty of small room ideas that can help maximise space. For example, feature walls or carefully placed mirrors can make a room appear bigger.

It’s also a good idea to showcase any clever storage solutions your home has, as this can be highly appealing. 

#9 – Get clever with lighting 

Lighting is key when selling your home, especially if your property isn’t south-facing or doesn’t have a lot of natural light. It can help rooms feel bigger and just generally more attractive. 

So, for example, ensure you have lamps in any dark corners. Try to create a sense of ambience also. 

#10 – Ensure your home is marketed well

If the property is marketed poorly with an asking price that’s too high, it’s likely it will generate less interest and stay on the market longer. The longer it stays on the market, the lower the sale price could be. So, ensure your estate agent is being proactive and realistic!

#11 – Find a good solicitor 

When it comes to how to sell a house, a good solicitor is absolutely key. They’ll take on all the legal work, including vital processes like the deposit transfer. 

Find one early on to ensure you’re prepared and ready to go. Bear in mind that house sales are only legally binding at the point of exchange, so choose someone who is proactive and can help get you there. 

We can connect you with our panel of experts, all who work on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis. Get a conveyancing quote below.

Find a Solicitor

#12 – Choose the right buyer

The buyer will seriously impact the time the property takes to sell.  So, look for someone who’s organised, interested and ready to go. 

If possible, try to build a relationship with them. This could reduce your risk of being gazundered, although there are no guarantees. 

#13 – Micromanage the sale 

Keep the property chain moving by being on top of things. You’ll want to know who’s doing what, and when that needs to happen.

Make sure:

  • You have contact details for everyone involved in the chain
  • Your solicitor is being proactive
  • You find any stumbling blocks holding things up
  • You’re as organised as possible 
  • You’re responsive and communicative

How to sell your property quickly

While there are no guarantees of a quick house sale, there are things you can do to make things easier. 

Some top tips for selling a house quickly include:

  • Selling to a cash buyer or a first-time buyer to avoid a property chain (since these are notorious for delays)
  • Keeping communication open
  • Highlighting your home’s unique properties (e.g. stunning view, balcony)
  • Doing up your home if needed 
  • Using an online property auction 

An online auction is a modern method of selling and can be a faster, more secure process. Sales are often more guaranteed too, as they require commitment from the buyer. Interested? Find out more below.

Start Your Online Auction

Last Updated: August 26th, 2021