From a fresh lick of paint to being flexible on viewings, Ruth Bloomfield has expert advice on selling your home.
By Ruth Bloomfield
Some are simply blighted — beside a busy road or a rubbish dump, beneath a noisy flight path — and there’s nothing to be done about that. But if this is not the case, you need to rethink your selling strategy.
The obvious issue is pricing, or more specifically, over-pricing. Roarie Scarisbrick, a partner at Property Vision, suggests vendors in this situation take a “reality check”. “Very often agents are too scared to tell their clients the brutal truth about price, especially if they overcooked their valuation to start with,” he says.
Beyond pricing, Caspar Harvard-Walls, of Black Brick, says the other big issues are the agent and access to the property.
“The easiest to deal with is access. As a seller, being flexible as to when potential buyers can view is crucial and if this is not the case, then you need to change it quickly,” he says. “Agents will quickly tire of trying to arrange viewings if the owner or tenant is difficult.”
A change of agent can also give a sale a shot in the arm. “Too many sellers choose their estate agent on the basis of their commission fee or whomever quotes them the highest marketing price and not on who is the best person for the job,” he says. “A good agent should be able to more than cover their fee.”
If your house is looking a bit tatty then it might also be worth spending a bit of money on doing it up, and getting it photographed again.
“At Yopa, we estimate that simply improving your property’s ‘kerb appeal’ with a freshly painted exterior, clean windows, clear gutters, a tidy driveway and a freshly painted front door can boost the value of a property by up to 10 per cent,” says Mathew Loach, regional director for London.
“First impressions count, and the outside of your property is the first thing potential buyers will see, both when browsing online and in person at a viewing.”
How to increase your home’s curb appeal
Paint your front door
Classic, glossy colours such as navy blue, dark green and Downing Street black will have broadest appeal and will make any period property look smart, while greys, taupes and even bright pastel shades are becoming increasingly popular, according to the experts.
Spruce up outside space
In a year when even a simple doorstep has become a major social asset, there’s no excuse for any outside space at the front of your house to look shabby. Climbing plants are a city dweller’s best friend because they can be trained over railings, fences and walls. Plant wisteria to pack a dramatic punch or jasmine, honeysuckle and roses for colour and scent.
Consider your clutter
If you keep bikes or bins at the front of your house, think about how they make your home look. Of course your bins have to live somewhere but consider investing in a bin store or bike shed to neaten everything up.