If you’re planning on selling your home this year, there are some ways to avoid languishing on the housing market. Knowing what people’s priorities are will help you prepare your home before viewings begin. As the saying goes – it’s a buyer’s market, and you’ll need to make sure your house is ready before listing it. It always helps to receive some pointers from those who work in the same or similar industries.
Aussie Man & Van has been moving people and businesses in London for over two decades. In that time, we know what potential buyers look for in line with market trends. This year, the focus is undoubtedly on back gardens, but there are other aspects. We’ll look into the top priorities for people who are house hunting.
Put Yourself in the Buyer’s Shoes –
When we begin organising a property sale, many people make one of the initial mistakes by rushing into a listing. It’s worth holding back on this for a few weeks to check your home is ready for the market. It’s easy to miss small problems around the house because we get used to its imperfections. A crack in the plaster becomes the norm when you look at it every day.
However, potential buyers see things with fresh eyes, and it won’t escape them. Whether it’s chips in the paintwork, streaky windows, or damp patches on the ceiling, they’ll notice it. And it won’t put their mind at ease, which is the ultimate goal when hosting viewings. It’s the first and last chance you’ll have to make a good impression.
You’ll need to evaluate your property from a potential buyer’s perspective. It requires unflinching honesty, a keen eye for detail, and a healthy amount of scepticism. If you’re struggling to be objective, get an upfront opinion from a family member or friend. Ask them to be harsh as it’ll help you identify any potential problems.
Good maintenance and a clean house are the bare minima anyone will expect from a prospective house or flat. That means you’ll need to tackle all the minor repairs and undertake a top-to-bottom clean. Then, it’s worth making additional improvements to help promote your property’s best qualities. We’ll go over some suggestions to help highlight potential upgrades.
Bring Your Outside Area to Life –
From the time of writing this blog, it’s been a year since the first UK lockdown began. An anniversary no one will want a repeat of, but it certainly has brought about some shifts in how we interact with our homes. People are now making outside spaces a top priority when property scouting. This is especially true for London, where outdoor provisions are limited. If this is an area where you’re lacking, it’s time to make some changes.
You’ll need to do whatever you can to improve your back garden or yard, and it will depend on its current state. Start by clearing out any clutter and debris to see what you have to work with. If you’re fortunate enough to have grass, you’ll need to make sure you reseed to cover bald patches. For people with concrete yard areas, you’ll need to think of features to add more greenery, such as potted plants.
In both circumstances, you should add some tasteful plants and flowers. Remember to consider whether they’re suitable for where you live. For city-centre dwellings, you might struggle to nurture delicate flowers. By including some solar lights, you’ll create a lovely setting for a summer’s evening, and they’re cheap. You can put in a heated lamp and wood burner for winter, making it possible for people to be outdoors all year round.
Before you start any significant changes, set a budget, and see what you can do within those constraints. Something simple like repurposed wooden pallets makes excellent furniture or even affordable decking. Remember – think of what you would be looking for as a potential buyer who needs a useable outside space.
Declutter and Reclaim Rooms –
Before you jump into action mode, you’ll need to cover the basics we mentioned earlier. That means a thorough decluttering to create more space, as well as a deep clean. It’s a painstaking task, but you’ll need to go room-by-room to work out what’s staying or going. Try to avoid overthinking things and stick to this simple rule: if you no longer use it, it’s time to go.
The last thing we want to encourage is throwing anything away that will end up in a landfill. Wherever possible, we would like people to recycle items that have little to no use. For others, you might be able to repurpose them for another function. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to sell or donate items that still have value.
Next, we’ll set a target for which rooms you plan on reclaiming. The first place might be your garage, which most people use as an unofficial cross between a storage unit and a dumping ground. Once you clear the space, you can alter it into a utility room. Our second suggestion is your loft because they make ideal places for storage and bedroom conversions. Finally, we have a spare room that will be perfect for guests post-lockdown or a home office.
If you plenty of time to do this task, spread it over the course of a few weeks. However, if time is against you, it might be necessary to create a deadline for one week. You can enlist Aussie Clean and our Handyman services if you need assistance with repairs or cleaning. This will give you more time to tackle the clutter.
Consider Adding a New Room –
We alluded to this in the last section, but it’s worth covering in more detail. Converting a room(s) can improve your chances of making a timely sale. You’ll need to consult with an estate agent before you do any work. They’ll assess whether your plans will add or decrease your property’s value, and the outcome isn’t always obvious.
It’s rare people do anything drastic with their garage space, such as a permanent room conversion. That’s because it’s tricky to reverse any changes for the potential new owner. Refitting a garage as a utility room and tidy storage space is the most popular route. You’ll be able to move all your appliances from the house, freeing up lots of space. And machines with water flow systems suit the robust cement flooring.
One of the smart ways people utilise their loft space is to convert it into a new room. Unless there are major alterations to the roof’s dimensions, you won’t need planning permission. While creating an entire room comes with initial expenses, in most cases, it will add value to your property. That’s because you’re gaining a room rather than converting an existing one.
Our final room, which we’re dragging back from the clutches of de facto storage limbo, is the spare room. Yes, many of us are guilty of wasting an entire room by engulfing it with old clothes and storage containers full of who-knows-what. The obvious designation we’re suggesting is to use it for its intended purpose as a guest room. Alternatively, you can convert it into a home office or study.
Enlist the Services of an Estate Agent –
Another point we briefly mentioned which deserves more attention and is what we consider the final piece in the jigsaw. You’ll need to enlist the services of a seasoned estate agent straight away or as soon as possible. They’re the key to the housing market and will be able to handle most of that side of things. However, they perform another role that links directly into any home improvements you’re planning.
Estate agents can provide two different types of property valuation. The first focuses on the house or apartment in its current state. This will include any maintenance issues, surveyance history, noted repairs and house prices in your area. They will also be able to perform a valuation from any hypothetical upgrades, offering you advice on whether they’ll improve or damage your property’s market value.
When it comes to setting an asking price, this is all relevant and necessary information. You need to temper any pricing decisions from things like recent sales of similar properties. Additionally, it’s a bonus if you’re able to promote any improvements to a prospective buyer. Your estate agent will also have a much easier job if they have a well-maintained home to showcase when viewings start.
Aussie Man & Van – We’ll Help You Sell Up in London –
Everyone at Aussie wants to help our customers find a way to sell their home without spending too long on the market. We relocate thousands of people every year in London and the neighbouring areas. And it’s always interesting to hear how long it took each person to find a buyer and initiate the final stage of handing over keys.
With an average of four months from listing to the final payments clear, it’s crucial you don’t fall into a housing market blackhole. If you’re struggling after six months, there’s clearly an issue you need to solve. That’s when it might be an idea to read this blog for inspiration and consider asking us for a referral. We know lots of interior designers and similar professionals who can give you an honest evaluation.
If you’re readying your home for a sale this year, please contact us today. We have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to how people successfully sell their property. And we’ll be on-hand to provide you with the best removals service in London when the time is right.