With the UK now in lockdown due to the threat of coronavirus, those looking to sell a property are stuck in limbo. Currently there are a lot of factors out of your control, so it is important to shift your focus on the things that you can control.
Getting your home onto the market may be more challenging than usual in this period, as there should be no visitors to your home. You can however speak to your local estate agent over the phone; they will be able to give you general advice about the local property market and handle certain matters remotely, but they will not be able to start actively marketing your home in the usual manner. This includes carrying out market appraisals, taking internal photographs or having energy performance certificates completed.
However, whilst we are living through these extraordinary times, wondering when our lives will return to some form of normality, we now face a period of time at home which we weren’t expecting. Here are some practical tips and suggestions for preparing your home for sale;
Why not use this time to tackle all those DIY jobs you’ve been putting off, such as decorating and gardening to make sure your property is looking pristine? If there are easy improvements that can be made to your home and gardens, now is a great time to make them, so that they can be featured in photographs and styling to really set your property ahead of the competition. The best improvements should hopefully add value to your home so be mindful of how much you’re spending and if you’ll see a return. Make sure you check what you can get from online stores first and avoid visiting any hardware or home improvement stores in person.
The first thing buyers see when they walk up to your house is the external entrance area —so you need to make sure it gives a positive first impression. Does the front door need repainting? Perhaps the path needs pressure washing? Are the windows at the front of the house clean? Could you introduce colour with some planted flowers? First impressions really count. While your estate agent unlocks the door, the buyers will be looking around and noting every minor imperfection.
Take the time to freshen up your property, declutter the loft, garage and outbuildings; clean and box up everything you want to take with you. You will need to store the items you no longer need until charity shops and recycling centres re-open. Don’t forget the garden too. Spending time getting your outdoor area cleaned up and landscaping prepared will also prove useful, remember that the garden is just another ‘room’ of your home.
Create a spreadsheet of all the suppliers you need to notify regarding a change of address and prepare letters or emails to be sent at the appropriate time.
Those who now unexpectedly find themselves at home with time on their hands, should use it wisely to get all their affairs in order. Do as much online research as possible, and speak to a local agent. Preparing both your home, and all paperwork in advance will ensure you’re in the best position to move forward when the crisis subsides.
Go above and beyond to prep your house for sale. Declutter, paint, clean, stage! There are so many things that go into a home sale, it’s easy to forget home preparation steps that are less obvious, but equally important to sell your home.
The property pictured is being sold by Strutt & Parker and can be viewed here.
Steven Spencer, Director, Gerrards Cross Office
Telephone: 01753 891188