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What’s the news on our street?

Is your house ready to market?

17 January 2019  |  scottstapleton  |  Leave a comment

Its that time of year when we usually take a good number of new houses on to the market and 2019 has already not disappointed. This is great news for us estate agents but what if you are selling a house and decide to try your luck now. How can you ensure that your property stands out from the crowd and gets noticed by those all important potential purchasers?

Firstly of course is to make sure you are happy with your estate agent and take their advice regarding pricing. Before visiting your property for the market appraisal your agent will have done his or her research. They will have a good idea about where you should pitch your price and will have comparable evidence of properties like yours that have recently sold to back up their thinking. Because of the nature of the housing stock in Leigh it is unlikely that they are going to have an identical property to yours that sold the week before but with experience, local knowledge, an idea of the current market conditions and a good handle of who is out there looking to buy at the moment they will be able to give you a fairly accurate idea of what you should achieve.

Realistically this is about as much as your agent can do. The rest is down to you! Obviously your agent will take photos, do the floor plans, produce the details, list the property, carry out the viewings, negotiate the sale, keep the sale progressed and ensure a swift and painless transaction but you will also have to do a bit of work to help them out.

There are 3 things that can ensure your property stands out and it seems it is becoming more and more important with potential purchasers. PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION & PRESENTATION.

In my experience over the last few years this has been one of the biggest shifts in potential purchasers search criteria. Back in the day people used to snap up properties that needed work and ones that they could add their own stamp to. This was in the days of Laurence Llewlyn-Bowen and Carole Smilie in Changing Rooms and feature wallpaper walls. People loved the idea of stripping walls, laying laminate flooring and spending all their weekend at B&Q.

It seems now that people would much rather purchase a property that is all done and walk inable (I know that’s not a real word!). What is good news is that people are definitely happy to pay a premium for properties that are in this condition. It is difficult to pinpoint a reason for this shift but I personally think it is for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I think that people are just too busy. We all work extremely long hours and have all sorts of commitments with our children and frankly far better things that we can be doing rather than stripping wallpaper or painting ceilings. The second reason I can speak about from experience. The cost of building work seems to have spiralled to epic proportions. Spending £100,000 on an extension and refurbishment work amazingly seems to be the starting point now and together with the cost comes the upheaval, dirt and of course the pleasure of having to deal with undoubtedly delightful tradesmen! Once you have lived through it you can really see why people are happy to pay a premium for what we describe as turn key properties.

The good news is that you don’t have to go crazy. People don’t expect you to extend your house or change your kitchen completely and at this time of year people don’t even expect you to have stripes in your lawn. It may seem simple and teaching you to suck eggs but it really isn’t rocket science.

Remember the basics. Declutter is the most important thing. Be ruthless! You may love having your children’s paintings on your fridge but now they are 20 isn’t it time to think about taking them down? Your collection of plates that you got from the Mail on Sunday might be your pride and joy but are they a bit over powering in your downstairs loo and isn’t it time that you finished rebuilding that motorbike engine that is on your dining room table?

These are obviously extremes but you would be surprised what you can live with after it has been with you for a few years. There are probably things in your house that have been there so long that you don’t even notice them any more and simple things like moving the clothes from the running machine that has become a clothes horse that you don’t think are that important can make a huge difference.

It could be that you need to do some more major works. It is important though to remember not to go mad. The accumulation of little jobs realistically probably wont make you any more money but they will ensure that your property sells and stands out from the others on the market. So don’t spend fortunes but maybe think about some redecoration, change some carpets or repair the fence. They don’t have to be the highest specification or most expensive and they might not be even your choice or preferred style but something inoffensive, neutral and decent quality will always do the trick.

So if you are ready to market your property for sale maybe just take a step back and make sure that your property is to. People can sometimes be guilty of rushing their properties on to the market. Estate agents are guilty to of pressurising people to do so so I take some responsibility but really is a week or 2 going to make a great deal of difference. If it means it gives you the time to prepare your property so that it is shown off to its best potential then take your time, make sure you are ready, hide everything, do those little jobs you have been putting off and I promise you it will pay off in the long run.

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