Tips to help you sell your home without breaking the bank
Preparing your home for viewers, or staging as it’s called, can be a useful exercise. It may not add massive value to your home, but it may well help ensure you sell your property faster.
Remember, these hints and tips are not essentials. They are just some things to think about when you are looking to sell your property.
A good estate agent will work with you to define the unique selling points of your property and should offer honest advice on staging where appropriate and help source local tradesmen if required.
De-clutter – but don’t depersonalise
Get rid of all the excess “stuff” that has accumulated but don’t make it look like a hotel; leave some personality. Also, consider temporarily removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel small and replacing it with smaller furniture if this is possible.
A fresh lick of paint – freshen up
Giving your walls and woodwork a fresh lick of neutral paint will make your home seem lighter and larger. This will make it easier for the viewer to feel that they could move in and use the rooms immediately. A good tip would be to create a good first impression – give the front door a new coat of brightly coloured paint.
Fix and clean
Make any minor repairs necessary – holes in walls, broken door knobs, cracked tiles, torn or threadbare carpets. This will again help the potential purchaser to feel that they could move in without the time, effort and expense of essential jobs - they can concentrate on potential improvements.
As a minimum clean everything and use air fresheners, smelly candles and hang up fresh towels. This will make the place more appealing and allow viewers to imagine living there.
Gardens can be good selling points and are eye catching, especially on a sunny day. Cut the grass, tidy up large bushes and shrubs. If there is a good place to sit and enjoy the garden, set out the garden furniture, so people could visualise themselves using the garden.
Update the kitchen
The kitchen can be the most valuable room in a house and could make the difference when buyers are unsure. Clean and de-clutter the surfaces and just leave a bowl of fruit out. Take out any bulky appliances on worktops to help give a sense of workable space.
Light, airy and looking pretty
Wall mirrors make a room look much bigger and lighter. Consider putting some up, especially in smaller rooms or hallways. Cleaning windows inside and out always helps. Try and position lamps in any dark corners. Plants and flowers bring colour, life and light to a room and also smell great. So does that fruit bowl on your kitchen counter.
Showing the property
You’ll have chosen a good estate agent, so let them show the property. It’s their job to know what things to say, what to highlight and what to downplay. A good estate agent will work with you to understand why potential purchasers should buy the property using your experiences and then convey that to the potential buyer.
Be honest with the estate agent about the downsides of the property, if there are any. It will help the estate agent to effectively answer any tricky questions about the noisy neighbours, the area etc.
If there are any obvious conversions – adapting the garage into extra rooms, or going up into the loft – and you have some spare cash, why not take advantage of this rather than letting the new owners make easy money out of improvements. With the right advice, you should usually recoup your money.
If you don’t have enough spare cash to make the conversion, consider getting professional help in obtaining planning permission anyway. Ask about our Building Surveying services.
A good experienced estate agent should be able to give advice on the potential for value adding changes to your property and arrange professional support if required.
Requirements or Recommendations for renting a property
If you have a mortgage on your property, you must ensure that the mortgage company are aware that you intend to let the property and that they give permission for this to happen. If you have any doubts, contact your mortgage company who will be able to assist.
Some properties will require a HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) license before they can be let. This usually only applies to student or multi-unit lets with 5 or more bedrooms however certain areas in Bath have mandatory HMO licensing for certain types of house. We will check if this applies to your property and what will need to be done if it does.
An electrical inspection needs to be carried out (NICEIC). This certificate will remain on file, this needs to be redone every 10 years. We can arrange this for you and we recommend Newman’s Electrical Contractors, however if you have an electrician you prefer to use, who is qualified to do this then we can liaise with them for this.
If the property is to be let furnished or part furnished i.e. with white goods (dishwasher/washing machine/fridge) or small electrical items such as toasters/kettles then each item needs to be PAT tested. This test should be carried out annually. Again this will be carried out by an electrician and is usually carried out at the same time as the NICEIC.
Mains wired smoke detectors are recommended however battery operated units are acceptable with a suitable clause in the tenancy agreement which informs the tenants that it is their responsibility to check these detectors and replace the batteries as appropriate.
A landlord’s gas service and safety certificate needs to be in place when a property is let and carried out annually. This can be done with a plumber (who is qualified to do so), we use Maddisons or you could have an annual landlord’s gas safety service and inspection with British Gas.
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) needs to be issued before letting or selling a property. This is something that we arrange for you and can either provide access to the gentleman who carries this out, or arrange for him to liaise with you for access to the property.
We recommend that a thorough inventory is carried out prior to a tenant taking residence. This includes a detailed room by room description and photographic evidence of condition of the property at the point the new tenants move in. This proves useful if there is a discrepancy at the end of the tenancy and you need to provide proof to the Deposit Protection Scheme.
Deposit Protection Scheme
A government approved scheme to hold the deposit (usually 6 weeks rent) for the tenant until the end of the tenancy agreement. It is then returned to the tenant with any deductions agreed by the landlord and tenant or landlord and DPS.
Suitable flooring should be laid in each room, i.e. vinyl or easily washable flooring in the kitchen and bathroom areas and carpet or wooden flooring in the bedrooms and living rooms. If flooring is already in situ, it must be clean and have no danger of trips i.e. no raised or uneven areas.