This might be your first time selling or you might be an investor selling for the 3rd time this year – however guidance on how to sell we have found always proves useful. This government guide covers all aspects including conveyancing guidelines but below is also our take on preparing for the process.

When it comes to property, first impressions count, so make sure yours is looking its absolute best. Making the most of your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and a few inexpensive improvements can make all the difference...

  • Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and, starting from the pavement outside, take a complete tour of the property. Work out a plan of action, and if necessary, draft in a friend or an objective other for a second opinion – you’ll be amazed at the cracks and crevices, often that have gone unnoticed for years, that suddenly come to light.
  • Once you’ve made a list of what needs to be done, work out a budget and prioritise accordingly.
  • Speak to your estate agent to get an idea of who your likely buyer will be and what kind of things will appeal – there is no point making changes which aren’t important to them.
  • De-personalise. Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. You don’t want buyers to be distracted by personal belongings. Buyers need to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there!
  • From day one quote a realistic asking price rather than having to reduce the price at a later date.
  • Decorate your property in neutral colours. If paintwork is looking worn, discuss possibilities with your valuer.
  • Ensure viewings can be arranged at reasonable times.
  • Freshen up carpets by getting them professionally cleaned.
  • Remove signs of pets or children during viewings.
  • De-clutter to show a room’s potential, give a sense of space and allow the viewer to imagine themselves living there.
  • Clean windows and pull back curtains to make your home look fresher and brighter.
  • Tidy the garden – ensuring the lawn has been mowed etc.
  • Make the most of the available space. If a room has previously been used as an office space/box room, it’s worth putting in a bed in the room to show people it will work as a spare room.
  • Empty rooms won’t be as appealing as furnished ones, always aim to give the property a ‘lived in’ look, even if you’ve moved out. Make an effort to ‘dress’ the property in advance.
  • Buyers will probably be wise to the smell of freshly ground coffee but smell is incredibly important. Open windows to eliminate any strong cooking smells and banish pets to neighbours.
  • Never discuss the cost of the property with the buyer. You are employing an experienced agent to negotiate on your behalf and get you the best possible price for your property.
  • Keep the pavements cleared.
  • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes the buying emotion.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.