Make sure your property is easily identified. The name or number should be clearly seen and located where buyers expect it. Better still, have a ‘For Sale’ board where appropriate, especially in town.
Stand in front of your house and look critically at it. Check for clipped slates, growth on the stones, cobwebs in the porch, flaking paint on window cills or tarnished brasses. These small points are easily rectified.
Do any small repairs. It is rarely worth spending large sums, but keeping up to date with the smaller jobs shows you have cared for the house. Your agent should be able to give guidelines here.
If redecorating needs to be done use light neutral colours which make the room look larger even if they would not be your normal choice. However it is not normally worth redecorating a teenagers bedroom not that a buyer wouldn’t appreciate it, but you have to live with the consequences!
Ensure the garden is tidy, especially at the front. First impressions when ringing the bell do count for a lot with purchasers. In the summer, buy some pots, or plant annuals to give extra colour.
Make sure the house is warm and well lit for viewers. It makes them feel at home and gives a good impression.
If you have a dog, keep it out of the way. Many people are not confident with dogs, however friendly, especially if they have young children.
If you are showing people round give them time to look at the house properly. Do not feel you need to speak all the time. Let them imagine their possessions in the house. People buy a home because it feels right not just because it meets a particular specification.
Gather together any relevant paperwork. Readily available guarantees (e.g. for timber treatments) add to a buyer’s confidence and can provide immediate reassurance to a prospective purchaser’s surveyor. Give a copy to the agent and the originals to your solicitor so that they are to hand.
Tips For Selling Safely
Selling your house should not be one of life’s most hazardous events. However these days it pays to be aware and prepared, so we suggest adopting the following guidelines.
Do not let casual callers in even if they have sales particulars. Ask them to make an appointment with the agent. Serious buyers will set aside time to view likely properties and will not rely on spur of the moment appointments.
Most reputable agents will offer to accompany viewers around and will do their best to verify that the buyers are genuine. If you will be on your own ask your agent to do the viewings, that is what they are there for.
If someone knocks on the door without an appointment, or at ‘open viewings’ do remember to ask for their name, telephone number and address when they arrive. A genuine viewer will happily pass on this information, which will help your agent to follow up the viewing promptly. If a viewer will not divulge his/her personal details, simply refuse to admit them. It is your property.
If you have any doubt about a viewer leave them on the doorstep and check with your agent. Any genuine buyer will appreciate your concerns.
Do not tell prospective buyers who ask to return for another look that you are going to be out or away. Say it is not convenient at that time and ask them to make another appointment through your agent.
If you are showing people around your property without the agent it is a good rule of thumb to keep the party together. Try to avoid going off to answer the phone, leaving buyers unsupervised.
We must stress that the incidence of problems is extremely low and most buyers are obviously genuine and trustworthy. However, we hope the above will help you with a trouble free sale.