Most people only move house once or twice in their lives, simply because the process can be pretty stressful and complicated. However, avoiding these common mistakes could alleviate that stress and ensure you find the right buyer for your home.
Choosing the wrong agent
The estate agent you choose can make or break your house sale. There’s nothing worse than being tied into a contract with an agent that isn’t able to secure you enough viewings or get you some offers on the table. With that in mind, it’s really important to do your research before you sign on the dotted line.
To help make sure you’re picking the right person for the job, take a look at our post on the essential questions to ask your agent before you sign up.
Indulging your sentimentality
It can be hard to be objective about your home; especially if you’ve lived there for a long time or have made happy memories during your tenure. However, taking a step back and taking advice from your agent can make all the difference to the time it takes to sell a home and the price you’ll ultimately get for it. Your agent might advise you to make some changes to design or layout that might differ from your personal taste or guide you to a more realistic asking price than you might have in mind. Whilst it can be hard to take advice like this on board it really pays to do so.
Not staging your home
It sounds obvious but when it comes to getting the right offer for your home, making a good impression on buyers is key. Making sure your home is clean and tidy ahead of viewings is really just the start of what you can do to ensure your property appeals to the right buyer. Here are our key things to focus on when readying your house for viewings:
- Move cars off your driveway to allow for a good first impression and giving prospective buyers plenty of space to park.
- De-personalise by paring back any out-there design choices or tidying away personal clutter. This may seem like overkill but it really can help a buyer envision themselves living in the property.
- Pay attention to smell; save cooking pungent dishes like fish for days when you don’t have viewings and don’t go overboard with air fresheners and room sprays. Aiming for fresh, clean and neutral is the way to go.
- Let the light in by opening all your blinds and curtains so that buyers can get a good look at your space.
- Tidy away any rubbish in the garden and give the lawn a mow - it makes it look bigger and can really increase the appeal of your property.
- Remember first impressions count so cleaning windows, tidying your driveway, hiding away unsightly bins can all make a huge difference.
For more tips on how to ready your home for viewings take a look at our blog post here.
Showing buyers around yourself
You might think you are perfectly placed to talk a buyer through the benefits of your home; after all, who knows the property better than you? However, this can be extremely detrimental as buyers are often more reticent to ask questions in case they cause offence and are more likely to have honest conversations about the property with a third party than with the owner. So give your buyers space to walk around and take in everything your home has to offer. And be sure to let your agent know of any special features you think the buyer would benefit from knowing about and they can pass that information on.
Saying no to marketing
We get it. Selling your home is overwhelming enough without having your home flooded with photographers, videographers and agents. However, marketing is a huge part of attracting buyers to your property so giving your agents access to your house is really important. A good agent will work hard to showcase your property in its best possible light online and in print - so make sure you let them get what they need to so.
You might also be reluctant to agree to having a board up outside your house. Some people don’t like to advertise the fact that they are moving so overtly however you’d be surprised at how many viewings occur because a buyer has spotted a sign through their car window or come out of another property for sale in a nearby area.
Not considering early offers
Every offer should be considered for its individual merits and not discounted because it's the first one you receive. As a seller, you need to make sure you are aware of the buyer’s position, financial situation and most importantly motivation.
Many buyers will call an estate agent within one hour of walking out of a viewing to ‘lock down’ any other offers. Or they might be first in with an offer because they have been waiting months for the right house to come on the market and are therefore highly motivated to move. Get all the facts so you can make an informed decision to move forward.
Not fully understanding the cost of a move.
Moving house is an expensive process and the costs stretch far beyond moving day. If unexpected expenses crop up, they could slow you down and, in the worst case, lead to you losing your buyer. Check your full moving costs up front to avoid any nasty surprises. Take a look at our moving checklist to make sure you’re covered.
Choosing the wrong vendors
Selling a home isn’t always straightforward and it pays to have the right help when you need it. In the same way that it’s important to choose the right estate agent, instructing a good lawyer is absolutely essential to ensuring the legal process runs smoothly. Your agent will be able to advise and recommend a reputable local lawyer and it pays to take that advice. Opting for an online lawyer might be cheaper in the short term but it could cost you in the long run.