Sorry, sorry, I couldn’t resist a leaf pun!
In all seriousness, the week before last I wrote about the buyer’s market we currently find ourselves in and, in an attempt not to alienate or deflate the sellers amongst us, I thought this was a good opportunity to provide some advice, from an Estate Agent’s perspective, on how to successfully sell your home this autumn.
As I discussed in my last blog, there is uncertainty in the market, primarily driven be people’s fears over Brexit and what will happen when the UK leaves the EU next Spring. As I also mentioned, however, this isn’t deterring all buyers and, for sellers, there is still opportunity to secure a buyer. Autumn and winter are the two hardest seasons to sell your property in; if you are keen to sell, now is the time to strike while the iron is hot (okay, I promise to make that my last pun) and target buyers before their minds to turn to festivities in December and they lose focus on moving home.
In terms of targeting buyers, using an estate agent is by far your best opportunity to successfully sell your home. There are so many different options these days from online to fixed price, national and independent estate agents. At Sure Sales & Lettings Gloucester we are unique. We are part of the Sure Property Group, but we are owned and run by the three of us (me, Tom and Jemma); all local to Gloucester with longstanding experience in property and specific knowledge of the Gloucester property market. I’ll stop with the sales spiel there, but to suffice to say, if you are keen to sell your home in Gloucester then do contact us for a valuation. Perhaps you’ve had your property on the market this summer, but it has yet to sell? We love troubleshooting and would be keen to come and chat about a marketing plan for your property.
Okay, sales pitch over. Estate agents are one way to sell your property, but you are the owner, you know its best aspects and its worse ones too. Here’s my top tips to sell your property this autumn:
- Concentrate on Lighting
We are just waving British Summer Time goodbye and with the clocks changing, the nights are quickly going to draw in. Add in the dark and gloomy weather we often experience in autumn which makes now the time to check the lighting inside and outside of your property. Soft lighting i.e. lamps can make a room look cosy and welcoming. It can create a mood. Kitchen and bathrooms benefit from strong lighting – white LED lighting is very fashionable – so we can see. An outside light with a PIR sensor, allows light the moment the buyers pull up on the driveway or reach the front door; its welcoming. Take a look around your property and see if you need to create an ambience in the living room or bedroom or need to replace some bulbs in the ceiling lights or outside lighting, so you are showing your property off to its best.
- Encourage lunchtime viewings
As I’ve just discussed, there is minimal daylight in the UK in autumn/winter. Properties always look better in natural light so, if you can have any influence (not always possible, I know) try to encourage your agent and potential buyer to make viewings at lunchtime. Where that isn’t doable, use the lighting tips I’ve discussed above to try and make your home as welcoming as possible. If you are just popping out while the viewing is conducted, leave a few lamps on so the property isn’t dark when your prospective buyers step over the threshold. If you’re at work all day, request your agent arrive for the viewing a few minutes early so they can go in and pop a few lights on, before the applicants arrive. Don’t feel like a burden for requesting this either; it’s in your agent’s interest to sell your property too.
- Tidy up outside
The area of your property which will look the most tired, as we move into autumn, is outside spaces such as gardens and driveways. Weeds still love to sprout through paving cracks well into the end of October, when it’s still relatively warm during the day. Summer flowers dry up, losing petals or generally look dishevelled and leaves start falling on daily basis, making for a pretty carpet of colours to begin with which quickly turns to a sludgy, brown mess. Whilst we all lead busy lives, finding time to regularly tidy the garden away over the autumn may make the difference in first impressions for prospective buyers. Soon you can stop mowing the lawn until the spring, but before then, check if it needs a last autumn cut, to help it to look trim and fresh and choose some winter flowers, such as pansies or flowering shrubs, to keep borders and pots looking fresh and homely.
- Refrain from putting up the Christmas decorations
I bet if I trawled through my Facebook, I could find someone who has already put their decorations up. Okay, it’s a bit early just yet but many of us get the decorations out of the loft and head off to pick a tree around the end of November/ beginning of December. Christmas is exciting but – at the risk of sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge – decorations take up a lot of room and make a home look cluttered. Also, at the risk of sounding like a cliché estate agent; less is more. If you can – and I know it might be hard – just hold off putting the tree up until we are properly into the festive season, so that you can give your property the best opportunity of selling.
- Be openminded
In my last blog, to buyers, I encouraged offers under the asking price to be made. I therefore offer the same advice to you, the seller; consider every offer carefully. Please don’t get me wrong; I am not attempting to drive down house prices, but every property has a value; what a buyer is willing to pay, and a seller is willing to agree to. Find that figure and that’s the house’s value. I am not expecting you to take a penny less than the asking price if you are willing to hold out but, sometimes, a buyer has better attributes than just the sum of money they are offering. First time buyers, or a cash buyer even, offering five thousand less than the asking price, might be of serious consideration to you if it prevents you missing out on the property you next have your heart on.
If you are currently looking or trying to sell in Gloucester, we would love to hear from you. Call us today on 01452 310999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free market valuation. With highly competitive fees, we are here to help you make your next move.
Sure Sales & Lettings