4 Things To Consider If You Are Thinking Of Selling Your House
You’re ready to list your home for sale. Or so you think you are, but then you look around and realise that maybe you can’t put the house on the market before doing some serious updates.
Maybe you’ve spent time and money updating the exterior of the house, but the interior is still in serious need of attention. Or, maybe you have discovered damp creeping in across corners of the house, that when you step back and assess, the house just looks outdated.
This is when the dilemma starts. What should you do if you start noticing these things? Should you spend more time and money on fixing it up, or just try to sell it as is, knowing that these things may put off potential buyers?
There are a lot of things to consider when thinking of selling your house. To make it a little easier for you, we’ve highlighted some of the key aspects for consideration, which should hopefully aid you with your selling process.
1. Look through the eyes of the potential buyer
Questions you’ll no doubt start asking yourself are ‘what’s the condition of competing homes for sale?’ and ‘what’s the likelihood of a return on your investment?’. Make sure you do your research during the months running up to thinking about selling your home, checking out sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to see what houses have been selling for.
It’s not always as easy as doing a straight comparison – these sites only show you photographs of competing houses. However, you’ll get a good idea of the condition these houses are in, in comparison to yours.
It’s worth noting that many sellers put way too much money into fixing up their homes before listing them for sale. They repair flaws that a buyer might never notice or just won’t pay extra for. Instead, view your house as if you were a buyer. You’ll probably notice that you are drawn to the more statement items, such as any bifolding doors, modern fireplaces, or sleek bathroom units. The little things that you have been stressing about, such as wonky kitchen cupboard doors or knackered skirting boards potentially won’t even get noticed.
2. Weigh up all costs before fixing up your home
A smart seller will always weigh up the cost of any proposed improvements against the home’s market value, before getting stuck in. This is where research pays off, as such an improvement might not be warranted if an upgrade won’t return the investment. It might be that you’re desperate to decide to lift the roof and install skylights in the master suite, but then realise that kitchens and bathrooms carry the highest return when it comes to home improvements.
You might also want to take an afternoon off to tour other homes in the same town like yours, which will let you note the condition and amenities in these homes. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own abodes that we don’t step back and view the competition as we should be doing.
3. Create a list of everything that you see as a problem
You’ll possibly be wondering ‘where do I start?’ when it comes to assessing your home and making any improvements. Start by making a list of everything that’s defective, broken, or worn out. Potential buyers might wonder what else in the home has been neglected if they spot any obvious problems or malfunctioning systems when they take a tour of your home.
On your list, make sure you include everything that you come across, so you can categorise into ‘urgent’ ‘quite important’ and ‘not important’ lists. You’ll find you will come across minimum improvements that you might want to consider working on before selling your home – like patching up any holes and cracks in the walls and ceilings.
It may be that you have leaky taps or a temperamental boiler. A potential buyer won’t see this when they first view, but these are quite essential to have fixed before someone goes ahead and buys.
An example of some factors which would definitely sit under the ‘urgent’ list would be the replacement of any broken window glass, missing roof tiles or fence panels in the garden
Some aspects which would sit under ‘quite important’ could be changing any dated light fixtures or ceiling fans. These aren’t urgent at all, but the look of them could put people off if they appear across the house.
4. Consider the cosmetic touches
It’s a given that before the estate agent comes round to take photos of your house, cosmetic retouching should be carried out. Start by replacing any worn or stained carpeting. Repaint any marked or stained walls with neutral paint. Cream is always a good allrounder. If you have had makeshift curtains or window coverings, now is the time to get them changed.
Keep in mind that empty homes don’t show off the potential as well as furnished rooms, but old and weary furniture can have an impact on your home’s appeal. Consider upgrading your furniture if it’s in bad shape. You can always take it with you when you go!