Selling a House: Mistakes to avoid

Selling a House: Mistakes to avoid

Even in a buoyant market, selling a house quickly is never guaranteed.

Extra competition from more properties on the market can make your property stand out – and not always in a good way.

That could mean a long wait to sell, or even not selling at all.

But there are steps you can take, as well as mistakes to avoid when selling your home…


Tips for selling your property

There are decisions you can make and things you can do to help sell your house quickly.

Here are our seven top tips for selling your house…


1 Present your house for sale

Developers selling new-build properties almost always take potential buyers around a show home.

By presenting your home in a similar way, you can show buyers the potential of your property to meet their needs.

The key to presenting your house for sale is to use the space you have well.


So, consider taking the following steps:

  • If your main rooms are feeling cramped, remove items of furniture to create more space and showcase your property’s best features
  • But keep enough seating and storage on show to match your buyers’ needs
  • Hire in some modern furniture if yours has seen better days – it’s an expense, but could pay dividends if you sell quickly
  • Keep the property clean and tidy, paying special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms
  • Neutralise the décor with an off-white paint so your potential buyers can visualise their own tastes


2 Declutter your house for sale

One of the most off-putting things for buyers is having to move around a cluttered property when viewing it.

Even though some buyers can look past the clutter in front of them, it can make your property feel small and cramped.

Remove unnecessary items of furniture and only keep what you need, without making your home feel barren.

It’s a balancing act but look at your property through the eyes of a buyer, give them room to breathe and let them imagine how your home could work for them.


3 Choose the right estate agent

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when deciding to sell your property is the estate agent you choose.

It’s likely you’ll be tied in to a 12-week initial agreement with your estate agent, where only they can market your home.

So, if you choose the wrong one, that could be three months of valuable selling time wasted.


Your chosen estate agent should:

  • Have a proven track record of selling properties like yours in your area and know the current market conditions where you live
  • Market your property on all the main online platforms, communicate with potential buyers through digital and social media, as well as using more traditional methods like window displays
  • Have a strong list of potential buyers looking for properties like yours in your area
  • Provide a realistic valuation of your home based on current market conditions.


4 Get your asking price right

Setting your asking price at a figure that enables you to take your next step on the property ladder while also attracting good potential buyers can be tricky.

Your estate agent should have good knowledge of the local market conditions and should be able to help you find that perfect asking price figure.

If you need to move quickly and you’re more concerned with that than achieving the top valuation, you could consider a slightly lower asking price to attract eager buyers.

But equally, if securing the highest possible price is key for you, you may have to accept a slightly slower sales process.

While it’s always tempting to go for the agent providing the highest valuation, you should always consider that valuations above the current market level may mean fewer viewings, longer sales processes and sometimes not selling at all.


5 Nail your property’s kerb appeal

The first thing potential buyers will see on their viewing is the outside of your property.

And if it’s lacking appeal, that can be a bad start – even if the inside of your home is much more attractive.

Create some excitement for your buyers when they approach your property by making it stand out.

Tidy up pathways and drives with a jet washer, paint fences, spruce up gardens and wash down windows.

Showing that your property is cared-for and loved will make a solid first impression with any buyer.


6 Use each room as intended

If you’re using a spare bedroom as an office, or you’ve got paperwork and general clutter stacked to the ceiling in what should be your dining room, your buyers won’t be able to see the best of your property.

Show off each room in your home in the way each one was intended to be used.

So, turn that spare bedroom back into a bedroom by making sure it has a bed, a wardrobe and drawers and put a dining table and chairs in your dining room to show off the space.


7 Choose the right buyer

By getting your property in the best possible shape for sale and ensuring you have the right estate agent, you could be lucky enough to have multiple interested buyers.

Although that’s a great situation to be in, you should consider carefully which buyer works best for your needs.

For instance, you might have a first-time buyer or one with no property to sell, who can move quickly.

And you might also have a buyer in a longer chain, but who is offering more money for your home.

While the easy decision would be to go with the higher offer, you may be taking on more risk as long sales chains can sometimes collapse or take more time to complete.

Think about what each buyer brings to the table and make the decision that works best for your needs.


Further reading…

If you’re thinking of selling your home and buying something new, you’re probably asking yourself if now is the right time to buy.

Take a look at our piece examining the current market conditions, which could help you make your decision.