Sometimes it’s difficult for people selling their homes to understand what value they hold. We all love our homes - despite perhaps feeling that it may be time to move on - and because of that attachment it can be a challenge to see beyond the sentiment and realise its true worth.
Not to mention, estate agents from different companies can provide various valuations that only confuse you further. That’s why we’re on hand with some top tips to help you put yourself in the buyers’ shoes.
Compare the market
There are plenty of free and easy online tools to help you discover just how much your home may be worth. Tools like Zoopla Estimate, have a rich set of data available that can help you achieve a more accurate valuation, analysing factors like sales history, location, transport links and average monthly expenses.
Alternatively, you can hop online and visit the various housing agents’ websites - type in your postcode and hit search. You’ll find homes for sale in your local area, all of which will have been valued based on the factors above.
When looking online, use the filters available to tailor the search more closely to your property, so that you only get houses of a similar style, size and location.
When searching for similar homes on the market, it is also worth considering how you may have invested in the house during your period of ownership. Things like adding an extension, loft conversions, fitting a new kitchen or bathroom and investing in solar panels, to make the property more energy-efficient, will all add value. These factors will also give your house the edge over your neighbours.
There are other ways you can add value to the house before you leave though, and they don’t all involve breaking the bank. One method is to create a blank canvas. While we don’t suggest you put your furniture and accessories in storage just yet, simply giving certain rooms a fresh lick of white or cream paint will help catch the buyers’ eye. This will make your home feel like new, and also give househunters the freedom to imagine what the house could look like with their own furnishings in place.
Neutral tones over clashing patterns or vibrant feature walls also means there is less for the new homeowners to do when they move in. They can start afresh, putting their own finishing touches to it straight away.
Next, it’s time to turn to the outdoors. Having access to outdoor space has become even more important over recent months, so make sure you utilise it well by keeping on top of its maintenance as this is now a make-or-break factor for the buyer. The more potential a househunter can see in the garden, the better.
Giving the grass a trim and the hedges a cut can make the overall property more appealing. You’ll be surprised at the difference cutting your hedge makes - not only will you get more sunshine, you’ll also find that it makes the space look much bigger than before. And bonus points if you have a paved or decked area ready-made for dining outside.
Curb side appeal
The well-known saying ‘first impressions count’ is very much applied here. That’s why, if you are looking to get your property valued by an estate agent, it’s a good idea to check a few maintenance things off your list to avoid any pitfalls when it comes to its valuation and any prospective viewings that may come from it.
Firstly, start with the front garden and pathway that lead to the door. If you have a walkway paved in front of your door, check for any grass, weeds or moss growing in between the slabs. Scrape these away from the gaps and replace with builders sand to avoid them reappearing. Not only do these look unsightly, they could also cause the slabs to crack giving the future homeowner a headache.
Don’t forget to also remove any large objects you might have in front of your windows or on your windowsills. Large objects such as TVs will block out natural light, making the house appear darker than it is, so take care to move these to a new, temporary spot while viewings take place.
Lastly, use a pair of ladders to clean out the guttering from above the door. A build-up of wet leaves, moss and old rain water can create an off-putting smell and eventually leave the guttering blocked up leading to overspills - all of which the new homeowner will be left to deal with.
If you have any tips from your own selling journey, share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter channels.