Monday 27 May 2019
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The Top Ten Mistakes People Make When Selling Their House

Deciding to sell your home is a big decision. You may have lived in your current house for many years, and now are facing the daunting task of not only finding a new property but selling your existing one for the best price.

There are several common mistakes homeowners make when selling their property. Here is a list of our top ten. Avoiding these could help you sell your home faster, for more money, and speed up the conveyancing process.

Mistake # 1 – Not working with an experienced estate agent

Selling a home may look simple, but actually takes a lot of skill. From presenting the property in its most positive light to taking the best photographs, loading a description of the house onto reputable real estate sites to showing people around the house, a lot of time and energy needs to be invested. Use a proactive estate agent who will work with you to sell your home quickly.

Mistake # 2 – Failing to make cosmetic repairs before the house goes on the market

It is a given that you should fix structural issues such as a leaky roof before you sell, but don’t neglect the aesthetics. Chipped paintwork, damaged cupboards, stained carpets make a home look sloppy and could immediately put off potential buyers. Or, if they are interested, they may negotiate hard on price because they need to redecorate. If you do give your house a quick lick of paint before you put it on the market, don’t go with ‘fashion colours.’ Stick with light, neutral tones that brighten up rooms and will work with any furniture.

Mistake # 3 – Not tidying up/decluttering before the photos are taken

The first impression of your home typically comes from the photos uploaded to a website such as Rightmove. It may sound obvious, but it is not unknown for sellers to ‘forget’ to make the beds or tidy up the kitchen before the photos are taken. Throughout the selling process, your house will need to be kept fairly immaculate, with minimal clutter on display.

Mistake # 4 – Taking the photos of the property yourself

Unless you are an expert photographer, it is best to hire a professional to take photos of your property. They understand how to capture the best light and make your home appear spacious. Most estate agents are not professional photographers; therefore, it pays to invest a few hundred pounds to create the right first impression.

Mistake # 5– Neglecting your home’s ‘curb appeal’

The next impression potential buyers will have of your property will be when they do a ‘drive by.’ Many people do this before they commit to making an appointment to see the property in person. So ask yourself, “does my home look inviting from the road?”. Invest in some pot plants, hanging baskets, and freshen up any paint on the fence. Doing so could make a difference between a potential buyer taking the next step to view the property or passing on it.

Mistake # 6 – Selling an empty property

Trying to sell a vacant home, bereft of furniture is hard work. Furniture helps buyers picture how the house would look if they put their possessions in similar places. Stage each room to its maximum advantage, using cushions, photos, flowers, candles, and books to create a cosy, welcoming feeling.

Mistake # 7 – Putting too high an asking price on the property

You may think your property is priceless, especially if you have put a lot of work into it. However, you can only sell your home for the price the market will bear. Check Zoopla to see how much your house is valued at, or better still, engage a professional valuer to price your property. See how much similar houses in your area have sold for. If you ask for too much money, it will put buyers off. Remember, most people looking for a property have done their homework and will have a reasonable idea how much your property is worth.

Mistake # 8 – Not making a full disclosure about any defects

You need to be honest when selling your property. Potential buyers are likely to obtain a building/structural report, so any defects will be uncovered regardless. However, if you do not disclose what you know upfront, potential buyers could see you as dishonest and walk away from the deal.

Mistake # 9 – Leaving it on the market too long

Houses that have lingered on the market for more than six weeks can put buyers off. Make sure you time your sale right, don’t try and sell your house in August when people are away on holiday or December / January when they are just too busy with Christmas or too poor after the festive season to think about property searching.

Mistake # 10 – Not hiring an experienced conveyancing solicitor

If you want your house sale to progress as smoothly as possible, instruct an experienced conveyancing solicitor. They will deal promptly with any queries from the buyer’s solicitors and draw up a solid sale and purchase contract that protects your best interests.

By engaging the right professionals and following these few simple tips, you can increase the chances of your home selling swiftly and at the price you want to achieve.

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