Date Published 02 April 2012
The National Association of Estate Agents is advising sellers on practical ways to maximise interest in their property, as wider economic constraints continue to impact on activity in the UK housing market.
According to the NAEA, the lack of available finance among house-hunters is resulting in less movement in the market. The organisation is therefore encouraging sellers to do as much as they can to attract potential buyers to their property to demonstrate it is a good purchase.
President Wendy Evans Scott said: "Although the housing market is struggling at the moment, there are people out there who want, or need, to sell their home. "Sensible pricing is an absolute must to ensure a quick sale, but there are plenty of other small and inexpensive changes owners could make to their property, to help it stand out for all the right reasons."
To help sellers make their homes noticeable in what is proving a tough market, the NAEA recommends the following:
* Street appeal - The way the property is presented is critical. This means concentrating as much on the external aspects of the house such as the front garden, driveway and external facade, as you would on internal spaces. First impressions can often influence a house-hunter's decision even before they have entered the property. At the very least, gardens should be tidy, the approach should look welcoming, and overall the outside should be well-looked after;
* Take a buyer perspective - Disassociating yourself from the property can really help you to view it as a product to be sold, rather than your own personal space. Think practically about what personal items to display during viewings so that the home seems lived-in but not cluttered. Consider placing unnecessary personal items in storage to help the buyer more easily envisage themselves living there
* Ensure neutral decor and plenty of light - If necessary, re-paint key rooms like the lounge, giving neutral decor to appeal to as many people as possible. Light decor can also help the property seem spacious, while opening curtains and blinds will maximise the amount of natural light. If you have a viewing in the evening, think carefully about how best to light each room, while natural light is a good thing, too much artificial lighting can seem stark
* Repair and revitalise - Applying a coat of paint to worn walls, re-grouting bathroom surfaces and replacing any broken fixtures can really help to perk up a property. Taking the time to ensure things like door bells and light bulbs function as they should, will show the property is worth caring about
* Get a professional valuation - Deciding on the right local estate agent to market your property and ensure your home is realistically priced is vital and choosing a licensed NAEA member will mean you are protected against unethical practice.