Selling property is not always easy. Suddenly we went into lockdown because of Covid 19 and the property sales market went into a nosedive. We came out of lockdown with glorious weather and all of a sudden a suppressed demand for different properties and gardens led to a spike in viewings and sales.
But not every seller is fortunate enough to be blessed with outside space similar to Buckingham Palace. Also viewings of properties going forward into the winter months are not going to be sunny days where your property may appear to resemble a Malibu villa. Indeed the sales market invariably slows down in the winter months anyway.
So it is widely believed that this property surge is not going to last. Coupled with this is the prospect t that the increasing Covid-19 numbers may lead to a partial or second lockdown. So the question is, what can sellers do to gain a competitive edge to help them sell their properties quickly.
Feel free to jump straight to the section that most interests you.
Having the house nice and clean for viewings has always been important, but never more so than now. Suddenly cleanliness is near to or top of the agenda as to whether buyers want to spend time inside properties, or to swiftly exit. Indeed I once had the experience of viewing a house and had the misfortune of treading in a big pile of dog’s poo on the kitchen floor. Needless to say, I skedaddled out as fast as I could.
I would recommended getting down and dirty to ensure every room is sparkling clean, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. If you do not have the inclination or the time, but do have the funds, think about employing a cleaner to come in.
During these Covid times, we are even more conscious of the flow of fresh air, so do ensure that the windows are open before and during viewings, without of course leaving the house feeling like an arctic snow palace.
Certainly any bad odours are going to put off buyers and often we can become immune to them in our own homes. So a pleasant fresh aroma is always going to help to sell property quickly. I have come across the old tricks of people brewing coffee or baking bread to create enticing smells, but it always makes me feel like the seller is trying too hard so must be struggling to sell. Fresh flowers always come across well and also give a good look to certain rooms.
Virtual viewings have become all the rage during Covid-19 and I suspect will continue to do so. Just in case we do go into another lockdown, it is worth engaging an estate agent who can arrange these, so at least people could still view your property online if stuck at home.
Having virtual viewings also cuts down on the number of wasted viewings of those people that would have never bought your property in the first place, especially if you are cleaning the house before every viewing.
This is especially important if your property is not large, as you want to have your place looking as spacious as possible. Buyers need to be able to imagine what the property will look like with all their stuff. Also more space, means more space between people and this may appeal to buyer’s current increased desire to socially distance.
If you are not intending on taking some bulky furniture with you, consider getting rid of it, selling it, giving it away or taking it to the dump.
If you have a lot of stuff with nowhere for it to go, you may even want to think about renting a storage unit and storing anything you may not need for the time being.
Viewers often look in cupboards, so try to resist the temptation of squeezing a mountain of stuff into one, ready to cascade down onto any unsuspecting poor soul as they open the door. Sometimes crammed cupboards can be counterproductive, as can leave buyers thinking storage is limited.
One final tip, is do not overdo the decluttering, as if you remove all personality from the house, properties can then appear sterile and unappealing.
Previously gardens were something the estate agent briefly pointed out and to which viewers may have given a cursory look, sometimes even from the inside of the property. Those days have gone and some say gardens are more important than kitchens or bathrooms nowadays.
Therefore make sure your garden is looking its best. And as with a cleaner, if you cannot be bothered to do it yourself maybe think about engaging a gardener to come at least once to do a big spruce up before the first round of viewings (or preferably before the agents takes the marketing photos). Anything that is surplus to requirements in the garden, like that child’s large space hopper, store it away or get rid.
The difference a lick of paint can make to a property cannot be overstated. I have advertised properties in the past, had endless viewings and got nowhere. I have then quickly painted the rooms most in need (and certainly not to a standard Michelangelo would be proud of) and the places have then gone on the next viewings. Not only do decorated rooms look so much better, they smell better and just feel better. Fresh looking properties trump stale looking places even more so during these Covid times.
Many buyers have made their minds up before they walk through the front door. So make sure your property has kerb appeal.
Tidy the front of your house up. Plants and flowers always look good. Paint the front door if needed. Don’t discount paying a decorator to paint the whole front façade if it needs it. I once got a decorator to paint the front of a grim looking house for just a few hundred pounds (with just a ladder). The difference in kerb appeal afterwards was seismic.
During lockdown, people started to revaluate their lives and their properties. Buyers are now choosing properties for a certain quality of life, so ensure your property matches their possible vision. If you are selling a property in the countryside, having it look like a modern bachelor pad in Soho is probably not going to work. Make a countryside place look even more countrified and cosy with some carefully placed props e.g. a Barbour jacket hanging in sight. Put in front of the viewers the sort of things that symbolise the lifestyle that they may be looking to have.
Staging with props has worked for many property, interior and furniture companies over the years, so why not try it yourself. Sure we can all sense what is going on when we see staging, but it still seems to work nonetheless.
Think about your lights. If any bulbs have gone, do replace them (in case viewers think you have electricity problems). Choose the type of bulbs that best suit the impression you are trying to give off e.g. low wattage for the cosy country look, lots of light for the modern look.
If viewers are coming in the evening, make sure all the lights are on as they approach, rather than having the agents turn them on as they enter each room. The difference to approaching a dark house to one that is well lit in the evening is amazing. Nice houses suddenly appear spectacular with this old trick.
Overall during Covid-19, people are spending more time in their properties, so buyers will no doubt seek higher standards than before Covid-19.
If the property is not selling, consider changing agents (although check first that there is no cost to this). A new agent may be more enthusiastic, have different photos and generally freshen up the process. Indeed, a new agent’s advert on sales portals may even make the property appear to have just come onto the market (if the previous agent’s advert is removed). Also as above, an agent which can do virtual viewings online will be helpful during this Covid period and beyond.
If you want to get a guaranteed sale really super fast, you can also consider using the services of a quick buying company such as Quick Property Buyer. We will pay cash for any property. So do get in touch with us for a no obligation cash offer.