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A Guide to Selling Your Home

Adding a Sense of Space

No matter how big your home, it’s important to maximise the rooms to create a sense of space, especially if you are trying to sell your property.


Here are some tips to make any home feel more spacious.

Mirrors are a great way of making your home feel more spacious. In small areas large mirrors can be used to make the room look longer or wider. They are especially useful in hallways where they can be used to manipulate the perception of space by reflecting light and colour.

Be careful to choose the right furniture, for example having too big a dining table in your dinning room can make the area shrink. To maximize space, put up roman blinds rather than curtains, and plan your storage carefully so that clutter is out of sight. This is especially important in the bedroom, because the less clutter you see, the more relaxing the room will be. It’s a good idea to use neutral colours on the walls and the same flooring in downstairs spaces to give the impression of space flowing from one room to another. Bright shades of carpet or distracting patterns are to be avoided.

If you follow all of these ideas then you are sure to achieve the maximum use of space in your home, and in turn attain the highest possible price for it.

Presenting Your Garden

Gardens are too often forgotten in the race to make the most of a property, but their condition can sometimes be the deciding factor on value.


It’s a common-held belief that the decision on whether or not to buy a property is made within the first few moments of viewing it. The state of the front garden is therefore a prime consideration for anyone choosing to sell their home.

Drive-by desirability is all important as first impressions really do count.

Make sure your front garden is neat, tidy and easily maintained. Hanging baskets and flower troughs establish the cared-for look without creating too much work. Any lawn areas should be neatly trimmed, and trees cut back and controlled. A well-presented front door, with pots alongside it, goes a long way towards generating a sense of welcome.

The back of the house is arguably even more important than the front, as this is where the most work is likely to lie. Today’s busy lifestyle means the majority of people don’t have much time to spend on gardening, so creating some low maintenance areas is invaluable. Decking, paving and woodchips can be used to differentiate areas of the garden and simplify them, often generating a very desirable ‘outside room’ space, which will be attractive to buyers.

Smaller and larger gardens alike will also benefit from the definition of specific areas for herbs, flowers and vegetables. Those with larger gardens should try to create a sense of flow within the space, which draws the visitor in and avoids the garden area being perceived as an undefined ‘patch’ of land. This can be done using well positioned pathways, lawns, pots and flowerbeds.

Any trees and hedges should be kept under control and fences maintained. If there is space, you could consider installing a summer house and a shed. Improving your home in this way is a relatively inexpensive and often enjoyable method of boosting the value of your house, which will make it more attractive when the time comes to sell. It can also enhance the general streetscape and consequently the perception of the area as a desirable place to live.

This will raise house prices all round, thereby keeping both you and the whole neighbourhood happy!

Maximise Your Kitchen

A welcoming kitchen is one of the biggest attractions for potential house buyers. Whether you have a comfortable family oriented meeting place or a stylish singletons galley, the kitchen is most often the heart of the home. Regardless of your budget, there are a number of simple ways you can maximise its attraction to buyers and speed up the sale of your house.


Replacing your entire kitchen to attract buyers is not always necessary. Often the cost of installing a new kitchen outweighs the value it will add to your asking price

Like all home decor the kitchen will still be subject to personal taste, so if it does not appeal to your buyers they will refit it upon moving in anyway.

If your kitchen is very dated, simple changes can make all the difference. Painting the cupboard doors, replacing handles or taps and re-grouting the tiles can all give a new lease of life.

Clean and de-clutter! Viewers may even look in your cupboards so ensure shelves are cleaned and all contents are organised. Any pet bowls should go outside as potential buyers may not be animal lovers so could be put off by the sight of half eaten pet food. If necessary, box up items you don’t use very often and put them in storage. If your cupboards and drawers are overflowing, buyers will assume there is little storage space, which can be off-putting. Keep work surfaces as clear as possible to enhance the appearance of cleanliness.

Flowers or pot pours on window sills create a welcoming atmosphere and add a fresh fragrance. Using these simple but effective ideas will ensure your kitchen looks appealing and entices potential buyers into a prompt decision.

Kerb Appeal

Selling your home can be a competitive business, where first impressions certainly count. In light summer evenings, having good ‘kerb appeal’ will be vital as potential buyers will scope out the area, and make firm judgements on your property.


Here are the best ways to maximise your chances of getting potential buyers through the door:
It is vital that your property looks presentable on the outside, as this will be the first thing your viewer will notice. It’s common sense; take a step back and try to be objective. Put yourself in the buyers shoes and think about will appeal to them. Try to do all the overdue maintenance jobs where possible. Is the garden gate falling off? Is the paintwork flaking on the windows? Could the front door do with a lick of paint? Improving all the small things will contribute to the larger picture. If your property has a front garden make sure the lawn is mowed, foliage is cut back and the area is devoid of any rubbish or clutter. Keep the path clear and remove any dead hanging baskets. Children’s toys should be put away and if possible bins should be stored away.

Getting a Quick Sale

If you are looking to sell your property quickly there are several things you can do to increase your chances.


By realistically pricing your property you will significantly increase your chances of a quick sale. Your agent will be the best person to guide you on this. Don’t dismiss any low offers without thinking them through; a swift sale may save you money in the long run.

First impressions count. Think about the way your house is presented both inside and out. A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference. Tidy the front of your house and clean your front door. If you have a front garden make sure it is well maintained. The inside of your house should be as free from clutter as possible. Have a good clear out, this will help in preparation for moving. The kitchen is always a key selling point so ensure it is clean and that all dishes are washed and put away. Do all the small jobs you haven’t got around to, such as changing that light bulb and fixing that squeaky door. If a potential buyer is undecided about your property, it is these small things that could be the difference between a sale or them walking away. You could consider selling your house through auction. If this is a viable option choose your auctioneer with care, as you will be giving them the sole signing authority for the sale. Also be sure to understand the cost implications if your property fails to sell at the auction.

Closing the Deal

Selling your property can be a complicated process, especially if it is your first time. There are a few things you should bear in mind.


Before accepting any offer, take into account your potential buyers situation. If they are homeowners, it is important to ask if they have actually sold their property or whether it is on the market. Inquire if they have a mortgage in principal agreed and find out if they are part of a chain. Establish when they would want to complete. If the offer is lower than you were hoping for but they can exchange quickly consider the benefits of a quick sale. Ask your agent to negotiate on your behalf as they will be experienced at this, and may be able to get the buyer to increase the offer.

Once you have accepted an offer and a price has been agreed you will need to swap details of the solicitors acting on your behalf in order for the conveyancing process to begin. Conveyance is the legal term used for the practice of property ownership transfers. Your solicitor will charge you for this, usually around 0.5% of the house sale. It is advisable to get a few quotes in order to obtain a competitive price. You should also check how much you will be charged should the sale fall through. At this stage you should also take your property off the market, you may be asked to enter into a Lock-out agreement which will prevent you from showing your house to any other interested parties.

The buyer is likely to instruct a survey, if this highlights any problems the buyer may wish to offer a lower price or pull out of the deal all together. Before you enter into renegotiating the price ask to see a copy of the survey. When it comes to exchanging contracts, ensure you have read the contract thoroughly and understand what fixtures and fittings the buyer is expecting you to leave. Also note the completion day and be sure you are happy with the timescale.

Selling Safely

Showing your home is a vital element of the selling process.


Inviting so many strangers into your home could place you in a vulnerable position. You must ensure your personal safety whilst selling your home.

Be sure to obtain all of the viewer’s details from the agent when arranging times and dates. Check you have the right name and contact details of each viewer, and ask the viewer to confirm all the details to you upon their arrival. If you are going to be alone in the house, it is probably a good idea to ask a friend or a neighbour to accompany you whilst you show your home. Be friendly whilst conducting the viewings but don’t be lured into giving away too much personal information. Be cautious of conversations that inform people of your movements, for example holiday plans and work schedules, anything that informs the viewer of when the property is likely to be empty.

You might prefer for your agent to conduct the viewing on your behalf, make sure that the agent has accurate information regarding alarm codes and locations. Also check that the alarm location is not referred to in any of the sales literature about your property. If you do decide to leave keys with your agent it is a good idea to ask for a receipt and ensure that they will inform you of any viewings they will be conducting.

Using a sale board is a great way of marketing your property. However from time to time this does encourage people driving past to knock on the door and ask to view. If this happens refer them to your agent and arrange a time that suits you and that you are comfortable with.