The Property Axis Guide to Selling your Property

By: Karen Wheller

The first task you need to do when selling your home, is to try and not get emotional about the property and approach the whole exercise in a business-like manner. This means treating the property as a product and asking yourself:

* Why would the buyer want to purchase my property.
* What are the best features of the property?
* What would put someone off from purchasing this property. For example:
o Does it look scruffy?
o Is the interior decor too individualistic?
o Does it look too personal?

It is possible that you would have seen some of the television programs where homeowners, struggling to sell their property, are assisted by an interior designer or property advisor. Nearly every time, the reasons that seller cannot sell their property are:

* There is too much clutter and furniture
* The house looks messy with poor decor, fixtures and fittings
* The interior decor is often loud or considered bland by most people
* The gardens are messy or just poorly maintained

Most people do not even realise that these problems are putting off buyers. They cannot understand buyers viewing their property do not like the garish bright green wallpaper or the fake oak panels.

The subjects on these programs are often extreme cases, but it helps to demonstrate the key issues as to what makes a property sell. Buyers like to see properties that appear fresh and spacious. That way they can begin to draw a mental picture their own furniture in the property and are one step closer to actually living there themselves.

This is why the property should be as anonymous and neutral as possible. If the property is too personalised the buyer will only see the current occupant living there and not themselves.

Creating an Appearance of Space

It is important to ensure that the home looks as open as possible and the first thing to do is de-clutter all rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, lounge and the kitchen. Make certain that you also go through cupboards and organize these.

Some rooms may have too much furniture in them. Removing a few items will help to create the appearance of space.

Sprucing the Interior

Unless you have recently renovated your home, it is probable that it will have become worn over time. Here are some of the areas to look at:

* Walls and ceilings - A fresh lick of paint will lift the rooms and impress customers. Try to be as neutral as possible.
* Carpets and curtains - If relatively new, just have them professionally cleaned. If they are worn you may want to replace them. It will probably pay to fit good quality carpets. Their price is easily reflected in your asking price.
* Broken tiles - If you have tiled floors, always ensure that broken tiles are changed * Kitchen and bathrooms - Many people tend to make their decisions based on the state of the kitchen and bathroom. Kitchens in particular are a major selling point. In some situations you might consider modernizing both the kitchen and bathrooms.
* Cracked or broken windows - These should all be fixed. Make certian and all windows have been cleaned.
* Plumbing and electric's - Check that all plumbing and electrical systems are working

Sprucing up the Exterior

First impressions count, so it is important to ensure the exterior of your property makes the right impression. The following areas should be addressed:

* Walls, doors, fascia boards and windows should all be painted where necessary
* Leaking roofs and broken drain pipes should also be fixed
* Make certain the garden is clean and tidy, take away children's swings and slides and any other objects to create a feeling of space
* Make certain the front door is freshly painted, door knobs and knockers are well polished.
* Make certain that you buy a new door mat

Setting your Price

It is best to wait until you have completed the work on your house before you invite estate agents around to give you a valuation. It is likely that you will invite a few agencies around and then select the agency that you feel is best able to represent your home.

Some people appoint the agent who gives the highest price. This would seem to be the obvious choice. However, you should be careful, as many agents are known to inflate a properties worth, in order to win your business.

In this situation, your home will sit on their database for a few weeks before they indicate to reduce the price to a more appropriate market value. During this time, you could have missed a number of possible chances to sell. All because your price was too high.

This does not mean you should always decline the agent with the highest price. Try to look at it logically, if a handful of agents estimate similar prices and one agent is quoting considerably more, then it is probable that the agent with the highest price is trying to win your business, instead of providing a correct representation for your home.

Showing Your Home to Buyers

When people are viewing your home, remember:

* Try not to be home - most buyers prefer the agent to present a home and feel uncomfortable if the owner is around.
* Lighting - People like to see well-lit homes, so ensure the curtains and blinds are always fully open and that dark corners are well lit with a table lamp.
* Smells and odors - Try to keep pets outside and if you are a smoker, try to smoke outdoors whilst you are selling your home. Many people find the smell of air fresheners. If you can, just lightly use pot pourri or place fresh flowers around the house. It also helps to heat a stick of Cinnamon in the oven.
* Clean the kitchen - Remember the kitchen is one of the key factors in most peoples purchasing decision, so make sure it is clean and clutter free.
* General tidy up - Ensure that you give the entire home a overall tidy up before customers arrive.

Conclusion
In summary, when selling, you should always try and look at your home from a potential buyers point-of-view. If you think you may be put off by something as a buyer, then there's a very good chance that your potential buyers will be put off by it too.

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