This may be a slow property market, especially when you urgently need to sell your property to move overseas, but you can still get a good price if you follow these tips from property professionals…
It’s a funny housing market at present. London and the south seem to be slowing down whilst other parts of the country, such as the West Midlands and northern England, are flourishing.
But whatever your location, if you are moving overseas or need to sell quickly for any other reason, it can be very frustrating when you’re not getting the offer you want.
However, don’t panic: we’ve asked property professionals to share their industry insider tips that can help you greatly improve the desirability and value of your home.
Put these into action and you can significantly increase the chance of eager buyers giving you the offer you need for a swift sale.
Don’t rush to put your property on the market
You may be in a hurry to sell but don’t make the mistake of rushing to put your house on the market before it is ready. Take some time to implement these tips and get your home in prime condition to impress would-be buyers.
When a property is first put on the market it tends to attract a flurry of initial interest, so you want to make sure that you are in a position to take advantage of this. The short delay and extra effort will really be worthwhile.
Maximising your property’s value – without breaking the bank
When you consider adding value to a property, you likely think of extensions, grand features and expensive interior design; but realistically, you probably won’t have the time, money or energy required to implement these in the short turnaround time you have before you leave.
Those working in the property field know that there’s lots of ‘finishing touches’ you can carry out to your home to make it appear much more desirable and valuable – and it’s often these tricks you see in property developer’s show homes.
Add value to your home with these quick home hacks
Clean up and add critical finishing touches
We know that beauty isn’t skin deep, but it definitely helps for a home to look as attractive as possible when buyers and surveyors are in attendance. Shampooing carpets, deep cleaning surfaces and changing door handles and cupboard knobs to a consistent, fresh style can all really help ‘scrub up’ the place without making a large investment.
Making coffee and fresh baked bread may be outdated but it’s certainly worth opening your windows to let fresh air in before your would-be buyers arrive.
Make sure outside areas look neat
This applies to the outside of your home as well as in, so oil any squeaky gates, give fences a quick lick of paint and have a freshly mowed lawn ready for visitors. It’s said that nine-out-of-ten buyers make their minds up within just five minutes of arriving at a property; so having the driveway and front garden tidy and well-tended to is really common sense.
In particular, touch up any bits of peeling paint and cover up any cosmetic damage – you don’t want potential buyers arriving or leaving and considering there is ‘work to be done’ on the place. If you live in a block of flats, the same rule applies to communal hallways and lifts; keep them neat. Keep all windows clean, too!
Declutter your belongings
Your international relocation makes for the perfect excuse to declutter your home (and life) anyhow, but doing so before potential buyers visit can really give a good impression.
You’ve no doubt heard this basic advice many times, but it is still surprising how few people fully follow it. If you wish to make a better impression and get a quick sale, then it’s essential you implement this whole heartedly.
Clear out storage spaces, donate any unwanted clothes or household items and try and implement a minimalist look rather than busy, cluttered interiors.
The less pieces on display the better, as it’ll make your space look bigger as well as neater. It allows buyers to really visualise their own furniture and belongings in the property, and to make grand plans to add to it.
You are going to need to be ruthless once you start packing for your move so you might as well get a head start and begin deciding what you want to keep now.
Redecorate to freshen up your interiors
Some Estate Agents will tell you not to bother redecorating as the new buyer will want to stamp their personality onto their new home. This may be true, but if you’re serious about selling quickly and getting a good price, then you will want to make it as easy as possible for them to be impressed.
Replacing peeling wallpaperor worn carpets and giving the woodwork a fresh coat of paint, will give prospective buyers a great first impression and the comfort they can move straight in and redecorate at their leisure.
If you choose neutral colours you’ll also give them the perfect blank canvas so they can imagine the home the way they would like it to be.
It needn’t cost much but strategic redecorating can go a long way towards helping you achieve your asking price.
Use light to your advantage
Whilst you’re focused on improving the appearance of your space, don’t underestimate the power of lighting. Use natural light to your advantage (through those spick and span windows) and for evening or night time viewings, consider the use of lamps and candles rather than a bright ceiling bulb to give a homely, cosy feel.
Yes, simply rearranging furniture can give the impression of more space and highlight different living areas.
You may have got so used to how things are that it may be worth getting a second opinion on how things can look.
Try rearranging beds, moving the TV and living room sofa,s and seeing what a difference it makes to the size and flow of your rooms.
Improve the environment around your home
In addition to looking at the curb appeal of your home, it’s worth considering if there is anything you can do to improve first impressions in your road. It could be as simple as picking up litter, planting a few flowers in the verge, trimming bushes or tidying up communal areas.
These little touches can help give you the edge. You may even consider enrolling your neighbours and local community into making a joint effort to improve the local environment.
The big property projects that honestly add value
Should you be lucky enough to have some time to get your house and business all in order before you leave on your new adventure, there are some bigger projects that you can consider. These may cost more but, if done correctly, they can significantly add to the value of your home and provide more funds to invest in your new life overseas.
Buy a new boiler and increase energy efficiency
Installing a new boiler may seem a very big job for a house you’re about to leave, but if your existing one is anywhere near the end of its life, replacing it will pay off. Studies have shown that upgrading boilers and central heating systems can be the highest return on investment when you are selling your home.
If you can, include spend projections to demonstrate to buyers how much they’ll save with the new system. A new boiler installed up to the highest safety standards really can generate a good return. Working alongside this, achieving better energy efficiency rankings is always more attractive to buyers.
In older properties that are difficult to heat, you may wish to consider additional insulation, or double glazing: but do get an independent opinion before getting to work. If all else fails, be sure to take simple measure such as changing your light bulbs to more eco-friendly LED versions to help increase your energy rating (even if just incrementally).
Renovate key rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom
It’s not really the time to install a whole bathroom or kitchen (unless yours really can’t be cleaned enough to make it look vaguely presentable), but renovating rather than replacing can add value to these rooms without having to make heavy investment.
Even if buyers do intend to install whole new rooms later on, they’ll be able to work with what you have for a while; allowing them to save more of their budget and to spend as they need to on all the additional costs of moving that inevitably crop up.
Reimagine space to create new rooms
If you find your property is ranked as smaller in the area because of fewer bedrooms, consider re-envisaging the space at hand. Would it be worth converting a loft or garage?
If space allows, adding an en-suite bathroom or downstairs toilet could be an investment that greatly increases the saleability of your house.
But seek advice before you do anything drastic to ensure the return on any work you do will outweigh the cost and time involved.
Selling your house quickly and efficiently
We all know that selling a home takes time, but there are some ways of cutting back on the sales process schedule to hit handing over your keys quicker.
Choose a good Estate Agent
Choosing the right Estate Agent can make a big difference to all stages of the sale so don’t just jump for the one offering the lowest commission.
Check out their reviews, see what their track record is not only in your precise area but for your type of property, and question them carefully on their proposed strategy for selling your home. In addition to getting the initial offer, you want an Estate Agent that can help ensure that the sales process goes smoothly.
A good estate agent can be worth their weight in gold, so if you want to sell really fast, you may need to think about going with someone that charges a little more than the standard rates in your area.
Get ready for the weekend – list on a Thursday or Friday
Don’t list your house on a Monday, ready for the week ahead. In a crowded marketplace, it will quickly fall down the search rankings – and buyers often don’t plan their weekend viewing schedule until Friday, for fear of finding properties that have already gone. A good agent should know this, though, and won’t advertise too early in the week.
Choose the right buyer
It’s all very well getting a nice offer but how quickly can they complete the sale? You’ll want to check carefully that they have an offer, have their finance in place, how long the chain is and how keen they are to move quickly.
It can be a good idea to trust your intuition and keep the option open for backup offers in case the sale stalls or falls through.
Stay firm and set deadlines
Your solicitor is also key to ensuring the sales goes efficiently. Be extremely clear that you have a deadline for the sale and ensure they work closely with your and your buyer’s Estate Agents to keep things moving.
Ensure all documentation is present and correct
Finally, make sure that all of your paperwork is in order. Your agent and solicitor should be able to give you a good idea of what you’ll need to supply and when, so have it all prepared and ready to go in advance.
Also think about what awkward issues the buyer’s solicitor may question, such as building control certificates, rights of way etc. These issues can add lengthy delays to the sale process so you’ll want to minimise these as much as possible.
Don’t rest on your laurels: keep chasing all involved parties
Finally, don’t lay all of your trust in others. It is not that solicitors, agents and buyers are dishonest, but rather that they all have a lot on and some things can be easily overlooked. Chasing every couple of days, or daily if you’re after a really fast turnaround, can keep them on their toes and ensure no needless delays happen by accident.
Sell early and put your belongings in storage
Once you are certain of your move overseas, e.g. your visas are approved, it can be a good idea to put your house on the market as soon as you can (but not before you’ve implemented the above tips!).
It can be easier to delay moving out or to put your belongings into storage rather than risk delaying the start to your new life overseas.
Don’t forget international shipping times can be anything from 6 to 12 weeks so the sooner you ship the less time you’ll spend waiting for your belongings to arrive.
Call in the international removal experts!
Take all of the relevant advice above into consideration when selling your home for a move overseas. The little tips and tricks above are an excellent way to make your move as easy and financially beneficial as possible.
Even though the sale of your home may be a deciding factor on making your relocation a reality, don’t let this cause you to forget about other matters that need attending to. Remember to start organising how and what you will be taking with you. Starting early is the key to a successful and effortless move.
Of course, here at PSS International Removals, we know a thing or two about long-haul relocations and our expert team are always on hand to offer advice and make recommendations.
We also have specialist international removal teams ready to spring into action across the country, so keep us updated with your moving plans and we’ll do our best to ensure the removal part of your relocation is fast and efficient.
Contact our team as early as possible for a quote and we also can help you decide what to take and what to leave behind, as well as offer you various options to suit a range of circumstances. There’s no need to find the move daunting when you call in the specialists, so leave the hassle behind and instead look forward to your new life in a new country!