Property: Securing a spring sale

Spring puts a spring in the housing market

Spring puts a spring in the housing market - Credit: Archant

With the arrival of spring, the housing market also tends to wake from a winter slumber. Su Snaith, head of estate agency at Harrison Murray, gives her eight-point plan for making the most of the seasonal surge

Having seen the back of winter, finally put clocks forward, enjoyed the Easter break and looking towards the General Election, sellers may wish to up the ante and make theirs the property of choice among buyers.

Before jumping in, there are some tried and tested do’s and don’ts that will significantly increase the chances of a quick sale.

1. In the first instance, choose your agent wisely. Talk to friends, scour magazines and newspapers, get recommendations and visit agents to gain a feel for their professionalism and style. If possible, choose an agent which, like Harrison Murray, is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents.

2. Don’t necessarily choose the agent which suggests the highest value for your home, or one that offers the cheapest fee. If the fee is so cheap, is the agent really interested in getting you the best price?

3. Put yourself in a buyer’s position. The memories that make your home valuable to you aren’t going to be shared by potential buyers – they will probably be thinking at the first viewing about what they will change about the house.

4. Get out and view properties for sale yourself. Unless you know how much your next home will cost, how can you decide what to accept for your own?

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5. Be realistic about your pricing. Think about the figure you are prepared to accept. Knowing this at the outset will help you price your home competitively and also make negotiations with buyers more straightforward. Don’t dismiss low offers without thinking them through; a swift sale may save you money in the long run.

6. First impressions count. Look at 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 the front door. If you have a front garden, make sure it is well maintained.

7. The inside of your home should be as free from clutter as possible, and having a general tidy up will help in preparation for moving. 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 could be these small things that make the difference between a sale and them walking away.

8. Getting a property sold is a team effort between the agent and the seller, so owners who show they’re sensible and keen to sell will always be at the forefront of an agent’s mind.

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