Common pitfalls to avoid when selling your home

With the new year well under way many of us will be looking to make a fresh start. From making a commitment to improve our health or seeking out a new career path, January gives us the motivation to make some changes.

And for many this may mean moving to a new home. Upsizing, downsizing, relocating to for better schools or to be closer to work, and taking advantage of City bonuses, are among the many reasons sellers decide January is the time to make the change. Government figures show 105,530 residential property sales were completed in the UK in January – making it the third most popular month for transactions from December 2015 - November 2016.

As property experts, who have served the south Surrey/West Sussex border area for more than 25 years, we know the best steps to take to ensure your home sells quickly and for the right price. We also know the common mistakes many vendors can make when putting their property on the market.

Here we share our tips to help you avoid typical pitfalls:

·         Update your pictures. If your house was on the market before Christmas and is now being re-listed to take advantage of the new year impetus, take some new pictures to update your ad. A sitting room covered in Christmas decorations will look immediately dated. Similarly, a front garden in full summer bloom will sit at odds with the current winter weather.

·         Know your facts. There is often nothing more off-putting for a potential buyer than facing an unexpected complication related to your property. Their offer has been accepted but the survey suddenly shows up an ancient covenant about access, or there’s a problem with the lease. Knowing everything about your home and its surrounds when it comes to legalities, and having an answer for your vendor, will help allay any concerns. The sale will only be delayed, or chain broken, if they have to find their own answers.

·         Be sensible with your price. Homes are expensive and demand for them is high – particularly in our corner of the South East. And while we all want to make a good return on our investment, sellers should not ask over the odds. An inflated asking price will immediately put buyers off, particularly if there are similar homes nearby going for less. The right estate agent will suggest a fair asking price based on market conditions and location. They should also ensure the right buyers are viewing your home who will make sensible offers

·         Do the minor jobs. The kitchen tap drips, the curtain pole in the sitting room needs fixing and the lock on the bathroom door doesn’t work. These are the kind of minor DIY projects many of us live with for years, happily overlooking them, but they are the first thing potential buyers will notice. Make the time and effort to put them right to give the best possible first impression – it really does count.

·         Be prepared to negotiate. Asking prices should be sensible, as already mentioned, but sellers should always be prepared to negotiate. If you dig your heels in too much you could find yourself with no buyers and a house on the market for months. Negotiating about the asking price is near enough expected in all sales so be prepared to haggle a little. Equally, however, be firm about saying no to silly offers – they will come your way!

At Roger Coupe we consider ourselves true property experts, having years of experience in the market, and having helped hundreds of clients successfully sell their homes. The whole team live in the area we serve so we know what we’re talking about when it comes to marketing properties in the south Surrey/West Sussex area – and will always give a sensible valuation.

If you’re looking to make a change in 2017, contact us to find out how we can help you make the move to a new home.