Should I use a professional?
Jayne Watson, Property Manager with ESPC member firm Anderson Strathern, talks us through the need to use professionals when selling your home.
With more people viewing properties now, than in the last few years, it is important that houses for sale look their very best to maximise their value potential. Here are a few suggestions on how to start.
Staging by professionals
In the US, staging (preparing a property for sale) is big business. Professional staging firms clean, de-clutter, decorate, furnish and re-furnish to make sure that an individual property looks, smells and feels it’s very best.
Money well spent
Getting a property ready for sale sometimes costs thousands, but can add tens of thousands to a sale price so it is usually well worth doing. While you may not feel the need for a professional stager, always be aware of that vital first impression which is influenced by the cleanliness, neatness and order of a well-maintained and well-loved home when it is shown at its very best.
Trust your solicitor
In the UK professional staging hasn’t really taken off - despite the TV property programmes that show just what a difference a fresh pair of eyes and a bit of imagination can make. That’s why you should trust your chosen Solicitor Estate Agent and take their advice – would you ask a Doctor for an opinion and not trust what they tell you or take their advice?
Telling a seller that the look or condition of their house is not actually doing them any favours can be hard for anyone including a Solicitor Estate Agent. It is a highly personal subject - so make it easy on yourself - ask your agent what they think should be done and then follow his or her advice.
Employ a professional photographer
Your Solicitor Estate Agent will probably employ a professional photographer to take the photos of your home. Just as they are not professional photographers themselves (usually!) and using a professional is always a good idea – the old phrase “You get what you pay for” has never been more appropriate than in these difficult times.
Preparing a house for sale takes practice and the understanding that a blank canvas is preferable so potential buyers can build and decorate in their imaginations without the distraction of other people’s taste.
Preparing your home
- Your home will look more spacious with fewer things in it. Surfaces should be cleared of clutter. Also it is surprising what a difference can be made by taking away just one piece of furniture from each room. Everywhere will look so much more spacious.
- Give your home a deep clean and if you don’t want to do it yourself, get in a good cleaning company to do it for you.
- Get the fires going, it all adds to the warm and welcoming feeling the buying public are all looking for.
- Oh, and make sure all the lights and lamps are switched on, you’re dishes are put away and the oven is off. Don’t have the remnants of your dinner still in the oven – its human nature that viewers will always open the oven door! Remove the toilet brush and put the seat down; make sure the towels in the bathroom are clean and the beds are made.
- Have the children and pets out of the house whilst viewings are taking place – we know they live there but we don’t want to see them!
Stage a coup!
If you are thinking of selling your property, choose a Solicitor Estate Agent who is not merely going to put your home on the market but one who will help you stage a coup as well and make yours the one that’s most desired.
Your Solicitor Estate Agent has been in the business for many years and has vast experience in not only presenting property for sale, but achieving a good sale price, whether through competition (closing date) or through negotiation. Trust them – they do know what they are talking about! That is the real way to make more money from a sale - it won't come simply by adding a few thousand pounds to the asking price and hoping for the best.
About Jayne Watson
Jayne Watson is a Property Manager with Anderson Strathern. With over 20 years of experience within the property market, Jayne grew up in East Lothian and having worked with Anderson Strathern since 2002, moved to the East Lothian office in 2012. She has great local knowledge and is ideally placed to advise on the joys of working and living in the county!