January is usually a popular period which would see sellers come to the housing market in large numbers. Next year, however, may be slightly different as plenty of buyers hope to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday (currently due to end 31st March 2021).
It is now even more important to have all paperwork/documentation relating to the sale of your home ready to provide to your solicitor/conveyancer if you want to sell within the next 18 weeks. For example, if you’ve had any works carried out to your home such as an extension, windows changed, re-wiring etc. then any certification should be made available for your solicitor who will relay this to your buyer’s legal representative.
Solicitors that I am currently dealing with are already reporting that their workload has increased significantly with buyers and sellers alike hoping to take advantage of the government-backed incentive. It is imperative that you notify the solicitor that you intend to use about the timeframe you are working towards and take their guidance (based on their workload) as to whether they’ll be able to meet the 31st March deadline.
The likelihood is that if you are hoping to take advantage of the Stamp duty holiday then getting your property on the market sooner rather than later is advisable.
Tips to aid selling your property
1. First impressions
First impressions count for everything. Get the windows professionally cleaned and replace the worn-out doormat, so prospective buyers aren’t put off before they’ve even walked through the front door. Kerb appeal is crucial.
2. Attention to detail
Have a thorough spring clean and get to the corners you’d normally ignore. Buyers come with a critical eye and will inspect a room from wall to wall – you don’t want them looking up at the ceiling and seeing a collection of cobwebs.
With the evenings getting longer ensure that you generate a ‘cosy, warm feeling’ so look at soft lighting in the reception and bedrooms and don’t forget the heating in your home for when the viewings take place!
Some buyers will be put off at the idea of any DIY. Run a quick maintenance check throughout your home and get the toolbox out. Do any bulbs need replacing, or is there a loose door handle that needs to be tightened, for example?
You need to help prospective buyers imagine where their furniture and family pictures will go. Rooms that look too busy, full of mismatching furniture or an oversupply of personal details, can also make a room look smaller. Prospective buyers always want to check inside cupboards: if they’re packed full, empty them and throw away everything you don’t need, or put things in a suitcase for a few weeks. Hide all those plastic toys which can take up so much space. Demonstrating your home has adequate storage is crucial.
5. Character preservation
If you are de-cluttering, remember not to remove traces of character altogether – thoughtful splashes of colour and a few well-chosen soft furnishings can make a property feel more stylish and individual. It’s useful to remember what it was that made you fall in love with your home when you bought it.
6. A lifestyle setting
Some buyers are looking for a lifestyle as much as a home. Setting the table with a simple white dinner set and some pretty napkins, for example, can help people imagine living in your home.
7. Bathroom details
Another quick win can be in the bathroom. Buyers often want to check the water pressure of the shower so remove any limescale that might have built up, it’s an easy job but can make a big difference.
8. Additional space
Showing buyers how they can create additional space can be an effective way to demonstrate how your property might work for them, without the expense of carrying out any structural work. Investigate what could be done and highlight the possible options.
9. Garden upkeep
The garden can be the most important feature of the house. Now I accept that winter is the most challenging time of the year to keep your garden looking meticulous, however, taking the time to clear the garden, mow the lawn, cut back any trees and bushes, tidy up the garden furniture and tidy the children’s plastic toys will most certainly help with the sale of your home.
10. Get the Word Out
Always have a board up, and tell your neighbours – word of mouth is a powerful tool. You never know who might live just around the corner, waiting for your house to come to the market. Your board will also act as an 24-hour salesperson and help to garner interest.
There is still an opportunity to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, but you will need to get things moving sooner rather than later! If you would like to have a chat about the steps required to prepare your home for sale or require any property-related advice, please feel free to give our team a call on 0330 043 0002