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If you’re ready to move, you might be wondering whether to put your home on the market now or wait until the spring. Well, although winter may traditionally be a quieter time for home-moving than spring and summer, the market is still very much open for business and selling your home in this colder season does have its benefits.
As those who aren’t in a hurry to move tend to hunker down and focus on festivities, buying and selling activity usually dips a little over the winter period. That gives motivated sellers who push ahead with marketing two advantages:
- Although you may get fewer viewings overall through the winter, those who make the effort to look at potential new homes despite the inclement weather, are generally committed buyers who are serious about making offers.
- If there is a slight drop in the number of homes on the market, there’s less competition. That means you should get a higher proportion of buyers viewing your home and, with fewer houses for them to choose from, they should be quicker to make an offer if they like what they see!
Remember, even if there’s a howling blizzard outside, the internet is always up and running. House-bound potential buyers will have plenty of time to browse through online listings, and estate agents’ doors and phone lines are still open.
So, if you’re keen to secure a sale this winter, it’s time to revitalise your marketing for the season and prepare to show buyers that your home is a wonderful one to live in – whatever the weather’s doing outside!
With that, here are our top 7 tips to help you sell your home this winter:
- Style for the season
Work with the colder weather and shorter daylight hours by styling your home so that it reflects the season and creates a cosy atmosphere.
Refreshing soft furnishings and accessories is a simple way to transform the look of a room, so replace light cushions and throws with heavier fabrics and deeper colours. Pillar candles in storm lanterns cast a lovely light and can make a great focal point on a coffee table, sideboard or kitchen countertop. Winter-scented candles – think cinnamon, spiced pumpkin and orange – can also help create a welcoming seasonal vibe.
Low-maintenance green plants, such as peace lilies and Boston ferns will add life and are easy to look after, and potted orchids should give you long-lasting flowers and just a hint of spring around the corner.
Finally, if you’re wondering whether you should put up Christmas decorations, we’d say yes – as long as they’re not overpowering. Festive décor can add a lovely, cheery feel to your home, but you don’t want to detract from the natural space. So, even if you usually dress every room from head to toe in Christmas trim, hold back a little this year!
- Maximise light
Low natural light in winter can sometimes make interiors feel dull, so make sure you let as much daylight in as possible when you have viewings. Pull back the curtains, make sure blinds are fully rolled up and clear window sills of any large objects that might block light from getting into a room.
Another thing to consider is how you could change the lighting to show off the size of each room – emphasising the height in particular can make a huge difference to how spacious rooms feel. Investing in some higher-wattage light bulbs is a simple way to brighten up your whole home, and have plenty of lamps throughout to add a warm and welcoming glow.
- Turn your garden into a winter wonderland
With fewer daylight hours for potential buyers to appreciate the outside of your home, install some pretty garden lights to inject a touch of ‘winter wonderland’. There’s a huge range of all-weather options for exterior lighting – from strings of fairy lights for trees and summer houses, to stakes for lawns or borders and spotlights for pathways. And many of them are solar powered, so once they’re up, you don’t need to think about plugs or timers.
If you have a terrace or other outdoor seating area, you could add solar-powered lanterns and why not consider investing in a heat lamp or fire pit that you can take with you to your next home?
- Refresh your photography
The best way to keep your home looking fresh in adverts is to ensure the photography is always in line with the season. So, if your current photos were taken in the summer, speak to your agent about updating them.
Have the interior shots taken once the styling has been refreshed for winter, but before you put up any Christmas decorations, as they would make the pictures a little too time specific. And for the exterior, make sure the photographer gets some shots at twilight, with plenty of lights on – inside and out, so your home glows and the garden twinkles!
- Stay on top of maintenance
With higher levels of rain and wind – plus frost and possibly snow – you may have a few more jobs to do than usual to keep your home looking its best through the wintertime. But it’s worth doing a daily maintenance check because even if you don’t have a viewing booked, you never know when potential buyers might be passing by to check out your home from the outside.
Three key things to stay on top of:
- Keep paths free of leaves, snow and other debris
- Make sure drains are clear so rainwater doesn’t pool or flood
- When it’s icy, salt the driveway and paths
Also, you may want to keep a close eye on how clean your windows look, as low light can be unforgiving and you want your home to sparkle!
- Get set for perfect winter viewings
When it’s chilly outside, you want to welcome potential buyers into your home with warmth on all fronts. So turn the heating up a few degrees ahead of the viewing, light fires and candles for a cosy atmosphere, and make sure every room is well-lit.
Check the garden and other exterior lights are on, so people can clearly see where they’re going, and make sure there’s somewhere to hang up coats and leave umbrellas and boots. If you don’t have a porch or hallway, it’s worth popping a coat stand by the front door – and don’t forget a clean doormat.
A nice touch is to offer viewers a warm drink and even a seasonal nibble – perhaps a mince pie or some gingerbread. The more welcome you can make people feel, the more positive they’re likely to be as they walk around your home, hopefully leaving them with a happy memory of the viewing and your home.
- Discuss the festive period with your agent
Find out what your agent’s business hours will be over Christmas and New Year, and make sure you keep them posted on your own plans – any specific days when you’re going to be entertaining or hosting family and friends and when viewings wouldn’t be convenient.
If you’re going to be very busy over Christmas, you could simply consider taking a short break from selling for a couple of weeks. The best thing to do is have a chat with your agent and come up with a strategy for the festive period, so you can relax and enjoy yourself, while making sure you don’t miss out on a potentially perfect buyer.
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Are you thinking about making a change to where you live? If you no longer need all the rooms in your home, you might have decided to downsize into something smaller. Or perhaps it’s the opposite – you need more space, in which case, it could be time to upsize into a new place. On the other hand, if you love your home and it’s in the perfect spot, maybe you’re toying with the idea of getting the extra room you need by extending.
A report from UK Finance found that people stay in their homes for an average of 20 years, and selling and buying does tend to take time, money and effort. So, before you set the wheels of change in motion, try to look ten years ahead and think about how your needs might change over that time.
Whether you’re looking for more or less space, the clearer you can be about what you want and need from your new home – and why – the easier it will be to narrow down your options and find something that’s going to suit you well for the foreseeable future.
So let’s explore some of the options out there and what you need to consider as you move up or down the property ladder. You might even discover a great solution you hadn’t thought of before!
Extending or converting your existing home
If almost everything is perfect about your current home, but you just need a bit more space – perhaps a room you can use as an office, a bigger dining kitchen or extra bedrooms – it might be worth seeing if you could extend or re-jig the accommodation.
Two key things to consider here are:
- Would the cost of transforming your home be reflected in an increase in value? You might not have any intention to move in the foreseeable future, but at some point you may want or need to sell. So, once you’ve got a good idea of what changes you’d like to make, it’s well worth asking a local agent to give you their opinion on how much the work could add to the price of your home. We’re always happy to help with this – just give us a call on 01992 666 191.
The best way to add value is to increase the amount of usable space in your home, perhaps by extending to add a reception room and bedroom above, or converting a garage or loft into living space. But bear in mind that your immediate local area will have a ‘ceiling’ for market values – that’s a price that a home is unlikely to sell above, simply because of the size and type of other homes around it.
For instance, if you live in a road of mainly three- and four-bedroom homes with one or two reception rooms, it might not be worth increasing your accommodation to five bedrooms, three reception rooms and a granny flat. If that’s the kind of space you need, moving to an area that has more homes of a similar size might be a better option. Again, come and speak to us to find out what’s likely to be the best investment from a resale perspective.
And remember that the best extensions feel as though they’ve always been there, so if you do go ahead with works, it’s advisable to choose an architect who has experience in designing for your particular age and style of home. While you may need to pay a bit more for the best solution, it’s well worth the investment to keep a good flow and feel to the home.
- How disruptive are the building works going to be? If you’re converting the loft, it might not be too intrusive, but if you’re extending, then parts of your home might be unusable for weeks or even months. In that case, you may want to think about moving out while the improvements are being made. Bear in mind that if you have to pay for an alternative temporary home, that’s going to add to the overall cost of the project.
Something else to consider is whether you could gain the extra space you need by building separate accommodation in the garden – assuming it’s big enough. If what you’re after is an office or guest annexe, there are some excellent self-contained units on the market that you could have up and running in under a month. Going down this route could be easier, cheaper and quicker than carrying out works on your home.
With any building project, it’s important to check with the local council whether planning permission is required and what building regulations you’ll need to comply with. And bear in mind that it could take up to eight weeks for the council to consider even straightforward planning applications, so factor this into your timescale.
Moving up the property ladder
If you need a bigger home and you’re ready for a change, or it’s not possible to extend where you live at the moment, then you’ve got a pretty open book of options. There could be plenty of homes for sale that are the right size, but how do you make sure you pick the one that’s really right for you?
Well, when you’re moving for a specific reason, it’s important to be led by your head and not your heart. It’s all-too easy to fall in love with a beautiful kitchen, a fabulous view or the perfect family room, but if you let your emotions chip away at the square footage you know you need, you could end up running out of space again in just a few years.
This is where an estate agent can really help. It’s worth spending some time speaking to them before you start viewing potential new homes, to explain exactly why you’re moving and the number of bedrooms, reception rooms and other spaces you need. Then they can make sure all the homes you view at least meet your minimum requirements, and you can be confident that anything you’re tempted by already ticks the size box. Give us a call and we can take you through what we’ve currently got on the market in your range – maybe one of them will be the perfect fit for you!
And if you’re prepared to do some work to turn your next purchase into your dream home, again, be clear with the agents you speak to about how much of a project you’d be happy to take on, and they should be able to show you a variety of homes with potential.
Downsizing to a smaller home
At the other end of the moving spectrum is downsizing. Maybe you’ve spent years having friends to stay, entertaining and making full use of all the rooms in your home, but now that whirl of activity has come to an end, and you just don’t need all the space you currently have. You might be moving to a much more expensive area for work or lifestyle reasons, and your money simply won’t stretch as far, or it could just be that you’ve decided you’d prefer a smaller home.
If you are looking to downsize, you might also want something you won’t have to spend much time and money maintaining. So, even if you’ve enjoyed living in period homes until now, it may be time to consider something modern that has guarantees and warranties and will be low-maintenance and energy efficient.
It’s also important to think about whether you want this downsizing step to be your last move. If so, it’s worth planning ahead and making a wishlist of everything you think you’re going to want in your new home. Although compromises sometimes have to be made when you move, if this is your ‘forever’ home, it should be as perfect as possible – even if it takes a little longer to find.
Whatever your reason for downsizing, it can be the trickiest move to make. Even though it might feel like the natural ‘next step’, the reality is that you’re not going to be able to take all your furniture and possessions with you. So, as well as cutting back on living space, you have to work out which things you really want to keep and what won’t be making the move with you. There are plenty of house clearance companies and auctioneers who will be happy to value the items you’ve decided to part with; then you can choose what to include in the sale and what you’d like to sell separately. And make sure your agent has a full list of fixtures and fittings with prices, so they can negotiate with buyers and hopefully help clear one job off your moving list!
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A great agent will be focused on selling your home at the best price, in a timeframe that suits you. If everything goes well, they’ll put the right value on it, market it effectively, then negotiate and progress your sale so you can move on to your new home as planned – and they’ll make the whole process as pain-free as possible. That’s what we strive to achieve for every one of our clients, and it’s what every seller hopes their experience will be.
But it’s not always plain sailing, and if your home’s been on the market for a while, with no sale in sight, you might be feeling disappointed and thinking of changing agents.
There could be several reasons why things haven’t gone as you’d hoped. Your agent may have seemed like the perfect choice to sell your home in the beginning, but they haven’t quite lived up to expectations. Maybe the viewings you were promised never materialised and now the agent is putting you under pressure to drop the price. Or perhaps they were attentive and positive at the start, but now their phone calls and emails are getting less and less frequent, and you feel as though getting your home sold is no longer a priority for them.
On the other hand, you may think your agent really has done their best, but for some reason things just haven’t worked out, and it’s probably time for a change.
Whatever the situation, if you feel you’ve come to the end of the road with your current agent and you want to switch to a different one, what’s the best way to go about it?
Here’s our handy guide to making the transition from old agent to new as smooth as possible:
Be clear on exactly what’s not working for you
It’s often helpful to make a list of what you’re not happy with and what’s been done to address things to date, so that you’re well prepared for a frank conversation with your estate agent. Doing this will also help you be clear on what you want a new agent to do differently.
Check the terms of your current agreement
The most common contract between an agent and their client is ‘sole agency’, meaning that only that estate agent has the right to sell your home and claim the sale commission. Check if you have a tie-in period, and what notice you need to give, so you can plan accordingly.
Have a forthright discussion with your estate agent
Before you jump straight into terminating your agreement with your agent, have a chat with them. They may have no idea you’re unhappy and disappointed with the way things have gone so far, especially if you haven’t voiced your concerns to them. A good agent will ask for a review meeting with you and suggest ways in which your saleability could be improved. They may offer to re-photograph your home, re-launch it on the portals or suggest a reduction in price.
Whether you decide to give your estate agent another try or terminate your agreement and switch to another estate agent, you’ll feel more in control of your home sale by taking affirmative action now.
Shortlist alternative estate agents
If you’re ready to switch estate agents, ask your friends and family which agents they would recommend in the local area and why. Check out their reviews on Google and Facebook and what their standards of photography and marketing are like.
When you have one or two agents you think would be worth chatting to, call and arrange a meeting at your home.
Ask the right questions
Asking the right questions of a prospective new estate agent will furnish you with the right information so you can make an informed decision, and potentially improve your chance of selling and moving on.
Use this list of questions as a checklist to start an open dialogue with the agent:
Why do you think our home hasn’t sold? Is it the price, the marketing, the presentation…?
Is there anything you think we need to do or change about the presentation and styling of our home to achieve the best price?
What will you do differently to our previous agent? This is a really important question, because you don’t want the same challenges you’ve already faced to reappear with a new agent.
How do you plan to market our home? This should give you an insight into how proactive they are in finding and matching potential buyers, how creative their marketing is and what gives them the edge over other agents.
How often will you communicate with us, and will it be by call, email or text? For instance, will they phone you with feedback after each viewing? In our experience, when clients aren’t happy with their agent, it’s often because of a lack of communication – and that can be a challenge regardless of whether you’ve been on the market for a week or several months – so get a commitment from them on staying in touch and keeping you informed.
What kind of agency agreement do you offer and what is the minimum term? If you weren’t happy being tied into your previous agent’s services for several months, you may be able to negotiate more flexible terms this time.
During the consultation, notice whether the agent is also asking you questions. You want an agent to be interested in understanding your situation, as well as your motivation for moving home, so they can tailor their approach to give you the selling experience you deserve!
Seal the deal
Choosing an estate agent is like dating – do you like them enough to want to see them again?? When it works best, the relationship between you the client and your estate agent is a partnership – one that will last at least for months, and sometimes, years. You need to feel that your agent has your back and will be your biggest supporter when times get tough down the line, especially in challenging negotiations with a buyer.
Whilst our advice is not to jump straight into a relationship with a new estate agent straight away, if you really feel you’ve exhausted the will, patience and skill of your current agent, then moving to a new agent could be just what you and your home needs.
We’d love to have a confidential chat with you about your options, and we’ll tell you frankly and openly why we think your home has not yet sold and what we think the answer might be. We rarely suggest a price reduction and prefer to use our marketing and styling skills as a first approach, but let us tell you more about those in person!
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As an estate agent based on the borders of Essex and East London, we see a mix of Essex Country and Village Homes alongside premium semi-suburban properties near to an Underground station. As such, the types of buyers and sellers we encounter can vary greatly. We have compiled our Top 10 mistakes that sellers experience that are as universal as they come.
Selling a property carries a degree of stress no matter how good your estate agent or conveyancing solicitor is. It’s not a bad thing, it just means that you care. With £100,000’s on the line, I’d be concerned that you’re not concerned about the outcome of selling your home.
That said, it takes a great deal of your and our time and effort, so it’s natural for estate agents and vendors to want the process to end with the best possible outcome. All vendors naturally have the ultimate goal of seeing their property sell quickly and at a high profit. Yet in many cases, houses can sit on the property market for months if not years with little to show for the time and effort. This may be due to your agent and or partially due to common mistakes on the part of the vendor.
There are many factors that go into a successful sale, including the estate agent you choose to work with and your marketing strategy. You can improve your chances of avoiding typical mistakes by working with a very proactive, highly recommended and experienced agent. At Lyttons we have built our business on reputation [read our reviews!] on over delivering to our clients and have become known as the agent for customer satisfaction.
Avoid these common pitfalls below, you can maximise your profits, reduce stress and sell your house more quickly.
Mistake 1: Selling your home on your own
Some sellers choose to sell their own home, hoping to save the fees associated with an estate agent. Yet this can end up being a costly mistake. Without the research that an agent can provide [especially to justify prices on mortgage survey], the experience of negotiating such a transaction with the various types of buyers you’ll encounter at different price point and how to moves things forward proactively to completion - it may be difficult to know where to begin. A good agent will earn their fee numerous times over during the course of a sale. Selling your home alone could end up costing you more than if you had hired an agent, if you don’t know what you’re doing. And let’s say, you do know what you’re doing – the point of having an agent is to keep the process at “arm’s length”. Becoming too involved can sometime be worse than not being present enough throughout a sale.
As an agent, it can be difficult to be on other side of the negotiating table – hence when I sold my Grandparent’s bungalow in Budock Water, Falmouth I employed the services of a local estate agent. And they did not disappoint – under-promising and over-delivering. I was very impressed.
Mistake 2: Working with the wrong estate agent
Another mistake is to stick with an agent who is not delivering, not communicating, not employing the proven best practices that an agent like Lyttons constantly monitors. If you choose an estate agent who doesn’t have your best interests in mind, it could sabotage your sale as seriously as if you had sold it on your own. The wrong estate agent might give you bad pricing advice, pursue a limited marketing campaign, or waste time with buyers who are less than serious. It’s worth taking the time to compare your options and find a good estate agent to work with. My advice would be to ask your friends who they would recommend and look at some online reviews.
Mistake 3: Overpricing your property
Setting the sale price too high on your property can backfire by reducing the number of interested buyers. This is especially true of properties advertised over the £1 million threshold. A trust-worthy estate agent will be able to use their experience and knowledge of the current local market to help you choose an appropriate price for your property. At the time of writing in 2021, it may be more profitable to set a lower price for your home than what you think it is actually worth. In a seller’s market, this can stimulate competition between buyers and end up with an ultimately higher offer.
Please do not confuse the “valuation” of your property with the “asking price” – these are two very distinct figures.
Should you require further explanation regarding this – please feel free to contact me directly.
Mistake 4: Not preparing your property for sale
Although it may seem fairly obvious, a seller who neglects to adequately prepare their home to the standard that the local market would expect prior to marketing is most likely to be met with disappointment. Not preparing your home for sale can significantly reduce buyer interest, and even lead to disappointment when they see your home. It’s best to take a bit of time to get rid of clutter, tidy, and stage your house to make it look its best for viewings, purchasers are buying a lifestyle.
Mistake 5: Ignoring maintenance issues
Along with staging and tidying your house, you must also prepare it by repairing basic problems. Realistically, most buyers are not looking for a property that they will need to renovate. Instead, they are looking for a property that is ready to move into immediately. If your home has a leaking roof, ancient electrics and damp, you will frighten away most buyers. It’s better to spend a bit of money to make repairs before the sale, in order to drum up buyer interest and present a house in top shape. Investing in basic refurbishments or upgrades can also be used as a point of interest when you are selling your house. Before you go too crazy with upgrades, however, it’s best to consult with your estate agent. At the very least, obtain quotes for these repairs for when the inevitable renegotiation post-survey comes knocking.
Mistake 6: Overdevelopment
The reason why it’s important to talk to your estate agent before you upgrade your home is that if you go overboard with repairs or what you would consider improvements, you could eventually lose money. Spending too much on renovations could backfire, and you may never recoup this investment. This may depend on the standards within your local area. It’s a good idea to choose a local estate agent to work with. If your upgrades go above and beyond comparable properties in your area, buyers may not be able to afford your higher price. Worst case scenario, no mortgage lender will agree with the valuation and you’ll effectively be in negative equity.
Mistake 7: Not advertising your house sale correctly
Marketing is very important when it comes to selling a home. You could have the most perfect property in your area. If no one knows about it you won’t attract any genuine buyers.
It is possible to secure a buyer without advertising but you’re sourcing from a smaller pool of buyers than if openly advertised.
Use a variety of advertising methods to help entice buyers, including signage outside your property to help spread the word-of-mouth advertising in addition to internet listings.
Mistake 8: Only using traditional methods of selling
The majority of buyers now turn to the internet first when they are in the market for a new home. To appeal to the widest audience, you will need to use innovative marketing methods. This could include online listings, photo editing and manipulation, floor plans and even virtual /drone tours of the home. Your estate agent may also be able to help you with methods such as social media marketing, press releases and blogging to get the word out about your property if it is particularly rare gem of a property.
Mistake 9: Not being flexible
It’s normal to have some preconceived notion of how your sales process will go. Yet because you are trying to reach out to a wide range of potential buyers, you will need to employ some form of flexibility to close the sale. This could include showing your house at odd times of day or night by arranging easy access for your estate agent. It could also include being flexible when you are examining offers. Instead of flat-out refusing them try proposing a counter-offer to negotiate a win-win situation.
Mistake 10: Not reading the fine print
After you’ve gone through the full process of preparing, marketing, and showing your home, you may think you’re in the home stretch of the sale and get careless. Selling a house can be tedious and rather long-winded when it comes to the financial and legal side of it. Especially nowadays where the mortgage lenders have become more involved than ever and solicitors wish to ensure no-one tries to sue them. Some home sellers may not bother reading all the fine print on their contract of sale. However, this can be one of the worst mistakes to make. After you’ve signed this legal document, you must abide by all of its terms and conditions. Without meaning to, you could agree to fund additional repairs or give up appliances you didn’t mean to. Be sure that you read through the full contract thoroughly, going through it with a solicitor before you sign anything.
Save the link to this page. Read it again to make sure you’ve understood everything and refer back to it to help you avoid them during the selling process.
Selling property can also be far less stressful, dare I even say “fun” when you have an experienced estate agent in your corner.
We can help you avoid these common pitfalls, guiding you through each step of the process.
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Summer is a great time of year to sell your home. With bright, sunny days, gardens at their greenest and flowers blooming, your marketing photos will look fabulous!
More daylight hours and generally better weather than at other times of year give people much more opportunity to view your home at its best and brightest. And there’s nothing like a sunny day to put people in a great mood, which means they’re more likely to have a positive mindset when they’re viewing.
So, how can you best take advantage of the benefits of selling during the summer?
The marketing photographs in your brochure and online advertising play a huge part in enticing buyers to view your home. Importantly, they’ve got to be in line with the season, so if your home’s already on the market and the photos were taken earlier in the year, we’d suggest you replace them with some up-to-date ones.
Have the interior photographed when there’s maximum daylight outside so the sun streams in through the windows, really boosting the natural brightness of your rooms. And if you’ve got a patio, balcony or terrace, open the doors and have a shot taken looking either inwards or outwards – it can create a really captivating image, with a hint of ‘summer holiday villa’, which could be hugely appealing to many buyers.
Two great times to have exterior shots taken in the summer:
- In the middle of the day, in bright sunshine. If you’ve got a good-sized garden, a shot from the end – front or back – looking towards your home and taking in the lush colours of the trees, flowers and shrubs can look beautiful.
- On a clear evening, around sunset. A mid-length shot of the front or back against the twilight sky, with exterior and interior lights on, can be quite stunning.
Styling your interior for summer vibes
The styling of your home is important at any time of year to help buyers imagine themselves living there, and it should resonate with the season. To give your home that summer vibe:
- Pack away any dark, heavy throws and blankets and replace them with lighter fabrics
- Floral cushions bring a summer vibe to any room
- White bed linen will help make bedrooms feel bright and fresh
- Scented candles are a great aspirational and welcoming accessory all year round, so choose some light, floral scents for bedrooms and living areas
- Any aroma that reminds people of being on holiday, such as coconut, can boost their positive mood even further! You could have some fresh coconut cake in the kitchen or a coconut diffuser in the bathroom.
Of course, the glass surfaces in your home should be gleaming whatever time of year you’re selling, but it’s even more important that they sparkle in the summer light. It might be worth having the windows and glazed doors professionally cleaned inside and outside before you put your home on the market and perhaps periodically until you secure a buyer.
Indoor/outdoor living is becoming increasingly popular, so fling open your sparkling doors and windows before people arrive to view, and have plenty of plants and flowers around your home – particularly near doorways – to help the flow of greenery from inside to outside.
Showing your garden at its blooming best
Many gardens are at their finest during the summer, but it’s the time of year when everything is growing quickly, meaning it takes a little more effort to keep everything looking fabulous. Some of our clients choose to get extra help from a gardening services company while their home’s on the market – so why not consider doing the same? It’s one less job for you to do, and you can be confident your garden will always make the best possible impression on buyers. Here’s one we’d recommend: Thornhill's Gardening & Landscaping Services who are based in Waltham Abbey but we've heard good things about them from their clients in Buckhurst, Loughton, Theydon Bois, Epping & Chigwell.
Styling is just as important for the outside of your home as the inside, so think about things you could do to show off how you enjoy the garden. If you already have garden furniture, great; if you don’t, then it might be beneficial to buy a reasonably-priced table and some chairs, as that can really help set the ‘lifestyle’ scene outside when people come to view. Put a vase of flowers on the table and lay out some refreshments – even if that’s just a big jug of freshly-made lemonade and some glasses. The garden will look even more welcoming and inviting, which will encourage people to stay longer to appreciate everything your home has to offer.
Families on the move
For growing families, being cooped up together indoors over the winter months often makes them realise it might be time to upsize! And with school-age children on holiday, summer is a popular time for families to look for a new home, as they can all view together, find something everyone loves and then move in early autumn without disrupting the middle of the academic year.
So, while demand tends to be strong across all types of home in the summer, we usually find the ‘family home’ market is particularly busy – especially for those homes that have generous gardens. As children get older, many families really appreciate having extra space outside, so summer is the perfect time of year to sell homes with large lawns, where viewers can watch their young ones safely running about and enjoying the space.
And with high demand comes buoyant prices, which means you may be able to get more for your home than if you try to sell in the winter months.
Would an open house suit you?
Summer is also a great time of year to have an open house, where different buyers can view at the same time over a period of a few hours. In nice weather, buyers can spread out through your home and garden, take their time to view – and, as long as it’s dry underfoot, you don’t need to worry too much about your carpets getting dirty! While it might not be the right strategy for every home, for some it can be very successful in creating a buzz and encouraging great offers, so speak to your agent about whether it could work for you.
Moving in the autumn
Once your summer marketing has led to a successful sale and you’ve found a new home that you love, you can start planning the next exciting step. Moving in the autumn has its benefits, as it won’t be too hot or too cold when you’re shifting all your furniture and possessions in and out of buildings and vans – which removals companies certainly appreciate!
And here’s a valuable tip if you’re using a removals company: contact them as early as possible, even if you don’t have a firm moving date yet and particularly if you’d like to move on a Friday, as that’s the most popular day. They can come and do their survey of what needs moving, give you a quote and you have the opportunity to negotiate the best possible price. We’d suggest you contact McKellar & Sons in Epping, as they’ve got a great reputation locally – their website is https://www.mckellarremovals.com/
Many of our clients from Epping, Theydon Bois, Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell & Woodford have used them and have praised them post-completion about the level service they had received.
While some people find moving house one of life’s more stressful events, doing it in the autumn means you’re nicely positioned between the rush of the summer and Christmas holidays, so you should have some breathing space – and you’ve got the festive season to look forward to!