having trouble selling your home?
You know how it is, you've lived with that front door with slightly peeling paint for so long now you don't notice it. That and the hedges that needed cutting back two years ago, the broken gutter, the chips and knocks on the bannisters and the dirty children's finger prints up the stairwell.
Walk around your home and try to be objective about the state it's in. Fix things and decorate so your home looks well maintained and loved. If in doubt, ask relatives or your estate agent for their honest opinion on the things that need addressing. It will in any case be important to fix things like leaking gutters to avoid them being flagged up as an issue on the survey later down the line.
Beyond fixing and a lick of paint, think about whether your home is appealing to your target market. If it's a family home, does it have the open-plan kitchen and a downstairs toilet so many buyers with young children are looking for? In our recent research about how to add value to your home in just 7 days, removing an internal wall to create an open-plan kitchen added more than £48,000 to the value of your home. So the investment might not just get the home sold quicker but for a higher price too.
Your house can be as pretty as they come but if the price it's listed for isn't right buyers are going to be instantly turned off. We would always recommend starting with an online valuation to get an idea, looking at the Land Registry for the price paid for houses like yours in your area, and then – and most importantly – getting at least three local estate agents to value your home before deciding on a price.
Estate agent valuations should never be taken as gospel. The agent wants to win your business so it's perfectly possible that they'll try to woo you by quoting an inflated price or go in low so they can guarantee a sale and nab their commission. Research is your secret weapon here.
Sometimes the reason your home is languishing on the market is solely down to your estate agent. Poor service and a lack of action from your agent can mean your 'For Sale' board becomes a permanent fixture. But it shouldn't. Remember, you're paying these people an awful lot of money to sell your property, and that should involve more than just a quick listing on Rightmove and the odd ad in the local paper's property section.
If you're unsure how proactive your agent is being, ask a friend or family member to pose as a prospective buyer to gauge the level of service that they receive and to confirm that the person that manages the viewings is knowledgeable and competent.
Be open with your estate agent about your expectations and make sure they're giving you regular updates and feedback.