Published: 10/04/2021 By Lucy GoodenIf you’re looking to sell your house in Southfields, London, the chances are you’ll want to do it pretty swiftly, especially if you’ve already got one eye on your next property.
Selling up can be a lengthy process at the best of times, so you don’t want to give buyers any extra reasons to delay the purchase.
Unfortunately, without realising it, you may be making your property harder to sell. So, with this in mind, here are five things that make your house harder to sell, along with the solutions so that you can sell your house faster!
The Problem: Too Much Clutter
There’s a fine line between a house that’s ‘lived in’ and loved and one that’s a complete mess! While potential buyers are unlikely to be put off by a few magazines on the coffee table, having a living room that’s sprawling with toys and games all over the floor or an understairs cupboard stuffed to the brim won’t give potential buyers a good first impression.
To avoid this issue, use your house move as an opportunity to declutter. You can list some items on an online auction site such as eBay to make some extra cash and use it to furnish your new home, or simply donate some of your old belongings to a local charity shop.
And if you decide that you can’t let any of your belongings go, then just make sure the house is tidy and well-presented before any viewings. Put away anything that’s making the house look untidy, either in storage or neatly in a garage, shed or cupboard.
Lastly, although it’s a good idea to declutter, don’t fall into the trap of removing all your personal items. Viewers will want to imagine themselves living in the property, so seeing a few family pictures and keepsakes around the house is more likely to leave a positive impression than a completely generic house with no personality.
The Problem: Poor Maintenance
It’s easy to put off odd jobs until they become absolute priorities, like replacing a missing lightbulb, fixing a broken fence, or getting the boiler serviced annually.
However, when it comes to selling your property, these are all things that potential buyers will notice and ask questions about. Therefore, it’s worth spending just a little bit of time and money to bring everything up to scratch.
The majority of buyers are looking for a home they can move into straight away, without having to make major changes immediately, such as getting a new boiler or having a new fence installed.
Before your estate agent books any viewings, make sure that everything is ship-shape and in good working order. Get your boiler serviced, check your taps, showers and central heating. Give your garden the once over and don’t forget to clear debris from gutters.
The Problem: Bad Odours
Most homes have a certain smell to them and in most cases it’s very unlikely to put visitors off, however if you’re a heavy smoker, cook pungent foods or have pets that cause a strong smell in your house, then this can be off-putting.
The simplest solution to this problem is to make sure the house is clean and well aired before any viewings.
Make sure you’ve cleared up any pet droppings and leave windows open to allow fresh air in. A scented candle lit for half an hour before viewings will also help to remove any strong odours.
The Problem: It’s overpriced
It’s perfectly understandable that you want to achieve the highest possible price for your house, but it’s important to be realistic too.
A good estate agent will be able to give you the price range that you should be looking for, but bear in mind if your house isn’t selling, you may need to accept an offer closer to the lower end of that range than the top.
In order to get the full asking price or as close to it as possible, make sure your house is well maintained and everything is in good working order.
A faulty boiler or peeling paint on the walls can unwittingly encourage buyers to put in a much lower offer than you’re looking for, so getting a few small jobs done, such as an annual boiler service and giving the walls a fresh lick of paint could make a big difference when it comes to getting your asking price.
You should be prepared to be flexible on the asking price, particularly if you’re looking for a quick sale, and be realistic about how much you’re willing to accept.
The Problem: Poor ‘kerb appeal’
Kerb appeal is essentially the first thing a potential buyer sees when they look at your property from the outside, so as with everything in this list, first impressions count.
If you’ve got an overgrown front garden and dirty wheelie bins permanently on display, it could deter some buyers before they even set foot inside.
As a bare minimum, make sure your wheelie bins are clean and tucked away, any weeds have been dug up, and grass has been cut.
And you can even go a step further, by adding some hanging baskets or pot plants. Be creative.