When you’re selling your home, it’s important to remember that you may not get a sure buyer right away. What’s even more important to keep in mind is the factors that may turn people away from your home, even those beyond your control. After all, when advertising your home, you should really make it seem like the type of house you yourself would buy, and it is highly unlikely you would buy a house with an overgrown garden, faulty plumbing and noisy neighbours. If you would, you have problems other than the ones I’m about to bring up.
So, without further ado, here are ten common problems that prevent both the seller and buyer from finding full happiness:
1. Nightmare Neighbours
Now here’s a problem everyone has dealt with at some point in their lives –nightmare neighbours. Be it a Victor Meldrew-esque curmudgeon constantly complaining, or young ‘uns playing their music too loud, who hasn’t wanted their neighbours to move away themselves at least once? This one is a little more difficult to deal with, as some people just never change. If you have a particularly noisy neighbour, you could simply ask them to keep it down for a couple of days while you conduct viewings, or for more extreme cases, sound-proof your walls.
2. Proximity (or lack thereof)
One significant reason people move house is to live closer to where they work, but proximity to decent shopping and entertainment is always a plus. There’s nothing wrong with charity shops and small businesses, but buyers may prefer a house closer larger stores like a supermarket. Speaking of what’s surrounding your home…
3. Unkempt Gardens
You may or may not have green fingers, but the nicest-looking house is going to be diminished by weeds and thorns and crabgrass. You’re going to need to take pictures of your home‘s exterior to sell it, and thus the exterior must be pretty as a picture if it’s going to attract a buyer.
4. The Market
There’s a lot of competition involved in selling and that’s why Morrisons and Asda are always telling you that their prices are lower than Tesco’s. The more houses for sale in your area, the more competition you’ll face, and the lower your price will have to sink. Make sure that you do some research on the local market and if demand is low, consider holding off on putting your home on the market for a couple of months. If there is activity in your local market and you have priced your home correctly, you will have an excellent chance of achieving a quick sale.
5. Beware Fixer-Uppers
Let’s face it, buyers these days are too savvy to be fooled by the phrase “it’s a fixer-upper”. If anyone’s going to do any fixing, it’s you. You want your house to look its best when potential buyers come round, so deal with any drafts and cover the cracks. In a similar vein…
6. Ugly Odours
Imagine walking into a house you want to buy, only to find it haunted by a horrendous smell. Sight is not the only one of the five senses you want to appease when people walk into your house, so make sure to rid your home of any unpleasant stenches.
In areas like London and Cambridge, house prices have been creeping up month on month. However, you must make sure not to sell your house at a higher price than it deserves. Keep in mind that your buyers will not have the same nostalgia regarding the house that you do.
8. Too Old-Hat?
There’s something that can be said for the classics, but if the furniture in your home is too old and tatty, it may turn off potential buyers who struggle see past your belongings and visualise themselves in the house. More modern, more refined furniture will look better in preview pictures, but don’t throw out the pristine antiques!
9. Not Enough Photos
Of course, buyers are going to want to take a tour of the house before they buy, but putting up pictures of your home‘s exterior and interior are key to attract sales. Houses can lose potential buyers if the photos used are not clear enough and don’t show enough of the house. Make sure the pictures are of good quality and highlight areas a buyer would be most interested in (kitchens, bathrooms). There are some shockingly bad examples of terrible estate agent’s property photos, the best of which have been compiled in this blog (always good for a giggle).
10. Estate Agents
If it’s your first time selling a house, you may not have the confidence to go it alone. Many people will turn to an estate agent to guide them through the selling process, as an agent will take care of most of the work for you. However, make sure that you choose your estate agent carefully and ensure that they are doing everything within their power to show off your home in the best possible light. If you want to avoid using a traditional high-street agent but still want some professional guidance, then look into selling your home online using an Online Estate Agent or a private sales website. Although these services are not as comprehensive as a traditional agent, they will be happy to help and offer you guidance and support wherever they can.
So there you have it – Our top 10 most common selling disasters! If you stick to a plan and steer clear of the above mistakes, then you should be moving out of your old home and into your dream home in no time at all!