Have you ever moved house with boxes of things you’d meant to sort through before the move? Are they still in the loft now?!
Having helped so many people move over the years I’m very aware of, and sympathetic to the stresses and pain points. These tips highlight the three big issues you can address as soon as you’re thinking of selling, to even out the workload over a period of time so you can focus your energies where they’re needed as the process gets underway.
1. Reduce stress and increase value
When you’re moving house, excess ‘stuff’ adds to the stress – you either have to sort through it or pay to move it. But perhaps more importantly, too much stuff can put buyers off your home. Their eyes are drawn to the piles of paperwork and ornaments rather than the beautiful kitchen, light streaming in and calm feel they are looking for in a home to make their own.
If it’s not beautiful, useful or seriously sentimental, bin it Marie Kondo is all the rage at the moment for her approach to de-cluttering and organising your home. We may aspire to – though will rarely achieve – her wonderfully organised approach to daily life, but the principles do apply when moving house: if some of your belongings don’t “spark joy” or add value to your life, do you want them in your new home?
2. To decorate or not to decorate?
I’m often asked by clients for advice on what improvement they should do before their house goes on the market. Usually what they have in mind will add little or no value, whereas there are other improvements that will help, at a modest cost. Ask your estate agent’s advice on what improvements would benefit the house. It could save you thousands spent unnecessarily, and earn you thousands extra for your house.
3. Your property’s CV
I ask my sellers to fill out a property information questionnaire, covering details such as the type and age of the boiler, restrictive covenants, planning permissions and appliances included in the sale. It’s well worth briefing your agent on this information – and making sure they have it to hand during a viewing – to avoid viewers walking away with unanswered questions. Many of these questions are asked by your solicitor further down the line, so best to get ahead of the game and give your potential buyers the information they need to make an offer.
Now you’re ready for photography and launch, consider how best to stage your house for sale. See our staging article for further information, or talk to us for advice on where best to focus your attention.