How to make your home more valuable and sell faster

Preparing your home for viewers, or “staging” as it’s called, is important. It will not only ensure
your property is sold faster but can potentially add thousands of pounds to its value.

Top Tips

Declutter – but don’t depersonalize

• Get rid of all the excess stuff that has accumulated in every nook and cranny. Put it in storage or give it to a friend

• People need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there. People often find this difficult, so make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space you’re offering them

• Don’t make it look like a generic hotel; leave some personality. Apart from anything else it gives unimaginative buyers
suggestions as to what they might do

• People are often buying into a lifestyle as much as a property. Show them the attractive side of your lifestyle

• Consider removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel small and replacing it with smaller furniture

A fresh lick of paint

• Giving your walls a fresh lick of paint, neutral paint will make your home seem lighter and bigger

• It will enable the viewers to more easily imagine how they would adapt the rooms to their needs

• It will be easier for the buyers to move in and use the rooms immediately than if the walls were still bright purple or
lime green

• Create a good first impression – give the front door a new coat of brightly coloured paint

Fix and clean

• Make any minor repairs necessary – holes in walls, broken door knobs, cracked tiles, torn or threadbare carpets.
Many buyers want to move in without making changes, so allow for this

• Clean everything until it sparkles. Get rid of limescale, clean and repair tile grout, wax wooden floors, get rid of all
odours, hang up fresh towels. This will make the place more appealing and allow viewers to imagine living there

• Tidy up the garden: cut bushes back, clean the patio and furniture of lichen and dirt, and cut the grass. While this
doesn’t add much value to your home it makes it more likely to sell as people visualize themselves using the garden

Update the kitchen
The kitchen is the most valuable room in a house. It is worth the most per square foot and can make the
difference when buyers are unsure

• Consider refacing your kitchen cabinetry. This is much cheaper than installing new cabinetry and often as effective

• Upgrading kitchen counter tops is expensive, but can add serious value

• Declutter the surfaces and just leave a bowl of fruit out. Take out any bulky appliances

• Consider upgrading the plumbing fixtures and white goods, but keep in mind that while that could make your

property sell faster, you will be unlikely to recoup their full value

Light and airy
• Wall mirrors make a room look much bigger and lighter. Consider putting some up, especially in smaller rooms
or hallways
• Clean windows inside and out and replace any broken light bulbs. Making the place feel light and airy makes rooms
feel bigger and the property more attractive
• Ensure that you have lamps on in any dark corners
• Putting a soft light bulb in the bathroom can create a warm glow

Light a fire
• If it’s a cold evening, or even chilly day, light your fire. Consider burning some pinecones for the delicious smell. This
will make your home feel warm and inviting. If you don’t have a fire then ensure the fireplace is clean

Make it look pretty
• Make sure the windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains as naked windows make a place feel
impersonal and run down. Buy some cheap ones if necessary.
• Plants and flowers bring colour, life and light to a room and they also smell delicious. So does that fruit bowl on your
kitchen counter.

Get the right smells
• Bad smells are the single biggest turn off for prospective buyers. Don’t just cover them up, fix the source of the smell.
Clear drains, wash bins, open windows, air the kitchen from old cooking smells, get rid of furniture that is embedded
with cigarette smoke, and wash any grimy bed sheets
• If you are a smoker, place bowls of vinegar around the house and leave out for three days. Though the vinegar will
smell when you open the windows it will disappear quickly taking a most of the stale cigarette smell out with it.
• Conversely, good smells can make a property feel like an alluring home. While it might be impractical to bake fresh
bread, cakes or brownies for every viewer that visits your home, you could perhaps brew some fresh coffee

Obvious conversions
• If there are any obvious conversions – adapting the garage into extra rooms or going up into the loft – and you have
some spare cash, why not take advantage of this cash cow rather than letting the new owners make easy money out
of improvements. You should usually recoup your money
• If you don’t have enough spare cash to make the conversion, consider getting planning permission anyway.

Updated Stamp Duty Rates from today until 30th September.

Stamp duty is fairly straightforward for most property sales now up until the end of September.

  1. No stamp duty is payable on property purchases under £250,000.
  2. For property purchases between £250,000 and £925,000, 5% of the amount over £250,000 is payable (for example, if a property sold for £260,000, it would be 5% of £10,000 not 5% of £260,000).
  3. Additional amounts are payable for transactions over £925,000
  4. It is important to note that there are different rules for first time buyers (no stamp duty up to £300,000), additional properties (3% surcharge), and non-UK residents (2% surcharge).

The Stamp Duty Land Tax Calculator on the gov.uk website is a helpful tool to use if you or a prospective buyer are struggling to calculate the stamp duty payable on a transaction.

 

Sell your property

Why should you look to sell your home in the winter months

Surely not! The mere thought of it…for goodness sake NO! Come on, its true…I know you will think it.

Christmas is all about focusing your thoughts on other matters such as sourcing the ultimate Christmas Turkey, ensuring the sheets are clean and aired on the spare bed for when Gran comes over on Christmas Eve. The presents….the drinks….the tree and on, and on and on..!

Well get this everyone. Surprise, surprise! (and Cilla isn’t ‘ere), the number of people viewing properties soars over the Christmas period and on into January. Who says so?

Rightmove themselves who show from their graph below (with thanks to your-move.co.uk) that there is a viewing spike for potential buyers between Christmas and New Year (Ok! A bit of a lapse during Christmas day and New Years Eve but that can be expected). Zoopla also announced they enjoyed a peak audience around 9pm on Boxing day.

average page visits on right move when selling your property xmas 2019
Right Move statistics for the christmas period in 2019

Selling your house in January with Open House Stafford & Stone

Here at Open House Stafford and Stone we know that once Christmas is out of the way, people are looking at the New Year for a new diet, new job…. a different this….a different that!. What about those that have their New Year’s Resolution as moving to a new home?!

Yes, its true, people do look at moving home in the New Year and contemplate if its the right time to sell.

Top tips for selling your home in winter

Open House Estate Agents in Stafford absolutely encourage those people who want that new year move to put their property on the market before Christmas.

Now I’m not saying that we would like to photo the tinsel, the baubles and the tree, as those are the things that people do not necessarily want to see when they are assessing the suitability of their future home. We offer some excellent hints and tips in our blog about the house selling process so please give this a read for some helpful advice.

If you can get the property on the market for that peak online viewing time you stand a good chance of selling your house fast and getting an early new year sale.

And then, of course you are in prime position to offer on that dream home you’ve been eyeing up.

What our statistics say about selling your property in January

Looking at the Statistics for Open House Stafford in 2019 – see chart below, you will see that we had as many offers on properties during January than we did in the peak of summer.

open house winter statistics
Open House yearly property statistics 2019

 

We had more property viewings this time of year than we did in February, March, April and May. However, the number of new properties being listed in January was one of the lowest months of the year.

What can we deduce from this? It is clear that the buyers are there ready and willing to view and to even make a quick offer.

However, it is also clear that sellers are less keen to put their house on the market. Perhaps its due to the long-standing misconception by sellers that houses only sell in the summer months.

To conclude

Do not delay if you are considering selling your property in the new year.

Why not call Open House Estate Agents in Stafford today, we offer a free valuation and (being right on Stafford high street, we can get the ball rolling on your property sale before you think too hard about Christmas.

Download your local Stafford Estate Agents brochure:

So which local, Stafford estate agents give the best value? Which Stafford estate agent has an office and also the perfect online solution to market your home? Well, Openhouse Stafford & Stone estate agents have everything that in comparison to all others is exceptional value.

Of course, we would say that, to help you decide if what we are saying makes sense, we have created our Openhouse Stafford & Stone information brochure which includes tips on how to get a property ready for sale and also a detailed guide to the legal process for buyers and sellers.

We have printed copies in the office, come in and ask for one while you are in and around Stafford town centre, or download it from the bottom of every page on our website, including the bottom of this blog page. Go on scroll down and click, or if you would like a copy of the glossy brochure itself, please do not hesitate to pop into our office at 113 Wolverhampton Road Stafford.

Helping you make the right decision, for you.

See you soon, on the website, in our office or at your home.
The Openhouse Stafford & Stone team


Download Our Brochure – CLICK HERE