If your New Year's resolution is to sell your property and move to a new place, you'll likely be thinking about what you can be doing now to prepare. If not, we have some top pointers from leading property insurance provider Just Landlords on where to get started...
Once the Christmas chaos is out of the way, anyone thinking of selling their property in the New Year should begin considering ways to maximise marketing, viewings and, ultimately, the sale price.
To kickstart a successful sales process, here are some places to begin:
Assess winter property damage
The cold weather has already hit us, and there's no saying how bad it's going to get, even into January and beyond. Once you decide that it's time to market your property for sale, you must take a critical look at how the winter weather has affected the home.
Cast your eyes over every aspect of the property - has a roof tile been dislodged, are branches masking the exterior, is the boiler working properly? If there are minor issues to address, now's the time to do it. When marketing your property, the aim is to show it off in its best light, so make sure the impact of winter hasn't been too harsh.
Top tip: Before property viewings, make sure that the entryway to your property is clear of snow or ice - slipping on the way into a property is unlikely to leave a good first impression!
Declutter from Christmas
Christmas can leave your home looking a little dishevelled (and that's before the snow arrives!). Make sure to clear the property of all Christmas decorations and find a home for the many presents that will be sure to fill your living room over the next few weeks before putting the home on the market.
It's important that viewers can imagine themselves living in your property, so any clutter or over-personalised objects can put them off and prevent them feeling comfortable in the space.
If selling your property is high on your agenda for 2018, you'll likely be thinking of any small investments you can make to enable you to command a higher asking price. One of these could be redecorating.
It's true that when you live in a home everyday, you miss the small details that will stick in prospective buyers' minds, such as chipped paintwork, dated wallpaper and tired furnishings. Think about easy, inexpensive changes that could make a huge difference to your property's appeal, such as a neutral lick of paint or tasteful accessories to bring the home up to date. These small touches could make a huge difference to the overall feel of the property.
But keep it cosy
If you're putting your property on the market in the earlier months of next year, it'll still be cold out, which means that you need to make your home warm and welcoming for potential guests. Not only does this help the viewing go more smoothly, but it can also leave a (positive) lasting impression amongst possible buyers.
Before viewings, make sure that each room is warmed through and doesn't leave them shivering, and consider offering them a hot drink as they arrive. To show off how homely and cosy your home can be, put on lamps throughout the living spaces and fluff up some extra cushions on the sofa.
Maximise the space
With house prices continuing to rise, buyers will be looking to get great value for what they're spending. Start by looking at similar properties in your local area to see what buyers are being offered elsewhere, before looking at your own home and what you're offering.
It's important that buyers feel like they're getting a good deal, so try to offer more - this could be a home office, a newly refurbished kitchen, or even just a cosy reading nook. Using the space to its full potential will help buyers feel like they're getting more for their money (and no one is opposed to that).
Of course, Christmas is likely to take over all aspects of our lives as it arrives and disturbs our everyday routines for a couple of weeks, but, once the air has cleared, it's time to start off the New Year with a plan - tick off these pointers, and you'll be well on your way.
Disclaimer: Guest blog posts on the Martin & Co blog are written by external companies. Martin & Co do not endorse the products or services of these companies.