7 house viewing tips to help sell your home

A slow housing market can be a genuine source of frustration for sellers.

Some may be forced to reduce their asking price in order to find a buyer who can progress, while others may be tempted to give up completely and place their plans back on the drawing board.

But there are things you can do as seller to boost your chances of a quick sale.

So, don't give up! Take a look at our top tips on how to sell your house. But first...


Choose a good estate agent

You could run all of the ideas in this piece to prepare your home for market.

But if your estate agent isn't proactive or passionate about selling your home, that For Sale board could remain standing for quite some time.

Before putting your house in the market, do your research into estate agents in your area.

Speak to family and friends, or even strangers who you see coming out of a branch, and get some recommendations on who to use - or even to avoid.

Look for agents selling homes similar to yours and seek valuations from three or four different companies.

And ensure that the agent you choose is marketing your home in the right way.

That means a listing on at least two of the three main online property portals - Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

Finally, choose an agent who shows real passion for your home. If they love it and are enthusiastic about selling it then this passion will filter down to buyers.


1. Set an appropriate asking price

You want the most you can get for your home - that's perfectly natural.

After all, achieving a certain asking price could be crucial for you in taking the next step on your property journey.

But try to be realistic.

If you're selling in a slow market, you may have to accept that your home is not going to achieve the price you want in an ideal world.

Check out prices on other similar properties in the area and don't automatically go with the estate agent who provides the highest valuation.

If you can afford to undercut similar properties in the area, you'll have a head start from day one and buyers should check your home out first.


2. Organise your documents

In a slow market, bagging an acceptable offer is a huge moment.

But it can bring with it a fear of the deal falling through and putting you back to square one.

So, do whatever you can to get to an exchange of contracts quickly.

That means getting all your documents in order, so you are ready to leap into action once that offer comes in.

Your solicitor will need (and this is just for starters):

* Proof of identity (passport or driving licence)
* Energy Performance Certificate
* Property title deeds

Dig them out and have them close to hand.

And be prepared to fill in the various other forms required during the sales process, which include the fixtures and fittings form (TA10) and property information form (TA6).


3. Show off your home

That means clearing away anything that could give the impression of a lack of storage.

Storage is absolutely key for buyers.

So, leaving clutter in place could be detrimental to your selling bid.

Showing off your home is vital in a slow market and doing so effectively can help your property stand out from other similar homes on the market.

Think about the things that buyers of homes like yours would look for and present them as best you can.

For instance, if you have a real heart of the home kitchen (a big tick for buyers), don't leave mountains of appliances covering the work surface or piles of bills, letters, phones and chargers on the island.

Remove everything apart from the main appliances and, most importantly, make sure everything is clean and sparkling.


4. Make some improvements

Take a good look around your home before putting it on the market and pinpoint anything that requires some TLC.

Hairline cracks in walls should be filled in and dripping taps fixed.

Buyers will almost certainly open cupboard doors and windows so ensure everything is in full working order.

It can also be worth covering over any walls painted or papered in bright colours.

While completely neutralising your home can make it feel sterile, buyers will want to visualise what they could do with the property to make it their own.


5. Stay out of the way on viewings

When choosing your estate agent, you should always use one that undertakes viewings.

While some sellers like to show potential buyers around their home themselves, it's always better to allow the agent to do the job they are trained for.

Buyers will feel they can be honest in front of an agent and that feedback could be vital in helping you make changes or improvements before another viewing.

Buyers are far more likely to hold back or even feel like they are imposing when being shown around by the property's owner.


6. Chase your agent

If you've picked a good estate agent then they should provide you with honest and up front feedback after every viewing.

But if they don't, then chase and keep tabs on them.

Your estate agent should be showing passion for your home and over-selling the positive aspects of it to buyers.

Finding out what buyers liked and disliked about your home is great information to make changes or improvements.

Don't take criticism personally. Treat your sale as a business transaction and do whatever you can to give yourself the best chance of selling your home quickly.

If your agent has gone quiet or viewings are dropping, it could be time for a change.


7. Step back and reflect

If, having implemented all of the above, your property remains on the market for a substantial amount of time, it's likely the issue is the price.

At this stage it can be worth taking it off the market and reflecting for a few months.

Keep an eye on the property market locally and nationally and give yourself some time to establish an asking price that could secure you a sale but still enables you to take your next step.

Once you are refreshed, try a new agent who will take new photographs of your property and provide a new marketing strategy.

Most importantly, be realistic with your new asking price.

It could make all the difference.


If you're thinking of selling your home, make sure you have an up to date valuation - your local CJ Hole office will carry this out for you free of charge.

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