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Thinking of selling your home in the New Year? Here’s what you can do now to prepare

Whether you're a first-time seller or a seasoned pro, the road to a successful sale always begins with careful preparation. We understand that selling a property can feel like a significant task, so we’ve put together a simple guide to maximise your home’s saleability and ensure its primed and ready for the market in the New Year.

1. Declutter and depersonalise:

Before you start making any major changes, begin by decluttering and depersonalising your home. Remove personal photos and memorabilia to help potential buyers envision themselves living in the space. Clean out cupboards and storage areas, and consider donating or storing items you no longer need. A clutter-free home feels more spacious and inviting.

2. Repairs and maintenance:

Take care of any necessary repairs and maintenance. Pay particular attention to kitchens and bathrooms: clean, fresh grout and mastic seals make a huge difference. Checks for signs or cracking paint or water ingress and address where necessary. A well-maintained home gives buyers confidence in the property's overall condition. If you have any concerns with larger repair issues then it may be worth considering have a survey carried out, this avoids any nasty surprises that a buyer’s survey may pull up and can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

3. Curb Appeal:

First impressions matter, so pay attention to your home's exterior. Ensure that any garden and entryway are well-kept and inviting. Keep things like bins, bikes and toys out of site. Consider planting some fresh flowers or adding a new coat of paint to the front door. A little effort here can go a long way.

4. Freshen up the Interiors:

After a through clean of your home. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Neutral colours are a safe choice as they appeal to a wide range of buyers. Make sure to touch up any scuffs or marks on the walls. If your carpets are looking worn, consider having them professionally cleaned or replaced.

5. Choosing the right Estate Agent:

Selecting the right estate agent is a crucial step in the selling process. Start your search by doing some research: read local agents online reviews, look for an agent with a good reputation and local market expertise. They should have a track record of successful sales in your area.

Meet with a few agents to discuss your goals and expectations. Look for an agent who has a deep understanding of the local property market. They should be aware of recent sales in your area, the current demand, and pricing trends. Local expertise allows them to price your home competitively and market it effectively. Ask about their marketing plan for your home, how they plan to reach potential buyers, and how they will keep you informed throughout the process.

Ultimately, choose an agent with whom you feel comfortable and can communicate effectively. Selling a home involves many decisions and negotiations, so it's important to work with someone you can trust and who listens to your concerns and preferences and with whom you can navigate the selling process with confidence.

6. Get your paperwork in order:

This is one of the most common ways a sale can be held up. If you own a leasehold property, ensure you are up to date with your service charges and that you have copies of your latest service charges and ground rent available. Know who your managing agents and freeholders are and how you go about obtaining a management pack for a sale. Be aware of any scheduled works and their potential costs. If you have done work to your home, ensure you have the relevant certification and guarantees in place and copies of the paperwork available. Be aware of any nearby planning applications.

With new legislation regarding fire safety in place for residential apartment blocks, if you live in a flat or apartment, it is important to check if there is an EWS1 certificate is applicable for your building. The EWS1 form itself certifies that the external wall cladding system has been assessed by someone who is suitably qualified to do so. You can read more about it here. It should be noted that not very building will require a certificate so you should check with your managing agents / freeholder.

Your building may also qualify under the Building Safety Act. Essentially this Act means that leaseholders can no longer be the first port of call for historic building defects and building owners will not legally be able to charge qualifying leaseholders for any costs in circumstances where a building (over 5 storeys or 11m tall) requires cladding to be removed or remediated. Again, not all buildings qualify, particularly if they are under 5 storeys or 11m tall but you should make these enquiries prior to bringing your home to the market.

9. Be flexible with viewings:

Be prepared to accommodate viewings, even at short notice. Evenings and weekends are common requests and even though they may be less convenient for you, the more accessible your home is for potential buyers, the higher the chances of a successful sale.

10. Negotiate wisely:

When you receive an offer, work closely with your estate agent to negotiate effectively. Be open to reasonable offers and consider any contingencies or conditions carefully.

In conclusion, preparing your home for a sale is a strategic process that involves careful planning and attention to detail. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of a successful sale and a smooth transition to your next chapter. Remember that working with the right estate agent is key to navigating the property market with confidence. If you are thinking of moving in the New Year then get in touch, we'd love to help.

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