Spring is a wonderful time to sell a home – the buds are budding, gardens are springing into life, and a little bit of sunshine makes everyone’s home look better. Plus, buyers have traditionally always started home searching in the spring, and the property portals tell us this is still the case today.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, or your home is on the market right now, you may have some questions about how to make your move a success. Here are some of the questions we get asked at this time of year by our clients at Hawkesford James:
“My house has been on the market since wintertime – now my garden is flowering, should I get new photographs taken?”
Winter garden photos can look a little, well, sad. Bare trees and shrubs, bare earth and leaf-covered, muddy lawns can all be a bit off-putting to buyers. So when your garden starts coming back to life, it’s a really good idea to get some fresh and colourful images taken to showcase it to buyers. At Hawkesford James we offer new foliage images free of charge to our clients, to make sure their images online are always current and as attractive as possible. Why not ask your agent if they can do likewise?
“If I get an offer now, when should I expect to be moved by?”
Nationwide, the current time from accepting an offer to handing over the keys is around 12 weeks, but this can vary hugely depending on your buyer’s position, finance needed, any complications with your sale and much more. If you have a straightforward sale, no chain and your buyer doesn’t need a mortgage, then you should be moved by the summer, or around 10 weeks. Any complications or chain delays can more than double this, so ask an expert about your specific situation. We’re always happy to offer our advice on timescales and what to expect. Just give us a call on 01795 437777 and let’s have a chat.
“I don’t know how I’m going to keep my house tidy during the Easter holidays! Should I take a break from the market?”
We feel your pain! Selling a house with children off school is never an easy task, but there are some things you can do to help make your viewings successful and stress-free:
1. Encourage (bribe) your children to tidy up and keep tidy. Daily inspections with reward stickers for younger children and cash for older teens usually does the trick.
2. Keep the children out of the house as much as possible, so your home stays tidier!
3. Takeaways or eating out if you have an imminent viewing booked will save you having to clean your kitchen.
4. Resist the urge to do ‘messy’ playtime with the kids if you have viewings arranged – no finger painting, Play-doh or baking!
5. Make sure you’re out of the house for viewings, so you don’t feel stressed – being under pressure to have perfectly-behaved children will not result in an enjoyable viewing, for you or your buyers!
6. If you have a real house-full and really would rather not have to cope with viewings during the school holidays, tell your agent. They’ll be understanding if you want to take a break from the market until the kids go back to school.
“I’m thinking about moving home – is now a good time?”
A great question! We’re sure you’ve heard it’s a ‘seller’s market’ right now, and has been pretty much since the start of the Pandemic. But things are starting to change. More homes coming to market means more competition for buyers, and that creates downward pressure on house prices. We expect prices to remain strong for at least this year, and probably into next year, but we think the days of huge scarcity are now behind us. What does this mean for you if you’re thinking of selling? Well, if we’re right and property prices have peaked, you can feel confident you’d be selling your home at the top of the market. Whatever your situation, selling now when you know it’s a strong market is going to give you a more predictable sale price than waiting until next year and facing an unknown property market.
“What are most buyers looking for right now?”
Some homes are inevitably in more demand than others – our buyers are looking for specific features, like work-from-home space, and often want a home with potential to extend. Bungalows seem to be very popular right now, as are homes with land. Whatever your home has to offer, we’d love to have a chat with you and tell you whether we have buyers registered who are looking for a home just like yours. Just give us a call on 01795 437777 or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the ball rolling.
“I thought this was supposed to be a seller’s market, but my home still hasn’t had much interest. What can I do?”
It’s hugely disappointing when you’re excited to put your home on the market, and no one seems interested. Especially if neighbouring properties are selling fast around you. The three key drivers of any successful property sale are presentation, price and promotion: how well your home is presented to the market, and whether it competes on how modern rooms like its kitchens and bathrooms are; whether the price is competitive and not over-optimistic; and finally, but probably the most important of the three, how your home is marketed. The images, written description and brochure are more important than most people assume, and just improving them can have a dramatic impact on how much interest a home receives. We’ve taken on , styled them and changed the photography, and sold them straight away without changing the price at all! So if you’re not sure if your marketing is really showcasing your home, we’ll be frank, and tell you honestly if it is. Send me a link to your home at email@example.com and I’ll tell you how you can improve your marketing and attract the right buyer.
“Our garden is looking lovely, but it’s still a bit muddy. Can we ask viewers to take off their shoes before they view our home?”
Yes! We always take off our shoes before going into a home, and so we expect the viewers to, too. Carpets with muddy footprints aren’t attractive to buyers, so let’s make sure yours stay clean!
If you have any questions at all about any of the points raised in this article, or you’d just like a friendly, no-strings chat about your house sale, we’d love to help you. Call me on 01795 437777, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get you moving.
Jon Hawkesford, proud co-owner of Hawkesford James Estate Agents in the Sittingbourne.