Many people forget the first impression comes from the garden. Watch the video below, to get ideas and tips to help sell your home this summer, as well as make your garden a more enjoyable place to be.
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1. Decluttering the garden can add value. Always start with tidying and give your lawn a fresh mow and tidy up any weather damage before a viewing.
2. Add some seasonal colour, like plant pots filled with flowers. This will add perceived value.
3. Start in the front garden, because this is where your potential buyer will start. The first impression counts.
4. Add a key selling point, like a summer house, play park or a jacuzzi if you want to turn your garden into a fantastic reason to buy the house. This requires major investment, but it could secure your sale.
5. If you’re looking to spend less, don’t underestimate the impact of a coat of paint on fences and sheds.
6. Style your garden with furniture. You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs on the decking or patio?
7. If your home is overlooked, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots.
Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Contact a Guild Member today.
To make your home appeal to the widest range of buyers, identify its strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most common property weaknesses and how you can turn them into strengths …
Weakness:The windows are outdated.
Hanging new curtains is an easy way to update your property. Install a simple metal rod and hang a neutral curtain with metal rings.
Weakness:Your kitchen needs an update.
Purchase new white goods for your kitchen to avoid the cost of a complete renovation. When you’re updating, think stainless steel as these appliances are popular and modern.
Weakness:There are small, ‘awkward’ spaces in your home.
Hang a large mirror. Mirrors can make any space seem larger, so they’re especially important in an entryway or narrow hallway.
Weakness: Your house looks old.
A fresh coat of paint and a top-to-bottom clean can work wonders to turn a rustic property into a character-filled dream. Highlight the period features of your property so the house becomes historic, not just ‘old’.
Weakness:There’s no furniture in your property.
Have furniture in every room to demonstrate what it could be used for.
Moving to a new house can be a stressful time, particularly if a sale falls through. Don’t worry if this happens as there are often ways to get it back on track. Guild Members talk about the potential pitfalls to avoid during your negotiations and give tips to help your sale move forward.
If something unexpected comes up in a survey, it may be a big enough problem to make the sale fall through.
Becky Evans from Mark Evans & Co said: “In our experience, most house sales fall through due to survey reports. Unexpected work picked up on a survey may cause some purchasers to walk away from a sale. We would recommend that sellers sort out any paperwork for work carried out and organise certificates to provide to your surveyor and purchaser.
“If there is work that needs to be carried out, it can be more beneficial to rectify it before going on the market, because if your sale falls through, you will still have to pay solicitor fees and may still end up paying for the work. Purchasers should fully read their survey report and ask their surveyor to explain anything they don’t understand. If surveyors have not seen any paperwork or evidence of work, they have to assume it hasn’t been done and it can therefore seem like a larger problem than it is,” she warns.
Liam Sullivan from Drivers and Norris has some advice. “Some of the more common reasons for losing a sale can be avoided if you ask the seller if they are aware of any major works having been done on the property,” he said. “Or, if alterations have been made, do they have any documentation which signs it off, either from The Council or Building Regulations?”
A chain can fall apart for many reasons, and sometimes people can get bored of waiting and find a house elsewhere.
“When you agree a sale, you expect it to go through to completion. However, this is a time when you are not in control of events. You must rely on your buyer, and maybe even their buyer, and so on until the chain is complete. Any one of these people can and do change their minds occasionally. It is often nothing to do with your property,” explains Zoe Hayle from Marshalls Penzance.
The results of a single break can be huge, too. “A sale falling through at the bottom of a chain of sales can potentially jeopardise all of the others, so one break can mean three, four or more sales falling through,” says Justin Flanagan from Charles Eden.
How can you try to stop a chain from falling through?
Becky Evans from Mark Evans & Co has some advice: “Our biggest advice to purchasers and vendors is that you may have to compromise during your sale. Also, picking the right estate agent can literally keep your sale together; our contract chaser is invaluable and on many occasions, sales would have not gone through without her.”
During a negotiation
Negotiations can be a tricky time, and you can find yourself dealing with surprising demands. It is worth being flexible, and remember that small details should not be a make-or-break on your deal.
Cheryle Wileman from Liverpool Property Solutions says that the key is good communication. “Fixtures and fittings can also cause some fraught negotiations with sellers wanting to take fitted wardrobes etc out of the property,” she explains. “Keeping calm is often the key.”
Allan Carr, Founder of Pulver Carr, agrees that a level head can push a sale through. “I have seen a number of sales almost fall through due to silly reasons such as having to leave a tired old shed, leaving curtains, not wanting to contribute towards an indemnity policy, or not being able to agree on a completion date.
“This is where the quality estate agent mediates between both parties and get them to look at the bigger picture of completing the sales transaction,” he says.”
People changing their mind and pulling out
Situations change all the time. Someone could lose their job, a family member could become ill, or people can simply have second thoughts.
Mike Coles from Debbie Fortune has noticed a range of reasons why minds can be changed. “The seller can change their minds after first accepting the offer and decide to stay put, which is sometimes called ‘gazanging’. The seller may not be able to find another property to move to, or the buyer’s finances are not in place or their mortgage advance is rejected.
“The buyer can be ‘gazumped,’ which is when the seller receives a higher offer from another buyer. The opposite, ‘gazundering’, is when the buyer reduces their offer at the last minute, before contracts are signed,” Mike explains.
As much as a buyer may want to move ahead, they may not be able to. “Despite buyers having AIP finance, there is a changing mortgage market and tougher underwriting depending on the loan to value once an actual application is completed. This can lead to upset unless the buyer has regularly reviewed the arrangements they have made,” points out Justin Flanagan from Charles Eden.
What should you do next?
If a sale falls through, Kelvin Francis from Kelvin Francis says: “Get the property back onto the market without delay and commence a new marketing campaign. In the event of the cause having been a result of the survey, the seller should deal with any faults.”
How can you prevent a sale from falling through?
Don’t forget to check your mortgage status before putting in an offer to ensure that you will be accepted to buy the home.
You should always remember to be patient, especially when waiting for sales to go through. The negotiation stage can be the most frustrating as you want the sale to move ahead quickly, but it is worth taking a step back and letting the negotiations take their course.
The most important thing is to choose an agent who will be able to constantly chase your sale through, no matter if it is in a chain of not. A highly-regarded independent estate agent, like Members of The Guild of Property Professionals, will be experts in sale chasing and can ensure that everything possible is done to stop a sale from falling through.
There are different types of estate agent model out there, but at The Guild, we recommend the ‘no sale, no fee’.
This means that you don’t have to pay until your house is sold, so there is no risk of having to pay for no results. The ‘no sale, no fee’ model is used by nearly all ‘traditional’ estate agents, which means your friendly local estate agent who has a shop on the high street. Be sure to look for this when you decide to sell your home. When you choose the ‘no sale, no fee’ option, it means that your estate agent wants to sell your home as much as you do – they won’t get paid if they don’t!
What are the differences?
Pay a flat fee up-front
Payment is due no matter if the agent sells your home or not
Usually conducted online
‘No sale, no fee’ model
No commission is taken until the sale goes through
Agents are paid on commission, so they want the same as you: to sell the home
Usually has a high-street office, giving consumers an in-person point of contact
The choice is yours, and you are free to pick the model that best suits your needs. At the Guild, we recommend the ‘no sale, no fee option because agents with a commission-based fee structure aren’t paid until they get results, meaning their priority is the same as the homeowners: to sell the property.
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild, said: “There has been a rise in the number of DIY packages with up-front fees available to consumers, but no-one has truly explained the pros and cons of each service, so we want to educate the public about the different options that are available. At The Guild, we strongly recommend the high-street option of ‘no sale, no fee’ to ensure that the seller gets the best service and best price for their home in the shortest possible time.”
The Guild is a network of the best 800 independent estate agents around the country. Find out why you should choose them to sell your home.
Research has revealed that around 80% of homeowners have at least one noteworthy regret regarding their home buying decision.
Here are our five top tips to ensure you make the right choice while on the hunt for your next home:
1. Focus is key
A property may appeal in terms of your wants, but not necessarily tick the must-haves boxes. Make sure that the property meets your main objectives otherwise it can’t be the right home for you.
2. Find the right solicitor for you
It is imperative that you choose and work with a solicitor that you not only trust but feel comfortable with too. A good solicitor will keep you well-informed and will guide you through the buying process. The service your solicitor provides can dramatically alter your home buying experience.
(Ripon and Thirsk both have local solicitors who will help you purchase or sell your property. Please do not hesitate to pop in and ask us who we would suggest)
3. Get a second opinion
Whether you have a close friend or trusted family member, it always helps to get a second, unbiased opinion. Better yet, hire someone to look at the property to give you an idea of the work that will need doing once you move in.
4. Check your finances
There are various unexpected costs of owning a home. Make sure you calculate what is within your budget, taking costs such as council tax, insurance and service charge into consideration.
5. Don’t engage in a bidding war
Focus on finding the right home for you, and don’t get caught up in a bidding contest. Walk away from the deal if it gets out of hand to ensure you don’t overpay. Remember, a higher price will mean a larger deposit, higher fees and thousands in additional interest on a larger mortgage.
Are you looking to sell your home? Contact your local Guild Member for help through the moving process.
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