The first few months of the year are some of the busiest for the buying and selling of property. People, keen for a fresh start or eager to finally put their home-buying plans into action, see January as the perfect time to do exactly that.
With the fun and festivities of Christmas now over with, it then comes to the serious business of finding the perfect home.
Sellers need to be in a position to pounce on this renewed buyer interest. Once upon a time, activity would slow down throughout December as the festive period beckoned. Now, however, the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day sees traffic levels on major portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla spike massively as people hunt for their dream home.
The proliferation of tablets and smartphones means that, instead of watching the Queen’s Speech or a Christmas film, people are increasingly turning to their handheld devices to pass the time.
Browsing for property is now a very popular activity in its own right; none more so than the time of year traditionally associated with turkey, pigs in blankets and charades.
Buyers, following on from this initial interest, then look to make things more concrete in the early months of the new year. What, though, can you – as a prospective seller – do to make sure your property is ready for sale?
Below, using our experience as estate agents operating in Hertfordshire, Essex and north London, we take a closer look…
A property is far more likely to sell if it is in tip-top condition, so it’s vital that your home looks at its attractive and welcoming best. Spruce up the living room, kitchen and bedrooms, make sure your bathroom(s) look spic and span, and ensure that you complete any of those pesky DIY jobs that you’ve been putting on the backburner.
A half-painted skirting board or a missing light-bulb might sound trivial, but it will give buyers the wrong impression if your home isn’t well-maintained throughout.
You want to give buyers a warm welcome when they come to view your home – and this extends to getting the temperature of your property spot-on. You don’t want it to be too hot and toasty, but you don’t want it to be cold and draughty either.
In the winter months, cold spells hit and people want to be warmed up when they step inside a home. What’s more, buyers will want to see that your home is well-insulated, energy efficient and free from the threat of things like damp and mould.
This is likely to be less of a problem in winter than autumn, but a build-up of leaves is still something that can cause issues for your gutters and drainage system. If you have a driveway or front garden, leaves, litter and other debris can end up being blown here, making things look unsightly and untidy. As such, it’s important that you get the broom out and clear all this away.
Your property’s ‘kerb appeal’ – in other words what it looks like from the outside – is all-important because it’s the first part of the home would-be buyers will see. You want them to form a good first impression, so the outside of your home needs to look as attractive and welcoming as the inside.
When it comes to viewings, work closely with your estate agent to be as flexible and accommodating as possible. As long as the requests aren’t unreasonable or outlandish, try and facilitate the demands of would-be buyers as much as you can.
A good relationship between buyer and seller is crucial to the smoothness of any sale, so an easy-going nature, good levels of communication and flexibility will increase the chances of both parties getting what they want.
If you would like further guidance on buying or selling a property in North London, East London, Hertfordshire or Essex, we would be delighted to help.
Find out how much your home could be worth on the current market by requesting a free instant online valuation.