A guide to buying your first property should always start with;
In this sustained current Housing Market, where there is an overwhelming majority of Buyers in comparison to the number of properties actually available to purchase, it would be foolish to choose more than One Estate Agent.
Why would you want to throw money away on Joint Sole or Multiple Agency Fees, which you would inevitably have to incur, should you go on with more than one agent. A Secondary Agent will only have the same people registered and would simply waste valuable marketing time which will not Maximise viewings. Don't worry about being a nuisance. Nag everyone including the agent and your solicitor, whether it's regards to viewings, securing the best offer or ensuring the sale goes through promptly.
As long as the Asking Price is set correctly and not too Over Ambitious, then prospective purchasers will not be discouraged from viewing your place.
Clear the clutter and clean if your home is a mess, no amount of smooth talking from the agent conducting the viewing is going to help you sell it. The Larger the Property Appears, the easier it is to Sell (Fact). Teenagers' bedrooms are one of the worst potential disaster areas. Even the cleanest, tidiest family in town is probably going to need to do at least a few things to spruce up their home before putting it on the market.
The most effective action of all is to clear away any clutter. Move unnecessary furniture into the attic, basement or garage or, better still, move it away from the property altogether. Self-storage depots are an invaluable tool for the house mover. They're inexpensive and convenient, and enable you to temporarily store all the junk you don't want to throw out.
Once the main clutter is out of the way, the most IMPORTANT way to draw people to View your Property through the web portals and advertising, is by decent and professional Photographs to be taken by your agent. Without this, you can almost forget finding that Key Buyer quickly.
So make your home as presentable as possible and Help your agent with the sale by preparing your house in the following ways;
Think about the overall package you're presenting. If tidiness and presentation isn't your thing, a home staging company or house doctor may be willing to offer a free initial consultation to discuss your home's potential, and of course, the value of their services! Seemingly insignificant details can add thousands to the price you eventually achieve. Clear the air Don't be tempted to spend big money on your home before selling it. After all, if you spend time and money painting a wall green, the buyer may hate the shade you've chosen and paint it blue as soon as they move in!
Instead concentrate more on odours, lighting, ventilation and warmth. Have you thought about how your house smells? Ask a friend to be brutally honest. Stale cigarette smoke is one of the worst offenders. If you've got pets, you probably don't even notice their smell or that their hair is everywhere, but a buyer will. It may be an old cliché, but the smell of freshly baked bread or real coffee brewing will give a house a 'homely' aroma which will appeal to buyers. Okay, not many of us have the time to bake bread before each viewing (or even know how to!) but at least you can make sure the place smells nice. Before a viewing, open the windows and air the whole house. Fresh flowers can also help, as they will make your property seem cared for; scented candles are another option. If you're trying to sell an empty house, leave the heating on low and ideally move some furniture in to make it look more habitable. Never be afraid to ask a friend for an honest opinion.
Your house should make a good First Impression, even from the street. Buyers often drive past a property for sale and if they don't like the look of it at first glance, they'll strike it off their list. There will be some things you can't do anything about, but you should at least ensure that you maximise your chances by sprucing things up. Cross the street and take a long, hard look at your property. What does it look like from here? Does it compare well with neighbouring properties? Walk towards the front door, noting anything that requires attention. For instance:
An effective way to ensure lots of people view your property is to arrange an Open-House or Block Viewing. These are usually conducted over the weekend for an hour or more, with the agent overseeing viewings, but allowing potential buyers to stroll around at their leisure. The more people who view (and see others viewing), the better. Make sure your agent has the name and contact details of everyone who enters your property. Ensure the property looks cosy and inviting and then leave the agent to do their job.
Buyers are more at ease without the owners being present during the viewing, listening for feedback. The agent should give you an update at the end of the day and a few days later to inform you if any offers have been received as a result.
Not all properties Benefit from these Block Viewings and depending on the actual home, your agent will advise if more Intimate One-to-One Viewings are better suited to you.
If you are going with more than one agent, make sure you get enough keys cut for each agent instructed. It's amazing how many times agents will squabble amongst themselves about who had the set of keys last, or even worse, one agent may not even bother to go down the road to another agency to collect your keys if it's easier to show an applicant another property instead.
Sometimes you may want to show viewers around your property yourself. Perhaps the agent has booked a second viewing after office hours or at the weekend and is unable to attend. If so, here are a few tips to make sure it all goes smoothly: