With house price growth slowing for the fourth consecutive month in December 2022 – and a significant increase in the number of homes for sale compared to the heady days of the 2020-2021 sellers’ market – you might be forgiven for thinking that 2023 is not the ideal year to sell. Particularly with predictions of a drop in house prices of between 3% – 10% this year.
At the close of 2022, properties were certainly staying on the market for longer (45 days on average in November 2022 compared to 32 in May according to Rightmove), and the number of homebuyers applying for mortgages has also been decreasing as we face higher repayment rates and economic worries amidst the cost of living crisis.
But if circumstances dictate a house move in 2023, do not despair. Whilst the days of an over-inflated profit may be over, don’t forget that you can also be more conservative with any offers you make on your next home too.
So, when it comes to selling your own home, here are 5 quick, low-cost tips to really entice potential buyers and keep selling costs to a minimum.
1) Maximise your space
Whilst you cannot physically increase the size of your home without a costly extension, you can maximise the feeling of space within the property by introducing better lighting and mirrors.
Start by ensuring rooms are well lit. Add natural light to the proceedings by flinging back the curtains and making sure any windows and French doors are sparkling clean. Brighter bulbs and additional lamps in darker corners are a good option too (and you can take the opportunity to make the switch to more energy efficient bulbs and light fittings – another selling point!). Hanging larger mirrors in smaller rooms also creates the optical illusion of more space.
2) Take the declutter to the next level
Obviously, you’re going to tidy away the general day to day clutter of toys, shoes, washing and paperwork before potential buyers come to view your home. If you want to really help your buyers visualise their own belongings in your home and see it to its full potential though, you might consider taking the declutter to the next level.
Whether you’re a hoarder or a minimalist, temporarily storing freestanding furniture and appliances like lamps, occasional tables, and even an armchair or microwave not only makes your home look bigger, but it can also really show off the space to buyers who might struggle to see past your belongings and personal taste. This can easily be achieved by hiring a temporary storage container. In the same vein, relegate family photos and any potentially polarising artwork or decorative touches to the back of the wardrobe during a viewing – you’re selling buyers your home not your lifestyle after all.
3) Offer buyers that sweet scent of home
It might sound like a well-worn cliché to put the coffee on or pop a loaf in the bread maker but making sure your home is a treat for all the senses can really be the difference between clinching a sale and sending buyers running for the hills.
Indeed, according to Ideal Home, over 85% of buyers surveyed said the smell emanating from a house was a factor in whether or not they would make an offer.
And the top 5 smells that will help sell your home?
1. Bread (35%)
2. Coffee (32%)
3. Clean laundry (29%)
4. Fresh flowers (24%)
5. Open fire (19%)
If you’re not a keen baker and coffee isn’t your thing don’t despair. You can easily flood your home with a pleasing aroma for potential buyers thanks to the huge array of plug-in and reed diffusers and wax warmers – much safer than an unattended scented candle!
4) Present a neutral canvas
Live in the catchment area for a fantastic school with great parks and outdoor space on the doorstep? Then you may have a fairly good idea of the type of buyer your home will most appeal to. However, you still want to attract the largest number of buyers possible to clinch the best sale price.
By presenting a blank canvas with your décor, a range of buyers will really be able to imagine themselves living in your property. If your home is sporting a bright blue playroom, a black ‘emo’ teenage bedroom, or particularly busy wallpaper, consider a quick lick of paint in more neutral tones so buyers aren’t put off by immediate remedial work the minute they walk in the door.
5) Shop around when it comes to your own moving expenses
In 2022, the average cost of moving home was around £12,000 – ouch! However, there are ways you can bring this cost down significantly.
With mortgage rates at their highest in years, using a mortgage broker can end up saving you a significant sum each month. Particularly if you are self-employed or have more complicated financial arrangements. A broker will also be able to talk through the different types of mortgages available so you can decide whether a variable, fixed, discount or specialist mortgage is best for you. Find a reputable local broker at https://www.unbiased.co.uk/
One of the biggest expenses when you sell your home is the estate agent fee, which can be anywhere from 0.9%-3.6% of your total sale price. To keep on top of the costs, you may want to consider a fixed-fee online agent that doesn’t have the overheads of a high street shop and can pass those savings along to their vendors.
Not all removals companies were created equal (or come with an equal fee!), so do your research. If you have too many belongings to go down the cheaper, DIY route, get a number of quotes from local members of the British Association of Removers and consider sites like AnyVan where removals companies provide a competitive bid when you enter the details of your move. If you can be flexible about the timing of your move, there are also savings to be had if you choose a less popular mid-week, mid-month date to avoid the traditionally busy times for removals companies.