Here are 14 tips for selling your home, from finding estate agents to accepting offers

Life is fast approaching its next stage, and you need rid of your current home in favour of something a little bigger.

It’s time to sell your house!

It can be a daunting task at the best times, all set against a backdrop of upheaval and lifestyle change. But it needn’t be as difficult as it appears.

Here are 14 top tips on selling your humble abode:

Get the right agent

Before you do anything, you’ll want to secure representation from the best estate agent you possibly can.

Getting your house to market can be an incredibly stressful experience, and there’s more to do than you think; and that’s before you’re ready to think about maximising your property’s visibility once things are open and running.

A good agent will make the process as smooth as possible for you. But be prepared to pay a premium for the best services.

Shop around online, looking for agents with proven and up-to-date marketing techniques, who can pull in maximum viewings; research various agents in your local area and ask for recommendations.

Fees are either a percentage of the sale price or a flat fee, but you’ll need to get your negotiating hat on even at this early stage. Don’t be afraid to let agents know what you’ve been offered elsewhere!

Settle on an asking price intelligently

Deciding on an asking price for your home can be a daunting task.

There are so many factors at play, that it can be confusing when trying to come up with a final figure.

Looking up local averages can be misleading, as different outlets use different metrics when calculating their figures.

That’s not say you shouldn’t still seek out these averages for a guide - just be wary of the reasons behind any fluctuations in prices. One outlet could be basing the numbers of average mortgage valuations, while others could use the figure homes actually changed hands for, for instance.

And then, averages are only averages for an area bigger than just your home; even within those ‘averages’, there are going to be exceptions.

Your best bet is to get an average valuation from at least three separate estate agents.

Spruce up your property – inside and out

Once everything is in place, it’s time to put in the hard graft getting your home into shape for prospective buyers.

First impressions count, and so it pays to spend a bit of time making sure any front gardens, paths and access ways are clear, and looking their best.

Fences looking tired? Paint them. Lawn getting overgrown? Give it a mow.

Any paintwork on the exterior of your house should also be given the once over; it will all help to give your property that ‘wow!’ factor before viewers have even stepped inside.

Tidy up!

Once you’re done outside, head indoors for a touch up there too.

This one’s slightly more obvious than clearing up outside, but it might not be as simple as tidying up each room.

Retouch any worn looking paintwork, and tick off that list of small DIY projects you’ve been meaning to get to; working bulbs in each room can go a long way!

You could even hang a few extra mirrors to give the property a more light and airy feel.

Here are some further tips to make viewings a pleasant experience:

  • Make sure windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains
  • Add plants and flowers to a room for colour and light
  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Put lamps on in any dark corners – a soft lamp in the bathroom creates a warm glow
  • If temperatures allow, light a fire if you have one
  • Clear drains, wash bins, and open windows to remove any bad smells
  • Focus on the kitchen – the most valuable room in the house

Don’t make your property look too ‘lived in’

You want your prospective buyers to be able to easily imagine transplanting their lives into your home, but at the same time, you don’t want to overburden them with your lifestyle.

A few tips to give their imaginations some room to breath on viewings include taking down personal items and posters in the kids’ rooms; just let them imagine their own tastes among yours.

It’s a fine balance though, and you don’t want to leave each room looking like a faceless hotel.

Also pay attention to the purpose of each room, and make sure each is easily definable when a viewer walks in.

For instance, if your work life has spilled out onto the dining table, make sure that room is clearly a dining room (and not an emergency office) as people walk around.

Make viewings comfortable

When people come to view your property (and they will) you’ll want the process to be as smooth as possible for them.

They’ll be guided by the agent – a trained professional – so make sure you stay out of the way, while remaining friendly and on hand for any questions they might have.

Choose the best buyer

All being well, multiple offers may come in for your home, and you’ll have the job of choosing the best buyer on your hands.

Safer buyers include those who have already sold their home and are in rented accommodation, chain-free first time buyers, and cash buyers who do not need a mortgage.

Your own personal circumstances will also come into play, such as how quickly you need to sell and whether you have found somewhere to move in to yourself.