Property expert Carys Davies shares how to sell your house for more money
The demand for houses during the pandemic saw property prices soar by a staggering 10.8% last year, according to government figures released in February.
And if you are thinking of selling up, then spring is the best time to get on the market, says Carys Davies, TV property expert and presenter of The Great House Giveaway.
‘After the long, dark winter months, everything suddenly starts to looks bright,’ she says.
‘The days are warmer, the nights are getting lighter and gardens are starting to bloom. Spring is the season of new beginnings, not just for nature but for people wanting to move home, too.
‘Traditionally we are about to enter the most buoyant time of the property market, so it’s important to ensure your house will achieve the best possible price.’
Here, Carys shares her top tips…
Create kerb appeal
The outside of your house should be as appealing as the inside – people can make up their minds before they’ve even walked through the front door.
‘Make sure the front garden is tidy: sweep the path, do the weeding, cut the hedges, plant up some nice pots,’ says Carys.
‘Put bikes in the shed, and move unsightly bins and recycling boxes out of sight. If the paint on the front door and the window sills is peeling, give them a refresh. A new letter box or door knocker is also an effective update.’
Make a grand entrance
First impressions count, says Carys. ‘The hallway is the initial glimpse of your home, so ensure it’s not cluttered with shoes and bags. And don’t hang coats on the end of the bannister!
‘Put everything away, or put coat hooks on the wall with a basket underneath for shoes so it looks like a designated space.’
We all have too much stuff and if you are moving, the chances are you need a bigger place.
‘So get rid of anything you don’t need before you go on the market,’ says Carys.
‘Make your home look more spacious by selling unwanted stuff on eBay or donate it. Most charity shops will collect large furniture items.
‘If wardrobes, drawers and cupboards are overflowing, potential buyers will assume there’s a shortage of storage space.
‘Store excess stuff you want to keep in the garage or loft or put it in storage. Buyers need to be able to imagine what their own things will look like in your home.’
Broken fence, wobbly kitchen drawer, plug socket hanging off the wall? All those jobs you never got round to now need sorting – a badly maintained house can get chipped on price.
‘Walk round with a pen and paper and list everything. If DIY isn’t your bag, ask family or friends to help, especially if they have a trade or invest in a handyman for a day.
‘Repainting rooms can be costly and will eat into your profit, but is worth if it it’s a real eyesore. Invite pals over for painting/pizza party. Don’t imprint your style – a lick of white or neutral paint is best to make everything look fresh and clean.’
Don’t show off your pets
While we are a pet-loving nation, do not assume all potential buyers will share your enthusiasm.
‘Hide pet bowls and beds and take the dog out for a walk. Make sure there are no nasty whiffs – there’s nothing worse than the smell of a full cat litter or wet dog. Light a scented candle an hour before the viewing.’
Make it smell nice
Don’t underestimate the pulling power of smell. A fragrant vase of fresh flowers on the table can make a home feel loved. As can the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or baked bread.
‘I once sold my house after roasting a chicken! Little touches of comfort will entice the buyer as they imagine themselves in your home.
‘Plants dotted around the house will also give a good vibe.
‘For a pop of colour, add new towels in the bathroom – carry that colourway through the house with a few cushions in the lounge and a throw on the bed to subliminally tie everything in. Lamps can also add ambience.’
Show off potential
People’s requirements have changed since the pandemic, so create an office space.
‘Put a desk under the stairs or even on the landing if it’s a decent-size – even if you prefer to work at your dining table.
‘Empty the junk out of the spare room and turn it back into a bedroom. Add a bed if there isn’t one – you can pick one up on eBay.
‘Show your home’s potential – add a dining table and chairs, even if you prefer to eat your dinner on your knee in front of the telly.
‘Everyone aspires to have a dining area where they can entertain. You are selling a lifestyle as well as a home.
‘If the kitchen is good quality but looks dated, give it a lick of paint. Or change the handles for a cheap and easy update.’
Choose the right estate agent
A good local agent will share your enthusiasm for your home. ‘Build a good relationship with them, and don’t be afraid to negotiate the fee as they’re are used to it.
‘Let the agent do the first viewings as buyers will be more honest with them if you are not around. They can then give you better feedback. If there is a second viewing, be there to answer any questions the estate agent can’t.’
You can watch Tŷ Am ddim (The Great House Giveaway) tomorrow on S4C – it is also available on demand on the BBC iPlayer
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