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03Sep

If your home’s not selling and you’re thinking of changing estate agents, check out our great guide to making the move to a new agent as smooth as possible.

A great agent will be focused on selling your home at the best price, in a timeframe that suits you. If everything goes well, they’ll put the right value on it, market it effectively, then negotiate and progress your sale so you can move on to your new home as planned – and they’ll make the whole process as pain-free as possible. That’s what we strive to achieve for every one of our clients, and it’s what every seller hopes their experience will be.

But it’s not always plain sailing, and if your home’s been on the market for a while, with no sale in sight, you might be feeling disappointed and thinking of changing agents.

There could be several reasons why things haven’t gone as you’d hoped. Your agent may have seemed like the perfect choice to sell your home in the beginning, but they haven’t quite lived up to expectations. Maybe the viewings you were promised never materialised and now the agent is putting you under pressure to drop the price. Or perhaps they were attentive and positive at the start, but now their phone calls and emails are getting less and less frequent, and you feel as though getting your home sold is no longer a priority for them.

On the other hand, you may think your agent really has done their best, but for some reason things just haven’t worked out, and it’s probably time for a change.

Whatever the situation, if you feel you’ve come to the end of the road with your current agent and you want to switch to a different one, what’s the best way to go about it?

Here’s our handy guide to making the transition from old agent to new as smooth as possible:

  1. Be clear on exactly what’s not working for you

It’s often helpful to make a list of what you’re not happy with and what’s been done to address things to date, so that you’re well prepared for a frank conversation with your estate agent. Doing this will also help you be clear on what you want a new agent to do differently. 

  1. Check the terms of your current agreement

The most common contract between an agent and their client is ‘sole agency’, meaning that only that estate agent has the right to sell your home and claim the sale commission. Check if you have a tie-in period, and what notice you need to give, so you can plan accordingly.

 

  1. Have a forthright discussion with your estate agent

     

Before you jump straight into terminating your agreement with your agent, have a chat with them. They may have no idea you’re unhappy and disappointed with the way things have gone so far, especially if you haven’t voiced your concerns to them. A good agent will ask for a review meeting with you and suggest ways in which your saleability could be improved. They may offer to re-photograph your home, re-launch it on the portals or suggest a reduction in price.

Whether you decide to give your estate agent another try or terminate your agreement and switch to another estate agent, you’ll feel more in control of your home sale by taking affirmative action now.

 

 

  1. Shortlist alternative estate agents

     

If you’re ready to switch estate agents, ask your friends and family which agents they would recommend in the local area and why. Then check out these agents’ portfolios. Are they currently listing and selling homes like yours? Would you be the most expensive, or the cheapest, house in their portfolio? Check out their reviews on Google and Facebook and what their standards of photography and marketing are like.

When you have one or two agents you think would be worth chatting to, call and arrange a meeting at your home.

 

 

  1. Ask the right questions

     

Asking the right questions of a prospective new estate agent will furnish you with the right information so you can make an informed decision, and potentially improve your chance of selling and moving on.

Use this list of questions as a checklist to start an open dialogue with the agent:

  • Why do you think our home hasn’t sold? Is it the price, the marketing, the presentation…?
  • Is there anything you think we need to do or change about the presentation and styling of our home to achieve the best price?
  • What will you do differently to our previous agent? This is a really important question, because you don’t want the same challenges you’ve already faced to reappear with a new agent.
  • How do you plan to market our home? This should give you an insight into how proactive they are in finding and matching potential buyers, how creative their marketing is and what gives them the edge over other agents.
  • How often will you communicate with us, and will it be by call, email or text? For instance, will they phone you with feedback after each viewing? In our experience, when clients aren’t happy with their agent, it’s often because of a lack of communication – and that can be a challenge regardless of whether you’ve been on the market for a week or several months – so get a commitment from them on staying in touch and keeping you informed.
  • What kind of agency agreement do you offer and what is the minimum term? If you weren’t happy being tied into your previous agent’s services for several months, you may be able to negotiate more flexible terms this time.

During the valuation meeting, notice whether the agent is also asking you questions. You want an agent to be interested in understanding your situation, as well as your motivation for moving home, so they can tailor their approach to give you the selling experience you deserve!

 

 

  1. Seal the deal

Choosing an estate agent is a bit like dating – do you like them enough to want to see them again?? When it works best, the relationship between you the client and your estate agent is a partnership – one that will last at least for months, and sometimes, years. You need to feel that your agent has your back and will be your biggest supporter when times get tough down the line, especially in challenging negotiations with a buyer.

 

Whilst our advice is not to jump straight into a relationship with a new estate agent straight away, if you really feel you’ve exhausted the will, patience and skill of your current agent, then moving to a new agent could be just what you and your home needs.

We’d love to have a confidential chat with you about your options, and we’ll tell you frankly and openly why we think your home has not yet sold and what we think the answer might be. We rarely suggest a price reduction and prefer to use our marketing and styling skills as a first approach, but let us tell you more about those in person!

You can reach us on 01364 652652 or at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk - we’re really looking forward to hearing from you.

 

02Aug

Summer is a great time of year to sell your home. With bright, sunny days, gardens at their greenest and flowers blooming, your marketing photos will look fabulous!

More daylight hours and generally better weather than at other times of year give people much more opportunity to view your home at its best and brightest. And there’s nothing like a sunny day to put people in a great mood, which means they’re more likely to have a positive mindset when they’re viewing.

So, how can you best take advantage of the benefits of selling during the summer?

 

Photographs

The marketing photographs in your brochure and online advertising play a huge part in enticing buyers to view your home. Importantly, they’ve got to be in line with the season, so if your home’s already on the market and the photos were taken earlier in the year, we’d suggest you replace them with some up-to-date ones.

Have the interior photographed when there’s maximum daylight outside so the sun streams in through the windows, really boosting the natural brightness of your rooms. And if you’ve got a patio, balcony or terrace, open the doors and have a shot taken looking either inwards or outwards – it can create a really captivating image, with a hint of ‘summer holiday villa’, which could be hugely appealing to many buyers.

Two great times to have exterior shots taken in the summer:

  1. In the middle of the day, in bright sunshine. If you’ve got a good-sized garden, a shot from the end – front or back – looking towards your home and taking in the lush colours of the trees, flowers and shrubs can look beautiful.
  2. On a clear evening, around sunset. A mid-length shot of the front or back against the twilight sky, with exterior and interior lights on, can be quite stunning.

 

Styling your interior for summer vibes

The styling of your home is important at any time of year to help buyers imagine themselves living there, and it should resonate with the season. To give your home that summer vibe:

  • Pack away any dark, heavy throws and blankets and replace them with lighter fabrics
  • Floral cushions bring a summer vibe to any room
  • White bed linen will help make bedrooms feel bright and fresh
  • Scented candles are a great aspirational and welcoming accessory all year round, so choose some light, floral scents for bedrooms and living areas
  • Any aroma that reminds people of being on holiday, such as coconut, can boost their positive mood even further! You could have some fresh coconut cake in the kitchen or a coconut diffuser in the bathroom.

Of course, the glass surfaces in your home should be gleaming whatever time of year you’re selling, but it’s even more important that they sparkle in the summer light. It might be worth having the windows and glazed doors professionally cleaned inside and outside before you put your home on the market and perhaps periodically until you secure a buyer.

Indoor/outdoor living is becoming increasingly popular, so fling open your sparkling doors and windows before people arrive to view, and have plenty of plants and flowers around your home – particularly near doorways – to help the flow of greenery from inside to outside. 

 

Showing your garden at its blooming best

Many gardens are at their finest during the summer, but it’s the time of year when everything is growing quickly, meaning it takes a little more effort to keep everything looking fabulous. Some of our clients choose to get extra help from a gardening services company while their home’s on the market – so why not consider doing the same? It’s one less job for you to do, and you can be confident your garden will always make the best possible impression on buyers. Just touch base with us if you would like us to recommend one of our local, excellent gardeners.  

Styling is just as important for the outside of your home as the inside, so think about things you could do to show off how you enjoy the garden. If you already have garden furniture, great; if you don’t, then it might be beneficial to buy a reasonably-priced table and some chairs, as that can really help set the ‘lifestyle’ scene outside when people come to view. Put a vase of flowers on the table and lay out some refreshments – even if that’s just a big jug of freshly-made lemonade and some glasses. The garden will look even more welcoming and inviting, which will encourage people to stay longer to appreciate everything your home has to offer.

 

Families on the move

For growing families, being cooped up together indoors over the winter months often makes them realise it might be time to upsize! And with school-age children on holiday, summer is a popular time for families to look for a new home, as they can all view together, find something everyone loves and then move in early autumn without disrupting the middle of the academic year.

So, while demand tends to be strong across all types of home in the summer, we usually find the ‘family home’ market is particularly busy – especially for those homes that have generous gardens. As children get older, many families really appreciate having extra space outside, so summer is the perfect time of year to sell homes with large lawns, where viewers can watch their young ones safely running about and enjoying the space.

And with high demand comes buoyant prices, which means you may be able to get more for your home than if you try to sell in the winter months.

 

Would an open house suit you?

Summer is also a great time of year to have an open house, where different buyers can view at the same time over a period of a few hours. In nice weather, buyers can spread out through your home and garden, take their time to view – and, as long as it’s dry underfoot, you don’t need to worry too much about your carpets getting dirty! While it might not be the right strategy for every home, for some it can be very successful in creating a buzz and encouraging great offers, so speak to your agent about whether it could work for you.

 

Moving in the autumn

Once your summer marketing has led to a successful sale and you’ve found a new home that you love, you can start planning the next exciting step. Moving in the autumn has its benefits, as it won’t be too hot or too cold when you’re shifting all your furniture and possessions in and out of buildings and vans – which removals companies certainly appreciate!

 

And here’s a valuable tip if you’re using a removals company: contact them as early as possible, even if you don’t have a firm moving date yet and particularly if you’d like to move on a Friday, as that’s the most popular day. They can come and do their survey of what needs moving, give you a quote and you have the opportunity to negotiate the best possible price. We’d suggest you contact Cambridge Removals, amongst others, as they’ve got a great reputation locally – their website is Removal Company Plymouth | Home | Cambridge Removals & Storage (cambridge-removals.com)

 

While some people find moving house one of life’s more stressful events, doing it in the autumn means you’re nicely positioned between the rush of the summer and Christmas holidays, so you should have some breathing space – and you’ve got the festive season to look forward to!

 

So, if you’ve been thinking of selling this summer, or perhaps you’re already on the market and are looking for a new approach to secure a buyer in time for an autumn move, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call on 01364 652652 or 01626 852666 or why not email me at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk and we can get things moving right away to ensure you take full advantage of the summer buzz!

01Jul

One way to add value to your home is by renovating it; another is through increasing the amount of accommodation, by either building an extension or converting something like the loft or a garage to create an extra living room or bedroom.

But if you don’t want to undertake that kind of building work, or you’re not able to because of planning or available space, the good news is, there’s another way you can add value – without calling any contractors!

If you invest some time and can spend a little money simply on the presentation of your home, that can carry a huge amount of weight when it comes to securing a buyer and getting the best possible price. The power of first impressions is the reason we have stylists on our team that work with photographers to create the best possible images for our clients’ marketing brochures.

Research carried out last year by The International Association of Home Staging Professionals found that the majority of homes that had been professionally furnished and styled sold for between 4% and 20% more than the asking price. And we know ourselves that when buyers see a home that’s beautifully presented, showing off every room at its very best and suggesting an aspirational lifestyle, they’re much more likely to see its value and make a strong offer.

So, here are our top tips on how to style your home so that you add real value. Not only could that mean securing a higher sale price, but you’re also likely to sell much quicker than other comparable homes on the market that are missing that all-important styling touch.

Maximise light and space

The lighter, brighter and more spacious a home looks, the better buyers tend to feel about it. That’s partly a reaction to rooms appearing larger than they expected and partly because you’re showing them that there’s plenty of space to fit in everything they’ll need to enjoy the home.

The first thing to do is tidy and simplify each room so that the interior space can ‘breathe’. You can still have photographs, ornaments and books on display, but just a few of each placed around a room is enough to show some personality, while still allowing buyers to easily visualise their own possessions in the space. If you’d like some advice on what to keep out and what you should put away while your home’s on the market, just give us a call and our stylists will be happy to help.

Once you’ve created more physical space, it’s then a case of using some optical illusions. Well-placed mirrors can transform a home, bouncing light around and giving an impression of depth, which is particularly helpful in narrower rooms and hallways.

And think about the size and orientation of both mirrors and pictures. The human eye naturally scans vertically before horizontally, so wall hangings with a ‘portrait’ orientation will give the impression of more height in a room. It’s also generally true that larger pictures tend to make rooms feel bigger than if you have clusters of smaller ones. If you don’t already have any larger pieces of artwork, there are many companies that will print images on canvases in a variety of sizes, very cost-effectively. Look through your favourite photographs – something like a unique shot of an attractive landscape can make a stunning feature in a room.

You can also emphasise the size of a room by having something that immediately draws the buyer’s eye to the furthest point from the doorway. That could be a particular piece of furniture, a large plant or a striking piece of art – just something that catches their eye as soon as they walk in. The same trick can be used outside, so that people are immediately encouraged to look down the garden, whether that’s to a lovely seating area or a brightly-coloured shrub.

Furniture

Given that a home is often the most expensive purchase many people will make in their lives, you’ve got to show that every bit of space they’re paying for is valuable, which means furnishing and styling rooms so that they have a clear purpose.

We find one room that often falls into the trap of looking a little like wasted space is a conservatory. So, if you have one, style it clearly as a peaceful sitting room or a light and airy dining room. Another common challenge is the smallest bedroom. No matter how tight the space, it’s important to style it so it’s functional, so set it up as either a single room or a study. For buyers who work part-time from home or maybe run their own small business, an office space can be just as valuable as a third or fourth bedroom and can make then feel as though they’re getting more for their money.

And make sure you allow furniture to ‘breathe’. In an effort to create more space, some people make the mistake of pushing furniture into the edges and corners – particularly in bedrooms – when this actually has the opposite effect. Spacing the furniture out a little will let buyers see that there’s plenty of room for it to fit properly, without feeling cramped.

 

Add warmth and colour

While light, neutral décor is certainly attractive to buyers as a basic canvas for your home, make sure you then brighten it up and add some personality with soft furnishings.

Pick a colour scheme for each room and put a few textured cushions and throws on chairs and sofas. You can go for a touch of glamour with velvet or fur, but limit the number and variety of accessories, otherwise it can start to look confusing. The idea is to add a splash of colour and interest, while not intruding on the overall impression of light and space.

Rugs can add warmth to wood or tiled floors and tend to work well in larger rooms. Generally speaking, try to avoid breaking up the flow of the flooring in smaller rooms and keep the number of accessories in proportion with the size of the space. A good rule of thumb is no more than one cushion for every seat and a maximum of two items on any surface.

Finally, make sure you have plenty of lamps around your home. They cast a much more flattering light than overhead fittings and can make rooms feel warm and welcoming, even on a dull day. Don’t forget to have some lighting outside, if possible, particularly if you’re accepting viewings in the evenings. Some solar-powered lights throughout the garden can also create a pretty effect and help make a memorable impression on buyers.

 

Lifestyle touches

When you’re selling your home, you’re selling a lifestyle, and if you can show people that you enjoy the space in a way that also appeals to them, it’ll encourage them to picture themselves there. And the more ‘at home’ they feel, the more likely they are to make a great offer.

The key is to pick the kinds of accessories that you see in aspirational magazines and boutique hotels, that buyers can easily recognise and identify with. Candles are a really simple and effective way of creating a welcoming atmosphere and, although you don’t have to light them all, some softly-scented candles in the main reception room and bedroom can help buyers to feel relaxed and connect emotionally with the space.

Plants and fresh flowers bring life to a room, so go for a mixture of greenery and colour throughout your home. Peace lilies are easy to care for and look great anywhere, while orchids are perfect for coffee tables and in bedrooms. Hand-cut posies of flowers are great for period and rustic homes, while longer, more elegant stems suit a modern style – and don’t forget to have a few glossy magazines on display as well.

 

The kitchen is traditionally known as the heart of the home, so make sure it’s beating! Have a lovely big bowl of fruit and a vase of fresh flowers on the counter tops, and then put some fresh bread on a board or cake on a stand before viewings.

Finally, in the bathrooms, have some fresh toiletries on display that have recognisable, aspirational branding such as Molton Brown or L’Occitane. Remember to keep a full set aside that you don’t use every day, then they’ll always look fresh for viewings. Finish the look in the bathroom with some clean co-ordinated towels.

As with soft furnishings, the golden rule with all these lifestyle touches is not to have too many and to place them carefully.

While you may have to spend a bit of money on styling your home, it should only be a fraction of what you’ll get back in terms of pounds on your sale price, so it’s certainly well worth the small investment.

So, whether you’re on the market already or just thinking about selling, if you’d like our advice on how you could add thousands to the value of your home through styling, call us on 01364 652652 or email katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk and we can help you transform your space. We’re always here to help and would love to hear from you!

30Jun

Maximising financial returns from property is key for many landlords. Here, we share five positive steps you can take to help protect your rental income.

For many landlords, rental income provides a valuable boost to their other earnings or pension. For some, it may even be their only income, while others might mainly use it to cover the cost of the mortgage and other expenses, as they wait for growth in the capital value. And some people use their returns from property to re-invest for future financial security.

Whatever your reason for letting, the rental income is important. And once you’ve made the effort to get your property ready to rent and found a suitable tenant who’s willing to pay a good market rate to live there, it’s wise to do everything you can to protect that monthly income.

Here are five positive steps you can take to help ensure you receive – and keep hold of – as much monthly rental income as possible. 

Reference thoroughly

Start out on the right foot by making sure you reference your tenants carefully. That normally means:  

  • Asking tenants for 3 months’ bank statements. That will show you their regular income and expenditure and give you a good idea of whether they can afford the rent
  • Carrying out credit checks. A basic credit report will tell you whether someone has a bad credit history or has any county court judgments (CCJs) against them
  • Obtaining a reference from their previous landlord. You should ask them to confirm whether rent was always paid on time and in full, and if they would be happy to let to the tenant again
  • Obtaining a reference from their employer. This is to confirm that they work for the organisation and should state the tenant’s current job role and take-home pay.

All this information together should give you a good idea of whether the tenant is likely to treat the property well and pay the rent as agreed.

 

Ask for a guarantor

Sometimes, perfectly reliable tenants simply can’t provide the proof of income we look for in our referencing process – for example, students or people who have just started a new job. And tenants working in certain industries, like hospitality, might be more vulnerable to losing their job through no fault of their own.

In this case, a good solution is to ask for a guarantor – someone who will be responsible for paying the rent if the tenant can’t. That person is usually a parent, but it could be a close friend or an employer. The important thing is that you reference them in the same way as you would a tenant and make sure they sign either the tenancy agreement or a separate guarantor agreement, which should include their details, details of the tenancy and how much they’re prepared to guarantee.

Some other key points to know about the guarantor:  

  • Where possible, ask for the tenant to recommend someone who’s a UK resident, because it’s more difficult to recover debts from people who live in other countries
  • Ideally, they should own assets so you have something to claim against if they don’t pay
  • Try to meet them in person, or at least have a video call, so you can explain exactly what they’re agreeing to and answer any questions
  • Every time the tenancy is renewed, they’ll need to sign a new agreement to confirm they’re happy to continue to be a guarantor.

 

Take out rent guarantee insurance

Rent guarantee or rent protection insurance can be a fairly cost-effective way of ensuring you’re not left out of pocket if a tenant can’t or won’t pay their rent. Many policies will cover you for the full rental amount for up to 12 months – with an upper limit – and include legal expenses in case you have to go through the eviction process to regain possession of your property.

If you don’t already have insurance to protect your rent, call us on 01364 652652 and we can chat through the cover we offer landlords.

Minimise voids

Any time when your property is standing empty, you’re losing potential rental income, so you’ve got to do all you can to make sure there’s as little time as possible between tenancies. Three key ways to do that are:  

  1. Keep your tenant happy. If you communicate well with your tenant, respond quickly to any requests for maintenance etc. and make sure they have everything they need, they’re much more likely to stay longer. When there’s a change of tenants, some gap between the tenancies – even if it’s just a day or two – is almost unavoidable, so the longer you can keep the same one in situ, the better for your income flow.
  2. Stay up to date with the market and tenants’ expectations. Standards in the rental sector are improving all the time, so if you haven’t had to re-let your property for a few years, you might not be aware of any changes in the market ‘norms’. Refreshing or upgrading some aspects of the property so it offers everything your target tenant is looking for should ensure a quick re-let at the best possible rent. See our blog: ‘How to present your rental property to attract the perfect tenant’. Finding the perfect tenant - Blog (sawdyeandharris.co.uk)
  3. Advertise early and well. As soon as your current tenant gives notice, list the property with some attractive, up-to-date photographs. Importantly, make sure the rent you’re asking is realistic and competitive with other local rents. It’s much better to take a little less every month from a paying tenant on a 12-month agreement than to have the property sitting empty because tenants feel it’s overpriced.

 

If your tenant is approaching the end of their current tenancy, come and speak to us. We’d be happy to give you our advice on the current market and discuss how we could help you keep any void period to an absolute minimum.

Finally… Make sure you’re investing tax-efficiently

Once you’ve got your rental income, make sure you keep hold of as much of it as possible! Property tax is a complex and specialist area, so it’s wise to seek advice from an expert, who can help make sure you take rental profits and other gains in the most tax-efficient way, according to your own personal circumstances.

Over and above all these things, a big factor in the success of your rental is how it’s let and managed. Some experienced landlords who have the time and resources choose to handle things themselves, but the majority of landlords use the services of a professional letting agent.

At Sawdye & Harris, we have systems and processes in place to help ensure every aspect of a tenancy runs smoothly for our landlords, and our team is experienced in recognising and resolving any potential challenges early on.

So, whether you’re just at the start of your rental journey or you already have one or more properties, get in touch with us to discuss how we can help protect your rental income. Call us on 01364 652652 or email katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk and we’ll get right back to you.

02Jun

We know from experience that the better your home looks and feels when potential buyers come to view, the more likely you are to get an asking price offer.

 For many people, the decision about whether to buy a home is an emotional one, and we’ve found that, more often than not, they make that decision very quickly. By the time buyers see your home in person, they already know the size, layout and location, and the photos have been enticing enough for them to book the viewing. So this step of the buying journey is mainly about them making sure that your home is as good in reality as it looks in the brochure, and that it feels like the right place for them to live.

 

 Speak with your agent about how they can help.

You may already have your own thoughts about how your home should be presented for viewings, but it’s always worth speaking to your agent to get their input. We’re dealing with buyers and showing homes every day and can often suggest things that might not have occurred to you.

The best agents will have stylists on their team, who work together with a professional photographer to make sure that your home is shown in the most attractive light. Remember that these marketing photos are one of the key aspects that help to secure viewings, and that specific look is what your buyers will expect to see. So, while your home is listed for sale, the closer you can keep it looking to the images in your brochure, the better.

 Nevertheless, no matter how neat and tidy you are, there are always those last-minute tweaks and little jobs that need doing before a viewing. So here’s our handy checklist of 6 simple steps to ensure your home is perfectly prepared to welcome what could be your dream buyer: 

1. Make buyers feel great about your home before they even step through the front door

First impressions really do count, so think about how your home looks as buyers approach it. One thing that sellers often forget is to check how the ‘For Sale’ board looks – is it clean and straight? If there’s any damage, let your agent know right away and they can arrange for it to be replaced.

Try to ensure there’s somewhere for people to park their car, even if it means moving your own fifteen minutes before the viewing. Make sure the path to the front door is clear, the garden looks tidy and you have some welcoming potted plants at the entrance. Don’t forget the door itself – give it a wipe down, clean the handle and letterbox – and check that any outside lights are working properly.

 

2. Make the space shine

It’s really helpful if you can try to have the mindset that once your home is on the market, it’s no longer primarily ‘your’ home. You might have been used to leaving projects laid out across surfaces, having children’s toys and play equipment to hand and not worrying about keeping absolutely everything stored in its proper place. But buyers can often ask to view homes at quite short notice, so the cleaner and tidier you can keep each room, the less you’ll have to do at the last minute to get it ready for viewings.

If you can get used to living in a clutter-free way and manage to stay on top of the housework, then all you should need to do before potential buyers arrive is perhaps run the vacuum around and pop your teacup in the dishwasher!

3. Carry out a ‘fresh check’ on bathrooms

When it comes to bathrooms and toilets, your two watchwords are: ‘clean’ and ‘fresh’. As with the rest of your home, if you can make sure they sparkle on a daily basis, then you should only have three little things to do before a viewing:

  1. Drop some scented disinfectant in the toilet or spray a gentle air freshener
  2. Make sure the toilet lid is closed
  3. Put out fresh towels.

Tip: Keep a clean set of towels just for viewings, so that you can make a quick switch and then swap them back out once the viewing is over!

4. A little bit of styling can make all the difference

When you’re selling a home, you’re selling a lifestyle, so think about what little touches will help people feel good about the space and make them want to spend time there. Candles, flowers, high-end magazines and pretty soft furnishings work well in reception rooms and bedrooms, while a fruit bowl and some fresh herbs will add life to the kitchen.

Use your marketing photos as a reference, and try to keep all these styling accessories in your home so that they just need a quick ‘condition check’ before viewings.

 

5. Fresh baking really does work!

It may sound like a cliché, but the smell of home baking really does appeal to buyers. Our sense of smell has a strong association with memory and can be highly emotive, so some freshly baked bread or cake in the kitchen might evoke memories of a happy childhood, while a coconut scent in a reception room, bathroom or bedroom might remind people of being on holiday.

If you can fill your home with aromas that remind people of happy times in their lives, it will help them feel good about it – and they’ll be more likely to remember it in greater detail after they’ve left. Just remember that less is more, and if you’re going for a fragrance, make it subtle.

 

 

6. Pet patrol…

Your beloved pet might be regarded as a member of the family, but not everyone is going to be a fan and some people may be allergic. The ideal solution is to take your pet out of your home while the viewing is taking place, but if that’s not possible, try to keep it contained in one room, along with beds, litter trays, etc.

If relocating your pet is proving tricky, you could ask your agent to tell prospective buyers about it, then let you know if they have any concerns and you can discuss the best solution.

At Sawdye & Harris, our team is always here to help, so if you have any questions about viewings or would like some more advice on creating the best possible first impression on buyers, just call on 01364 652652 or email us at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you!

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