Selling a house: Which? reveals five quick winsResearch shows how to sell your house quickly
26 January 2015
A Which? survey of estate agents has found some quick and easy ways to make a home more attractive to buyers without spending a fortune.
We surveyed estate agents across the country on the best ways to sell property. We found that you don't always need to make expensive home improvements to boost your home's saleability.
For more in-depth advice on selling, including setting the asking price, check out our guide on how to sell your house.
How to sell your house more easily
If you're keen to make your home more appealing to potential buyers, here are estate agents' top five tips:
1. Declutter the house: beyond making sure your house is clean and tidy you should remove any unnecessary furniture and clutter. That means putting away any excess toiletries and other household products – but do leave some personality as it still needs to feel like a home. One agent told us: ‘Cleanliness is more important than décor to a certain extent.’
2. Make sure the garden is tidy: the garden represents an important lifestyle element of your property so ensure hedges are trimmed, any plants you own are in good shape and the grass is mowed. Our lawn mower reviews reveal the best models we've tested.
3. Clean the floor and carpets: make sure wooden and laminate floors are polished and give the carpets a steam clean - if you don't own a steam cleaner you can hire one, or get a professional to do it for you.
4. Clean the driveway: kerb appeal is really important - after all, it's the first impression people will get of your property when they come to view it and, assuming you have a 'for sale' sign outside, it might even attract a buyer who's just passing by. Use a pressure washer to clean the driveway and paved areas, and ensure there are no weeds. Check out our pressure washer Best Buys to find the highest-rated models.
5. Repaint the walls in a neutral colour: buyers will be put off by tired paintwork and some will run a mile from a home decorated in striking hues. A neutral colour scheme enables people to imagine how they'd put their own stamp on things.
For an expert video packed with selling tips, visit our guide to selling a house in eight easy steps.
More estate agent tips
Other quick wins recommended by the estate agents we spoke to included adding brighter bulbs and hanging mirrors to increase the amount of light in the property.
Focusing on details is important, too: estate agents told us that placing flowers and plants around the house can make a difference – as well as making sure any cars parked in the driveway are clean.
Baking fresh bread every time you have a viewing could be quite time-consuming, but agents did tell us that making sure your property smells nice will make it more appealing to buyers. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee is a good alternative.
One Norfolk-based estate agent told us: ‘A property presented well, with less furniture and no clutter, can create something that is much more attractive to buyers. The old methods work the best - having it clean and contemporary with a few scattered, colourful cushions can do wonders for a lounge. Neutral is best. People are then buying into the experience because they can see themselves living there.’
Check out our guide to online estate agents if you're keen to save money on estate agent fees.
Buying and selling property
Making your house attractive to buyers is just one aspect of making your house move go smoothly. Choosing the right estate agent and conveyancer as well as getting paperwork like the EPC in order are all essential too. Our step-by-step guide on the moving house process explains all the key steps, how long things typically take and what order it all happens in.
If you're likely to change mortgages when you move house, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987 for a free consultation and personalised advice on the best mortgage for you.
- The cost of moving house- what you'll need to budget for when you move
- Find the best estate agent - how to choose the right estate agent for you
- Moving house smoothly - five tips to help ensure your move is hassle-free
Which Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.