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Top tips for selling your house

As you may already be aware, it can be a lengthy and difficult task. To help we have put together some of the easiest and quickest ways to help you encourage a house sale and try to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Time of year

The seasons can have a surprisingly large effect on how well your house sells, and how attractive it can seem to potential buyers.

Spring always wins as the best time to put your house on the market. As the weather starts to get nicer, the flowers start to bloom and the days start to get longer, your garden is more likely to look appealing and your house flooded with light. Also, many people with families will be less busy in springtime, as children are in school and there are no major holidays to contend with.

The next best time to see your house is the autumn time. The low sun can still shine life into your home, and the short, grey days of winter have sill not hit. Again, there are no major holidays to contend with. If you decided you sell your house in autumn, try to get it sold before October when the market suddenly drops off.

If you can, try to avoid selling in summer or winter. During the summer, children are off school and parents are left with the job of entertaining them. It is also the season when most people go away on holiday, and won’t have any spare time or spare money.

Winter is also a difficult time to sell, and sales always seem to take a particular nose dive in December. If you are considering selling at this time, it may work out better to wait until January, when people begin looking towards a fresh start for the year ahead.

Pick the right estate agent

Picking the right estate agent is paramount to making the process of selling your house as smooth as possible. Follow these tips below to help make the right decision.

• Stay local- Local agents will know your area, and will be close to meet potential buyers.
• Research, research, research- always try to get an impression of the estate agents in the areas around you. Ask friend and family about their experiences, read online reviews and try to get a feel for the agent.
• Check out the fees- according to the National Association of Estate Agents, the national average is 1.5% (charges in London are higher). You are also within your rights to negotiate whatever fees you are offered.
• Ask questions- treat meeting your potential estate agents like a job interview. Ask them what qualifications they have, what recent sales they have made, what they would do if your property was not selling and any other questions you feel you need answered.

When choosing an estate agent, don’t take the decision lightly. Some prior research could save you from teaming up with a sub par agent.

Make a good impression

Try to imagine what it must feel like looking at your house for the first time. What would draw your eye? Would you first notice the positives or the negatives?

A prospective buyer is going to make an impression before they even walk through your door. A well kept garden, pathway and fence are immediately welcoming. A garden that is well looked after (even if it has been neglected until the week before the viewing) can make the world of difference to a front garden.

If you think your rooms look bland, you can brighten them up with strong coloured accessories, such as cushions or throws. It might also help to remove anything personal from your rooms. You want prospective buyers to be able to visualise themselves living in your house, which can be hard to do if there are large numbers of personal items.

Avoid cooking anything with a strong odour the night before a viewing. Fish and curry smells can linger, and can often put people off. The smell of baked bread or coffee is received as a warm and homely smell, so get brewing if you know someone’s coming for a viewing! If you have any pets, ask friends or family to look after them as some people are not receptive to animals.

Try your hardest to make the potential buyers feel welcome. Offer them a drink, and answer any questions they may have about the area, the bills and the house itself.

We hope these hints and tips have helped! If you have any more great tips, let us know on Twitter, @financialuk. Good luck with selling your house, and don’t forget, can help you out with your move if you have any questions.

If you have any personal finance questions related to this blog, then please contact our financial advisers. You can get in touch by asking a question online, calling us on 0800 092 1245, or by arranging a visit.

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