Maximise the opportunity.
Selling your house is a big decision and is often one that has taken quite some time to bring to the point where you are ready to speak to an estate agent let alone allow buyers into your home. I’ve always said by the time I am coming up the drive for the first time there will have been many a conversation for at least a year before.
Treat an off-market campaign just as you would one that was fully blown.
It’s more than just fresh flowers in the living room…
Preparation is everything, the more I know about the house the better. Site plans showing boundaries, foot paths etc, floor plans to every building especially ancillary accommodation (as likely we won’t be showing these parts in the early days), a breakdown of running costs and any tenancies. This isn’t about disclosing all to a buyer from the off but to have that knowledge from the start is vital for the agent to represent the seller properly and anticipate and overcome any problems.
Appointing your lawyer early will save time and stress later on.
Don’t prevaricate and don’t worry about the fees if you are serious about selling. Having a full set of papers to send out if a sale is agreed will pay dividends. It is a true saying that the longer a sale is agreed the more likely it is to fall through.
Buyer and seller are at their best at the beginning of the process, it is usually a really good feeling to have agreed a sale no matter the circumstances and this goodwill will often get one over bumps in the road which over time loom larger and people are less forgiving or willing to take a view.
But flowers do matter….
Or at least the notion that the house (whatever the condition) is putting on its best face. It is of course more daunting and arguably more pressured for householders who have been in the house for decades. Firstly (and not unreasonably) they wont see what a buyer or first time visitor will see.
The lifelong collector of some obscure collection, or just someone who is really bad at throwing things away (we all know them) will nonetheless expect a buyer to see through generations of ‘stuff’ that obscures the rooms from being fully appreciated. Consider starting that ‘life laundry’ sooner rather than later, if you have decided to move on then doing the sifting now (and enjoying the uplift it might afford the sale price) is better than having to do it in a rush at the end as your race towards legal completion.
I’m not a fan of redecorating unless it is a very contained cosmetic job. It often can distract buyers from a proper appreciation of a room or space. I am in favour of lighting fires, discrete lighting, the odd not too overpowering candle, clean windows, bouncy dogs being kept at bay, (I love my two Borders, Sybil and Percy but not everyone wants them on their laps or jumping up and licking you..)