Spring is almost upon us and the sun has been shining the in last couple of days so naturally our thoughts start to turn to turn to summer and what we will be doing.  Maybe you’re imagining BBQ’s with friends, a stroll in the country stopping off for a drink in the village pub beer garden or a day trip to the coast with the kids.

If you imagine that you’ll be enjoying all that from the comfort of your new home, with an amazing kitchen and lovely garden to host those BBQ’s and get togethers in, what do you need to do now to make your dreams a reality?

Easter is just over a month away and traditionally is a prime time for buyers to start looking for their new home.  Maybe that’s when you are planning to start your search too, but if you have a property to sell then you need to make sure you are ready to take advantage of those buyers when they start looking.  So here are 7 steps to take to make sure that you can move home by summer:

1. Decide who your buyer is

Ok, so you don’t know exactly who that is going to be yet, but you can probably hazard a guess as to what they might be like.  If you have a 3 bed semi close to good schools, it’s likely to be a young family, if you have a 2 bedroom apartment in the city centre its likely to be a first time buyer, a bungalow and it’s probably a retired couple.  The easiest way to do this is to think back to your circumstances when you bought the house and why it suited you then.  You might be bursting at the seams now with 3 kids and a dog but maybe it was just the two of you who moved in, buying your first home together.

2. Get your home in a saleable condition

Once you know who your buyer is it is much easier to make sure your home will appeal to them.  If it’s a young professional couple buying their first home together then think about what they might want.  It’s likely to be something well presented and ready to move into with no work to do, low maintenance garden, space to entertain friends etc.

Now look at your home through their eyes, if your kitchen diner looks more like a playroom, the grass needs cutting and there are still last years summer plants withered in pots on the decking and sticky finger prints on your high gloss kitchen units then you need to take action now!

You’re probably going to declutter anyway when you prepare to move so you may as well do it now in order to present your home in the best possible light.  You might even consider putting some items into storage now to aid the sale of your home, it’s not forever and will all help to sell your home quicker and for the best price possible.

3. Put your paperwork in order

It may seem a bit a bit too soon, but ensuring you have all the paperwork you need to sell your home in order now can really help the whole process to be quicker and smoother.  If you can make your agent aware of things like warranties for a new boiler or windows, the year the property was built and if it is leasehold or freehold this will help them to market your home more effectively.  It is also information potential buyers will want to know when they view along with things like the council tax banding and boundary information and will aid them in making a buying decision.

4. Choose an agent

Now you have everything in order it’s time to choose an agent to market your property.  Nowadays there are a whole heap of options for this from DIY online agents to those offering a full service, so do some research and decide who is going to be best to get you the best price for your property and make the process as hassle free as possible.  Invite them round and don’t be afraid to question them on who they think your buyer is and how they are going to market your home to them.

5. Prepare for viewings

So you’re on the market and now you’ve got your first viewings!  A home is most likely to achieve the best price in the first couple of weeks of being on the market so make sure you make the most of those early viewings.  Make sure of any pets and children are out of the way, clean from top to bottom and make sure it smells good too (try a vanilla pod in the oven on a low heat or light scented candles for evening viewings), turn off the TV and turn on all the lights, even during the day making sure table lamps are on can reduce dark corners.  Put some fresh flowers in a vase, cut the grass, clean the front door and add a planter or hanging basket to create a great first impression.

Ideally, you’ll have your agent doing the viewings, but if it’s you make sure you look presentable too as they will want to imagine themselves being like you, living in the property.

6. Agree a sale

Now you’ve had a flurry of viewings and hopefully received a couple of offers.  Ask your agent for all the information relating to the potential buyers as the highest offer might not always be the best option for you even though it seems the most obvious.  Now you’re in a position to put an offer in on your new dream home!

7. Book a removal van!

Once you have accepted an offer and had an offer accepted on the property you want to buy, then you will need to instruct a solicitor.  Good solicitors and agents are invaluable here to keep the whole process moving.  Don’t be afraid to ask for updates regularly if they are not forthcoming and ensure you complete the necessary paperwork and respond to enquiries as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays, making sure you are in your new home by the summer.

If you would like a free, no obligation, saleability consultation to identify how saleable your home is right now, then get in touch at claire@openhousemorley.co.uk or 0113 436 4360 to book an appointment.