As we enter the summer holiday period it’s easy to understand why some sellers may fear that activity in the property market may stall a little and that buyers will temporarily become disinterested in the market in favour of holiday time. In the experience of Your Move estate agents, however, that’s certainly not the case and why they have come up with some interesting advice for those still hoping to sell even though they may be going on holiday themselves.
- There should be no reason why a sale should not progress while the seller is away on a summer holiday, provided of course, that they have selected an agent who is sympathetic to their needs and the security aspects of selling an unoccupied property. As a seller it’s important, for example, that neither you or your agent make it known that you are away – ensuring, at all times that your property looks occupied – particularly before a viewing takes place.
- This can be done by ensuring that post is removed from the door mat, that plants are not left in the sink or bath, that vases of dead flowers are removed, that curtains are appropriately opened or drawn and that there are no notes or documents left on view that could indicate you are on holiday. It may also be worth arranging for a car to be left on the drive – perhaps a reliable neighbour can offer support with this - and don’t forget to set timers for lights – making sure, however, that they are not visible to visitors.
- It’s important that you talk to your agent well in advance of any holiday you may be taking and agree beforehand what the agent should, and should not do, while you are away. Ideally you should be prepared for viewings to continue and to leave a contact number should an offer for your property arise.
- For sellers, this time of year is a great time to present your property in ‘the best light’. Not only can you draw attention to the internal features of your home but also to the external ones - the garden is a good place to start.
- Don’t forget, for example, to make sure your lawns are in good condition and regularly mown at this time of year and that shrubs and plants are pruned – particularly high ones which may cast unwanted shadows across a garden. You may even consider planting a few annuals to provide an instant burst of colour or spruce a particularly dull area with a few planted containers. If you have a pond, clear it of any dead foliage and make sure any water features are working properly and are also child friendly.
- You also need to make sure the entrance to your property is clear paying particular attention to drives and porches - free them of clutter like bicycles and toys. Patios should also be tidied up and any patio furniture cleaned and then arranged - bearing in mind the views from indoors. Remember also to make sure any faulty fence panels or gates are mended or even consider adding more fences to enhance privacy – something many buyers will be looking for.
- Summer, of course, also provides an excellent opportunity to point out any external characteristics of the property, attractive garden features or even breathtaking views you enjoy from your property – often difficult to see in the midst of winter. It’s important to take photographs of such features so buyers who view on less summery days can also appreciate their value to the property.
- Buyers will also be more attracted to a property that has paintwork and guttering that is clean and in good repair and don’t forget it’s important to have clean windows from an external and internal viewpoint.
- When a buyer comes to view, it’s also worth finding out, in advance, if any neighbours plan to host barbecues or garden parties. It may enhance the sale but equally it could deter a buyer particularly if the noise level is high. Dependent on the buyers, children and pets may also be a distraction during the viewing and, as a result, it may be wise to ask a friend or relative to look after them during the duration of the viewing.
- Internally, of course, summer also provides a great opportunity to bring light in to a property. Open curtains wide to light up rooms and open windows or patio doors to bring the fresh summer breezes in – and further enhance the presentation with vases of fresh flowers.
As is often the case, summer creates many happy memories – usually of holidays and family days out, this year, however, with a renewed focus on presentation, many sellers could also create fond memories of a summer they happily packed their bags for a house move rather than a holiday.