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Selling your home in the UK

The housing market has changed

Selling your house used to be a simple case of putting the property on the market and waiting for it to be snapped up. In fact people were often advised not to bother redecorating as most new owners would want to redecorate anyway in their own style. However, things have changed – the housing market has slowed down and buyers have become more fussy.

Research commissioned by the Alliance & Leicester Building Society suggests that 80% of buyers want a property which requires little or no decorating. If your property is looking a little tired, you are effectively putting off four out of five buyers. Now that’s a scary thought.

Those wishing to sell their houses must beat the competition. It’s no longer the case that buyers will accept poor décor and unmodernised kitchens – everything must be right. Whilst location will attract people to view in the first place, it is presentation which will help to turn interest into firm offers.

Presentation

You don’t get a second chance to create a first impression. Most buyers make up their minds about the place within 10 seconds of walking through the door.

But you don’t want to get too carried away with your improvements. Many will not raise the value of your property as much as the cost of the work. However, even work which doesn’t increase the value of the property may help to speed up the sale. Remember, if something needs doing then the new owner will have to do it if you don’t – and chances are they won’t be prepared to. So if your kitchen is desperate for replacement or even just a face lift, then you’d better do it unless you’re prepared to wait until you find a buyer who is prepared to tackle the work.

Homestaging

Homestaging is the process of getting your house ready to sell by making sure the presentation is the best it could be. There are several companies selling makeover services, but you may well find it almost as easy – and certainly much cheaper! – to learn how to do home staging yourself using the Internet, books or e-books.

Channel 4 Selling Houses

Channel 4 published a book to accompany their excellent Selling Houses series: Selling Houses: How to sell your house as quickly as you can for as much money as you can. This is an interesting and useful book and worth buying.

Good luck with your house sale and let us know how you get on!

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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