13th February 2019

February 2019

How to Sell Your House

There are clearly many reasons why you choose to sell your house. These range from 1st-time buyers; upsizing for family expansions; downsizing for empty nesting or divorce; buy to let for that extra income; moving to a new area for a fresh start or for work commitments. Whilst selling is well recognised as both exciting and thrilling, it is also renowned for being potentially complicated and extremely stressful.

Once the decision has been made that you’re on the move, if you have the opportunity to choose when to advertise then you are coming up to the best time of year to do so. According to www.hoa.org.uk ‘spring always comes out on top as the best time of year to sell’. Traditionally selling between Mid-March and Mid-April collapses your pipeline significantly. This window of opportunity is slightly expanded at the minute due to a slower housing market. However, it is also advisable to avoid selling just after bank holidays, or during major sporting, cultural or political events (so before the 29th of March this year). If you really want to get focused, www.theadvisory.co.uk suggest that entering the market on a Monday takes on average 176 days ‘til completion whereas selling on a Sunday takes an average of 213 days.

The next step is to make the gaff look great.

One of the main reasons for successful selling during spring is that everything begins to look nicer and tidier and the garden is beginning to bloom. If you can apply yourself to fixing wonky gates, cracked toilet seats and generally making your abode ‘showhome’ presentable then you’re on the right road. When I sold in 2017, I ruthlessly skipped everything that was clogging up my traditional storage space, I packed all the things I didn’t need, until I’d moved, into my suitcases and filed it all away into the newly available space in my garage, cupboards and wardrobes. I bought a few hundred pounds worth of flowers, pictures, candles and other knick-knacks and sold to the first person who walked through the door for only 2.4% less than I asked.

Whilst making the interior look, feel and smell desirable is really important. Paying attention to the exterior will improve your chances of sale significantly. According to Barclays mortgages survey of 2018, house hunters take around 10 seconds to decide if they like a property via its kerb appeal. You can improve your garden, mow the lawn, put the bins together and wash your windows all you like but what if you find you have an invasive weed?

www.gocompare.com/mortgages/japaneseknotweed describe Japanese Knotweed as ‘The UK’s most common plant pest [which] has been scuppering house sales for decades now…it has inspired fear in the heart of buyers since the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act made it an offence to plant it in the wild’.

If knotweed is present in the garden of a house which is for sale, it will most commonly be flagged up in a homebuyer’s report or a building survey. Professionals involved in producing these reports will be trained to detect and identify the plant and are legally required to notify its presence in the TA6 conveyancing form. Once detected, vendors should be ready to move on price and buyers must be willing to commit to incorporating a lengthy treatment process of around 4-5 years in order to ensure your mortgage funds are released. If you are moving to an area where Knotweed is present and need to do your homework, take a look at the link above and also the Property Care Association website www.property-care.org. As a buyer, you are likely to need to commit to a treatment plan and must be aware that there are very specific dos and don’ts when it comes to knotweed management. You may be looking at a good period of time with your garden cordoned off or you may wish to negotiate over the price of excavation so that you can achieve peace of mind and enjoyment of your garden in full from day 1.

IWM is both an INNSA and PCA professionally accredited company. We are happy to help.

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