There is an old saying ‘An Englishman’s Home is his Castle’ and generally speaking this is true. In the UK we have a disproportionate number of homeowners compared with our European neighbours and a fascination with all things property related and this is particularly true of the Bath property market. I am not sure if it was a Bath estate agent that coined the phrase ‘Property Porn’ but is does accurately describe our fascination with all things property related!
The property market has spawned endless magazine titles ( some specific to Bath property ), TV programs, newspaper supplements and dinner party chat, often with a view to maximising a house or flat sale price.
Our homes tend to be our single biggest asset and with this in mind if you are considering selling your Bath property I would like to offer some advice as how to maximise the house or flat sale price you achieve.
Starting the Process
To avoid any unnecessary pitfalls and the associated stress, before any of this happens we need to think about the visual house and flat selling process which should start a long time before any potential purchasers or even Bath estate agents arrive to view your home.
Given that our homes are a big financial asset and a huge investment for purchasers, we owe it to ourselves to maximise the potential and ensure that we get the best possible sale price for our house or flat in Bath.
To add significant value to your Bath property and reduce stress and any potential negative feedback the very first thing any Bath vendor should do whether you are selling a mansion or a studio flat is to get your Bath property ready for sale.
When people start to think about moving, be it upsizing or downsizing, in my experience they tend to think only of the moving process in terms of packing, transporting and unpacking their worldly goods and possessions. This however does not acknowledge getting to the point of moving and it is by this time that some people are at breaking point. Just making the decision to move can raise anxiety levels. There is a reason why it is up there at number 2 in the list of most stressful things to do, underneath divorce!
In most instances once you have decided to sell your Bath property there are valuations to arrange, Bath estate agents to meet and appoint, and brochures to approve. Then there are viewing arrangements, price negotiations, more price negotiations, reaching an agreement, solicitors to instruct, forms to fill in, endless enquiries to answer, choosing Bath removal firms and then the nail biting wait to exchange contracts at which point the sale becomes legally binding and a completion date is fixed.
Finally the glorious and long awaited day of moving arrives, hopefully things will go smoothly but there can be some pitfalls, the weather, late arrival of the removal firm, late completion, keys to collect etc. A good independent Bath estate agent will help you with all of these things (apart from the weather!) and can be a calming influence acting as a go between with all parties when everything can seem chaotic and the contents of your life are in a pantechnicon!
How to Optimise Viewing and Online Traffic.
The first thing you should do is spend some time looking critically around your home, starting with the approach to your house or apartment in Bath. You do not get a second chance to make a first impression so this is key! As if you were a buyer, look around slowly, observing room by room, even including the loft space to see how things appear and make notes accordingly as to how you could improve things.
When looking to style your home you should be considering 2 key elements, firstly how your Bath property looks when prospective purchasers physically view but possibly more important, is how it will look on line as this may well be most purchasers first point of call.
The Rightmove statistics state that 97% of prospective purchasers start their search on line, either on their phone, a tablet or home computer. With this in mind embark upon a property search as if you were a buyer and look on line at how certain dressed or staged properties pop out from the page making a statement with some colour or texture added to a neutral background, a specific trend or home fashion theme or mood lighting.
We are all bombarded daily with TV programs, online advertisements and editorials about home styling and home improvements and as result most discerning buyers will have an expectation of how a Bath property should look. However we do not all know how to instigate these changes to maximum effect, so here are some ideas;
Styling Your Bath Property for Sale.
There’s an old marketing adage which goes “You don’t sell the sausage, you sell the sizzle,” and the same goes for Bath property. You don’t sell a Bath house or apartment; you sell a Bath lifestyle. The key to selling your Bath property quickly and at the best possible sale price is to create a space that potential buyers can imagine living in themselves, make it as aspirational as you can, people love to live the dream! Here are my tops tips;
- Kerbside appeal. The single most important issue. Your beautiful Bath home needs to look well maintained and loved. Check leaky gutters and missing tiles. Give doors and window frames a fresh lick of paint or oil if necessary. Make sure the windows are clean, you will be surprised what a huge difference such a simple thing will make!
- The entrance. Cliché alert! You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression! Clear your entrance of shoes, coats etc. If you have some space plant some pots for either side of the front door.
- While we’re outside, if you have an outside seating area, weather permitting, put the cushions out. Cut the grass. Tidy the garden, trim hedges etc. If you have an outside table, a smart magazine and a glass of orange juice looks great. Vogue, Country Life or yachting magazines work well. Remember, be “aspirational,” Imagine you’re staging an upmarket photo shoot. Strategically placed candles suggest outside living and entertaining.
- Moving into the house or apartment make a note of any areas that you can decoratively improve on, stains, chipped paintwork, cracks in plaster and address accordingly
- If you are selling a Bath apartment, consider the communal areas. If they look a bit unloved invest in decorating or improving them. Some managements companies will have a program of works that will hopefully coincide with your timing. However if not a personal investment could really help you achieve the best sale price
- Indoors, declutter. A classic but so true. People get annoyed with their own clutter, so they don’t want to see anyone else’s. As you are in the process of looking to move it makes sense anyway, you don’t want to pay to move a pile of rubbish, so be ruthless. Get rid of old magazines or newspapers. However, a smart magazine on the coffee table looks good.
- Flowers. Flowers always work. If you’re a serial house mover or developer, invest in some really good silk ones and add a sparkle of fresh flowers.
- Kitchens. Clear the work surfaces and make taps sparkle. There is a tradition that the smell of good coffee works. Remember the aspirational bit? Fresh herbs, a basket of eggs or a bowl of tomatoes always look lovely. I even pose a lovely loaf, chopping board and spotless t-towel. Make sure sinks are clean, especially around the plug. Empty the bins. If you have t-towels out, make sure they’re clean and ironed, maybe even get some new ones just for viewings.
- Dining room. There’s nothing like pretending you’re about to host a smart dinner party to pique interest. I’ve often set the table, white tablecloth, white side plates, sparkling glasses. Remember, it’s about making potential buyers imagine that they’ll live a successful, happy life in your home.
- Bathrooms. Tuck all your products away and clear all surfaces. Invest in smart looking shampoo and new soap. It’s worth buying some fluffy towels and up market toiletries just for viewings.
- Bedrooms. Make sure bedrooms are thoroughly aired and clear of clutter and clothes. Hang everything up. A strategically placed book on the bedside table looks good. Flowers in the bedroom also suggest a good lifestyle. If you don’t have any, look at investing in some cushions to dress the bed. Experiment with bedspreads or if you just have duvets, make sure they’re ironed and smart. As with the towels, you can put them to one side while you’re living your life, just bring them out for viewings.
- Do the same with the garden shed and don’t forget that children’s clutter is rarely attractive so this is a perfect opportunity to make a visit to the charity shop.
- Wherever possible clear cupboards (yes potential purchasers do like to look inside!) and storage areas of unwanted things to create orderly, organised areas. People LOVE storage space.
- Look in the loft, now is the time to get rid of everything you don’t want and create order. Board it and insulate if you can and invest in a loft ladder
- Overall. Smell. Be careful about artificial scents, they suggest that you’re hiding something. There’s nothing like fresh air. If you have pets make sure there are no pet smells or pet hair, this can be a big turn off for viewers. If you are smokers be sure to eliminate even a trace of the smell! Make sure your home is warm but not stuffily hot. Some softly playing jazz can help set a mood. Go into each room and imagine seeing it for the first time and under a critical eye. Maybe put lamps on, under unit lights in the kitchen. Above all, make your home as inviting as it can be. Now take a look and admire your work, doesn’t it look great!
A remedial overhaul of your Bath property as suggested may involve several trips to the DIY shop, a few hundred pounds spent in the homeware store and several day’s hard work, but your labour and investment will be rewarded with anything up to an 8% increase on value https://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/what-is-home-staging
Cobb Farr are Bath’s leading independent estate agent, please take a look at some of our beautiful Bath properties available at www.cobbarr.com and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 01225 333332. I am confident we can help you sell your Bath property quickly, effectively and at the best possible sale price.
If you would like to contact Vivienne in the Bath office personally she can be reached at email@example.com or on 07786 263736. Please call to discuss any aspect of selling your Bath property or if you would like advice about staging or styling your home.
As a footnote, it is worth mentioning that if the process takes longer than you had hoped do not lose heart, some markets are more difficult than others. You will, however, be able to take heart in the fact that if you have used these top tips you will have done everything in your power and control to give you the edge over your competition!