We have recently put together a new white paper, or set of guidance notes, outlining French Properties Direct's five top tips when it comes to selling a property. Here is an except from top tip number 1 - Preparation.
Does the property need work to make it saleable?
I am often asked what a vendor should do before they put their house on the market and my general view is that they should do as little as possible. If you make expensive changes or undertake spur of the moment renovations you will probably be wasting your money – as you will not do what your potential buyers would have done themselves and probably will not recoup the money you have spent on the work. I have frequently encountered buyers who complain that they are not prepared to pay for work which has recently been done and which they will want to undo.
Unless you are selling a renovation project it is important that a property is well maintained and that what should work does work – so the roof should not leak and there should not be curtain rails hanging off the walls or peeling paint on the window frames. Your house should look loved and cared for. The best idea is to spend a little bit of money on a lick of paint –usually a neutral white which will not offend anyone – and, outside, a nicely gravelled drive or parking area. If there is a repair that you have been meaning to get around to for ages, then do it but what you must NEVER do is camouflage a defect. If, for example, you have a structural fault such as a crack which could indicate subsidence you must not hide it. If, after the sale, it comes to light that you have done so your buyer can come back to you for reparations or even nullify the sale. This particular sin is known as a ‘vice cache ‘ and your buyer is protected by law from your actions – for many years after the sale has taken place.
If there were two key points to remember for outside they are:
- Cut the grass regularly and throughout the growing season – if you do no other gardening at all.
- A load of gravel (in a local stone) carefully spread out can lift a property immensely.
And for inside:
- A neutral paint throughout will lift a tired property at once.
- Attend to routine maintenance.
Here are two examples - the first has a beautifully presented approach to the property. First impressions count. You can see the difference a weed free, gravel driveway and parking area makes:
This second property was 'dressed' to sell - and it did: