Here are 10 things you should never do if you want to sell your home, according to Derbyshire estate agents
Selling a home can be an exciting and life-changing time, giving people the opportunity to take a step up the housing ladder, downsize or release funds.
But the process shouldn’t be taken lightly and while there are many ways vendors can boost the value of a home, there are a number of things sellers are advised against as they could knock money off a property’s price, discourage buyers or even cause a sale to fall through.
Claire Shipman, North West area manager for estate agent Redbrik which has offices in Chesterfield and Sheffield, shares 10 classic pitfalls below.
Don’t skip checks on structural work
“Make sure if you are doing anything structural you've got the right guidance on planning permission and building regulations. Even if you think you don't need it, always put it to the council anyway because then you've got something in an email at a later stage. If you're going to change a window into some French doors, unless a proper RSJ is put in, what you're doing is creating a bigger hole in the side of your house that's not as supported. If the surveyor who's going to go round and do the report for the buyer can't see that you've done all the right things – your builder's used a steel girder and it's spot on – then they've got no evidence. That's when it comes to having to drill into the wall and make a mess.”
Don’t claim to have an extra bedroom if it doesn’t comply with rules
"Converting a loft into a room has to have at least building regulations – unless it's actually been passed we can't class it as a room – but if you are going to put something like a dormer in the loft space, that needs planning permission. Let's say you have a basement and you think 'Lovely, I'm going to have a basement conversion' and you have it all tanked and properly done – unless there's a fire exit and natural light of a window, you can't class that as a room either. Great as a cinema room or games room, but you can't class it as a bedroom.”
Don’t create a driveway without a dropped kerb
“If you're going to add off-road parking, fantastic – but you can only call it a driveway if you have a licensed drop kerb from the council. You can't go ahead and just drop the kerb yourself.”
Don’t have a boiler installed in the bedroom
“One thing some people are nervous of are boilers in bedrooms. I've seen that put people off before quite easily. If you are having a boiler put in, try and get it in the kitchen, garage or loft space.”
Don’t advertise your pets
“If you have got pet things – bowls, scratch pads, beds, toys, tanks – remove those for your photos and viewings. Some pets are a bit smelly as well, so if people aren't pet people and they walk in, they are going to think ‘Do I have to replace all the flooring? Has that got into the actual foundation of the house?’”
Don’t focus solely on the offer
“People don't think little things are important when they put their house on the market. The more information and evidence you have for a potential buyer, the more they will invest in the house. It's not just about the offer, and getting that tied up. Do you have your boiler serviced? It might be absolutely fine, but if you haven't, hands down the survey is going to say 'have it checked'. If you suspect anything in the property, get a contractor out to have a look in those areas and write a report for you. If something comes up halfway through, it might be a fall-through or renegotiation. It's all about getting you through to completion.”
Don’t assume you can make your next purchase without refreshing your sums
“This last year has been huge with how much the mortgage market has changed. People might think ‘I've checked last year and I can easily do it’ – the changes are huge. Before you put the house on the market, get the valuation so you know roughly what you're playing with, but also go to a financial adviser and check how much you can buy on for. That's a huge one.”
Don’t be unrealistic about price
“If you're realistic with your pricing you will get more interest, and you will more than likely end up with multiple offers – therefore we can take it to bids and you can drive your price up. It gets you a more serious and invested buyer. It's a quicker process, a safer one and you tend to get more money for your house.”
Don't lose out on value by rushing
“A lot of people, when they’re ready, just want their house on the market. In lockdown we had some people saying ‘we can just send you some photos’. Marketing is key, and if you don't have it right within the first two weeks of going live, it can strip the interest right back. It could be you have to wait three days for the photographer to come round and do your brochure, floorplan and 3D tour – but you know that's going to have such a major impact. Just by waiting two or three days you’ll probably increase the offers by five, seven, eight thousand pounds.”
Don't be careless around potential buyers
“If there's something very much wrong that you know would affect the house sale, you've got to be careful with what you hide. However, there is lingo you should stay away from. You shouldn't say 'this is the smallest bedroom' - it's a case of 'this is bedroom four'. I've had it where sellers have done 27 viewings themselves and we can't get an offer, and then we do three, move the vendor out of the house, and all of a sudden we've sold it.”