If you’re looking to sell and prevent your home from languishing on the market for months on end, it may be best to spend the next few months getting into pole position for the market in 2023.
Here are some useful tips…
Help your buyer
Create a pack including everything you can to reassure buyers and cut delays. This should include, for example, a certificate for your wood burner, up-to-date electrical certificates, planning permissions, building regulation sign-offs, information about ownership of boundary walls and documents related to access and rights of way.
Fix a mortgage deal
With interest rates rising, and likely to increase for another 18 months according to commentators, securing a competitive multi-year, fixed-rate mortgage in principle now makes sense.
But many of these deals have to be acted upon within a few months, so ensure you’re in a position to buy before the deadline expires.
Boost energy efficiency
Glazing, improved insulation or a new boiler could be achieved in a few months, and would likely boost both the appeal and asking price of your home.
There are also solar panels, but these won’t add enough value to recover their cost in the short term.
Update the kitchen
The kitchen is worth more per square foot than any other room in the house, so it’s worth making it look tip-top.
Spend autumn and winter refacing the cabinets and smartening up the walls and floor.
But don’t fit a new kitchen — you won’t recover the cost if you sell soon and an installation hitch could derail plans.
Try not to pay too much attention to any one house price index, but look at the overall trend and be prepared to set a competitive asking price in the New Year.
And an overly ambitious price may see the home stuck on the market, especially during a cost of living crisis.
Try a neutral restyle
Declutter, of course — but do more than that. If your interior is looking a little dated in style, then redecorate in line with current trends, but try not to be too ‘out there’ as this may put off some potential buyers. Likewise, if carpets are looking a little tired, think about replacing them or switching to wooden flooring.’
Spruce up the garden
Something planted in the autumn should be thriving by spring. Outside space is important, so doing anything to spruce it up will be rewarded.
Fresh gravel, a trellis to hide eyesores, dramatic pots and cleaned-up furniture with pretty cushions are all easy fixes.
Remember the lights
Swap old halogen lights for LED fittings, these use 80 per cent less energy to produce the same amount of light.
Make the change early so you can demonstrate lower winter bills and also to give you time to paint the ceilings, as the fittings will almost certainly be a different size.
Finish old projects
There’s no excuse for outstanding repairs if you have six months to deal with them, but remember that it can take longer than you think to get a tradesman in.
It typically takes four weeks to get a bricklayer or roofer, and at least a week to get a plumber to do a routine boiler check.