A New Year means a new start for most people, which can also include moving to a new home. The busy buying period makes now the perfect time to market your property - particularly if you intend to move somewhere new yourself.
Here are seven simple New Year's Resolutions to sell your home:
1. Get your home on the market
If your home is not currently on the market, list it as soon as possible to be ready for house-hunters. Whether you choose to go with an estate agent, or take the online route to advertise your home privately with fewer fees and direct control, the sooner your home is available to view, the sooner you can find a buyer.
2. Take your home off the market
If your home has already been advertised during the Christmas market, consider taking it down from the market for several weeks before re-listing it. This gives you a chance to evaluate your listing photos and description and make any changes, but also makes sure your listing appears fresh. Ideally, get into a routine of three months on the market and one month off to establish a regular, efficient cycle that corresponds with the peak buying periods of spring, summer and autumn.
3. Practise, practise, practise
You need to know your property viewing process off by heart, so that when a buyer does enquire about your home, you are able to give them a tour as soon as possible. Practice with your friends and family, asking for feedback, so that you appear as professional as possible. First impressions are important; second opinions can help.
4. Consider a change
If you have been previously selling with an estate agent and had no success, consider changing your approach: compare the local competition to find out if another agent can offer better value, or investigate FSBO services to sell your home privately and reach a wider audience. Likewise, if you have used one FSBO service with no success, conduct research to find an alternative that may list your property on different portals, providing you with exposure to different buyers.
Three letters that will already be familiar to those making New Year's resolutions, DIY can be a handy form of exercise, as well as a way to make your old home seem new again. Each improvement you make to your property, though, can also boost its selling price, as well as its overall appeal. Whether it is a lick of paint on your kitchen cupboards or a tidy garden, every little bit helps.
6. Keep things de-cluttered
Clutter is a quick way to turn off a buyer when viewing your home: it not only gets in the way of a tour, but also gives the impression that the property has not been cared for. Whether it is laundry, dirty plates or even Christmas decorations, tidy up before house-hunters visit - and (here's the tough resolution) keep things tidy, so that you are ready for the next viewing.
Who hasn't told themselves to shed a few pounds in the New Year? As important as trimming inches off your waist, though, is shaving pounds off your asking price: being more prepared to negotiate with buyers could make the difference between reliving last year's unsuccessful sale and making a fresh start this January. Try to be realistic and reasonable.
Photo: Christophe Michel