The number of people looking to buy a property in the UK is increasing, according to the latest statistics from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
As a result it has launched a new set of tips to help potential sellers make the most of the opportunities that are expected in 2011. They are based on the experience of the organisation’s members across the country.
Presentation is the number one issue with 45% of NAEA members saying that tidying up clutter is the best way to increase the saleability of a property. It is often the smaller, unconsidered factors, which actually result in a sale, they say. Making sure that the garden is well presented and redecorating are also factors, which are likely to improve the attractiveness of a property to would-be buyers.
‘The first impression is often the one that counts, so ensure your home looks welcoming from the outside too. You could also consider an open day to showcase your home to several buyers at once, which may ensure a sale, and which also presents a great opportunity to display your home at its best,’ the report says.
Agents also recommend considering an extension as a means of increasing the property’s value and thus improving the chances of a sale. More than 40% of NAEA members believe that a well planned and built extension, that creates an additional open living space, is the best way of increasing the value of a property. Installing a new kitchen is also seen as an effective way of increasing the value, as well as a loft conversion.
‘However, sellers must bear in mind that the average price of properties in the local area will dictate the maximum price your home can achieve, so it’s worth researching similar properties in your local area first before carrying out any work,’ it adds.
Another key point is arriving at a sensible price. ‘With so few properties on the market, it is crucial for sellers to ensure that the valuation placed on your home is competitive in the current market conditions. The value of properties across the board has dropped sharply during the last few years, so it is crucial that you get an accurate valuation of your home,’ they advise.
In 2011, energy efficiency is likely to be important. Agents point out that some buyers will use an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as a bargaining tool to knock down the price of a property if it does not come up to expectations. They say that installing draft excluders or improving the insulation of your loft or boiler are simple ways of improving energy efficiency. With the Government Green Deal due to introduce incentives for homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their home, this issue will remain an important one for sellers to bear in mind.
The Internet is seen as an important part of the selling process and the NAEA recommends that sellers make sure that an agent advertises the property online. It recommends Propertylive as the only property search site that is regulated, protected and run by a professional body of fully accredited agents.
‘They are committed to professional standards in the property industry to which they can be held accountable, and have to adhere to Rules of Conduct and Codes of Practice,’ it said.