Property Advice

When making the decision to buy or sell your home a bit of forward planning can make the process less stressful. The following guide aims to help you

Tips for Selling your home quickly and profitably

You only get one chance to make that all important first impression so make sure when you decide to sell that your house is ready to be on today’s competitive market.

Starting outside, do the grounds look well maintained, are trees and hedges in need of trimming, does the lawn need mowing. Are decks and patio’s clean. Does the house need painting. If it needs some work now is the time to get out the paint brush and mower.

Keep colours neutral and avoid dark or strong shades. The house should have a pleasant aroma, open windows, place flowers, burn scented candles or incense (but don’t overdo it!). Add music, soft background music creates a relaxed mood. Avoid having the TV on when showing the house. Ensure that all curtains and blinds are open and have lights on in dark parts of the house. When possible try to leave the house when potential purchasers are viewing. Most buyers find it difficult to relax when owners are present. Leave the work to your agent that’s what he’s getting the big bucks for !!

Not every one likes pets and some people can be put off by them due to allergies and fears. Pets should never be in the house when viewing and if at all possible should be off the property. Playful puppies and white linen trousers don’t go well together !!

Closets, garages, presses etc.
Clean them out, get a skip and throw out all that junk you’ve been hoarding in the shed.

The Kitchen
This is one of the most important rooms in the house and as such deserves special attention. Dark kitchen units can be transformed by painting and changing handles. Consider re-tiling splash-backs if tiles are outdated. Have all bins placed outside and remove all small appliances and clutter from counter tops. Organise kitchen cabinets to make the most of the space you have. Fluorescent lights are a definite no no. Get some halogen spotlights to give a modern feel to the room. No boiling of cabbage when showing the house !!

To summarise place yourself in the shoes of the purchaser, look objectively at your house and try to accentuate the features of your home and avoid bringing undue attention to its faults.


Before starting your search determine what you can afford and visit your bank or mortgage advisor. This is the most important part of purchasing and sometimes gets left till last. Check the products available, lenders are now giving up to 35 year terms on loans to help reduce payments. See what you can comfortably afford taking into account that rates may change over the term of the loan.
Look at the additional cost of purchasing, solicitors fees, surveyors, cost of furnishing etc.

Try to have someone accompany you when viewing. A second opinion is always helpful. Carry out a minimum of 2 viewings at different times of the day to get a better feel for the neighbourhood. Drive around the area and check on facilities available. Are schools and shops within walking distance. It can sometimes be cheaper in the long run to purchase a more expensive house within walking distance of amenities than buying further out and needing a second car. Inspect externally considering the cost or carrying out any necessary repairs or improvements. How does the house compare with neighbouring homes. Is there room to extend or build a garage if you need extra space. Check the condition of roof and window frames.

Has the house been well maintained, If colours are not to your liking remember that paint and wall paper can easily and cheaply be changed. Is the house bright does it get sun all day long, what direction does it face. Look at condition of fixtures and fittings, confirm what is included in the sale. Are the rooms sufficiently large for your requirements, is there adequate storage space. Check ceilings and walls for cracks, signs of leaks or dampness. Is the house warm has it been adequately insulated, does it have double glazing. What is the heating system and is it working correctly.

Important questions to ask

Why are they selling?
Are they just testing the market and wasting your and their agents time or is there a genuine reason.

How long have they lived there?
Several owners in a short space of time might be a sign of an underlying problem with the house or area

How long has the house been on the market?
If the answer is a long time then it may be overpriced

What are the neighbours like?
When you buy a house you get the neighbours free,. Sometimes you can judge a lot from their answer to this question

How safe is the area?
Has the house ever been burgled

Is the area prone to flooding ?
With the present constraints on space, some new developments are built on filled sites and old flood planes of rivers

What price will you accept ?
If you like the house, cut to the chase and buy it. He who hesitates is often lost.

Happy house hunting !


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