The first in a series of occasional tips on how to get the best out of your estate agent.
Many years ago, one of my first jobs was selling encyclopedias door to door*. I was very bad at it. Why? Because I didn’t think what I was selling was worth the money.
On a smaller scale, the same is true of selling houses. Selling agents are, despite claims to the contrary, human and the old truism that first impressions count applies to them just as much as it does to buyers. Your agent will be most enthusiastic and most persuasive if his or her first impression of your home is a good one.
So, tip number one for a successful sale is to treat your agent as if he or she was a buyer.
When you ask one or more selling agents round to give you a valuation (you can ask GSPC for a free valuation here), don’t leave all those little home improvements you are planning to do before your house goes on to the market until later. Do them now.
Of course, any agent worth his or her salt will do the best he or she can. But there is a world of difference between saying ‘I’ll tidy that up by the time we have viewers round’ and having it done already. To really get your chosen agent on board and fired up, treat the valuation as if it was a real viewing.
A note of caution, however. I’m not suggesting that you spend large amounts of money on home improvements. As I have mentioned before, home improvements can easily cost more than they add to the value of your home.
So, don’t splash out on a new bathroom or a new kitchen before you get a valuation done. But do make sure work surfaces are clear, bathrooms and kitchens are spotless, bedrooms are made, bins emptied, floors cleaned, weeds killed (if you have a garden) and gutters cleared.
By all means ask your agent for advice on other home improvements you might make to increase the value or appeal of your home. But only after you have done all you can with a vacuum, some cleaning tools and some elbow grease – before your agent evens sees your home.
*Just in case you are wondering, other early jobs included zoo keeper, shop assistant, barman, swimming pool attendant, bulletin writer for radio and shipping broker (estate agency for cargo ships).