If you’re looking ahead to selling a house, it’s sensible to have a checklist where you can literally tick off each item as you complete it – print or write out your to-do list for selling your property, keep it safe, and make sure everything is covered.
To begin with, get the property ready to be sold. Finish those DIY tasks you’ve been putting off, tidy up, and get rid of anything you don’t need – this will make it easier when it’s time to move, as well as leaving you with a clutter-free home for viewings.
Where there are any signs of damage, make sure you repair them, whether it’s a leaky tap or pipe, or mildew on old paintwork.
You shouldn’t just paint over damp, but if a wall is discoloured and there’s no ongoing problem, it’s far better to give it a fresh topcoat than to simply leave a visible watermark on the surface for would-be buyers to see.
Choose an estate agent – usually somebody local with good customer feedback, although for some property types you might want to list it with a specialist.
Ultimately the asking price is your decision, so take the estate agent’s valuation only as a guide, and set a realistic value of your own, allowing for the fact that most buyers will offer at least a few thousand pounds less than you ask for.
As you start to take your first viewings, tidy again. It’s no longer OK for your home to look ‘lived in’ – it needs to already look ready for somebody else to move in, so try to keep everything in its place and avoid letting the clutter creep back in.
Make sure everything is clean, too. Your newly tidy home should be easier than ever to wipe, vacuum and bleach where appropriate, so that it has the greatest appeal to potential buyers.
At some point, of course, you will need a solicitor to handle the conveyancing work, so get this sorted early on to avoid any problems later.
Finally, look ahead to moving day – things can happen quickly once an offer is in place, so use the relaxed early days to box up non-essential belongings ready to relocate, which will also help cut the clutter.
If you find you have too many possessions to move in one go, and you can’t bear to part with any of them, consider renting a storage unit temporarily, as you can fill this with items you don’t need urgently on moving day itself, and transport them to your new home later once the sale has completed.