How to sell your home

Selling Your Home 1

We want to sell our house… now what?

Congratulations on deciding to sell your home. Here we’ll cover some bigger and more detailed aspects you’ll need to consider, like preparing it for market, enlisting an estate agent and tackling your finances to get you as best prepared as possible.

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Let’s get started – if you’re serious about selling, the very first thing you need to do is:

Prepare your home for sale

Wards can have a property listed and ready for viewing in about 3 days, so you’ll want to make sure that your home is ready and raring to go. Get ahead of the game by carrying out some basic maintenance and simple merchandising to increase both its value and its overall appeal to potential buyers.

Stage your home

Clear and de-clutter

Regardless of the time of year, a good Spring Clean is thoroughly in order. It’s important to capture your home’s personality while tactfully disguising any trace of its current inhabitants. Many sellers object to taking down family portraits and personal artwork, but potential buyers will want to see a blank canvas and the likelihood of making a life there for themselves. Your holiday snaps and life drawings can be distracting, so put these in storage for the time being.

Lighting and painting

You can infuse new life into your home with some simple tricks. By tactfully placing clever mood lighting you can add warmth and ambience to a room. This also includes replacing broken light bulbs and using floor lamps rather than ceiling lights as upward lighting is more flattering and gives a cosier vibe. Also, mirrors facing windows reflect natural light and give the illusion of more space.

A fresh lick of paint invigorates the dullest of rooms. Typically neutral tones, like white and cream are best. But if you want to keep it modern, try an off-white colour with a dash of pink, grey or blue. If you don’t want to fork out for new paint, get the existing ones out and at least touch up any scuffs. The smell of fresh paint alone also stimulates the senses, suggesting to potential buyers that this home is well-maintained, clean and loved.

If it’s broken, fix it

Speaking of a well-maintained, clean and loved house… get your toolbox out or call up your local DIY pro to work on your snagging list. The biggest culprits in need of fixing immediately are likely to be broken locks and door handles. While you’re at it, fill unsightly holes, mend broken tiles, replace tattered carpet and clean scuffs on walls.

Every aspect of your house will be under a microscope and potential buyers will want to pick faults in anything that will try to get you to budge from your asking price. Unfortunately, trivial things can pretty much make mountains out of molehills for you.

Don’t forget the garden

The HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) admit that the state of the garden doesn’t have much impact on your home’s value, but it will greatly sway the appeal. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, make sure you give it some TLC too. Cut and trim all hedges and bushes, give the patio a clean with a jet-wash, scrub existing furniture and cut the grass.

Don’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal. It will determine whether a buyer will knock on the door (which would have been freshly painted) or take one look, keep going and drive right past. Keep bins tidy, weed any paving, fix the guttering and re-paint any external woodwork. The front of your house is very much the cover of the book that is your home and will most certainly be judged.

Invest in bigger jobs

First up, be objective. There are no doubt going to be some upgrades that will increase the value of your home… but are they worth the time, money and hard work? That’s for you to decide.

However, consider this:

Upgrade your kitchen

Unless it hasn’t seen an update since the other side of this Millenium, think about upgrading your kitchen as a priority. What’s more, Virgin Money recognises that an updated kitchen can add up to 6% to the value of your home. Of course, any investment should be minimal and we’d understand if you didn’t want to fork out on a brand new kitchen.

Replacing countertops or faucets can easily breathe new life into the heart of the house. And when it comes to cupboards – don’t be afraid to give them a lick of paint and change the handles for an economic upgrade. Alternatively, splash a bit more cash and invest in a reface altogether – it’s the benefit of looking like a new kitchen without costing like one.


Second to the kitchen, buyers look for the state of the bathroom as an indication as to whether or not they want to potentially buy your home. Furthermore, a new bathroom can increase your home’s value by a further 6% – sometimes more for any additional bathrooms.

Of course, refurbish only if necessary, keeping suites and colour schemes clean and neutral. If your budget is tight, be sure to at least wash shower curtains and bath mats, regrout the tiles and even install a new toilet seat.

Finish major structural work

Now’s the time to finish those major projects, or at least get them ready for someone else to pick up where you left off. Be sure to have your most recent surveys, drawings and plans, planning permission and anything else to hand that the new owner will need to finish your project.

Prepare your finances before moving

Now that getting your home prepared for sale is out of the way, let’s look at your finances. Assessing your financial situation and getting your affairs in order will be the single best thing to empower you. What’s more, you’ll feel more confident and in control of your sale. Putting together a budget, which considers your current outgoings will help you sort a financial plan.

Which means that now might be the time to…

See an agent

Now that your home is ready to be seen by potential buyers, let’s get down to business – your home is the star, and all A-Listers need an agent. An estate agent like Wards, will take care of everything and look to put more money in your pocket. They will…

Arrange a valuation of your home

A valuation is simple – click here, use the button below or pop in to your local branch or call us on 0800 854 499 to arrange. A local, friendly expert will come round, inspect your property and estimate how much your home is worth in light of similar houses in your area. Once you agree to sell, your house will be listed…

Book a free valuation

Market your property

Your estate agent will then look at getting your home seen by as many of the right people as possible through a variety of different means, including a massive database of potential buyers across the entire South East.

Professional photography

Your agent will capture your home in an honest and flattering light through a series of photos for marketing.

Virtual tours

Expert estate agents like Wards will set up a rig that records a video of your home that can be used to give potential viewers a 3D tour.


Any good estate agent worth their salt will get to putting together a comprehensive brochure which details your home to promising buyers. They should include floor plans, photos, detailed descriptions, room dimensions, local amenities and Energy Performance Certificates (EPC).

Viewings and open-houses

Getting people to view your home is one thing, but getting an agent to arrange an open-house has proven to be competitive, efficient and often results in receiving offers up to and over the asking price.

Homewise a Home for Life Plan

Wards can open up your property to a wider audience with a plan for the over 60s.

Online agents

Wards also work with the country’s biggest online agents; Prime Location, Rightmove, On The Market and Zoopla. Your home will be listed on these sites and shown to even more people.

If you’re selling a property, you’re probably looking to buy one – and the value of your home will establish what you can afford. What’s more, there’s legal stuff to consider as well – fortunately, Wards can also help with that.

Sorting your mortgage

Wards can help in a number of ways:

  • Financial advice – in-house financial advisors can help streamline your budget and look at ways of saving you money. They’ll also give you a good idea of what’s available to you and what you can afford. Then when you’re ready…
  • Mortgage advice – Wards has a fleet of impartial and expert mortgage brokers ready to get you the best possible deal through their range of exclusive offers. While you’re house-hunting, they can agree your mortgage in principle and then sort the main thing when the time comes. At Wards, we work with Mortgage Matters Direct – one of the top mortgage brokers on Trustpilot.

Got a question? Ask Mortgage Matters Direct

Sort the conveyancer

Finally, estate agents like Wards can provide you with conveyancers who’ll guide you through the legalities associated with selling your home. Our tip is to use the same solicitor for selling your home as well as for buying your new home where possible as it will save you money.

That’s it – you’re pretty much on your way to selling your home and potentially buying a new one. Wards is here to help you move forward on life’s journey – pop in to your local branch, contact us online or give us a call on 0800 854 499 to speak to a local expert today.

Book a free valuation