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Selling, but would you buy your own home?

When I sold my house in Crawley in early 2010 the trading conditions were difficult. Contrary to the advice we give (which is place your property on the market before you start looking) we had already seen a house we liked. Hurriedly we put the house on the market at a sensible price and had three viewings booked in the first 24 hours, the feedback that quickly followed lead me to ask myself a very important question, "would I buy my own home"? It is hard to look at your own property objectively as it's your own sanctuary, but if you don't potential buyers will and they may not have the same thoughts as you!

Notepad and pen in hand I began at the front door and started to make some notes. Suddenly it dawned on me, all those little odd jobs I had been meaning to do, but opted to instead to take my family out for the day; stood out like a sore thumb! The paint on the front door was peeling, not the best first impression! The kitchen sides had appliances on that I could not remember last using and the fridge had paintings and drawing attached everywhere making the kitchen looked cluttered. Moving upstairs I squeezed past the wardrobe we had placed on the landing (as we were running out of room) and ended in en-suite making note of how the sealant had blackened and the grouting that had become discoloured. All very minor jobs in terms of cost, but ones that didn't leave the correct impression to potential buyers!

A quick phone call to the local handyman and a few journeys to the skip and the loft and within 48 hours these small changes had been made and the house instantly looked more appealing. The next viewing arrived; after coming back for a second viewing and some negotiation we settled on an offer.

So when your estate agent comes around to value the property, ask them if there is anything that needs doing? Some agents find it hard to provide constructive criticism in fear of losing the instruction and some owners don't want to be told. However a bit of honesty can go a long way.

We didn't have the tantalising smell of fresh bread, or ground coffee. But the small changes we made did make a big difference and potentially helped us achieve the price we were looking for, along with the skilled negotiations of my colleagues at Inspire Estate Agents