Moving Home

How to give your property sale that competitive edge

October 25, 2021
Information published was correct at the time of writing


Selling a property requires good preparation. It typically requires a few repairs on the outside and inside, decluttering, fresh paintwork and finding the right estate agent, along with preparing the necessary documentation. Whether you need to sell quickly for a new job, for financial reasons or because of a personal situation, we’ve provided a few tips you can use to increase your home’s marketability, decrease your time on the market and attract strong offers. With the UK experiencing a home-buying boom, your property will be competing with lots of other properties. So what do you need to consider to give your property sale that competitive edge?

Most sellers will be in a chain and looking to buy a property themselves. This can slow the sale down. However, making sure you are ready to move by being as prepared as you can be to purchase your next property can help you to sell more quickly. Being sale-ready includes speaking to your mortgage adviser, having a solicitor lined up in advance and getting all your documents in order, amongst other things.

Any window and door certificates, boiler warranties, building regulations certificates, the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), as well as any legal documents, will all speed up the selling process. You’ll need to ensure you have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (or commission one) in order to market your property in the first place, so check to see if your estate agent offers this as a service.

When buyers view a property, they will generally make up their mind about whether they like it or not within a few minutes. It is known that the way the property looks from the outside, the kerb appeal, plays a big part in influencing this decision. Tidy up the front garden or give the front door a fresh lick of paint, so that when buyers are approaching the property from across the street, the first impression is a positive one.

A buyer will want to imagine your home as their own. Having your home full of clutter and with too many personal belongings on display can prevent them from doing this. Make sure you de-clutter and put some of those knick-knacks that make your home look too ‘you’ into storage, so that buyers can imagine putting their own stamp on the property.

You should consider asking a friend to look after your pet for the afternoon to ensure that a potential buyer is not put off your property due to a pet-specific odour or a fear of dogs!

We all have a few imperfections in our property that we overlook on a daily basis. Don’t let small issues put off your prospective buyers. Look at your home with fresh eyes. Keeping parts of the home that add value to the property – for example, the kitchen or bathroom – in good condition can increase the appeal of your home. Whether it’s just a fresh lick of paint, new kitchen equipment or fixing that wonky shelf, it is important that these parts of the home are in the best condition possible before you start marketing the property.

The garden landscape can often be overlooked when preparing to sell a home. Many see garden maintenance as a chore. But gardens are one of the most important features people want when they are looking to buy. Make the most of what you have. If you have a courtyard, put out some flowerpots to add colour. If you have a more substantial garden, get those hedges trimmed, cut the grass and tidy your borders. Don’t overlook one of your biggest selling points.

This is important throughout the sale process. If a potential buyer wants a night-time viewing after you’ve had a long day at work, consider allowing them to view the property. The more potential buyers that view your property, the more likely you are to get an offer, so flexibility can really pay off.

This may seem obvious, but ensuring your property is priced correctly and competitively will save you time in the long run. Your agent will give you the best advice based on the market and current demand at the time you are looking at selling, along with your property valuation.

This is where the information on the buyers that you gathered during viewings comes in handy. These factors can all influence how quickly a sale can proceed. The best buyer is not necessarily the one offering the highest price. Are they chain-free and able to move quickly? How do they plan to finance the purchase – and is the money in place? Do they have to secure a mortgage?

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