Tips on selling your home

If you are looking to sell your property quickly there are several things you can do to increase your chances.

How to get a quick sale By realistically pricing your property you will significantly increase your chances of a quick sale. Your agent will be the best person to guide you on this. Don't dismiss any low offers without thinking them through; a swift sale may save you money in the long run.

First impressions count. Think about the way your house is presented both inside and out. A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference. Tidy the front of your house and clean your front door. If you have a front garden make sure it is well maintained.

The inside of your house should be as free from clutter as possible. Have a good clear out, this will help in preparation for moving. The kitchen is always a key selling point so ensure it is clean and that all dishes are washed and put away. Do all the small jobs you haven't got around to, such as changing that light bulb and fixing that squeaky door. If a potential buyer is undecided about your property, it is these small things that could be the difference between a sale or them walking away.


"While the number of properties available remains reasonably stable, the winter months can provide an opportune moment for buyers to focus their property search.  For those willing to brave the chill, the winter market can also bring a greater sense of commitment from both sides to complete the sale, as people tend to make life changing decisions in the New Year."

The NAEA's top tips for selling your home during the winter are:

- First impressions count: the outside of your house is the first thing that potential buyers will see, and in the winter front gardens and paths can look particularly drab. Make sure your front garden is up to scratch by painting any weather-beaten walls and replacing any frost-bitten plants.

- Run an open house: buyers can often be put off house hunting curing the coldest months, as the prospect of walking the streets looking at properties is not appealing. However, sellers can make this work to their advantage by running well-advertised open-house days during the winter. This will help attract committed and focused buyers, who will be grateful for your offer of a warm drink and a slice of home-made cake.

- Keep it warm: it's simple but important - make sure that your home is well-heated while viewings are taking place. Plus, allow time for the house to warm up. If you know you're going to be rushing home from work to oversee a viewing, it's a good idea to set the heating timer so it comes on an hour before the buyer arrives. Buyers will also be interested in how well the heating system works, so if you have a particularly cold room it could be worth ensuring it is better insulated during the winter chill.

- Check your lights: another simple tip is to ensure your home is lit well. Buyers will be even more attuned to the mood of the house in winter, and without much sunshine to brighten things up it's important that you make sure all your bulbs are working to show off your home at its best. Safety conscious buyers may also be impressed by outside lights and security lights, so invest in those if you are able.


Often the easiest way of getting the most up-to-date information you need is to consult a respected, local professional. THORNES are members of the NAEA, which means they are experienced and qualified, can be found at A professional agent can be invaluable in the selling process.

Selecting which estate agency to sell your home (your biggest asset) can be worrying for anyone.

We can explain how your choice can be made much simpler by following a few straightforward rules:

1. The first thing to do when searching for a quality estate agent is to check that they belong to a professional body like the NAEA. This is because all members have to complete a accredited qualification on estate agency and are bound by strict rules that offer you a fairness, integrity and high standards. Selecting an agent who is one of our members will ensure your peace of mind as they offer expertise and a solid understanding of the market and we offer you a fair complaints procedure.

2. A great help when selecting an agent is reputation. If family, friends, neighbours or people you know have had a good experience with a particular agent then this can really be a great help in making a decision.

3. Look for an estate agency who respond to you quickly (by email and telephone) and also advertise details of your property on their website as soon as possible. Ask them for their history in the area, including their returning clients. This will help prove the quality of their service.

4. Ask to see actual sale prices for recent sales and comparisons of valuations in your area

5. Finally, make sure you get on well with your chosen agent - this will be invaluable during the whole process!

Remember, choosing a member of the NAEA offers higher standards, protection and a complaints procedure for you.

Personal Safety

Inviting so many strangers into your home could place you in a vulnerable position. You must ensure your personal safety whilst selling your home.

Be sure to obtain all of the viewer's details from the agent when arranging times and dates. Check you have the right name and contact details of each viewer, and ask the viewer to confirm all the details to you upon their arrival. If you are going to be alone in the house, it is probably a good idea to ask a friend or a neighbour to accompany you whilst you show your home.

Be friendly whilst conducting the viewings but don't be lured into giving away too much personal information. Be cautious of conversations that inform people of your movements, for example holiday plans and work schedules, anything that informs the viewer of when the property is likely to be empty.

You might prefer for your agent to conduct the viewing on your behalf, make sure that the agent has accurate information regarding alarm codes and locations. Also check that the alarm location is not referred to in any of the sales literature about your property. If you do decide to leave keys with your agent it is a good idea to ask for a receipt and ensure that they will inform you of any viewings they will be conducting.

Using a sale board is a great way of marketing your property. However from time to time this does encourage people driving past to knock on the door and ask to view. If this happens refer them to your agent and arrange a time that suits you and that you are comfortable with.

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