Top tips on what you can do now to plan for your move

Mary Beeton, Head of Residential Sales at Hamptons International, shares her top tips on what you can do right now to plan for your future move.

We’re all spending a lot more time in our homes than usual.  For some of us we’d already decided to move home.  And then everything ground to a halt.  While for others, being at home for longer than we’ve probably been for quite some time – maybe ever! - has made us much more aware of our property’s shortcomings.  My home is too large/ too small, not in the town/country, has a garden that’s too shady/too sunny.  Whatever the reason, if you’re thinking of moving house, now while you’re at home, is the time to start planning.

I’ve shown and valued hundreds of homes to would-be buyers and hopeful sellers over the years and it’s the same points that crop up time and again.  In themselves they’re all eminently fixable but they really can make the difference between a house that sells quickly and one that lingers on the market. 

So with this in mind, here are my five top tips of things that you can do right now to make your house market-ready. 

1. De-clutter

It has to be right up there.  Now is the perfect time to have a good clear out.  A room really does look bigger if there’s less stuff in it.  And potential buyers really do look in cupboards.  As they walk round your home would-be purchasers are imaging themselves living there, visualising their furniture in your rooms and wondering if all those cupboards will meet their storage needs.  Make it easy for them!

2. Decorate

Creating a good impression is important. You want your house to look fresh and clean. And there’s lots you can do to achieve this quickly, cheaply and easily. Especially the little things like grouting - there are even magic pens for this if you don’t trust your DIY skills. Don’t forget to give your walls and doors a good wipe down. If this doesn’t do the trick a fresh coat of paint will. There are lots of online guides for DIY. Fix the broken gate hinges, tighten the wobbly door handles and stick down the lifting tiles in the bathroom. Combined all these things will make a big difference.

3. Garden

Outside space will undoubtedly be high on most people’s wish lists when they come out of lockdown.  Jet wash the patio and re-stock those beds.  Plenty of garden centres are delivering, so get out there in the sunshine and find your inner Monty Don!  And take some photographs of your garden looking its absolute best – always good to show prospective buyers.

4. Get your documents in order and choose your solicitor

This is the time to dig out paperwork you may not have seen since you bought your home. These documents will become essential when it comes to transferring ownership, so track them down now. And do your homework on finding a good solicitor. Getting all the documents on your house to your solicitor – even before you find a buyer - will save you weeks of work later down the line. And could ultimately make the difference between securing your next home or not!

Mary Beeton

Head of Residential Sales, Hamptons International