At the end of 2013, we decided to sell our house. We were so fortunate, it was about as stress-free as it can possibly be:
- It sold within 5 days
- We had 7 separate viewers, and all but one offered the asking price
- It sold for more than the high street estate agents thought it would, and
- Overall we saved about £3,000 in estate agents fees.
It was really simple, we did just 3 things:
Hid all our junk Decluttered, tidied and cleaned every room.
2. Fixed all the little DIY issues around the place, touch up tired paintwork etc.
3. Went with an online estate agent (House Network – you can read my full review of them here).
Decluttering and fixing up bits and bobs definitely worked wonders in getting the house sold, and who’d say no to saving thousands on the estate agent fees?!
Decluttering and cleaning isn’t my idea of fun, but I really don’t think we would’ve sold our house if we hadn’t (and certainly not so quickly). I don’t have before-and-after pics because it was pre-blog, but here’s an example showing what our master bedroom looked like during the viewings. Not perfect, but tidy and uncluttered. With all the lights on of course, just like the experts tell us to! (That’s our baby monitor on the headboard – just goes to show how we really do become blind to our clutter…I’ve only just noticed it this very second!)
FIXING THE DIY ISSUES
Almost every house probably has little bits which need fixing or sprucing up, but we often get so used to them we don’t see them anymore. It’s good to walk round your house, starting at the roadside, and make a note of these little issues…then fix them. Again, a bit tedious but totally necessary. For example, thinking back here are the things I did, starting from the roadside:
- Weeded the front drive
- Replaced the front fence which had blown over, then painted it with Cuprinol Ducksback Silver Copse (I can recommend it!) This was the most expensive “little” fix – luckily we could reuse the existing fence posts and just replace the panels ourselves.
- Painted the tired planter next to the front door, and put a non-dead plant in it.
- Painted the ancient exterior lantern next to the front door with black exterior paint.
- Painted the worn front door handles with Rustoleum hammered black spray paint.
- Put a coat of paint on the front doorstep and put out a (cheap) fresh new doormat.
- Touched up the paint all round the house using leftover paint (I keep leftover paint in labelled jars if there’s only a little bit left).
- Painted some chipped knobs in the kitchen.
- Put down some trim which never had never been finished, round the kitchen floor.
- Neaten the bushes, lawn edges etc in the garden.
- Put some cute bunting and a window box on the garden shed (which I had already painted earlier that year).
- Removed an armchair from the living room, to open up the space.
- Reorganised the master bedroom furniture to open up the space.
- Touched up the woodwork paint throughout.
- Tidied and organised the loft! (People do look up there. Tidy loft says “We’re tidy people. Every inch of this house has been looked after”….even if you’re far from being tidy people! Ahem.)
- “Staged” the house a bit with fresh flowers in some rooms, lanterns and cushions in the garden.
- Cleaned everything – including the oven, inside kitchen cupboards, interior doors etc.
By the time all that was done, it was all so nice that I felt like maybe I didn’t want to move after all!
USING AN ONLINE ESTATE AGENT
This turned out to be a really good decision. It cost us in the region of £500, but a high street estate agent would’ve cost us around £3,500! We used House Network after reading some good reviews on Mumsnet, and I can highly recommend them. They were incredibly efficient, professional and helpful. Their online Member’s Area, where you can control everything, is really well organised and easy to use. If/when we come to sell our current house, we will use House Network again without a doubt. They aren’t 100% perfect, as you can read in my full House Network review, but I’m just being picky ;)
So there you have it, the lowdown on exactly what we did to sell our house online within 5 days.