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What to keep and ditch when selling your home

We know that when you decide to put your property on the market the process can feel overwhelming – especially as it can be full of uncertainty. Where do you start?  What do you need to do to your home to make sure it doesn’t linger on the market?  Take this as your quick guide to those simple décor touches that can highlight and hide, and will help to get your home sold.  They will make your house glow and appeal to buyers in the hope that it will be snapped up quickly. 

What should you keep and ditch when selling your home?

Keep – Fresh flowers

There is nothing like fresh flowers to make a space feel warm and inviting, it gives the buyer the sense that you care about your home and how it is presented.  Think about adding flowers to key spaces such as your dining table, maybe the kitchen island, the living room. You could even think about artificial or dried flowers, succulents or orchids to supplement your displays – a bunch of lavender on a pillow or in the bedroom is always a lovely touch.

Keep – Mirrors

Any room can benefit from a mirror. They brighten the space and can make it appear larger, which is amazing if you live in a smaller home.  It’s not only hanging mirrors, think about adding some mirrored finishes – perhaps a vase, tiles, or even the odd piece of furniture, as when strategically placed they can easily enhance a room.

It is also worth thinking about replacing works of art with mirrors, as we all have our own tastes and should they not align with a potential buyer’s preferences it could subconsciously turn them off your home.  Use a large wall mirror in a small room, as this adds dimension to the space making it more appealing, and place mirrors near windows so the space can benefit from the reflected light in the room.

Keep – New towels

Ditch – Used towels

Yes, towels. This may seem a strange conversation to have, just like which way the toilet roll should be placed (although the answer is always over, in case you’re curious).  Bathrooms are one of those rooms that can win buyers over; they want to see a haven, a spa-like experience that makes them want to relax and ease their stresses away.  And nothing screams luxury quite like fluffy new towels, which is why we recommend you purchase a couple that can be used for photographs and viewings.

These sacred towels are there for display purposes only – that is, until you move, then you can get the full experience of wrapping yourself in these glorious bundles of softness.

Keep – good lighting

One quick way your home can turn off buyers is to have no light shining in – there is nothing attractive about a dark and moody home.  We would always recommend the rule of three when it comes to lighting your home – by this, we mean having three sources of artificial light per room, such as two table lamps and one floor lamp. Make sure you use clear, incandescent lightbulbs.

In addition, don’t forget to emphasise your home’s natural light – open all your curtains and blinds and cut back any trees that could be stopping light from flooding a room. A light-filled home is welcoming and will sell more quickly.

Keep – Blue

It has been scientifically proven that the colour blue can make people feel more relaxed and calm. That doesn’t mean that you need to grab a paint brush and start adding blue to your walls, as this could see buyers running. You can add blue in a more subtle way, such as adding a blue or teal cushion, a throw or even a planters in your garden.

Ditch – Politics, allegiances

We all have our opinions, sports teams we support, and groups we may be aligned to. This is great, but not everyone will have the same viewpoint.  You may be lucky and only have viewings from similar minded people, but what is more likely is that someone will view your home and instead of focusing on what your property has to offer, they will take away that you have different opinions.  Where possible, neutralise your home so it can appeal to the widest number of buyers possible.

Ditch – Collections

You may be passionate about vinyl, be Star Wars obsessed or a Lego nut!  But when it comes to preparing your home for sale, find a way to hide your collections or tone them down a lot.  A lot of ‘things’ will not only make your home feel cluttered, making buyers think it lacks storage or is smaller than it actually is, but it will also make it hard for a buyer to envision themselves living there. This is never a good thing when you want to sell.

Ditch – The personal

We all have family photos and portraits displayed in our homes, and they are doing no harm – right?  Actually, they can hinder your sale, as again buyers will only see you in this house and could struggle to picture themselves living there.  It isn’t just photos but also medals, fridge magnets, costumes – anything that reveals too much about your personality or lifestyle. You should make space for buyers to imagine your house as their home.

Keep – Our number 01892 515188

If you’re looking to not just list but sell your home in Tunbridge Wells come and speak to an agent who understands that the smallest of details can make the biggest difference.  Our team at KMJ Property are looking forward to your call.

The to-do’s professionals swear by before listing your home

We can certainly see the impact the Stamp Duty holiday extension is having on the property market, as we have been kept very busy this week.  Even so, selling your home isn’t as easy as placing a For Sale sign outside. At KMJ Property we focus on every element of the sale, so your experience is one that results in the best possible sales price whilst taking away the stress associated with moving home.  But to achieve that best possible price, you need to put in the work. One thing we are seeing quite often is homeowners who don’t truly understand how to prepare their home for sale.  Professional home stagers have a wealth of advice, but we have compiled the top five tips they swear by before listing your home.

Decluttering

You may have heard us speak about this before, but we can’t tell you how important it is.  What buyer wants to view a disorganised home?  Failing to do this simple task is something we see often; we know it can seem daunting, but by taking a room at a time you will soon have it in hand.  Make sure that you keep surfaces clear of clutter – that means your kitchen worktops, bathroom vanity units and windowsills. Just because you have a surface, doesn’t mean it needs to be filled with things.

Remember to clear out cupboards, garages and other storage areas. If a buyer sees that there isn’t enough room for your belongings, they may feel that storage will be lacking for them too.  Decluttering isn’t just about organising, it also opens up spaces and makes them feel more spacious, which is always a plus point for potential buyers.

Refreshing décor

Every buyer will want to put their own stamp on the home they buy, but that doesn’t mean they will want to fully redecorate the minute they get their keys.  It is natural for a home’s décor to become tired over time and it’s amazing the transformation a quick coat of paint can achieve.  Yes, neutral tones are generally preferred but that doesn’t mean that this is always true.  You may have used bold and elegant shades throughout your house that create a striking and stylish interior.  There is no doubt that this may grab the attention of buyers with similar tastes, but just bear in mind it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 

That being said, if you have a more dated décor scheme or one which only its owner could love, then failing to make a few changes can turn buyers off.  Grabbing a buyer’s attention as quickly as possible is essential, so it’s important to do everything you can to stop them quickly moving onto the next property and leaving yours behind.

Don’t neglect the small stuff

You may have some little niggles in your home which you haven’t got round to addressing; it could be changing the light bulb in the entrance hall, or tightening that loose handle on the bathroom door.  You would be surprised the negative effect that neglecting to take care of the small stuff can have on a buyer’s impression of your property.  They may start to wonder what else is broken in your home – are there problems they can’t see? Don’t leave them with any doubt, get those jobs done so that buyers can see the care and attention you have given the property whilst living there.

Staging your home

Staging a home is an art. It doesn’t mean stripping a room bear and leaving a stark, clinical look, but you also don’t want it to look like life has just exploded in each room.  You want a careful balance of cleanliness and order, with those careful touches that make it feel like a home.  Remember to take away personal photos, as these remind a buyer that this is your property, when they should be thinking about how they might live there. Staging is all about those finishing touches, a vase of fresh flowers placed on the dining table; a small tray ready for a cream tea in the garden; a throw and a book carefully placed on the bedroom chair…

Home magazines are the perfect inspiration, or you could look at photographs from show homes – these professionals know how to create a lifestyle that buyers will want to buy into.

Now it’s time to list

Yes, all this work should be undertaken before you invite an estate agent in to value your home, why?  Because how your home is presented could affect your home’s valuation.  This is again where many sellers go wrong, but if you have this all done before your home is listed, your marketing photographs and videos will show your home at its best and grab the attention of all those eager and ready-to-move buyers.

If you are unsure how to prepare your home for sale, please contact a member of our team and we would be happy to give you our honest advice on what will have the biggest impact for your home.  Call our team today on 01892 515188.

 

Why now is a great time to sell your home in Tunbridge Wells

There are rumblings in the press that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will extend the Stamp Duty holiday deadline until the end of June.  This is fantastic news for all those people who are in the process of completing and have been worried if it will happen in time.  The Stamp Duty holiday certainly fired up the property market last year across the UK, and we saw many people moving as a result.  Regardless of whether these rumblings become reality or not, we still believe that now is a great time to sell your home in Tunbridge Wells

Are there buyers?

Even during a lockdown, the desire to move never fades, and that is proven when you take a look at February’s House Price Index from Rightmove.  The index shows that visits to the property website are up 45% on last year, with those eager house-hunters increasing the number of enquiries by 18%.  At KMJ Property we have really felt this buyer increase; it seems that the prospect of a restriction-free (ish) summer has got people looking to the future, and for many this includes a new home.

What can they buy?

As fantastic as this surge of buyers is, there is a problem: demand is outstripped by supply, there are just not enough houses on the market for them to buy.  This is not an issue limited to Tunbridge Wells; Rightmove figures also show that seller numbers are down by 21% from last year.  In a sellers’ market such as this, it means that any home on the market will receive lots of attention, especially if it is priced correctly and marketed properly.

Where is the supply?

One of the reasons suggested for the lack of available properties is that people have resisted the urge to place their home on the market due to the pressures of home schooling.  If you, like us, are trying to keep your sanity whilst googling ‘how to…’ to help your child with their schoolwork, you are not alone.  Whoever said moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do in life, hasn’t experienced a lockdown with home schooling alongside home working – thank goodness it comes to an end on 8 March.

It is completely understandable that the idea of throwing a move into the mix has been one stress too many for lots of people.  When the little ones are back in school, we believe that the number of homes coming on to the market will start to increase and, as such, start to meet that demand from buyers.  But remember, the more houses there are for sale, the more competition there is to catch potential buyers’ attention.

What do they need?

Today’s buyers know exactly what they want. This last year has given everyone a different perspective on personal needs, and this might now include space to work from home.  Only this week, HSBC have announced that they are letting go of almost half of their global office footprint in favour of a “very different style of working post-Covid”.  They are not the only corporate name to be making this move, and it is believed that the post-Covid working environment will be very different to what it was just over 12 months ago.

This huge change in the global working culture means that now more than ever before, a space to work is essential, whether that’s from home or an office hub.  We have seen over the past year many home offices being built in gardens and in converted garages.  It is therefore worth thinking about presenting an ‘office space’ in your property when you decide to place your home on the market.

A fresh start

There is no doubt that the idea of a post-Covid fresh start is extremely alluring, the idea that when June arrives, you will be able to enjoy your freedom in a wonderful new home.  We know that many of you in Tunbridge Wells have invested in your properties over the last year – the queues at the DIY stores and the difficulty of finding certain shades of paint and materials was testament to this.  All your hard work and creativity may give you some good news when we come to value your property.

Why now?

Why wouldn’t you want to sell your home when there is an abundance of buyers and a lack of properties available?  We can start to do the work now so that when the schools are back and things are a little calmer, we can have your home marketed as quickly as possible.  If you’re thinking of moving, now is a great time to sell your home in Tunbridge Wells.

Give our team a call today on 01892 515188

Six clear signs that the asking price for your Tunbridge Wells home is too high

To say it has been a challenging twelve months would be an understatement, and there have been highs and lows when it comes to the property market in Tunbridge Wells.  Regardless of the market conditions, it is essential that when selling your home you always get the price right.  In fact, deciding to set the price of your property too high could have several rather unpleasant side effects, and could even be the reason why your house doesn’t sell.  So, before you fall into any traps, here are six clear signs that the asking price for your home is too high.

  1. Because you believe it’s worth it

A mistake many people make when selling their home is deciding on the asking price themselves.  You believe it is worth a certain figure, due to the amount you paid for it and the hard work you’ve undertaken adding upgrades, high-quality fixtures and fittings, and you may even have extended it.  It can be really tempting to ignore the recommendations made to you by estate agents because this is your home, and you know what it is worth.

Sadly, the property market doesn’t work like that – we wish it did.  There is often a ceiling price for what a house can realistically achieve in a particular area, and current market conditions mean the value of your home can fluctuate. At KMJ Property we want you to achieve the highest possible sales price, and our valuation figure is based on research, expertise, and knowing in the current market what buyers will be willing to pay.  We negotiate strongly, ensuring that we have done everything we can to get your house sold for the highest possible price.

  1. Swayed by the big bucks

At KMJ Property we believe in an honest and straightforward approach. We know our expertise and the experience of our clients, together with our local knowledge, is why we are considered one of the best estate agents in Tunbridge Wells. The valuation we give of your home is not inflated in any way to win your business. As difficult as it may be when deciding on an estate agent to sell your home, don’t be swayed by the big bucks, take all aspects of their service and their experience of selling local properties into account.

  1. The price is not right

Another trap you can fall into if you’re swayed by the big bucks is the scorn of the savvy buyer.  Buyers today know their way around the property portals; they know what reports to review and how to look up Land Registry details, and they know an overpriced house when they see one.  No matter how stunning your home looks in the marketing materials, if a buyer’s research tells them it is overpriced they will simply stay away.  Do you want to take that gamble?

  1. Viewings are down

Your house is on the market, you have seen it on the property portals and you wait with anticipation for the virtual and physical views to start racking up.  The minutes pass, the hours tick by, and the days turn into weeks, and that initial excitement begins to turn into dread.  The viewings you have had have started to dry up, and you are wondering what you can do to turn things around.  You may wish to lower the asking price now, but sadly the damage has already been done.

  1. Less than expected

Lowering your asking price may attract buyers, but again you’ll be hit with the curse of savvy buyers.  They will know that the asking price has been lowered and, as such, will tend not to make a competitive offer.  Buyers will be expecting to negotiate to get a good deal, and if you are receiving offers that are significantly lower than expected, this is certainly a sign that your home is overpriced.

  1. You’ve been left on the shelf

Selling your home can take time, but the longer it sits on the market the less attractive it becomes.  The optimum time for selling your home is when it is first listed, therefore you need to have everything correct from the start.  If after six weeks things have become stale, it is very difficult to reinvigorate the same momentum. None of us at KMJ Property want your house gathering dust, which is why we never want to see it left on the shelf.

When placing your home on the market in Tunbridge Wells it is essential that you get the price correct from the start, so you don’t fall into any of these traps.  If you want your home sold and not just listed, then you need to use an estate agent who understands the importance of valuing your home correctly.

How to fall in love with a Tunbridge Wells home without seeing it in person

Love is in the air, with Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, but whilst a lovely evening out is not possible, many buyers are seeking to fall in love with a new home this lockdown. It seems strange that a year ago life was all going on as normal and then, all of a sudden, it stopped. We have been extremely lucky that, as an industry, we have been able to stay open, but we’ve made many changes along to way to ensure that we operate in a Covid-secure way.  This has meant that, as an agency we  only offer physical viewings to those that are in a position to proceed, and time within the property is restricted to a few minutes.

Every vendor and buyer is different; due to health conditions, some vendors are not allowing physical viewings.  We have a number of buyers from further afield who are seeking to move to Tunbridge Wells to start a new life somewhere new, whether that’s to be close to friends or family or just needing a fresh start.  With this in mind, as buyers, how do you fall in love with a home without seeing it in person?

Utilise all the tools

With restrictions in place, as an agency we’ve had to adapt in any way we can. As well as a wealth of high-quality photographs, we also enable our buyers to view homes via video.  At KMJ Property we offer video tours of our homes, giving you greater insight into how the property is laid out, room sizes and how one room flows into the next. 

We know these tools do not beat physically being inside a property, but they are the next best thing when you’re looking to find your next home.  We highly recommend you use all the tools an agent has to offer, because they will give you different perspectives on a property from different angles, meaning you may notice things you hadn’t seen before.  The more you know about a house, the easier it is to begin to see yourself living there.

Study the floorplan

Furniture and decoration can change the perception of how big a room actually is.  Large furniture can make a room feel smaller, as can too much decoration, so viewing a property via video or photographs still only provides a guide to the space a home truly offers.  This is where a floorplan comes into play. For some strange reason, not every estate agency provides a floorplan – why? They are essential for buyers and so are a must when we’re marketing a property for sale.

A floorplan gives you the facts. It ignores how beautifully decorated a home is and whether the king size bed overpowers the room, a floorplan is what it is – the actual size of each room and where it is located in the property.  This is your Holy Grail; from here, you can see how the home is laid out, if your ideas for renovation could be possible, and if that stunning dining table you just purchased will fit in the room. A video tour may emotionally grab your attention, but the facts from the floorplan will tell you the truth.

Check out the neighbourhood

We know you can’t travel but there are many ways you can check out the neighbourhood to see if it is what you’re looking for.  Google Maps will allow you to virtually walk down the road and explore what’s on offer close by. The images could be a couple of years old but it will help you get a sense of where things are located.

Good old-fashioned conversations allow you to dig deeper and ask questions about particular things that matter to you.  Join the local Facebook groups and NextDoor to find out what it is really like to live there and if there are things you can join in with when normality returns.  Where is the local shop or supermarket? What is parking like on your street? Can you walk to the park? What is the school really like? Where can you get the best takeaway?  There is no one better to answer your questions then the people who live there right now.  When you buy a house, you are becoming part of the Tunbridge Wells community.  By starting conversations online you will get a sense of who your neighbours are and perhaps even make some new friends before you move in.

Listen to your gut

We all have that sixth sense, that little something that niggles when something just doesn’t seem quite right.  Our eagerness and excitement can make us banish this feeling, as our hearts want a different outcome.  But remember, this is a huge investment you are about to make so, hard as it may be, you need to listen to your gut. You will know when you’ve found your dream home, it may just have been waiting a little longer to come your way.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Tunbridge Wells our team can’t wait to help. Remember to register with us so we know exactly what you’re looking for; should we find it, we can make sure that you’re one of the first to know.

Register by calling 01892 515188.

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