Getting ready to sell

The information in this guide was last updated on 26/02/2014

It helps to put your home on the market at the right time. Spring, early summer and autumn are good times, but avoid mid-summer and the winter festive period. 

Make your property attractive

You’ll want to make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers. There are a few improvements you can make without doing any major work.

  • Give your home kerb appeal: first impressions matter, so make sure your property looks good from the outside. Tidy the garden, clear pathways and make sure the doorbell works!
  • Do small maintenance and repair jobs: give potential buyers the impression of a well-maintained home by making sure all the little jobs are done – clear the guttering, fix dripping taps and polish the floors.
  • De-clutter: buyers want the impression of space, so get rid of all unnecessary items. Remove any personal items so that buyers can visualise the property as a blank canvass they can stamp their own personalities on.
  • Clean up: once you’ve de-cluttered, give your property a good clean so that it’s spotless.

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Find out how much your home is worth

Valuing a property isn’t an exact science – it’s worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. To get an idea of how much your property is worth:

  • Ask estate agents for a valuation: estate agents have expert knowledge of the local property market. Try asking three different companies for a free valuation.
  • Do your own research: get to know the local property market to see how much similar types of property in your location are selling for.

Get an estimate of what your home could be worth with Nationwide’s House Price Index calculator.

Where and how to sell

You can sell through an estate agent or privately. Before you make a decision, look at how much each option would cost and carefully consider whether you have the knowledge and time to do it yourself.

Advantages of using an estate agent include:

  • professional advice and service
  • contact with potential buyers
  • marketing and advertising your property
  • arranging viewings
  • handling enquiries

However, you’ll have to pay a commission fee and possibly other charges.

The main advantage of selling privately is that you won’t have to pay commission. However, you’ll need to do the valuation, marketing and negotiating yourself.