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Selling your house during COVID-19 crisis - what you can be doing now

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Pic credit: Little Greene


Whilst house viewings are currently on hold in the UK during COVID-19 lockdown, there is plenty you can be doing to prepare your home and your paperwork for when the housing market reopens to stand you in good stead for a swift sale..

Preparing your home for the market during lockdown

During these unprecedented times your house move plans may be on hold, but there's plenty you can be doing on the admin side to ensure a swift transaction once you have found a buyer.

Instruct your lawyers so they can get all the paperwork in order and obtain any necessary legal documents such as deeds. This will not only make the process quicker but will make you a favourable buyer too as you are 'ready to go'.

Ensure all paperwork relating to any building work such as planning permission sign off, building regulations sign off, electrical certificates etc are all in order. This is essential and real time saver when a sale is agreed. Take copies and ensure your solicitor has the originals.

If you require a mortgage for your ongoing move, ensure you have all the necessary documentation for your mortgage, such as payslips or tax returns to support your application. Talk to an expert mortage advisor now about the best route forward to securing your mortgage in the current climate.

Ensure your septic tank complies with the new General Binding Regulations which came into effect in January 2020. Most will, it’s just ensuring you’re on top of this before it comes up during the legal process. Ideally you will have had it emptied within 12/18 months prior to a sale and have a receipt.

Make sure the boiler has been serviced in the last 12 months and there is paperwork to support this. Likewise, chimney swept, Aga serviced. Anything which has been serviced will need a certificate and/or receipt. Whilst these types of house-maintenance services cannot be carried out on lockdown, making a list and identifying the companies to carry them out will mean you're ready to go once restrictions are lifted.

We have built up a superb network of contacts who can help with all of the above and much more. As you can imagine we go to great lengths to ensure that any property sale we look after goes as smoothly as planned and we strongly believe that our contacts are the best in their fields.

Practical preparations to make your home market ready

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Pic credit: Jim Lawrence

Get your house 'picture ready' now will mean viewings can start as soon as lockdown is over - a fresh coat of paint will give your home a real facelift, touch up any hairline plaster cracks and refresh those high traffic areas (we love Little Greene paints and papers for beautiful heritage hues). Give your front door some TLC too with a new coat of paint and a polish to ensure those first impressions are good ones.

Check whether your local builder's merchant is still delivering; a fresh layer of gravel for a drive is an inexpensive way of giving your entranceway a facelift.

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Likewise, ensuring lawns, border, hedges have all been tidied up can work wonders on those important first impressions. Another satisfying job for lockdown - power washing terraces and pathways will bring dull stonework back to life. Sparkling clean windows are also essential for allowing maximum daylight into your home and making your home feel well maintained.

If you're dressing your home for sale, ensuring all lights are working and there are no bulbs missing is a good housekeeping job to tick off your list. Think about the bulb you are using, a warmer tone will help make a north-facing room feel more inviting, while adding a few side lamps will create a cosy ambience in dark corners. Jim Lawrence have a great range of modern classic styles. Test your lighting at all times of day as you never know when a viewing may be once your home is on the market!

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As we move into the summer season, dressing your outdoor spaces is equally important - the trend for outdoor living space, with seating areas, clever outdoor rugs and firepits, is a popular 'wish list' item amongst prospective buyers - Garden Trading do lovely festoon lights that create a great feel for summer evening dining.

Finally, we can never emphasise enough about decluttering. It’s a great time to do some sorting and clearing out of all those lofts, cupboards and outbuildings. This creates space, light and can generally make a home feel more welcoming.

If you have any further questions about preparing your home for sale, or want to know how we are pro-actively working with vendors right now, contact us at office@sharvellproperty.com
Main pic credit: Little Greene