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Top Tips on Preparing Your Home for a Sale

If you are selling your home, then the temptation is to make it look as good as possible in order maximise your sale price – even to the extent of baking bread and brewing coffee to create the right atmosphere when you have a home viewing. However, that is not necessarily the case – it depends how you approach it.

Anderson Associates are a chartered building surveyor’s practice based near Ipswich. Here we provide some do’s and don’ts about how you should prepare your home for a sale.


Don’t Redecorate

There’s no point in getting all the paintbrushes and rollers out just before you put it on the market, even if internal decorations are faded. The new owners may not share your taste in colours anyway, so you could be wasting your own time and money. If you must redecorate, then choose a neutral colour like white of off-white which won’t offend anyone.


Don’t Let the Space Get Too Cluttered

Would-be buyers need to see how much room there is and they won’t be able to do that if the rooms are full of clutter, such as children’s toys or old newspapers. The same could also apply to any artwork or posters on the walls; again, your would-be buyer may not have the same tastes as you and removing them will also help create an impression of extra space (although if the walls are badly faded underneath, it may be better to leave any wall hangings in situ).


Do Have a Tidy-Up

It’s also worth having a good tidy-up outside the house as well as inside, as any ‘mess’ can be a big turn-off for would-be buyers. So, make sure you vacuum the floor and mow the lawn if you have one.

You don’t need to make the house or garden look immaculate, as this could raise suspicions in the buyers’ minds. They may think that if the home has been made to look spotlessly neat and tidy to draw attention away from other issues.


Don’t Have a Survey Done

It can also be tempting to have a survey carried out by a chartered surveyor before you put it on the market. However, if you do this you are duty-bound to tell any would-be buyers about any faults revealed in the report.

This is part of the Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations Act which was introduced in 2013 and superseded the previous ‘Caveat Emptor’ (‘buyer beware’) principle which applied before that date. This meant it was up to any would-be purchaser to carry out ‘due diligence’ before moving in.

Now, however, you must pass on details about any structural issues with the property, disputes with neighbours, any history of flooding at your home and problems with pests (including Japanese Knotweed). This means if you are aware of any issues that may have financial implications on any perspective buyer you will either have to rectify any faults before you put the home on the market or be prepared to accept a lower offer.


When Should You Have a Survey Done?

You can have a survey carried out on your home at any time; even if you have no intention of selling it, it may be worth commissioning a report if you are worried about the condition of your property – for instance, if some cracks in the walls have appeared or you believe you might have a problem with damp or subsidence.

However, for most people the best time for a survey is when you are buying a property rather than selling it. As well as potentially saving you money on the purchase price, it will also give you peace of mind when you move in.


Anderson Associates – Chartered Building Surveyors near Ipswich

Ideally you should have your survey carried out by an independent chartered surveyor, who will be working for you and not the mortgage company who may be helping you purchase the property. Ideally your surveyor should be a member of a professional body, such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Anderson Associates recommend our Level 3 (full building) surveys, whether you live in Kent, Essex, Suffolk or London. These are comprehensive reports and should identify any structural problems or other major issues. A cost summary is included, which not only advises you on what repair and maintenance issues the property has but also gives an indication as to what it will cost to put them right. Not all surveys currently on the market include this.

Anderson Associates’ principal Paul Anderson is a member of RICS and the Chartered Institute of Building. You can reach him on either 0800 652 8285 or 01473 623656 if you would like to learn more about any of Anderson Associates’ services; you can also follow this link and fill in the online form.


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Whether you need a simple valuation or a full structural survey as well as being expert building surveyors we’re happy to give you free, impartial advice on anything to do with buildings and property.
Anderson Associates
(Head Office & Correspondence Address)
Warneford House, Portal Avenue
Martlesham Heath, Ipswich
Suffolk IP5 3QY
T. 01473 623 656
T. 0800 652 8285
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Registered Office: Anderson Associates (Surveying) Ltd. | Warneford House, Portal Avenue, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk IP5 3QY
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