12 ways to speed up the sale of your home

green front door with plant outside
12 ways to speed up the sale of your homecoldsnowstorm - Getty Images

Thinking about selling up and want to secure a swift sale? Homeowners looking to sell should ensure their homes are well prepared and enticing for potential buyers.

According to new research by We Buy Any Home, searches for 'sell house quick' and 'how to sell a house quickly' surged by 5,000 per cent in the past 30 days in the UK.

'The current system can be frustratingly slow and prone to unexpected hold ups,' says We Buy Any Home's property expert Terry Fisher. ‘A more digital approach to house buying and selling could offer a range of advantages, but while a digital revolution may be on the horizon, there are still steps you can take now to speed up the process.'

So, what can you do to help speed up the sale of your home? We spoke to the experts about how to maximise sales potential – fast.

Focus on the presentation

As you might imagine, a clean, decluttered and well-maintained home will create a positive first impression. 'Potential buyers often seek homes with neutral, universally appealing interiors that allow them envision their own style – so consider how potential buyers might view your property,' says Terry. 'Overly niche design choices can limit a property's appeal and ultimately its resale value.’

And kerb appeal is just as important. From tidying the garden to adding some colourful plants, and even the colour of your front door can make your home more inviting. 'For those looking to sell houses quickly, we’d recommend a classic black, soft blue or neutral grey front door,' Terry suggests.

green front door with plant outside
coldsnowstorm - Getty Images

Price it right

Especially in the current economic climate, getting your asking price right is key. You don't want to overprice your property only for it to sit on the market for months.

While it can be tricky to get the balance just right, 'overpricing deters buyers, while underpricing leaves money on the table,' Terry warns. You need to do a bit of research: for example, is your area currently in high demand? Or are you willing to negotiate? It’s important to factor both into your pricing strategy.

Colour coordination

Having a cohesive flow between the rooms in your home can also help. Now, this doesn’t mean that every room in your home has to be the same colour, but opting for a soft, neutral colour palette, or one inspired by nature – blues, greens and beiges – is a popular and stylish choice.

'There are generally two things a potential buyer wishes for: a sense of space, and the ability to move straight in. A fresh coat of paint can achieve both of these desires relatively easily,' says Sam Greig, senior designer at Swoon. 'If you're struggling to pick a colour, my advice is always stick with neutrals or white. It's fresh, clean-looking, and emanates "space" – everyone can live with white. Potential buyers find it easier to picture their own furniture and items in a home when they're not hijacked by strong, bold colours.'

sideboard with plants
Rachel Whiting

Embrace technology

Virtual tours and high-quality photos will showcase your home in its very best light and not doing so could actually make or break a sale. Allowing potential buyers the chance to explore your property virtually not only saves them time and hassle, but it can increase interest, while property websites and even social media can help you to reach a wider audience of interested buyers.

'We've seen a huge surge in estate agents using TikTok to showcase a property,' says Terry. 'Searches relating to "homes for sale" are on the rise with a staggering 47.6M posts for "UK Real Estate" and 158.7M posts for "Selling House".'

Make the most of your space

You want potential buyers to imagine what their belongings will look like in each room, instead of yours. So if your space is crammed full of furniture and decor, it can stop them from doing this. As Sam suggests: 'I'd recommend leaving spaces as open as possible to interpretation.' Consider putting some items in storage or even selling or donating pieces that you no longer need to help make the space look more open and inviting.

Also consider look at the layout of your home and how it appears to others 'A queen size bed in an obviously single sized bedroom is off-putting, as it suggests that the home does not have sufficient space,' warns Sam. 'It would be much better to pair a single bed with an attractive bedside table, and a small chair, or some sophisticated shelving.'

A quick fix is to give the illusion of space. Make use of mirrors and ensure windows aren’t too shielded by swathes of curtain fabric to let in the maximum amount of natural light.

green paint with side board
Oli Douglas

Less is more

It's hard to create a homely feel if your home is cluttered. A good tidy-up will make packing so much easier when it comes to moving home, but it'll also help you to reclaim some space. It’s important not to depersonalise here though – make it tidy, but don't turn your home into a museum! Perhaps remove any excess family photos, but leave some houseplants and the odd knick-knack on display to give that lived-in vibe.

houseplants on a cabinet
Rachel Whiting

Be flexible and responsive

'It's important to make your property readily available for viewings, even on short notice,' advises Terry. You’ll also want to respond promptly to any questions or requests for information, either from potential buyers or your agent. And if you do get any constructive feedback, think about how you could use it to your advantage to improve your selling strategy.

Kitchens and bathrooms

Even though a beautiful kitchen or bathroom can definitely be a selling point, it actually might not make much sense, in terms of your time and overall budget, to replace or significantly update yours before selling.

'Chances are, the new owners will want to put their own stamp on this space, so you may be better being more flexible on the sale price, rather than splashing out on a new kitchen,' advises Sam Baldry, head of design at Swoon. 'Generally, unless people are buying a brand new home, they expect to have to make changes to the kitchen and bathroom(s). So, my advice would be to give them a lick of paint at most, and make sure they remain clean and tidy.'

dining room table laid for dinner with view of garden
Lorraine Dawkins

Think about fragrance

This tip is an oldie but goldie. The power of smell when it comes to selling your home is essential. Certain scents can stimulate positive feelings while others can be off-putting, so choose the fragrance of your home wisely when you try to sell.

According to research from mortgage comparison site Bankrate UK, the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the home can make your property more desirable. For an afternoon or evening viewing, light some candles. Scents such as fresh linen, vanilla, lavender, citrus and cinnamon are all often associated with cleanliness and add a sophisticated and luxurious touch to the room.

tray with candles and diffuser
Rachel Whiting

Be mindful of pets

Just because you adore your four-legged friends doesn’t mean that’s the case for everyone who tours your home. If there's pet hair and odours or lots of toys and accessories lying about, it could easily put off potential buyers. Even the friendliest of pups could undo all your hard work if they misbehave or make a lot of noise during any viewings.

Highlight key features

Does your property have a sprawling garden, a newly renovated kitchen or maybe even a spacious loft conversion? These are all unique selling points which could make a buyer pick your home over another one. The same can be said for specific architectural and original features, as well as particularly scenic views.

If you're hoping to target a specific buyer, lean into and promote features that would appeal to them. For example, young professionals might appreciate a great home office setup or brilliant nearby transport links. Whereas for a young family, highlight nearby parks or space for a playroom.

home office with desk and chair
Carolyn Barber

Let there be light

When it comes to lighting, 'unflattering illumination can taint even the most stylish rooms' leaving them undesirable, warns Sam Grieg.

'Before your very first viewing, it's important to review the lightbulbs you're using. Are they cold and harsh, or soft and atmospheric? Warmer tones are naturally associated with cosiness, relaxation and winding down time, whereas fluorescent tones should be avoided as they subconsciously remind people of clinical environments,' Sam adds.

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