As we are heading into winter and the darker nights, the property market historically starts to slow down. In East Lothian however, we are experiencing an unusually high level of property appraisals and listings.
A question often asked is whether to list straight away (are we getting too close to the Christmas silly season?) or whether to wait until the New Year. The advantage of listing now is that if other sellers are waiting until Spring, your property will be more prominent as there is less choice. We have lots of potential purchasers in our buyer’s bank who are waiting for the right property and it might just be yours! Four bedroom detached homes in North Berwick are particularly desirable, so if you are thinking of downsizing, now may be as good a time as any. There are many sunny winter days which enhance your professional photos, and adding a few colourful plants in pots will brighten the garden too.
If you are in two minds, what I will say is that while you are contemplating, have a really good look around your home. Start to notice all the little things that a surveyor may pick up on. Home Reports are scrutinised by purchasers and their solicitors. If you know that leaves are blocking your gutters, get them cleared. Declutter as you go, that way if you see the house of your dreams unexpectedly, you can get your property to market quickly. If the interior is what I call “well worn”, give it a fresh lick of paint. Take it one room at a time.
The Home report scoring system rates key areas of concern as 1, 2 and 3. The more 1s you have, the easier the process when it comes to attracting buyers. Don’t just paper over the cracks, find out what caused the crack and fix it. Get your boiler serviced annually. If you know there is a problem with moisture, get an expert in and find out the cause. I would always recommend getting a professional for these jobs. We can recommend local trades and bear in mind that good tradesmen are generally in high demand so expect to wait a while to book them. Even if you are not thinking of selling now, it is worth reviewing all the maintenance jobs and keep these ticking over so that they stay at 1s and don’t deteriorate into major problems and 3s which can affect value and saleability.
Are you a finisher? Have you added that extra room or made some changes to your property but not got round to applying for your completion certificate…? Take action now. The local councils are stretched and this can delay or collapse a sale if the correct paperwork is not in place. You may find that your building warrant is out of date so apply to extend it and follow it through to completion.
If you are contemplating selling but are not sure of the condition of your property, or whether jobs are worth doing prior to marketing, please give us a call. We offer a free property market
The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.