Surprisingly Useful:
Vendor Advice

How to Let or Sell Your Home Quickly

February 5, 2020

The weather is a little grey and miserable – and for hopeful sellers and landlords, winter’s cold can lead to a corresponding chill in leads. Fortunately, there are some tried and true methods for avoiding void periods, particularly during the winter months. Prospective homeowners and eager new tenants are out there even during the slowest season: here are our top tips on how to sell your home quickly in winter. Scroll down to view how to let your home quickly over the winter period. 

Sell your home quickly in winter

Wintertime often means grey skies and somewhat sad-looking gardens; even the nicest homes tend to lack curb appeal during the gloomiest months of the year. Fortunately, there are simple ways to make your home’s atmosphere more inviting so that potential buyers can imagine themselves moving in and setting up house. 

If you take away only one piece of advice for selling your home this winter, let it be this: have your home home staged (interior styled) so that your property shows to the best possible advantage. 

Home staged homes sell 73% faster than their non-staged counterparts

Staged homes don’t just secure more viewings and offers, they also command a higher asking price. In fact, our research shows that they sell for a huge 8% more than non-staged homes.

Interestingly, further research shows staged homes sell a staggering 73% faster, on average, than their non-staged counterparts.

Why does home staging ensure you sell your home quickly?

At Portico, we view hundreds of properties each month. A lot of properties we view are often vacant with no furniture. We also see properties that are cluttered, or rental properties that are missing that homely feel. Unfortunately, it’s the first thing that buyers see.

Home staging or interior styling is designed to show your property in its best possible light.
Before the professional photographer comes in to take pictures to upload to advertise on Rightmove or Zoopla, a team of expert Interior Stylists will come to your property and optimise its appearance through furniture, mirrors, artwork and soft furnishings.

Home Staging

Home Staging

The team will fill your home with appealing furniture so that potential buyers can envisage themselves settling in. Furnishings and accessories are supplied for you, so you don’t have to take on the additional costs – or work – associated with styling your home for viewings.  The stylists will ensure the property looks uncluttered yet stylish, so it will appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers.

We’ve learnt that vendors are buying into a lifestyle, so it’s really important they can envisage themselves in the property. That’s why it’s imperative you take down the little ones’ drawings, remove family photographs and replace them with neutral pieces, and ensure the property is furnished.

Bare properties usually struggle to sell quickly, so we advise all vendors to enlist the help of home staging to fill the property with furniture and make it look ready to move into.

Home staged homes fetch a huge 8% more!

Through the “home staging” process, sellers can invest a little bit of money into their sale and earn themselves a much bigger return.

So, how much does home staging cost? 

At Portico, we offer Home Staging as part of our 2% Concierge package, which also includes featured advertising on the big property portals and free property maintenance to make sure your house is in tip top condition.

It really does make sense therefore to opt for home staging if an agent offers it, as the extra money you’ll pay on the house will easily pay for the service and leave you with lots of change.

Check out these before and after photos or click the video at the top of the page to see the difference home staging can make.

Home Staging

Home Staging

DIY home staging

Not using an agent? There are certainly some tricks you can take away from the pros if you’d like to try your hand at home staging:

  • Clear away all clutter
  • Organise all storage spaces neatly 
  • Keep dirty laundry and other unsavoury items out of sight 
  • Clear kids’ paintings, to-do lists, and magnets off the refrigerator
  • Ensure that furniture matches 
  • Create attractive focal points in every room 
  • Accessorise each room in a neutral, pleasing way
  • Maximise lighting (both natural and otherwise) so every room looks open and inviting
  • Open curtains and blinds during the daytime 
  • Add lamps to darker areas and turn them on during viewings
  • Turn on all overhead lights during viewings 
  • Consider adding mirrors to bring more light and openness into your space

Creating a cosy atmosphere can help your home sell faster - especially in winter

  • Use light, neutral scents just before a viewing. Don’t go for overpowering scents or lots of essential oil; while you might enjoy these, you never know whether a potential buyer will find them appealing or irritating
  • Ensure that your home is adequately heated so that it feels comfortable. If your house is unoccupied, turn up the thermostat to a liveable temperature before viewings, or see if your estate agent can handle the task. No one feels welcome in a cold home, particularly when the weather outside is chilly
  • If you have a wood burner or fireplace, light a fire! You’ll highlight this feature while helping your visitors warm up quickly.

Fix little flaws

London HandymanYou’ve been living with the scratched paint or chipped tile for years now; in fact, you probably don’t even notice it. Take a look at your home with a critical eye, as if you were the potential buyer. Make a to-do list with all of those little nicks and scratches that could use a bit of paint or polishing, and take care of those defects.  
If you opt for our Concierge Sales package, in two days, our London handyman team are able to make a real difference in terms of fixing your property’s flaws before bringing it to the market. You can use the time for whatever you like - fixing loose floorboards, scuffed paperwork etc. 

Tidy the garden

Trim scraggly plants, add new mulch, fix that sagging fence, and make your garden look as nice as the weather allows. Keep walkways clear and do your best to create an atmosphere that allows prospective buyers to envisage themselves enjoying the garden once warmer weather arrives. Our handymen can also help with this if you opt into our 2% Concierge sales package. 

Send pets elsewhere during viewings

We love Fido and Fiona just as much as you do, but not everyone appreciates the eager greetings or the pet hair that tend to come with them! Ask a neighbour or relative to mind your pet on days when viewings are scheduled, or send them to a boarding facility while your home is being shown. Clear away all traces of pet hair, kitty litter, and pet dishes to keep your home as neutral and appealing as possible. Be sure you’ve dealt with any odours, too. 

Letting your home faster in winter

As a landlord, you know that void periods are unavoidable. At the same time, you know how important it is to keep them as short as possible and maximise returns on your investment. 
You’ll definitely want to consider the previous tips for selling a home and use those to your advantage if possible, particularly if you are hoping to attract and retain exceptional tenants. Together with the rest of our advice for letting your home faster in winter, these can help shorten void periods. 

Maintain your property well 

Everyone wants a clean, attractive home. Anything untidy, smelly, damp, or in bad repair will frighten potential renters away. Submit all rooms to the liveability test: Would you like to live here? If not, why? Fix the issues that come to mind. 

Consider updating the kitchen and bath

Bathrooms and kitchens don’t only sell houses, they have a huge impact on how rentals are perceived. Potential tenants are likely to turn their noses up when fixtures are old, caulking is cracked and porcelain is stained, so invest in appealing updates when possible.
Want to call in the professionals? Book a Portico London Handyman to fit a new kitchen (5 days) for just £2,500 + VAT or a new bathroom (5 days) for just £2,500 + VAT*. You don’t need to be a Portico client to take advantage of our friendly tradespeople. 
View our handymen’s recent kitchen and bathroom refits.

Before and After the Portico London Handyman team's work...London Handyman Offer

Offer competitive pricing and other incentives

As the old saying goes, money talks! Rent should be fair and comparable with what similar properties are fetching, so that overpricing doesn’t drive renters away. Keep in mind that holding out for a higher rent will extend your void period and cost you more in the long term. 
Get an up to date rental valuation to see how much rent you should be charging! 
Here are a few more ways to sweeten the pot. 
  • Offer a price break on the first month’s rent. A discount can help defray the cost of moving house and make your rental more attractive than those offered by competitors
  • Consider asking for a lower security deposit
  • Offer to take care of the first month’s council tax on behalf of your new renters
  • Offer something to differentiate your property from competitors; 6 months of free cable or broadband is pretty hard to resist!

Not using a letting agent? Be accommodating and personable 

Everyone appreciates working with a landlord who is friendly and approachable, so consider whether your customer service skills are up to snuff. Be professional and courteous, and be sure to share your expectations by having a tenancy contract in hand and offering to answer any questions. Let potential renters know that you like to stay on top of maintenance, so they know any potential issues will be dealt with quickly. 

Make marketing a priority

Your property description and photos matter. Since professional listings tend to capture more attention and receive top billing, consider working with a lettings agent. If you’re writing your own descriptions and taking your own photos, ensure they’re the best they can be. 
Make sure that your friends and family members know that you have a property for rent. Referrals can help you let your rental faster during the winter months and all year round!

Make money until your home sells or lets…

Instant Valuation

Why not use void periods to your advantage? Or, if your property is already on the market sitting vacant, why not earn on Airbnb until you let or sell it?

We offer a premium London Airbnb management service - Portico Host - which takes care of the whole process, which is ideal for those without the time or knowledge to make it work. We also offer Manchester Airbnb management and Liverpool Airbnb management. 

We handle everything from management to laundry, to cleaning and guest communication. We’ll even kit your place out with furniture if it’s empty, and allow for round the clock check-in.

You’re already one step ahead if you have the professional photographs, so the only thing you need to do is let us know you’d like it listed on Airbnb and start earning money! 

Our team will list your property on Airbnb until it sells or until we find you reliable long-term tenants. Read more about it here and see how you can earn up to 15% higher yields than a long-let in areas including London, Liverpool, and Manchester.  

Whether you’re considering selling or letting your property, give us a call on 0207 099 4000 !!!to see how we can help.  Click here to find out how much your property could make on Airbnb per night. 

We already know how much your rental property is worth. Type your postcode to find out and get an online valuation within 60 seconds.

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