Lockdown – the ideal time to prepare your home for sale?
Perhaps you were already considering a move prior to the nationwide lockdown which came into effect last month?
These are indeed strange (and unique) times. We are just about to come to the end of the third week of a national lockdown which has seen some of the biggest changes to liberty and personal movement since the Second World War.
The changes to our daily lives have been immense and one of the most pertinent in our industry is the amount of time people are now spending at home. In some cases, this is causing people to evaluate whether a home move might be on the cards once things return to ‘normal’.
Time at home has always caused people to consider their domestic situation. We see this every year in the property industry just after Christmas where, having spent the festive period at home, many people decide to move soon afterwards.
Time spent at home under a forced lockdown is likely to have the same effect, especially as space is being entirely re-evaluated as homes are now serving multiple roles as homes, offices and schools for those with children.
Feeling differently now?
Spending more time in your home is the ideal moment to consider what the issues you have which are causing you to think about moving. Perhaps having to spend more time at home is making you look at your home in a new light? Perhaps working from home will now be a more important requirement and this may have an impact on the type of home you will look for in the future?
If the current situation has caused you to consider a move after the lockdown ends, here is our guide to things to consider.
Clear the Clutter
Whether you are looking to upsize or downsize, decluttering at home will never be something you will regret. Clearly, if you are looking to downsize, you will need to consider what you will really need because you will have less space in the future. But, even if you are upsizing, the act of clearing redundant items can leave you feeling vitalised and refreshed. Let’s face it, clearing clutter from your loft is rarely going to be a task which will fill you with joy so, if you are ever going to do it, a time of national lockdown is as good as any!
Don’t forget that clear open space will also help prospective buyers of your home to better visualise the space and imagine themselves living in it. A cluttered home may lead buyers to conclude that the property is not big enough for their needs.
Earn whilst you clear
According to auction site eBay, the average UK home has approximately £4,000 worth of redundant items within it. Just consider items lost in sheds and lofts and how much this could be worth. Even if you yourself are not experienced in selling on eBay, there are sellers who will do it for you (for a fee of course).
Time to DIY
Now is the ideal time to complete some small DIY jobs which have been hanging around. Clearly some jobs will be impossible under the current circumstances as most DIY shops are closed. Take a step back and try and look at your home in a ‘neutral’ light. Are there areas which you have become used to but which require some attention. Perhaps small areas of painting, or the repair of minor items such as door handles could be tackled in this downtime?
If you are considering a move, post lockdown, here are our top tips:
Top Tip 1
Think about your priorities and keep revisiting them to check that you are still working towards achieving those. Perhaps getting rid of a mortgage, travelling more and to generally be able to do the things you want to do are important? Remembering the reason(s) you are moving will help you to stay focused if at any time you began to question whether you are doing the right thing.
Top Tip 2
When decluttering, memory boxes for children full of items which are special to the them, are a really positive thing to do and means that you will really feel that the children are part of the journey and actively involved in what you are doing in some way.
Top Tip 3
Don’t over-downsize! This may sound counter-intuitive, but we have known people who have wanted to move from a six-bedroom house to a one- or two-bedroom bungalow. This is unlikely to work and so you will be much better off being more realistic to start with. Don’t forget that you can always downsize again at a future time if you have to, so be aware not to downsize to too big a degree.
Top Tip 4
If you move into a smaller property, you may still find that you have items which you question whether are needed. If possible, place these somewhere like a garage and into storage. If you do not find the need to go and retrieve them, it’s safe to say you don’t need them! This is then another way in which you can carry on downsizing now you have moved into your new home.
We’re still here!
We are still working remotely and are carrying out Virtual Valuations. We can use photos and video (along with our expert local knowledge) to give you an idea of the value of your home. We’re known for our straight talking and impartial advice and we have helped thousands of people move home over the years, so don’t hesitate to call us and talk through with us your plans and thoughts and get our free advice.