Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Let’s Talk About Curb Appeal

One mistake people selling their homes tend to make is to ignore the significance of curb appeal. What is curb appeal? Curb appeal is the phrase we use to describe how inviting, and beautiful, your home looks from the outside. Some homeowners think that all they need to do is make sure the inside of their home looks amazing and the buyers will overlook the outside of the home. This is definitely not the case. Here are a few tips that will help you add curb appeal to the home you’re selling.

Install some outdoor lighting. Lighting your garden can be romantic and helpful at the same time. Luckily there are dozens of different types of solar outdoor lights you can purchase that require no hardwire hookup to electricity. Set them up in an inviting way, such as down the path to your door or around a garden, and watch as they light up for any evening visitors you may have.
How does your mailbox look? We often tend to overlook the appearance of your mailbox; as long as it still receives mail, it’s fine, right? If your mailbox is looking a little beat up, try getting a new one, and dress up the area around it with some planted pots as well.
A quick trip to the local garden center may be the perfect way to jazz up the outside of your home. While you could hire a landscape artist to do a total overhaul, often just getting a large number of potted plants (in nice pots) and having them grouped around your porch or off of the porch can make the home look much more inviting.
Do you have shutters on your home? Adding them will definitely give the house a classic, fresh look. If you already have shutters, think about giving them a fresh coat of paint, as well as the rest of the trim around your home. Even giving your door a bright pop of color can help to make your home look much more inviting to potential buyers.

With a bit of time and a small budget, almost anyone can add some serious curb appeal to their home.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Selling Your Home And Your Pets

The majority of people have at least one pet in their home. Pets are more than just companions, they become our family. They calm us when we’re anxious and play with us to keep us active. Pets are amazing but they can be a bit of a hassle to deal with when you’re trying to sell your home. After all, prospective homebuyers don’t want to come into a home that smells like wet dog and they don’t want to be greeted by a temperamental cat or a bunch of barking. Here are a few tips on how to deal with your furry family members when you’re trying to sell your home.

Firstly, make sure you do a thorough cleaning of your home. If you have carpets and pets, shampoo the carpets or hire a company to do it for you. This will help to get rid of any animal smells that may be in the home. Don’t forget to clean the upholstery as well! Once you’ve gotten the pet smell out of your home, it’s time to figure out what to do with your pets when people come to view the home.

If you have small pets, like mice or hamsters or birds or fish, it’s perfectly fine to leave them at your home, as long as they’re not extremely noisy or dirty. If your bird tends to squawk a lot, cover up their cage before you leave the house. If, however, you have cats and dogs, it’s a good idea to take them out of the home anytime a prospective buyer is coming to see the home. Make sure you explain to your realtor that you need a little bit of notice of a visitor so that you can crate your animals and get them ready to go. 

You may feel like this is being mean to your pets, but it isn’t. By crating and taking them along with you, not only are you giving your home the clean, fresh look prospective buyers want, you’re also putting less stress on your pet. Having strangers constantly coming into the home can be very stressful on a pet, so by removing them from the situation, you’re helping to keep them calm and happy.

To learn more about how we can help you sell your home, whether you have pets or not, contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Need to Save Money While Selling Your Home? Try These Tips

Many experts will tell you that you have to spend a bit of money to make some on a home sale. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. Sometimes you just don't have the extra funds to spend on upgrades and changes, but you still really want to sell your home for the best price. How can you make that happen? These tips can help.

Just Clean: One of the single most important things you can do before you sell your home gives it a solid cleaning. A dirty house isn't going to sell as quickly as a clean one will, and while you're cleaning, you'll want to pay particular attention to all of the extras that have accumulated on the counter, your mantel, or even your shelves. If you can declutter, you're going to realise you have quite a bit more space to show that you'd initially thought. Don't overlook those spaces you often avoid like ceiling fans and baseboards. You want to scrub everything and ensure all of your stuff has a place in your home. Don't forget to give the windows a solid scrubbing as well. It allows more light to flow through your home, which might prove attractive to buyers.

Do Some Rearranging: After you've cleaned, you may want to move a bit of furniture around. You can really open up space with a little imagination. Keep the furniture away from the walls, and make sure a potential buyer can move freely without running into a piece of furniture. It will help create an airy feel to your home. 

Tidy the Garden: Been putting off that weeding for a while? Tidy things up. Spend a weekend in the garden getting rid of anything that shouldn't be growing in your space. Clean up the lawn furniture to help make it look attractive, and if you have children's toys out there, make sure they're as organised as possible.

You don't have to renovate to sell your home? We can help you get the right price out of your property without extensive changes. To learn more, contact Doorsteps today!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Attending An Upcoming Open House? Don't Say These Three Things!

Thinking of buying a home? It's an exciting process, especially if you're a first time home buyer. There's so much to the process, and it can be tough to decide exactly what you should do first. One thing to remember, though, is that you're probably going to be attending several open houses over the next few months, and during the course of those events, you might want to remember what not to say.

Too Many Personal Details: While some small talk can be great during an open house, sharing too much about yourself with the homeowner can be a real problem. At some point down the road, too much information about your financial situation or the house you're currently trying to sell could certainly get in the way of your bargaining position. 

Disparaging Comments: You will absolutely want to leave those at the door. If you tend to be a negative person, it's best to dump the comments while you're inside the open house. If a seller overhears your comments, and you end up in a bidding war with another buyer over that property, the seller may choose their offer over yours based on those comments alone. 

Your Own Valuation: Think you know more than the buyer does about what the price should be? You may want to rethink that. It could give the owner a negative opinion of your bid, and that, in turn, could become a real problem as you reach the later stages of the buying process. Instead, keep that opinion to yourself as you walk through the house and ask polite questions. Once you leave, you can sit down and sketch out your ideas so you can figure out exactly where you can negotiate on that home at a later date. 

Open houses are a great way to get to know a home outside of the photos you see online, but they can be minefields in terms of commentary. We can help. If you're ready to start shopping, contact Doorsteps today to learn more about the properties we have available. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Home Selling Myths

Preparing to sell your home? In the next few weeks, you're going to read quite a bit and hear from almost everyone around. It seems like every aunt, uncle, cousin, colleague, and neighbour has a home selling story to tell, but the information you get isn't always true. In fact, many of the ideas you hear in those stories are absolute myths that could hold you back as you prepare to sell. Here are a few you should be familiar with before you ever even begin to sell your home.

Set Your Price High. Buyers Will Negotiate. This just isn't true. You have to be careful when you're looking to sell your home because in some cases, it won't sell if that price tag is just too high. Buyers avoid homes that aren't in their price range, so if you've priced many out of range, you won't even get to the negotiations before you have people walking out the door. 

Sell Your House As-Is. Many people don't want to go through the hassle of fixing a few little things here and there, and they'd prefer to sell it just like it is today. There's a lot to do before you sell your home. Those little flaws that aren't a problem for you could be a huge turn-off to potential buyers, and if something as simple as a professional carpet cleaning and a new coat of paint means the difference between a sale and your home sitting on the market for another month or two, it's best to go ahead and make the changes. 

Interior Appeal Matters Most. Many people spend money making changes to the interior of their home, then totally ignore the curb appeal factor. The reality is that when a buyer pulls up to a home for sale, a judgment is made. Pay as much attention to that exterior as you do the interior of your home. 

If you're ready to sell, don't listen to the myths almost everyone will tell you. Instead, contact a qualified Doorsteps agent who is ready to help you sell your home and give you the information you need most. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Can Natural Light Actually Affect The Sale of Your Home?

If you read any tips about how to sell your home, sooner or later, you're likely to come across the idea that buyers like natural light in a home. The real question, though, is whether or not it can do any actual good for your sale. The simple truth for most buyers is that natural light can do a lot to influence a sale, but making that happen in your home isn't as easy as you might think. These tips can help.

1. It all starts with landscaping. You may have more natural light coming into your home than you think, but your outdoor landscaping could be affecting what you currently have available. Cut back those overgrown bushes. You may also need to trim some trees to make sure the light can come into your windows.

2. Do Some Washing! Wash those windows after you've done some trimming. You'd be surprised how grimy windows can get and how much the light flooding through changes after you clean them up a bit. If your windows are too high to handle the washing on your own, it's worth it to hire a professional crew in this arena. Your buyers and your final sales price will thank you. 

3. Consider Mirrors. If you're still not getting the level of light you want, think about some well-placed mirrors in your home. Those that face a window or even a window in a door will help to direct light throughout a given room, making it seem a bit lighter than it is.

If tips like these aren't quite what you had in mind, remember you can always replace entry doors to include windows or even consider new windows entirely to let a bit more light in. If you're still searching for the right tips, reach out to a Doorsteps agent today to find out how you can attract buyers to your home and sell it for more than you ever thought possible, even if you don't have a lot of natural light flooding in through those windows!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How To Prepare For Listing Your Home Online

If you're looking to sell property online, you'll want to make sure you've gathered all the necessary information before placing your online advert. If you're placing the listing yourself, you'll want to know what to include within your property description and sales listing. If you're enlisting the help of an estate agent, you'll want to be prepared to provide them with the information they need. Here are a few things you'll not want to forget when preparing to list your home for sale online. 

The Property Description

The most essential element of your online property listing is the property description. Your property description must stand out from other home sellers and should quickly capture the attention of a potential buyer. Whilst a captivating headline is the most succinct part of your listing, you'll want to be sure to include several important details in the written description itself. When preparing for your online listing, make sure you note: 

Building materials. The construction of your home is important to some buyers. Be sure to know what your home is constructed with to appeal to this subset of buyers.
Upgrades and repairs. Buyers want to know what sort of additions, upgrades and repairs you've made to your home. Note these upgrades so they can be included in your property description.
Appliances and furnishings. Do you have any appliances or furnishings that will be included when selling your home? Make sure you're prepared to describe those for your listing.
Neighbourhood and community information. Good neighbourhood attractions can often be a determining factor for someone buying your home. Be sure you're familiar with local schools, community offerings and nearby attractions so you can include these in your property description.

Property Photos

There's an old adage that says 'a picture's worth a thousand words.' And when it comes to your property listing, nothing could be truer. Be sure to prepare property snaps before making your listing. Enlist the help of a professional photographer, if possible. Be sure to get as many wide-angled shots as possible so that the entire property is visible in your photos. 

Preparing for an online listing is simple if you remember to include these items. Do you need expert help in listing your property online? Doorsteps' online property agents UK can help you complete your listing for as low as £99. To learn more, visit our website today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

8 Property Sell Terms Every Buyer and Seller Should Know

As with any other industry, the property sell market is full of its own set of terminology that may be confusing to those unfamiliar. If you're new to the property market, or you're considering buying or selling your own home, there are certain terms you should understand in case you ever encounter them. Here are eight such words that you should familiarise yourself with. 

1. Gazumping

Gazumping happens when a seller accepts a buyer's offer, but then later gets a higher offer from another buyer and proceeds to reject the lower offer. 

2. Gazundering

Similar to gazumping, gazundering occurs when a buyer decides to reduce their offer just before a contract is signed. If this occurs, a seller can refuse the buyer's lower offer and proceed to sell the property to someone else. 

3. First-time Buyer

As its name would imply, a first-time buyer is a buyer who has never owned property before. 

4. Cash Buyer

Most home buyers will purchase a property from a mortgage or other bank loan. A cash buyer, on the other hand, is someone who is buying the property with his or her own quid and is not utilising a mortgage to purchase the home. 

5. Sold Subject To Contract

When a property advert says the house has been sold subject to contract, it is describing the status of the home sale. 'Sold subject to contract' essentially means the property is off the market; however, because the sale has not yet been finalised, there is a small chance it could go back on the market sometime in the future. 

6. Conveyancing

Conveyancing deals with the legal aspects of selling a property. In a conveyance, the property being sold is transferred from seller to buyer. 

7. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) 

An energy performance certificate (EPC) is an official measurement of the energy efficiency of a property. EPCs are required by British law to be provided when a house is being sold. 

8. Under Offer 

A property that is under offer is in the process of being sold. 

Understanding terms associated with property selling is essential when buying or selling a home. If you're still confused by these or any other property sell terms, be sure to enlist the help of the estate agents at Doorsteps. We offer the cheapest estate agent fees in all of the UK and our team of professionals will show you how to sell your home online.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

West Midlands Property Sales Some Of The Best In UK

If you happen to own property in the West Midlands that you're considering selling, you may want to act now. Property sales in the region have risen and estate prices in the area have gained 7 per cent year on year. That's one of the fastest per cent growths in all of the UK, according to The Independent

Rising Costs Makes For a Sellers Market

The continued rise in housing prices makes property in the West Midlands a valuable commodity, enhancing the potential return for prospective sellers. Property sellers in the region can expect to gain a fair amount of quid when a prospective buyer purchases their estate. And that growth, according to analysts, is predicted to continue; over the next five years, the West Midlands is expected to surpass nearly every region in the UK in terms of house price growth. 

Second Highest Increase By 2022

Of all regions in the UK, property in the West Midlands is currently on track to show the second highest increase in house prices by 2022, behind only the South West region. Numerically speaking, the increase in the West Midlands is expected to top 3.8 per cent, whilst the South West is expected to gain 4.3 per cent over that same period of time. 

An 'Up and Coming' Region

An article in the Birmingham Post called the West Midlands an 'up and coming' region, saying many towns and cities in the area are experiencing a revitalisation. Some factors that continue to influence the area's rebirth include: 

An influx of talented workers fleeing London to seek cheaper housing and cost of living in cities like Coventry and Birmingham
Continued economic growth thanks to renewed investment in the region
A strong local infrastructure that continues to prioritise funding for schools, rail lines, roads and hospitals in the region

How to Take Advantage

If you own property in the West Midlands, you may want to consider this an opportune time to sell. Doorsteps offers a free online property valuation tool that will allow you to see how much your home is worth. To learn more or to see how to sell your home online for as little as £99, visit our website today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

5 Common Home Buyer Questions You Should Be Prepared For

Buying a home is a serious undertaking, and many potential buyers will understandably have a lot of questions about the property they are buying. Luckily, some questions are quite common, so you can be prepared to know what they might ask. Here are five common questions from home buyers, with background on why they might be asking so you can be better prepared to answer. 

1. Why are you selling your home?

This is by far the most common question you may be asked by a potential buyer. Obviously, each individual has a different answer to this question. Consider why you're selling your house. Is it to downsize, move to a larger place, or to take a job in a different town or city? Or have you decided to move because of some issue with the house itself? Buyers are generally asking to know more about the latter. Be honest in your answer, and address their real question head-on. 

2. How long has the property been listed?

The amount of time a house has been listed for sale can reveal a lot about the property. When buyers ask this question, what they're usually meaning is: 

How desirable is this property to others?
Is the price of the property appropriate for its size, location and condition?
Are there any underlying problems that might be preventing the sale?

The more you are prepared to answer these questions, the more likely you'll gain the confidence of a prospective buyer. 

3. What problems exist within the home?

As you can see, potential problems with a home are generally at the forefront of a buyer's mind. Again, be sure to answer this one honestly; problems found later in the sales process that wasn't disclosed earlier can result in you losing the sale. 

4. What are the neighbourhood and the neighbours like?

Moving to an unfamiliar neighbourhood with unfamiliar neighbours can feel daunting to a prospective buyer. Ease their fears by offering suggestions to local attractions and emphasise the positive traits within familiar neighbours. 

5. Why are you asking for this price?

Prospective buyers want to make sure they're spending their quid appropriately. Offer an honest answer to this question. Reiterate what makes the property worth the asking price, and handle any objections with grace. 

Potential buyers will undoubtedly have a lot of questions regarding your property. Use them as an opportunity to sale why your home is so special. And if you'd like to enlist the help of specialised Rightmove estate agents UK to help you answer buyer questions, contact Doorsteps today. 

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