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Preparing Your Property For Sale

In a competitive market, to gain the highest price and attract the best Buyers, Sellers must recognise the importance of presenting their property in the best possible way to make it more appealing to a potential buyer.

Here are just a few tips that will help create more demand for your property:

  • Neutral colours are best for the interior walls – Ideally, flooring should be wooden, laminate or plain carpets.
  • Beds should be made, all clothes should be put away and papers kept neatly piled.
  • Keep your whole property clean and well-aired and give the garden (if any) a tidy.
  • Put all animals out of sight and smell.
  • Make sure your front door is clean and the entrance hall area is clear of obstructions – first impressions really do count!
  • Keep the whole property clean and well aired and give the Garden and Garage (if any) a tidy.
  • If you plan to redecorate or brighten up your property prior to marketing, keep the colour schemes plain and neutral.
  • Allow prospective Buyers to wander for themselves. Having the Owner follow you around can be very off-putting.
  • If we feel that there is anything you can do to enhance your property we will advise you accordingly. Please do not be offended by our comments, as we are here to help and assist you. Remember, you would rather we identify a potential problem area than a prospective buyer when they come for a viewing.

PhilipAlexander can provide a full range of Decorating, Maintenance, Gardening and Cleaning Services, please contact us for more information.

Assessing The Market Value

This is normally the most important issue to the Seller and understandably so. Selling our home is, for most of us, the largest financial transaction we ever conduct. If we cannot sell, we worry about what might be wrong and if we sell too quickly we worry in case we’ve undersold. However certain issues need to be considered when calculating the marketing price, such as:

  • Proximity to schools
  • The popularity of an area / location, particular road etc.
  • Transport and Shopping Facilities
  • The general demand in your area
  • Sale price of other properties also currently on the market
  • The prices achieved on other similar properties we have recently sold
  • The decorative condition and layout of a property

All the above points and more will have an effect on the eventual marketing price. However home buying is a private and subjective undertaking and there are many factors that will be down to personal taste and over which you will have no control. The following important points are worth considering when deciding to market your property.

Try not to view your property through rose-tinted spectacles. Imagine yourself as a buyer and be honest – are the carpets wearing a little thin on the stairs? Have you not bothered to decorate simply because you knew you would be moving? Does the property look its best? We often ignore things in our own home because we become used to them. Ask yourself if you would notice those same things in someone else’s home if you were thinking of buying it?

When there is a shortage of property on the market beware of agents attempting to flatter you with an inflated price simply to gain your instructions. Whilst you can always reduce the price later, a property can become “stale” if it remains unsold on the market for too long.

It is therefore important to constantly review the position with regard to response and marketing. If your property is being properly marketed and response is still poor then blaming the market, the agent, the weather or the time of the year is in most cases avoiding the reality of the situation. Remember that like you; most serious buyers will investigate the market thoroughly before making what will probably be the largest single investment they make in their lifetime. Consequently most will have a pretty good idea of local property values before they settle for a particular property.

Be realistic. Leaving your property on the market for a prolonged period of time will have a negative effect. Prospective buyers will wonder why it has not sold and will not consider it a viable purchase. You are better off marketing your property at a more reasonable price, such as the mean average of valuations provided by local reputable agents.

Choosing The Right Agency

This is far more important than you may think. The general perception that all Agents are the same is simply not true. Each Agency will handle matters very differently from the next and you will need to consider the following before choosing the Agency that will act for you. Your choice of Agent will have an effect on the eventual sale price of your property. Instruct one Agent on a sole agency basis for a limited period only.

There are numerous reasons for so doing:

  • Most buyers will contact every agent in the area into which they wish to move. Receiving the same property from several agents can give the impression there is something wrong with the property or that it may be overpriced.
  • Like most businesses, Estate Agents work to a budget and will invest a greater proportion of their time, effort and advertising on those properties they believe they are most likely to sell.
    Remember it is only the agent who sells your property who receives a commission. The agents who are unsuccessful will have spent their own money for absolutely no return. Therefore when you instruct more than one agent, an unscrupulous agent may be tempted to agree any sale at any price to any buyer as quickly as possible to ensure that the property is withdrawn from their competitors’ property registers. This is not in your best interests. The first offer is not necessarily the best offer.
  • The perception that an agent “doesn’t try as hard” unless in competition is a fallacy – if an agent fails to sell your house, they don’t get paid – generally that’s a pretty good incentive.

Above all you must feel you can trust the agent you instruct. Estate Agents in general do not enjoy the best of reputations. Unfortunately, as in most walks of life, it is the few who ruin it for the many. A healthy business “partnership” is essential and you must therefore opt for the agent with whom you feel most comfortable. When an offer is received, you must be sure that your agent is acting solely for you, representing your best interests and not simply interested in securing their commission even at your expense.

Some may assume that instructing a Large Corporate Agent will produce more enquiries. The reality is that any serious buyer generally contacts every agent in the area. It usually makes little difference to a buyer which agent they buy through or how many offices that agent has. They will buy through the agent who arranges the appointment for them to see the property they want to buy.

Viewings and Regular Contact

Generally when you place your property on the market you anticipate receiving viewers and enquiries immediately. Although this can be the case, more often than not, in an attempt to achieve the best price, we will market for a sustained period to attract as many buyers as possible. Sometimes the silence can be deafening, made worse if you have not had many viewers or your instructed Agent has not kept in touch with you. We therefore confirm that we will provide the following as part of our standard service. We will, within 24 Hours of a viewing on your property, contact you to provide feedback from the prospective purchaser.

If we receive an offer, we will provide you with all the relevant details you need about your prospective buyer.

We will contact you a minimum of every 7 Days to update you on our progress and if necessary, suggest new ways in which to market your home.

We will after One Month of marketing, revisit you at your home to refresh the property particulars (details given to buyers), rephotograph your property and discuss new ways in which to achieve a sale.

PhilipAlexander will endeavour to produce innovative ways to market your property until we achieve the intended result.

Sellers Expenses Checklist

Making allowances for all the costs involved in moving home will have an effect on your eventual decision to sell. With this in mind, we have listed below the expenses you can expect to incur in a standard residential property sale.

ExpenseCost £
EPC£
Solicitors / Legal Fees£
Stamp Duty (on your next purchase) – Handled by Solicitor£
Land Registry Fees (as above)£
Local Search (as above)£
Search Fees (normally via your lender)£
Your Lenders Arrangement Fee£
Deposit (for your next purchase)£
Removal Costs£
Agency Fees PhilipAlexander£
Other Costs / Fees£

Receiving an Offer

This is where your choice of agent really makes a difference! Receiving an offer for your property is of no value until the quality of that offer has been established. There is absolutely no point in wasting time and spending money on a buyer who is simply not in a position to proceed on the purchase of your home. When receiving an offer we will establish the following:

  • Is the person making the offer in a position to buy?
  • Can they obtain a mortgage?
  • Are they dependent on a related sale and if so, how far (if at all) has that sale progressed?
  • If their own property has yet to be sold, what are the chances of selling it?
  • Can they afford to pay more than they are offering?

You will be paying an Agent to use their best endeavours and negotiating skills to achieve the best possible price for you. An agent who acts simply as a messenger between you and a prospective buyer is not doing their job. An experienced Agent will ask the right questions to establish a prospective buyer’s credentials.

The Legal Process

A large proportion of Sellers and Buyers have an unusual interpretation of the legal procedure involved in the sale of residential property. More often than not, hearing horror stories from their friends, colleagues and family, helps form their opinion.

The whole issue of moving home can be very traumatic, but in essence the actual legal process is normally relatively straightforward. Generally, delays are caused by a breakdown in communication between the parties and their solicitors rather than the actual administrative process itself. Having a proactive and experienced Agent acting for you will help move things along more swiftly.

Our Marketing Strategy

PhilipAlexander believes in exposing your property to as wide an audience as possible thereby enhancing the chances of finding a buyer and increasing the eventual sale price achieved. We will generally advertise your property:

  • In all the popular Local Press
  • In publications dedicated to the Lettings Industry
  • Using our prominent Office Displays
  • On the Internet via this website

Although having an enormous response and generating a lot of enquiries can seem helpful, it is the way in which the Company receiving those enquiries handles them, which is in fact all important.

PhilipAlexander does not believe in blindly going down the same road without result, but instead will continue to create new ways of marketing your property until a satisfactory outcome is reached. We will also regularly update you of our progress so that you can plan ahead accordingly.

The Property Misdescriptions Act

The Property Misdescriptions Act prevents an Agent from inaccurately describing your property i.e. from using any descriptions which may be misleading, a matter of personal opinion or simply untrue. Put simply, if you cannot supply written evidence to prove a particular point, we cannot print it. To do otherwise may leave you open to a claim for compensation from a potential buyer because you will be required to sign a copy of the property particulars.

Your New Home Locator

We can, if requested, inform you of new properties that we register for sale, should you be planning to move locally. If your moving plans are taking you elsewhere in the United Kingdom, we can also register you with local Agents in the location of your choice. They will send you information and regularly update you regarding any properties they feel might be of interest to you. Similarly, we can update your buying Agent of our progress in selling your property. The best part is that we will make no charge for providing this service.

Lettings & Investments

PhilipAlexander also has an extensive Lettings and Management division, who can advise you of all the Legal and Marketing aspects involved in the Private Rental Sector. We can, upon request, provide you with a copy of OUR GUIDE TO RESIDENTIAL LETTINGS, which goes into more detail about the Lettings market and our services. Alternatively we can ask one of our Lettings staff to contact you to answer any questions you may have. Our advice is FREE and you are under no obligation to instruct us to act for you. We also have established links with many of the area’s more reputable property investors/developers. If your property is need of modernization or you are aware of a legal problem, that affects the properties saleability, then often our investor client will be able to provide a swift solution. If you think that you fall into the above categories, please feel free to inform us of your concerns, and we will advise you accordingly.

Why Instruct PhilipAlexander

We operate from what is undoubtedly, the most prominent trading location in the Town, which in itself will attract more potential enquiries and offer greater coverage of your property.

Only members of staff with more than five years experience will handle negotiations on your sale.

They will personally handle the majority of offers and important negotiations. Poor negotiating by an inexperienced negotiator (irrespective of the size of the company for whom they work) can cost a seller dearly.

They will personally supervise the progress of your sale. The sale of your most valuable asset will not be entrusted to an administrative assistant or “sales progression department”. The careful monitoring of your sale is a matter for our most experienced people. A skilled Estate Agent can often detect and prevent situations that might threaten the smooth running of a sale, and which a less experienced negotiator would be unable to recognise.

Before making an appointment for a potential buyer to view your property we will endeavour to obtain as much information from them as possible.

We have no desire to waste your time or our own arranging an appointment for someone whose ability to purchase is not compatible with your own circumstances.

Should you be nervous about allowing a stranger into your home, we can usually make special arrangements to accompany a prospective buyer.

We will submit all offers to you in writing – even if we know that a specific offer will be unacceptable to you. This does not necessarily mean that we recommend you accept the offer. It is simply written confirmation of receipt for your records.

Our considerable connections in the mortgage market will ensure we can assist your buyer in securing the mortgage with which they feel most comfortable. In some cases this may enable us to secure a higher selling price on your property.

If you wish we will arrange for a consultant to contact you to discuss your own arrangements. This is totally confidential and may reduce your own mortgage repayments on the property you plan to purchase.

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