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Everything you Need to Know Before Selling your Family Home

Gina Narramore

Gina Narramore



Selling a family home can be difficult, but at McCarthy & Stone, we’re here to help. Read our guide on how to sell your house today. 

Selling a house can be a stressful process and can come with additional emotional strain, especially if it’s a family home that’s been in your possession for decades.

If you’re considering downsizing options or would like to move into a McCarthy & Stone property, we want to help make the process as simple as possible for you.

To help, we’ve put together this guide on how to sell your house, including tips on increasing your home’s value, information on how to prepare it for sale, and important things to consider before you move.

Increasing the Value of your Home Before a Sale

Look for Obvious Conversion Opportunities

Before you start thinking about how to sell your house, it’s worth considering whether you can add value to it. If you have some savings and can spot an area for improvement in your home, then it’s worth thinking about undertaking this work.

For example, although it will cost around £35k for a dormer loft conversion with an en-suite bathroom and double bedroom, according to figures from the Nationwide Building Society released in 2016, this work could add over 20% to the value of your home.

To make sure that the money you spend on a conversion will lead to a profit, get a range of quotes from builders and consult local property specialists to find out how much value the work will add before you decide.

If you don’t have enough money or don’t want the hassle of carrying out the work, it’s worth getting planning permission anyway, as knowing the property can be extended or improved is often a big selling point for a buyer.

Update the Kitchen

Research shows that the kitchen is the most valuable room in the home. For this reason, according to Nationwide, it’s estimated that a new kitchen will improve the value of your home by around 6%.

If you can’t afford to have your kitchen entirely replaced or upgraded, consider re-facing your kitchen cabinets. Not only is this much cheaper than installing a new kitchen, but it largely provides the same effect.

Add a Fresh Lick of Paint

Giving your walls a fresh coat of white paint will make your home seem lighter and bigger, which can help to maximise the price. Although you don’t want to remove all personalisation from your home, providing a blank canvas on the walls will enable viewers to see how the rooms could be adapted to their needs. It also gives them the impression they could move in without lifting a finger (or a paint brush).

Get the Toolbox Out

Straightforward DIY jobs can be a big help for selling your home. By this we mean fixing holes in the walls, clearing the guttering and replacing any lightbulbs that are no longer working. If you don’t feel confident doing this yourself, then ask a family member to help or find a local repairman.

If you leave these jobs undone, a buyer may spend the viewing considering everything they have to do after buying the property. With this in mind, they may then also have worries about whether unseen things need doing, which could reflect in the offer they put in.

Preparing your Home for Viewings

First Impressions Count

When a potential buyer comes to visit your home, they’ll get a gut feeling within seconds of entering the property. This is why staging the property is so important.

If you have a front garden, it’s well worth mowing the lawn, clearing the pathway and even planting a few pots. In addition, cleaning your front door can make a big difference. It’ll show the potential buyer that the house is well looked after before they even step foot in the door.

Declutter and Clean

Although you may like all of your essential items to hand, some buyers may find these off-putting. As a result, before anyone comes to view the home, have a good tidy and clean.

Decluttering will not only help make your home look more attractive to potential buyers, but it will also make each room appear larger and brighter.

When cleaning, pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathroom. Studies show that these are the rooms people care most about when looking at properties, so these will provide the biggest impact.

Think About your Pets

Your pet is a big part of your family, but non-pet owners who view the property may be allergic, so take them out if you can or confine them to one room.

Animals can also be distracting for viewers, so taking them out or leaving them with a neighbour can make people more focused on your home and its wonderful charms.

Get the Right Smells

Finally, make sure your home smells inviting, as bad smells are a huge turn off for prospective buyers. So, don’t just cover them, fix the source of the smell before the first viewing. This means clearing drains, washing bins, opening the windows to air rooms and washing any items that are embedded with the smell of smoke or pets.

Once you’ve managed to eliminate a bad odour, replace it with one that’s more inviting. It might be impractical to bake fresh bread for each viewing, but you could brew some fresh coffee. If not, use an air freshener or light a scented candle.

Consider Alternatives

If you’re struggling to sell your home or don’t want the hassle of staging the property and holding viewings, then remember that we offer Part Exchange. We guarantee to buy your property*, which makes selling your home far less stressful. There are a number of benefits to this, including avoiding a property chain and an estate agent fee. So it’s an option that’s well worth considering.

Things to Consider During the Moving Process

Once you’ve agreed the sale of your home, it’s time to start planning your move. There are plenty of people you’ll need to tell that you’re moving home, including:

  • Mortgage provider
  • Utility providers
  • TV licence provider
  • Insurance providers
  • Pension providers
  • The council and the electoral roll
  • Doctor and dentist
  • DVLA
  • National Insurance / DSS Office
  • Phone, broadband and satellite television providers
  • The Post Office (so your mail can be redirected)

Moving home can be incredibly stressful, particularly as you get older. In retirement, packing boxes, lifting heavy items and moving your possessions can be especially difficult. Thankfully, if you use our Smooth Move service, we can take the stress of your move away and help you with the costs. From the minute you make a reservation on a McCarthy & Stone property to the day you move in, we can help to make things run smoothly. For example, we can:

  • Pack everything you’re moving
  • Organise your belongings
  • Transport everything safely to your new home
  • Unpack your belongings
  • Hang pictures and mirrors

Plus, if you sell your property using our recommended selling agents, we’ll contribute £2,500 (inc. VAT) when you’ve legally completed**. If you use one of our recommended, independent solicitors, we’ll also help pay towards your legal fees**.

If you decide against our Smooth Move service, then it’s worth downloading a moving house checklist so you can be aware of all the things you need to do at different stages of the moving process.

Although it’s always sad to say goodbye to a family home, downsizing is often the right move for retirees, as you’ll no longer have the need to maintain a large family home. Plus, research shows that moving into a retirement community can be a great way to combat loneliness in retirement. With more developments being added on a regular basis, it’s easier than ever to find downsizing options that suit you with McCarthy & Stone.

*Full terms and conditions for the Part Exchange offer can be found here.

**Full terms and conditions for the Smooth Move offer can be found here.

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