23 August 2012: Top tips to sell (and buy) your home – What buyers should look for

Over the last 4 weeks we’ve looked at what a seller should do to help them sell their home.  But what should buyers look for?

Well, in the last 2 weeks I suggested that sellers try to improve the presentation of their homes.  If, as a buyer, you can see beyond a poorly presented property, you might just bag a bargain.  Does it just need a few days gardening, a lick of paint, and new carpets, or is there something more sinister lurking?

Many buyers talk about getting a feeling about a property, but try to qualify why you do or don’t get a ‘feeling’: room dimensions, ceiling heights, layout, window sizes, décor, joinery finishes, overall size, orientation?  Sometimes you can get the ‘feeling’ by making improvements or alterations; other times, the ‘feeling’ is lacking because of something you can’t change.

When organising your survey, choose your surveyor carefully.  Many people simply use their mortgage company to carry out the survey, but this isn’t necessarily the best route to take.  Unfortunately, mortgage companies take a large chunk (often about half) of what you pay for the survey.  This means that surveyors working for mortgage companies need to ‘churn’ their surveys out, and don’t have time to really reflect on the report to give the most considered advice.  You may be better having the mortgage company carry out the valuation (as they will need to do) and employing an independent Chartered Building Surveyor to carry out the survey itself (a valuation is not a survey!).  You’ll usually get better value by doing this.

So, in summary:

  1. Don’t rule out poorly presented properties.
  2. Understand why you do or don’t get the ‘feeling’.
  3. Appoint an independent Chartered Building Surveyor.

Next week I look at how sellers and buyers should deal with the thorny issue of re-negotiation.

For free advice and information please click on the links or contact us on 01202 237377 or info@sutherlandsurveyors.co.uk.


Daniel Sutherland