Expert advice: how to sell your home

Albert Hill, co-founder of The Modern House, shares 12 tips on selling your home

Klein House, Peter Womersley’s 1957 build near Edinburgh
Klein House, Peter Womersley’s 1957 build near Edinburgh

Albert Hill, ex-journalist, architecture geek and accidental co-founder of The Modern House, is well placed to advise on how to sell your home. So, whether it’s a Victorian terrace or the kind of modernist or architectural property that they deal in (such as Klein House, Peter Womersley’s 1957 build near Edinburgh, pictured above), here’s some insider tips...

1 Make sure your kitchen looks incredible. Our stats show it’s the most clicked-on room when a property is shown online.

2 Bring the outside in, especially if you have no garden, with house plants and window boxes.

3 Get close friends and family to point out the not-too-sweet spots. Then get sprucing.

4 People instinctively use all their senses to judge a property, not just their eyes. Make sure it smells great for viewings (brewing coffee or baking bread is a cliché for a reason) and avoid noisy times of day – so clear out kids and dogs.

The never-before-on-the-market 1980s home of Walter Greaves
The never-before-on-the-market 1980s home of Walter Greaves, sold by The Modern House
The Modern House

5 Write a list of all the things you love about living in your house, particularly elements that someone doing a one-off viewing might not be able to appreciate. This might be the sunsets from a certain window, the local bakery, the garden birds or a great neighbour. Make sure you mention them to people when viewing (or ensure your agent does). You aren’t just selling bricks and mortar but a whole experience.

6 Boring but essential: get your paperwork in order before you go on the market. Engage a solicitor before you list and work with them to put together the full package of information and forms. Get down to the nitty gritty and familiarise yourself with terms like TA6 and TA7.

7 Decorate with muted tones but apply pops of uplifting colour (bright prints or colourful chairs).

8 Work out your home’s best angle (Rear façade? Front façade? Living room?) and make sure it’s shot at a time of day that shows it in its best light. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t shoot on a bad-weather day.

9 Give all the windows a good clean to make the most of your property’s natural light.
10 Edit your possessions to nothing but the best. Then spend time and care displaying them.

Architect Berthold Lubetkin’s Highgate apartment, built in 1938
Architect Berthold Lubetkin’s Highgate apartment, built in 1938, sold by The Modern House
The Modern House

11 Explore planning gain. Is there the possibility of building a significant extension? Or even another house in the garden? If so, ensure you get planning permission to add value to the sale.

12 First impressions count! Paint your front door, choose the colour carefully (don’t be afraid to be bold), and go for a beautifully-designed name or number. A good door sets the tone for the rest of the house and will help it stand out in their mind.

13 Have you had any work done on the property in the past 10 years? Then double check that you have all the paperwork you need. And then check that your solicitor agrees with you.

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration November 2019

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