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A guide to downsizing your home

After dedicating years to climbing the property ladder, the idea of moving to a smaller home may leave you feeling unsure. However, downsizing not only offers immediate financial benefits but can also lead to long-term savings and open up new opportunities.

To help you in make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to downsizing your home. Drawing from our extensive experience in helping hundreds clients through this process, we offer valuable tips and strategies to support you along the way.

Is it worth downsizing your home? 

Determining whether downsizing your home aligns with your needs is a decision that rests solely with you. Before reaching a conclusion, it’s crucial to weigh various factors, including your financial situation and space requirements. Here, we’ve gathered some of these considerations along with responses to common questions asked by our clients.

What to consider when downsizing your home

When thinking about downsizing your home, it’s essential to take into account various factors. Before making a decision, consider the following:

  • Your finance: Downsizing could lead to a smaller mortgage, resulting in reduced monthly payments or even achieving a mortgage-free status. Additionally, there may be savings on council tax, heating, and electricity expenses.
  • Maintenance: Larger homes often require more upkeep, which can become overwhelming. If you’re feeling burdened by maintenance tasks, a smaller home might be more manageable.
  • Your new home: Remember that this is still a move. Can you afford the property you want? Do you know what you want from your next home? 
  • Associated costs: Each move has its own expenses, including removal costs and stamp duty. It’s crucial to factor these costs into your decision-making process.
  • Flexibility: Consider whether having extra space is essential for hosting guests, pursuing hobbies that require ample room, or potentially renting out space. Evaluate whether you’re willing to give up this flexibility.
  • Long-term plans: If you’re not sure where you want to live for the longer term, perhaps for your retirement, you may want to hold off on downsizing so as not to go through the upheaval of another move. This will also save you the costs of multiple moves. 
  • Motivations: Reflect on why you’re considering downsizing. Ensure that your decision aligns with your genuine motivations to prevent potential regrets post-move.

What happens to my mortgage if I downsize?

Depending on the value of both your previous and new homes, you might secure a reduced mortgage or none at all.

If the sale of your old home provides you with more than the value of your old mortgage, you can use the money to pay off that mortgage. You would then use the remaining money to take out a mortgage on your new home. Downsizing to a home of a lower value means that your monthly mortgage payments will be lower. Depending on the value of your old home and the size of your new mortgage, you may even have some money left over.

Alternatively, if the proceeds from the sale of your old home can pay off your old mortgage and buy your new home outright, you’ll have no mortgage at all! If you would like advice on your mortgage please contact our partnered mortgage broker The Residential Mortgage Hub – click here to book an appointment.

Is it worth downsizing to be mortgage-free? 

Every homeowner dreams of being mortgage-free, and downsizing presents an excellent opportunity to make that dream a reality. If the proceeds from selling your current home are sufficient to clear your mortgage and cover the expenses of your new property, you’ll enjoy:

  • Reduced monthly expenses: Eliminating monthly mortgage payments eases financial strain, particularly as retirement approaches.
  • Better financial security: Owning your home outright gives you increased financial freedom, especially if you’re approaching retirement. 
  • Greater opportunities: Freed from mortgage obligations, you can redirect funds towards savings, investments, luxury holidays, or providing support to family members.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that downsizing entails its own costs, and the decision involves your cherished home. While achieving mortgage-free status is undeniably appealing, it’s wise not to part with a beloved home unnecessarily.

Before making any major decisions, seek advice from a financial advisor and consult your mortgage lender to assess the most suitable course of action.

When to downsize your home

Deciding when to downsize is as personal as determining whether downsizing is the right choice at all. Ultimately, only you can decide the timing that feels right for you.

Some opt to downsize as soon as the move will help them become mortgage-free. Others wait until they begin planning for retirement, while some postpone until after retirement, once they’ve mapped out their next steps.

It’s important to consider that downsizing can lead to reduced monthly expenses, even if a mortgage is still in place. From a financial standpoint, downsizing sooner rather than later often makes sense.

On the other hand, if your children aren’t settled in their life away from home just yet, you may want to hang on to the extra space in case you need it. Alternatively, if they’ve started their own families, having space for visits or sleepovers with grandchildren could be a priority.

Ultimately, only you can decide when it’s time to downsize. If you’re uncertain about the financial implications, consulting a financial advisor is advisable to gain clarity and make an informed choice tailored to your needs.

Is now the right time to Downsize for you?

If downsizing aligns with your needs and the timing is right too, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team members today to find out how we can help you downsize your home and start your next chapter. We have a proven track record of helping many clients in finding their ideal homes by listening to their requirements and using our local knowledge to find suitable properties.

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February revealed as the best month for selling homes

Based on an analysis by Rightmove, the UK’s largest property website, February stands out as the optimal month for selling homes. Offering those who list a property for sale with the greatest chance of securing a buyer quickly.

The study, based on millions of properties listed since 2012 (excluding 2020 due to the Covid pandemic), revealed that, on average, homes listed in February took 51 days to find a buyer. This surpasses March by a day and aligns with January. Additionally, approximately 66.4% of homes listed in February successfully found buyers. This shares the top spot with April and narrowly surpasses March’s 66.3%.

Moreover, February listings show the highest probability of completing a sale and the lowest likelihood of being withdrawn by the owner. Rightmove emphasised that March also ranked high in the analysis. The data underscores that those preparing to sell at the onset of spring position themselves better for a successful move in 2024.

Whats happening in the current property market?

The current property market shows an 8% increase in the number of buyers contacting agents about homes for sale compared to the previous year, accompanied by an 11% rise in the number of new properties listed by sellers.

But we understand that you can’t always plan or predict when a move is needed. But for those who have the flexibility to move whenever desired we advise from our experience in selling homes the strength of the market is particularly higher at the beginning of the year. Ultimately, the best time to get moving is the time that’s right for you. And our team of experts are here to help you whenever you need us.

Want to find out how much your home is worth?

If you are considering selling your home or simply want an idea of what it may be worth – please contact our expert team today to see how we can help you. 

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Benefits of selling with an independent estate agent

Despite the growing demand for properties in Kent, many homeowners still find selling their property to be a difficult task. In this competitive market, you need to make your house stand out from the rest of the crowd by effectively market your property, and manage numerous legal and administrative issues.

This is where the services of an estate agent are here to help. We have the expertise and proficiency to make the process much smoother. We will be able to help you to sell your home conveniently, faster, and at a better price. Hence, this is why most people turn to independent estate agents for support.

There are several benefits to selling your home with the assistance of an independent estate agent.

An independent estate agent is familiar with the area

When it comes to selling or presenting any property, local knowledge goes a long way. In comparison to an online or larger agent who doesn’t have this knowledge, an independent local estate agent, who is likely to have a database of potential buyers, who knows the market, and where you can get all of the required information and facts about the property, will deliver a more specialised and personalised service.

A knowledgeable agent can provide information that extends beyond knowing the local bus or train routes, which can easily be found online. They will be more familiar with the area. And their presence will allow them to not only attract buyers to the property itself but also highlight the appeal of the surrounding area. This enables them to effectively market properties using the most impactful strategies available.

Independent estate agents have built a name, trust, and relationships in the community

The fact that a local independent estate agent from the area is likely to be well-known and recommended has significant appeal. If they have assisted a number of other homeowners in finding their dream house or selling their property, they naturally inspire confidence and trust, qualities that individuals seek when navigating the process of buying or selling a house.

Additionally, having your property promoted or advertised by a local independent estate agency can greatly enhance its visibility. It can also ensure that information about your home spreads swiftly, reaching a broader audience.

An independent real estate agent will devote more time and attention to you

A local independent estate agent will dedicate ample time and personalised attention to your needs. In contrast, agents from larger firms often have specific targets and handle extensive portfolios. Consequently, they might lack in-depth knowledge about your property and struggle to fully understand your requirements due to time constraints. They may not have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with your home thoroughly, offer tailored advice, or help you enhance its presentation.

Opting for an independent estate agent can provide peace of mind when you’re selling your home or looking for reassurance throughout the selling process.

Final Thoughts

Do you want to talk to our team about the benefits of selling with a local and independent estate agent? You can contact our experts at CR Real Estate to learn more.

We would be delighted to hear from you and assist you with all of your estate agent requirements. We will provide you with the finest quality service and ensure you receive the best support that you deserve.

Recent Articles

Why reducing the price of your property could help you sell

In previous years, decreasing your property’s price was viewed as unfavourable. It projected an image of desperation, potentially allowing buyers to exploit this and present unreasonably low bids. However, with the evolving property market, does this perspective still hold true?

Price reductions and the property market

Well, no not really. Since the last recession in 2008, attitudes toward reducing property prices have significantly eased. Given the dynamic nature of the property market, achieving absolute precision right from the start can be nearly impossible. Determining the appropriate market value for a property is essentially an approximation; there are no fixed guidelines or no crystal ball, just a rough estimate based on the seller’s and agent’s assessment of the property’s selling potential. Occasionally, adjustments are necessary, and in this age of technological advancement, a price reduction can, in fact, yield favorable results in your sales strategy.

It’s no longer stigmatised and won’t generate unfavourable perceptions about the property. Buyers may notice that the price has dropped; but they may view it positively, recognising your commitment to selling rather than interpreting it as a sign of desperation.

Why do some see it as a negative?

This could be down to our shift in our consumer mindset as it operates similarly when it comes to Property. Just as we’re accustomed to High Street stores frequently offering sales or shopping at designer outlets with clearly marked recommended retail prices (RRP) and discounted rates; we don’t devalue the clothing or decide against a purchase simply because no one else bought it from the original store; we merely accept it as an item we like and wish to acquire at a reduced price.

This same adjustment in our buying psychology might apply to the property market. When we encounter a property that has adjusted its pricing, we don’t automatically assume it’s inferior or that the sellers are desperate. Instead, we perceive it as a discount, a valuable opportunity. This perspective can motivate a hesitant buyer to make an offer they might not have otherwise considered. It may act as the gentle push they needed to take action.

What can a price reduction do?

Reducing the price, when required, can prove to be a beneficial strategy and may be the key to sealing the deal.

  • Revitalising the property’s marketing and promotion, including mailing campaigns and re-matching with potential buyers. This is similar to giving a post on social media a boost.
  • This approach introduces the property to a different pricing tier. Attracting a fresh set of buyers who may not have been aware of its availability, as it was previously outside their budget range.
  • For those who previously viewed the property at its higher price, the reduction might now align more closely with their perception of its value, potentially rekindling their interest.

Want to discuss your property?

A reduction in price can often unlock the path to a successful sale. Especially when your property has been listed for several months without any positive outcomes, despite all other efforts.

If you’re facing challenges in attracting viewings and are eager to sell your home, reach out to our property specialists. They can assess your marketing strategy and provide guidance to help you start receiving those coveted offers.

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Can you switch estate agents if you’re not happy?

How often do you switch bank accounts? Or doctors? Or even hairdressers? We expect it’s not that often, most of us have the same bank account we opened as a child. It doesn’t matter how bad the interest they pay on your savings; or how terrible the customer service is. It feels like so much hassle to switch to a new bank that we simply don’t do it. 

Well, it’s the same for estate agents. 

Perhaps you haven’t quite had the interest that you’d hoped for or even had offers that were lower than you were expecting. Maybe you were promised a certain level of service by your agent, but they haven’t kept their promises? Or perhaps you simply haven’t heard from them since signing your contract?

Either way, it’s possible to change if you are feeling underwhelmed, disappointed or disheartened with the property sale experience. And it is actually easier than you might think. Yes, you’ll have to consider and follow the terms of the contract you have signed; but it is possible to change to a different estate agent, and it’s more common than you might think. 

Don’t worry, you’ve not lost or wasted anything that has happened already. The previous agent will list all the interested parties they’ve introduced your property to while marketing it. If a buyer comes along that has already viewed your property, no problem, they can still purchase as usual.

Statistically, over 60% of homeowners that switch their property marketing to a new estate agent will sell with the second agent, so maybe a change is just what you need? 

As a property sits on the market, it can become a little stale. After 4 weeks, property websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla will stop promoting the property to their audience in favour of the newer instructions. After 6 weeks, your estate agent will usually have exhausted all the potential buyers on their database. And after 8 weeks, your agent will probably begin to suggest a price reduction (this is the only way to rekindle the interest levels in the property so that you move into a new bracket; and, therefore, a new group of potential buyers that perhaps couldn’t afford the property previously). 

But, if you were to change agents, you could tap into a new database of buyers. And with a fresh approach and renewed marketing, your property marketing and listing will have a new lease of life. This could be just what you need to get that elusive sale. 

So, what should you do to switch agents and get your property sold? 

You need to give proper notice. The terms of a contract with an estate agent may prohibit multiple agencies. This can be bad news if you don’t provide the proper notice because, if you do get a buyer for the property, you could be liable to pay fees to both agents – a costly mistake. 

You need to choose your new agent. By contacting one of the agents that impressed you from your initial valuation appointments, trying someone new or a recommendation from a friend or family. 

Revalue and assess the marketing you’ve had so far. Your new agent will prepare their marketing materials, so perhaps you can change how the property is presented. This is the chance to consider staging the home, and showing off the lifestyle that the buyer could have if they bought your property. Staging can create interest and add a vibrant pop of colour to your photographs that could entice a buyer and grab their attention as they read their emails or scroll through the websites. 

Think about the feedback that you’ve had. Of course, some of the feedback may have been somethings that you simply can’t do anything about. Perhaps it was too small or simply not suitable for some viewers. But, if you’ve had constructive feedback, consider dealing with these issues to encourage other buyers.

What if you’ve had no feedback? If you’ve had no viewings or no feedback from those viewings, perhaps look at your property through different eyes. Look objectively at your home and think about how it seems to a stranger. For example, it’s easy to overlook clutter and piles of things in our homes because we see them every day. But these things can stand out to a stranger looking to buy a property. 

Overall, it’s easier than you think to change estate agents, and a fresh outlook could be the key to finding a buyer and getting that all-important sale. 

To find out how we can help you sell your home get in touch with our team today. 

Recent Articles

Why you shouldn’t neglect your garden when selling your home in Kent this spring

It is official, we are now in spring; we can now all enjoy those longer days and better weather, and watch whilst flowers bloom and trees blossom. It is the season where Mother Nature loves to show off her splendour, and when it comes to selling your home, you need to be doing the same. Spring is the best time of year to sell your home, and according to Rightmove, this is because of record prices, the imbalance between demand and supply as well as the prospect of finding a buyer the first week your home is on the market. And whilst your focus may be directly internally, we want to make sure you understand why you should not neglect your garden when selling your home this Spring in Kent.

It’s a blooming market

Those who weren’t ready to take advantage of last year’s rush now have another chance to get on the market while these conditions last”, Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments. Anyone selling their home wants to ensure they a maximising their sale in every way – who wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to add some value, and your garden is a hidden gem. According to Good Move house experts, “Transforming your garden can be the most fruitful way of adding value to your home, with a well-kept garden raising prices by around 20 per cent.” Although many home owners understand the potential their garden holds can bring to the value of their property, there are many that ignore this area when preparing their home for sale. 

Lockdown goals

Lockdown saw many of us turning our time to our gardens: bars were erected, decking built and outbuildings constructed creating havens for us to enjoy whilst the strange times we were living in passed us by. Potential buyers, too, wish to imagine themselves spending time in a garden that is ready to enjoy, not one that has a wild side and needs a lot of work to restore. Your garden is an extension of your home, and should the sun be shining, buyers love to imagine themselves al fresco dining or enjoying a tipple or two. Don’t put barriers in their way by making them struggle to see what your garden has to offer – make it the dream they have been seeking not the jungle they wish to forget.

It needs to be green

There is something very attractive about a healthy lawn, one glistening in shades of green without a balding patch in sight.  Yet we all know how much maintenance it takes to keep a lawn looking green and healthy.  For many of us, those perfect contrasting green lines of grass are something we aspire to but never quite achieve.  If your lawn looks like it has seen better days, it may be best to invest in some new turf.  It may feel like an unnecessary expense, but having your garden in the best possible condition could add value to your home and, what’s more, help it to sell more quickly.

Just like new

It isn’t just your lawn that needs to look healthy and just like new; the winter months having taken a toll on many a home’s exterior, especially with the storms we have had. Paint and stains have faded on gates and fences, decking may have some slippery grime or peeling stain, weeds have been springing up and some plants may have a survived for another season. Yes, there is work to be done, but the benefits are certainly worth it. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer: how would you feel about seeing a garden in tip-top shape and full or colour, compared to one that has seen better days? Your offer may reflect how you feel, so make sure that your buyers see the value your garden brings to your home.

Bring the lifestyle to life

Adding some finishing touches to your garden for a viewing brings to life the lifestyle your home offers to a potential buyer.  A viewing is the opportunity for your property to transform into a home for sale. You want that show home feel that is organised yet warm, welcoming and intoxicating. 

A table and chairs is just that, but add a tray with a couple glasses and a bottle and suddenly your buyers are seeing themselves sitting there on a warm spring evening. A wall seat may go unnoticed, but a throw, a cushion and a book transforms it into a cosy space to while away an afternoon. No matter the size or style of your garden, there are little touches you can add to bring your space to life. You don’t need to go overboard, just a couple here and there is enough to get a buyer’s mind starting to imagine living there.

It deserves it

Give your garden the spring clean it deserves, and you are putting your home in the best position for selling in this busy spring season. For more advice on how to prepare your Kent home for sale, call a member of our sales team on 01634 570057.

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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Do I really need a for sale sign when selling my Medway home?

Not everyone loves a for sale sign outside their home; and as you venture around Medway you will see a variety of property boards. But, as common as they are, not everyone wants to have a for sale sign outside their home.  People have a variety of reasons they are not a for sale sign fan – they may not wish for their neighbours to know they wish to move, or potentially risk having random strangers knocking on their door. Yet there are many advantages to having a for sale sign that you may have overlooked; which is why our team at Century Residential would like to share with you the value of having a sign when you’re selling your Medway home.

Powerful marketing tool

In such a competitive property market like we have been seeing in Medway for the last year or so; one of the most powerful tools we have is the for sale sign. With the advances in technology and a variety of ways to search for property online; over 90% of buyers will begin their search for a new home there. However, not all buyers are actively looking for a home; and we regularly receive calls from potential buyers who have seen a for sale sign outside a property that is of interest.

These buyers may have had their eye on your home for some time, or have fallen in love with the street where you live. Moving has been a niggle and not a impulse, but when they see the house that has caught their attention and been hard to forget; that niggle starts to grow into action and before they know it they are making a call to us.

It starts with a chat

It isn’t only us who are in love with property and know which new properties have come onto the market in our area. Once a board has gone up, it doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s not just friends and family that start to talk about your move; but neighbours and people within your community, as well as passers-by, could spread the word. Word-of-mouth marketing is organic: your home can be mentioned in a chat with a friend, who then mentions it to a neighbour, who then jumps on the internet to have a look. Conversations about property are a valuable way of reaching potential buyers and helping them to find their dream home; you never know, the next conversation could be about yours.

Can help to sell more quickly

Having a variety of marketing tools including the for sale board can help sell your home more quickly. The more awareness we can create for your property, the more potential buyers we can reach, which in any kind of property market is going to be an advantage. At Century Residential we are not in business to list as many homes in the area as possible so that our boards become an eyesore. When we value your home, the figure we present is what we know can be achieved by our team to get your home SOLD. We will always negotiate to get you the highest possible sales price, but no one wants a for sale sign gathering dust outside their property because their house was on the market at an unachievable figure.

It’s a visible marker 

Not every property is easy to find, house numbers can often be obscured or missing, street lighting not effective, and streets can feel hidden. You want any potential buyer arriving at a viewing feeling positive and excited; not frustrated and annoyed because they have spent the last 20 minutes struggling to find your home.  A for sale sign clearly indicates where your property actually is; making find you for a viewing an easier and calmer experience for buyers.

Is this what you want?

Sometimes, unknowingly, we can put obstacles in our own way to delay or prevent things we are not exactly sure off. If you are against having a for sale sign when selling your home, you need to ask yourself why?  Could it be you are not ready to move and, if so, you may find you unwillingly continue to place obstacles during the sales process making the experience not fun for anyone. If you are questioning if you should have a for sale sign, ask yourself, is this move something that I really want?

No one puts Baby in the corner

This famous Dirty Dancing quote is perfect to stress to you that when you are selling your home you want it to be seen, to shine and sparkle in the spotlight. A for sale sign is a wonderful way to make sure that your home receives the attention it deserves, and you could soon be dancing your way to a sale. If you are ready to sell your Medway home, call our team today on 01634 570057 .

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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Why you need to get moving if you want to sell your home in Gillingham

Selling your home can often involve some tactical decisions, as well as those practical and heartfelt ones. Only you know when you feel the time is right to place your home on the market; but according to the experts there is one month proven better than others. Recent data from Rightmove confirms that March is the best month for sellers; as it is the time with the highest number of potential buyers per available property. This is why you need to get moving if you want to sell your home in Gillingham.

“There is usually a wave of buyers in March through to spring, who are hoping to be in their new home by the end of summer, or are acting on a desire to move which has been growing since the start of the year. This means that sellers coming to market at this time are often met with plenty of interest for their home, in many cases leading to a successful sale,” states Tim Bannister, Director of Property Data at Rightmove.

Spring into action

One of the beautiful things about spring is how everything starts to come to life; there are signs now, such as daffodils starting to bloom. Just as nature dusts the cobwebs of winter, it is time for you to spring into action and prepare you home for sale if you want to take advantage of this seller season. But where should you start?

It may sound a bit cheesy but, honestly, a spring clean is the best starting point there is, and we don’t just mean a physical one. One of the main barriers that many sellers have when selling their home is letting go. You may be all for a move, but are you ready to see your home for what it is, flaws and all, and make the right changes to attract the bounty of buyers? It is not always easy to see your home as though you were a buyer, but by doing so you are doing everything you can to maximise the value of your home.

A spring clean isn’t only about spotless windows and pristine floors; but at the heart it’s ensuring your home is organised, clutter free, and homely. Many sellers when preparing their home for sale can go too far; creating a sterile scene that is soulless and void of personality. Take some inspiration from show homes and home magazines where rooms are clean and tidy but have beautiful touches; such as vases of flowers, carefully put together book shelves, and accessories which complement the décor.

Get it right from the start

From the first photograph presented online, to the sight when a buyer takes those first excited steps towards your home; no matter how beautiful your home looks inside, first impressions can make a huge impression when it comes to viewing or buying a property. Over the last few weeks our homes have been battered by winds and rain leaving our exteriors not looking their best, which is why it is essential you put some work in.

Freshen up any paintwork, tidy your garden and add some seasonal plants; (let’s face it a garden or planter always looks a thousand times better when it has some colour in it). We cannot promise a sunny day when it comes to viewings; so the more you do to add some life to your home’s kerb appeal can only help those active and determined buyers who choose your home to view.

Last but not least give us a call.

When it comes to the Gillingham market, we are the experts you need to navigate you through the entire process; from ensuring it is priced correctly, through negotiating offers to working tirelessly throughout the sales process, so your home doesn’t just sell but is successfully sold. Therefore, if you are looking to sell your home, call our team at Century Residential on 01634 570057 today.

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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How to sell your Medway home this Halloween

The summer has well and truly gone, and there are even signs that Christmas will soon be here; judging by goods in the shops and some ads on TV. But before we deck the halls and hang the tinsel; we have a more eerie celebration on the cards, when the spooks and ghouls rule the night. Since the fright night has been somewhat reduced over the last couple of years; we know that many of our local residents are looking forward to celebrating in style. How should you decorate your Medway home if you decide to sell this Halloween?

Does spooky sell?

Even though the stamp duty holiday has ended, we are still seeing buyers eager to find their next home in Medway. And don’t worry if your home has it’s own Casper or requires the Ghost Busters because; according to a recent study by Inventorybase, you could actually scare your home’s value. The study found that homes that look (supposedly) haunted had sold by 18% more than their more warm and welcoming neighbours. That being said, we find that today’s buyers in Medway are looking for a home and not a house of horrors; so before you make any haunting mistakes, we have put together some decorating tips.

Eliminate the cobwebs and spiders

Although cobwebs and spiders are the perfect companions for Halloween; they are not looked on so favourably by buyers. So, before you put up any seasonal décor make sure your house has been decluttered; as adding more items will make your home feel disorganised and smaller. Also, give your home a deep clean, it doesn’t look good when buyers have to run screaming from a smelly fridge or an unsightly corner.

Tame for gore

Of course, you may wish to decorate your home to give your family a Halloween to remember, but don’t go overboard. Remember buyers are coming to see your home; and they need to be able to see it and all the key features that it holds. Not everyone loves Halloween; and it isn’t only young children that could be put off by scary and gory decorations. If you’re having a party, decorate for that and then pull it back ready for any viewings.

Treat the senses

Selling your home is all about the senses, so don’t forget to treat your buyers with some autumnal scents. This season has some of the most delicious aromas, from gingerbread to pumpkin spice and cinnamon. However use them carefully and make sure you avoid any artificial scents as these can be overpowering. Whether you bake an aromatic traybake for a viewing; or add these natural smells in another way, don’t forget to treat your buyers’ senses.

Elegance over tacky

Who doesn’t want to go overboard with gory and spine-chilling decorations; but if you’re selling your home we are afraid you want to make sure you make the best impression. Try to keep things elegant, and there are many beautiful home decorations available to add some shivers rather than some frights. Make sure your choices complement your home’s existing colour schemes, and use warm, earthy tones. You also need to keep your decorations looking fresh; especially if you’re using real pumpkins and flowers; buyers don’t want to see smelly rotten displays, that’s another way to give buyers a scare.

Don’t hide your features

What beautiful and wonderful features does your home have? One thing you need to make sure is that your decorations celebrate these rather than hide them; which is why you need to decorate strategically. Add touches that will accentuate fireplaces, brighten dark corners and highlight beautiful period features. Ensuring your décor works with your home, rather than against it, will also appeal to potential buyers.

A six sense

Buyers have a sixth sense when it comes to knowing whether a home is right for them; and you don’t want to put any barriers in the way. Therefore, this Halloween, don’t make any haunting mistakes and eliminate the cobwebs, tame the gore, treat the senses, keep it elegant without hiding any features. If you would like more advice on how to prepare your home this October, please call our team at Century Residential on 01634 570057.

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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What to keep and ditch when selling your home

We know that when you decide to put your property on the market, the process can feel overwhelming – especially as it can be full of uncertainty. Where do you start?  What do you need to do to your home to make sure it doesn’t linger on the market?  Take this as your quick guide to those simple décor touches that can highlight and hide, and will help to get your home sold. They will make your house glow and appeal to buyers in the hope that it will be snapped up quickly. So, what should you keel and ditch when selling your home?

Keep – Fresh flowers

There is nothing like fresh flowers to make a space feel warm and inviting, it gives the buyer the sense that you care about your home and how it is presented.  Think about adding flowers to key spaces such as your dining table, maybe the kitchen island, the living room. You could even think about artificial or dried flowers, succulents or orchids to supplement your displays; a bunch of lavender on a pillow or in the bedroom is always a lovely touch.

Keep – Mirrors

Any room can benefit from a mirror. They brighten the space and can make it appear larger, which is amazing if you live in a smaller home.  It’s not only hanging mirrors, think about adding some mirrored finishes. Perhaps a vase, tiles, or even the odd piece of furniture; as when strategically placed they can easily enhance a room.

It is also worth thinking about replacing works of art with mirrors. As we all have our own taste is style; your decor preferences may not align with a potential buyer’s and it could subconsciously turn them off your home.  Use a large wall mirror in a small room; this adds dimension to the space making it more appealing. Another piece fo advice we can give you is to place mirrors near windows; so the space can benefit from the reflected light in the room.

Keep – New towels & Ditch – Used towels

Yes, towels. This may seem a strange conversation to have; just like which way the toilet roll should be placed (although the answer is always over, in case you’re curious).  Bathrooms are one of those rooms that can win buyers over; they want to see a haven, a spa-like experience that makes them want to relax and ease their stresses away.  And nothing screams luxury quite like fluffy new towels, which is why we recommend you purchase a couple that can be used for photographs and viewings. These sacred towels are there for display purposes only – that is, until you move, then you can get the full experience of wrapping yourself in these glorious bundles of softness.

Keep – Good lighting

One quick way your home can turn off buyers is to have no light shining in – there is nothing attractive about a dark and moody home.  We would always recommend the rule of three when it comes to lighting your home. By this, we mean having three sources of artificial light per room; such as two table lamps and one floor lamp. Make sure you use clear, incandescent lightbulbs.

In addition, don’t forget to emphasise your home’s natural light; open all your curtains and blinds and cut back any trees that could be stopping light from flooding a room. A light-filled home is welcoming and will assist you in selling your home quicker.

Keep – Blue

It has been scientifically proven that the colour blue can make people feel more relaxed and calm. That doesn’t mean that you need to grab a paint brush and start adding blue to your walls, as this could see buyers running. You can add blue in a more subtle way; such as adding a blue or teal cushion, a throw or even a planters in your garden.

Ditch – Politics, allegiances

We are all have our opinions, sports teams we support, and groups we may be aligned to. This is great, but not everyone will have the same viewpoint.  You may be lucky and only have viewings from similar minded people; but what is more likely is that someone will view your home and instead of focusing on what your property has to offer, they will take away that you have different opinions.  Where possible, neutralise your home so it can appeal to the widest number of buyers possible.

Ditch – Collections

You may be passionate about vinyl, be Star Wars obsessed or a Lego nut!  But when it comes to selling your home try and find a way to hide your collections or tone them down a lot.  A lot of ‘things’ will not only make your home feel cluttered, making buyers think it lacks storage or is smaller than it actually is; but it will also make it hard for a buyer to envision themselves living there. This is never a good thing when you want to sell.

Ditch – The personal

We all have family photos and portraits displayed in our homes, and they are doing no harm – right?  Actually, they can hinder your sale. Again some buyers will only see you in this house and could struggle to picture themselves living there.  It isn’t just photos but also medals, fridge magnets, costumes – anything that reveals too much about your personality or lifestyle. You should make space for buyers to imagine your house as their home.

Keep – Our number 01634 570057

If you’re looking for help to not just list but sell your home, come and speak to an agent who understands that the smallest of details can make the biggest difference when selling your home.  Our team at Century Residential are looking forward to your call.

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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Huge mistakes you can make when choosing an estate agent

One of the biggest decisions you will make when you sell your home is choosing the right estate agent to get your house sold.  There is a wealth of choice, from high-street estate agents to those working online; from big national companies to local independent estate agents, such as ourselves.  You may think that this decision is pretty straightforward, yet it is vital that you don’t make any huge mistakes by rushing your decision without doing your homework.  Instructing the wrong estate agent will do doubt lead to financial and emotional headaches ahead, so what do you need to look for when choosing an estate agent to sell your home?

Attracted by the lowest commission

Once you have decided to sell your home, it’s time to interview a number of estate agents. Where many sellers go wrong is that they see an agent valuing their property as just that.  It’s more than a valuation – this is your time to question, challenge and discover everything you can about this agent.

There are many estate agents who will offer a very low commission simply to win your business. You may see this as saving money, how can it be a bad thing?  As with every business, estate agents invests in many areas, from the marketing strategy for your property to ensuring you have the support you need as you move through the sales process.  At the end of the day, we have exceptionally high standards for what we believe a client experience – your experience – should look like, even if issues arise.

What experience will the other estate agents provide? Make sure you understand what and how they invest in selling your home.

They are going to sell it for how much?

Who wouldn’t be attracted by an agent who values your home at a few grand more than the rest? You can see pound signs popping up in front of your eyes. Choosing the agent who offers you the highest valuation is a very common and natural mistake to make, but think: is this price realistic, or are they sneakily trying to get your business?

Some agents may value the property higher than others; as long as they can show a track record of achieving their asking prices, you have nothing to fear. But overpricing a property is a curse – let us explain why. There is an optimum time period when your home will attract buyers when it is listed online; which is in the first few weeks.  Buyers do their homework; they will know every home on the market in the area within their budget and will have alerts set to be notified when such a home becomes available.

If it’s priced too high, your home won’t even come up in their searches. Even if they do see it, they will know themselves from viewing other similar properties that it seems a little steep. They will either view and put in a cheeky offer, or just ignore your home and move onto the next. The longer your home sits on the market, the staler it will become, losing its initial ‘star power’ to be replaced with a sense that it has been left on the shelf.

This is why you should research the agent’s track record; ask them for their results, make them prove to you they deserve your business. At Century Residential we want to show you what we have achieved for our clients; because we are proud of our successes.

Just because they’ve sold more houses

Of course, it looks good if an estate agent has sold lots of houses; but again you need to put that into context.  How many houses that they’ve listed have they sold?  Let’s explain. If this agent has sold 50 houses and their competitor only 20, then they must be better, right? Maybe not.

If Agent A has sold 50 houses but they listed 90; that’s a high percentage of houses that they committed to sell and didn’t. If Agent B has only sold 20 houses but listed 21, this shows they have been dedicated to getting those houses sold. The data is only a guide; but if you put it into context you’ll get an understanding of who the agent is and how they work.

I liked the first one

When you decide to sell your home, estate agents may have been recommended by friends and family; and one in particular may stand out to you so you decide to get them round.  You like what they have to say and without seeing anyone else you decide to choose them.

How can you compare different agencies if you only see one?  Each estate agent will have their strengths; they may offer different marketing approaches, some which may really suit your home and its potential buyers.  Interviewing more than one agent will give you a better understanding of the property market; and who will be the best fit to sell your home.

What do their clients say?

You may have already read the testimonials on their website or Facebook page; but why not ask previous clients their thoughts? By placing a message on one of the local Facebook pages you will no doubt get some honest replies. Another way is to do your own mystery shop. Call up the agency and ask some questions; this will give you an idea of how clients are cared for and supported by the agency.

Big decisions

Without doing your due diligence it is easy to make a mistake when choosing an estate agent to sell your home. We love it when a client puts us through our paces; because we know they are committed to making the right decision for them and their home.

Are we up to the task of selling your home? Call our team today on 01634 570057; so we can organise a time to tell you why we are the best agent for you and your property.

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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Our back-to-school guide for selling your home in Medway

It’s that time of year where the summer holidays seem to be racing through our fingertips; and the start of the new school year is upon us.  It’s also the time of year where many look to place their home on the market in the hope that they can be enjoying Christmas in their new abode.  Just as you’re getting things in place for your child’s new term; you should also be getting organised if you wish to sell your home this autumn. That’s why we have put together this back-to-school guide for selling your home in Medway – we don’t want you getting a detention!

Smart and presentable

Many children will be starting a new school and will have a brand-new uniform for their first day. Regardless of what they look like when they come home, you want them to arrive looking smart and presentable.  Just as you want your children to give a good first impression at school; so do you for your home when you are preparing it for sale.  No matter how it looks in normal daily life; the first impression you want buyers to have is of a beautifully organised home ready for them to make their own.

Getting to know you

From teachers to peers, it can be daunting at first getting to know others and working out who to trust. It can be the same when looking at which estate agent you want to represent you and your property when it comes onto the market.  At Century Residential we don’t just want to know about your home; by understanding your personal needs and circumstances we can provide a greater level of service. Every property has its weaknesses and strengths; and it’s our job to utilise its unique personality to attract the right buyer and deliver you a successful outcome.

Addicted to stationery

Who didn’t used to pop to Woolworths to get all their pens, pencils, files and essential items for the start of the school year? It was a right of passage.  You wanted to ensure that you’d thought of the small details as well as the big.  This is exactly the thought process you should have when getting your home ready for a viewing. Don’t just ‘polish your shoes’; but really make your property shine by cleaning your windows and keeping surfaces clear of clutter.  Then add those little finishing touches such as fresh flowers and perfectly placed accessories to bring your home to life.

Nervous and excited

Remember that feeling of the first day, whether it was at a new school or a new job; of being filled with a mixture of nerves and excitement.  This is often how potential buyers feel when they arrive to view your property; and we want this feeling to continue long after they leave.  This is why telling the story of your home is so essential. Sharing your stories and memories in a way that provides them with an insight into what their lives could be like if they decided this was the house for them.

Listen to feedback

It can be hard to listen to feedback, whether on a Zoom parents’ evening about how your child has progressed through these difficult times; or what a buyer thought about your home during a viewing. Never take it personal – at the end of the day, we both want the same result; to see your home sold, and feedback is a great, constructive way to find out what buyers are thinking and discover any niggles that we can overcome. Issues can often be resolved; and by working together and using the feedback as a guide, we can find that ideal buyer quicker.

Out of your hands

When you sit down to take a test or exam, you do everything you can to achieve the highest score possible; but then the result is out of your hands. Once you have received an offer, we ask that you trust us to negotiate on your behalf. Our team are skilled negotiators who excel in achieving the best possible price for your property.

The best support

Having the best support around you can see you achieve even greater things at school, work and in life; and the same goes for selling your home. It isn’t just the choice of estate agent that is crucial to the success of your sale, but also your choice of solicitor; as it’s after the offer has been accepted that the real work begins. Always do your research so you know that you have the right team beside you who will ensure your move is smooth and successful.

Get it in on time

Getting an assignment or a piece of work in late is always met with disapproval, and could have knock-on effects. In a sale, not returning documentation or calls could create delays and even cause your sale to collapse; as parties get nervous and suspicious. You can’t use the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse here. Get your paperwork ready in advance so you can get it where it needs to be as quickly as possible.

Time to party

Every success should be celebrated, and you may already be planning the first party in your new home; bringing all your friends and family together at long last. We want to make sure that party happens; so contact our team today on 01634 570057 to get you through the gates of selling your home in Medway.

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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