Property experts Sandra Davidson reveal their top tips for selling your home and adding value

PUBLISHED: 12:21 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:57 09 April 2018

Making a good first impression is key to impressing would-be buyers, so make sure your property has kerb appeal by keeping your front garden tidy and cleaning your windows.

Making a good first impression is key to impressing would-be buyers, so make sure your property has kerb appeal by keeping your front garden tidy and cleaning your windows.


Redbridge estate agents Sandra Davidson answer the common questions homeowners have when it comes to selling their home, and reveals how you can make sure the sale is stress-free

Buyers want to see a blank canvas when viewing a property, so put your personal touches in storage.

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoBuyers want to see a blank canvas when viewing a property, so put your personal touches in storage. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

When is the best time to sell my house?

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter: no matter what season the truth is people buy houses all-year-round. The decision to sell is yours alone and should be based on your financial and personal circumstances.


How is the market right now?

The market people often refer to is the national one. Instead, narrow your focus onto the local markets in Ilford, Redbridge, Newham, Barking & Dagenham, Havering, and Waltham Forest.

You should consider how much similar properties to yours sold for, and the length of time they spent before a buyer was found.

The national press may be full of property scare stories week in, week out, but people will always want to own a home so that shouldn’t deter you.


How should I present my home for a sale?

Like going on a date or a job interview, it’s crucial to make a good first impression. Think about what prospective buyers will see when they pull up outside your home. Does it feel welcoming? Is it neat and tidy? Kerb appeal will make your home stand out from the competition.

Spring is when most of us will be having a clear out, so if you’re planning on selling now is a good time to put anything that largely relates to your personality/tastes in storage.

You want buyers to feel like they can make their stamp on things, and a blank canvas will help them come to that conclusion.

Make sure when people are visiting there is a bunch of fresh flowers and scented candles set out. This is also a good time to tackle those repair jobs you’ve been putting off.


What should and shouldn’t I tell potential buyers?

Any defects should be made aware to buyers. It’s in your best interest to get these fixed before you put the property on the market, or you may need to negotiate the price to include the costs to fix them.


How much is my property worth?

There is no hard and fast rule – one thing we will say is bathroom and kitchen renovations will add saleability value and make sure you are achieving the best possible price.

Again, looking at the local market will give you an idea, but this is just a guide, and not a guarantee.

A good bricks and mortar agent is incentivised to achieve the best possible price and maximize your profit – that’s the only way they make their money, not in charging for listings or photography.

On a typical £400,000 house, a 5% price difference is £20,000. So if you’re getting 5% less for your property by paying somebody £1,000 in fees up front as opposed to paying £4,000 after the sale, it’s cost you £12,000. You may have saved £3,000, but you’ve lost £20,000.


How do you determine how much my home is worth?

Many factors make up a valuation – square footage, kitchen quality, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, age/condition of windows and the roof, general style of the property and location.


Why should I go with a traditional estate agent over an online agent?

The cost of selling a house is different depending on what type of agent you go with. With a traditional agent you don’t have to pay any fees up front. We believe that if an agent is selling your property, they shouldn’t get paid until the contracts have exchanged. That is when it’s legally binding, and the seller has cashed in on that asset.

It incentivises the agent to achieve best value, to find the best buyer, to get the deal done, and make sure it carries out no matter how many links there are in the chain.

With an offline agent you have to pay the fee up-front and, although the headline figure may be lower, you might have to pay extra for an upgraded listing featuring things like video, floor plans and better photographers.


What happens if I change my mind?

In England and Wales, you have right up until contracts are exchanged to change your mind. An offer to buy or sell is not legally binding. After the exchange however, there may be legal considerations, and you might have to cover some estate agency fees.


Shall I leave appliances or not?

It depends on the buyer. Some will be ready to move their own appliances and furniture in, but if they’re just getting onto the ladder they might not.


Should I be present when someone is viewing my home?

Some buyers may feel uncomfortable asking certain questions if the seller is present. Your manner can also have an effect on the process.


How long will the process take?

If you’ve already looked at the local market conditions, you will have an understanding of how long similar properties have been on the market.

It will also depend on anyone involved in the chain, so it’s a good idea to ask potential buyers whether they’re waiting to sell their home before they can purchase yours.

For a free instant valuation, head to, or call 020 8597 7372 (Green Lane branch) / 020 8551 0211 (Redbridge branch).

Want to rent out your property instead? Read Sandra Davidson’s guide to their Guaranteed Rental Scheme here.

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