Tips to help you sell your home this Autumn

Tips to help you sell your home this Autumn

In this month's edition, we're on hand to offer our top tips to help you sell your home this Autumn.

We've also got plenty of suggestions to help you save money around your home, we reveal the country's top 10 home improvement projects and there's guidance for parents wondering how to help their children onto the property ladder.

Tips to help you to sell your home this Autumn

It didn’t take long for Autumn to take hold, did it? It seems like only a few weeks ago, we were enjoying the blazing sunshine and moaning about the heat, but with October in full swing, it’s time to start wondering if it’s time to stir the heating into life and get those jumpers out of hibernation.

Autumn can be a great time to sell your home; the colours and relatively early sunsets can certainly help to offset your property, but there are several things that you can do to help show your home in the best light when you’re trying to find a buyer. Here are our top tips:

Have a tidy, inside and out
It might seem obvious, but de-cluttering and tidying your property, both inside and out before you start viewings can have a huge effect. Remember, you’re trying to show your home off, and attempting to get visitors to envisage themselves living there; making sure the entrance to your home, your living area and any garden space that you might have looks organised and tidy can have a huge effect on that. That means toys, shoes, papers and the like need to be put away.
Bulky items that take up space need to be temporarily removed, too. Remember, buyers want to see how they would fit in your home, and a lack of available space can make that difficult whilst simultaneously making the property seem smaller than it is.

Conduct viewings before it gets dark
It might not always be possible due to your schedule, but when possible, make sure to schedule viewings before it gets dark. With the sun going down earlier and earlier as the year draws to a close, it’s important to take advantage of natural daylight so that your property looks brighter and cleaner. Even if you are busy working during the day, it’s possible to organise a viewing agent who can show your property off for you.

Air your home
With little-to-no sunshine in the day to dry your clothes during the day, many of us dry our wet washing indoors at this time of year, meaning more moisture gets into the air around your home. Make sure to open your windows to alleviate this, and get some fresh air around your home.

Don’t be afraid to turn the heating on
You may be hesitant to turn on the heating before the real cold sets in, but making your property nice and warm before each viewing can be a great advantage when trying to get people interested in your home. It’s always nice to return to a warm house, and small touches like this, as well as lighting a scented candle can help to make people feel relaxed.

Read our top tips on how to save money around your home

There are a few changes that you can make around the house that could save you hundreds of pounds a month! Some of them are as simple as clicking a button or turning a dial.

Switch your utility supplier
Your first port of call should be your utility bills. A recent study by Energyhelpline found that the average household can save over &600 a year by switching suppliers. You should consider changing the supplier of your television package, broadband and energy to a competitor who might offer you a better deal.

Consider your energy set-up and habits
Switching supplier is a good start, but your next job is to take a closer look at your energy habits. This can be as basic as turning your thermostat down by a few degrees or making use of the timer control on your boiler. Clothes horses can be utilised to dry your laundry, meaning you don’t need to have the heating on for longer than required.

If you want to make more of an impact on your energy bill, you could also consider your property’s energy efficiency. To combat wasting energy, you could deploy draught excluders around the house to trap heat or hire a professional to examine the insulation in your walls and roof.

Turn electrical appliances off when not in use
The Energy Saving Trust recently revealed that across the UK, households were spending between &50-86 a year on gadgets in a ‘non-active’ or standby state, equivalent to 9-16% of the average electricity bill.

Set your washing machine to a lower temperature
Washing at 15 or 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees can save you a third of the cost to run the cycle. Think about how much that could be saving you on the day you decide to tackle the overflowing laundry basket!

Switch to a cheaper mortgage deal
Mortgage repayments are often the biggest monthly expense a household will have, so it could be worth checking if switching to a new deal can help you save.

For example, if you have a &180,000 20-year mortgage, a deal that charges 4% would cost your household &1,091 a month. Remortgaging to a 2% rate could save you &180 a month (&2,160 a year).

How to help your children onto the property ladder

Most parents will tell you that you never stop worrying about your children, even after they’ve long flown the nest. Given how difficult it can be to get started on the property ladder for most people in their 20s or 30s, the Bank of Mum and Dad are increasingly getting involved to give their children the best possible chance of buying that important first home.
But with the average deposit for a house in Britain currently standing at a dizzying &51,000, parents need to simultaneously make sure that they protect themselves financially before committing their own futures for the sake of their offspring. With that in mind, here are our top tips for helping your kids to get onto the property ladder:

Bring your children back home (briefly!)
It can be very difficult to save up enough cash for that first home when living in a rented property, purely because the cost of living in Britain can be difficult to manage even if you’re a couple who are both in full-time work. One easy way to help your child and their partner to save some money is to welcome them home for a period. Of course, we can’t help you draw up a washing-up rota, but taking away big costs such as rent, bills and even food expenditure will instantly help them start putting away the money required to get them started.

Gifting or lending them the money
If you’re able to, the benefits of gifting or lending your children money can be huge, as a large sum of cash could mean the difference between being able to secure deals with lower interest rates.

However, this option can be potentially difficult to navigate on a personal level, and comes with a strong recommendation of confirming your agreement with your children and their partner prior to any money changing hands. Make sure you ascertain if you’re either gifting or lending them the money beforehand and if it’s the latter, then set up a repayment plan for your own piece of mind.

A Declaration of Trust document is a good way of confirming this, and it can clearly state who owns what part of the property in the event that your child separates from their partner and the home is sold.

Buy the home with your child
If you’re concerned about the long-term implications of giving your child a lump sum, or are unable to make that sort of financial commitment, then a joint mortgage is a good way of sharing the responsibility. In this case, you and your child are both liable for paying for the loan made to purchase your home, and you can come up with a financial plan for repayment that suits you.

Remortgage your own home
This is another option open to you in order to provide you with a lump sum of cash, which can be a huge help when it comes to putting down that all-important deposit. Again, it’s one that comes with strings attached, given that you will have an increased number of payments to consider, including arrangement fees and interest on a higher mortgage rate.

Whichever route you choose when trying to help your children get onto the property ladder, gaining independent financial advice is strongly advised to make sure that you’re making the correct decision for everyone. Helping your children to buy their first home is an important, personal experience, and one that deserves to be as stress-free as possible.

The top 10 home improvement projects revealed

DIY, decoration and renovation comes hand in hand with owning a home, for some it’s a joy, for others it’s a hassle, but home upgrades are inevitable.

There are many ways to improve a home, from the simple task of changing a room’s colour scheme to fitting an entirely new kitchen, but which improvements are the most popular?

A recent survey looked into the work carried out by UK homeowners across the last 5 years and revealed which projects are the most common.

According to GoCompare Home Insurance, the majority of work carried out in UK homes are cosmetic upgrades (68%) while just over a third of work carried out on a home (38%) falls into the category of essential maintenance.

Following this, it is no surprise that the number one job that has been undertaken by 50% of homeowners across the last 5 years is interior decoration and it’s clear that a new lick of paint can go a long way.

Taking 2nd place in the top 10 with 31% is the task of replacing the flooring with new carpet or hard wood flooring. An upgrade that is somewhat expected as another survey recently revealed that worn flooring can be one of the biggest put-offs for a buyer when viewing a property.

The 3rd most common improvement is arguably the most expensive of the bunch, with 29% choosing to install a new bathroom.
Other upgrades that were quite popular included tasks such as a garden makeover, fitting a new kitchen and installing a new boiler or central heating system, all of which were chosen by 25% of survey participants.

Moving towards the bottom of the table and chosen by 21% of homeowners was new windows/double glazing, an upgrade that not only improves the aesthetics of a home, but also can help with energy efficiency.

The final 3 to make the list were installing a new shed or garden building (16%), Exterior redecoration (13%) and Improving the insulation (13%).

So, what does this top 10 list reveal? Well, it shows a clear desire for both style and efficiency, while most upgrades are down to homeowners wanting to add their own personal flair to a home, there is a good number of upgrades that ensure the property isn’t wasteful when it comes to heating.

This survey also shows that as a nation we aren’t afraid to get stuck into the bigger projects and renovate a property to make feel more like a home.