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Top tips to buy a home this season

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The beginning of the year is a good time to put a house on the market as buyers are motivated

If selling your home is on your list of to do’s this year, it is worth noting that the first few months of the year are traditionally a good time to hit the market.

Not only are the early summer transfers starting to filter through into the deeds office (providing useful statistical information), properties are also showing their sunny sides and buyers are in a happy and motivated frame of mind, says David Jacobs, a regional manager for the Rawson Property Group.

He says there are several ways sellers can make the most of this seasonal opportunity. Here are his top tips to hit the new year’s property market in peak form and give your home a head start to sell well:

Get your home in market-ready condition: One of the most time-consuming things you might face in the run-up to selling your home is getting everything looking ship-shape and market-ready.

Homeowners tend to have a list of little chores and repairs that aren’t necessarily life changing or urgent when they live in a property, but make a big difference to its overall appearance and outward condition.

“Things like washing grubby walls, tightening sagging hinges, touching up scuffed woodwork, trimming trees and getting the pool back to a sparkling blue can make a surprisingly big difference to buyers at viewing time.”

Get a selection of valuations from experienced real estate agents: Accurate property valuations are essential for a successful sale, and the best way to get one is to compare the figures from a range of reputable estate agents, and ask for the motivations behind them, Jacobs advises.

“The first few months of the year are ideal to get an updated valuation, because the increased market activity in spring and early summer gives a good picture of what’s happening in the market.

“Experienced real estate agents will use this information to provide you with a comparative market analysis, along with their valuation, showing the performance and positioning of similar properties on the market and demonstrating how your home compares to the current competition. No one can predict with 100% certainty what a property will sell for at the end of the day but this kind of market information makes it a lot easier to judge which valuation is in the right ballpark.”

Find the right agent to market your home: Getting a selection of valuations done on your home is a good way to meet a few different agents but sellers must not to be lured into handing over a mandate based purely on the “highest bidder”.

“Accuracy is much more important than the promise of profit when it comes to selling. Overpricing and under-pricing hit sellers equally hard in the pocket.”

Get in quick: In property, as in many things, the early bird catches the worm and this is especially true at the beginning of the year, Jacobs says.

“This often brings in a fresh batch of buyers hitting the market with big hopes of finding their dream home. If you delay listing your property for too long, you risk losing the opportunity to capitalise on this market and could attract fewer viewings once people get back into the working year.”

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