Mythbusting: 13 Facts About Selling Your Home

Limestone Sales and Lettings resident myth-buster (and Office Manager) Paul Neale, gives his take on some of the most widespread beliefs among house sellers.

1. Does the smell of coffee and/or freshly-baked bread really have a positive influence on would-be buyers?

It’s certainly true that a ‘homely’ aroma is endearing to would-be buyers, and the opposite is also true. Bad odours or suspicious smells are very off-putting. Interestingly, a recent study in Australia suggested that citrus is actually the winning formula for ‘smelling’ your home. How true this is, we really couldn’t say!

2. Is a tidy house better to show would-be buyers than a house which has a lived-in look?

Yes, it’s critical to present your property at its best. Your home doesn’t just need to be a showroom, but you should declutter as much as possible. It can be challenging work, but if you want to sell your home it’s worthwhile. This not only helps sell your property but can help you achieve a better price too.

3. Does superstition ever come into buying and selling? For example, does the number 13 ever put people off buying a house?

Not really. Many houses that are number 13 sell just as well as any other numbers, however I have also occasionally seen house numbers changed to 11a, rather than staying as number 13.

4. Do houses sell over the winter months, especially in the run-up to Christmas?

It is traditional that most people tend to put their property on the market between January and October, but should this deter you from going on the market in December? Absolutely not! There are many buyers out there all year round and having fewer properties to compete with is no bad thing. Also, if you haven’t sold by this point you have a head start on the many other sellers who come on board in the busy New Year period.

5. How often is the first offer the only offer? Should I hold out for my asking price?

It really depends on the ‘first offer’. You can usually tell if the buyer is testing the water and if they are a serious buyer they will nearly always improve on their opening offer. As a guide, our research shows that on average, buyers end up agreeing at around 97% of asking price.

6. Should sellers always go with the estate agent who suggests the highest selling price?

No, that’s not so true anymore. The internet allows sellers to have a pretty good idea of their property value and they can usually tell when an agent is way off the mark! Good agents won’t just suggest a figure, they will offer extensive comparable evidence to support their valuation.

7. Do would-be buyers often make their minds up within a few seconds of walking into a house?

Yes, yes and yes again!! The first minute or two are quite often all a buyer needs to know if this is the house for them.

8. Is it true how a house looks from the outside is as important than what’s on the inside?

First impressions are essential, and a well-maintained frontage and surrounding area is so important because this is where your prospective buyer is stood, looking, while they’re waiting for you to open the door. It helps reinforce that you take pride in your home, which gives them confidence.

9. Is South-facing more attractive to buyers than North-facing?

A Southerly facing rear garden is a must for many buyers and this is certainly something we highlight. The reason why certain buyers seek the Southerly aspect (the ultimate in my opinion being the South West facing garden) is because this ensures the sun is on the back of the house most of the day and into the evening.

10. Pricing – is a £249,999 listing actually more appealing to would-be buyers than a £250,000 one?

Yes and no! There is no doubt that psychological pricing works, however it is also important for an estate agent to consider the impact certain pricing can have on national portals such as Rightmove. In this instance, if you are searching online and your criteria is, say, £240,000 – £250,000, the property listed at £250,000 would be the first property a buyer would see when they search on Rightmove, not the £249,999 listing.

11. Will an expensive kitchen will sell your home?

Many people spend a small fortune on a high-end kitchen refit before putting their home on the market, but this can be both a waste of time and money. Potential buyers will often want to refit their own kitchen once they move in, so investing in a new kitchen is something you can forgo.

12. When you receive an offer, should you make the buyer wait?

When you receive an offer, you should reply straight away. When a buyer makes an offer, that buyer is ready to buy your home. Moods can change and you don’t want to lose the sale because you stalled in replying. Some people believe that waiting to reply puts you as the seller in a better negotiating position, but that just isn’t the case.

13. You can do it alone and don’t need an estate agent

Whilst estate agent fees may make your toes curl up, going solo is often more difficult. Selling your property is a lot more than creating a fancy looking advert – you also have to arrange viewings, market your home, establish relationships with potential buyers and filter the offers. Estate agents may get a bad reputation, but ultimately, they are pros at selling homes.

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at