So when is the right time to sell your home?

Summer months are fantastic if you’re selling your home. Natural light, blue skies and sunshine can do wonders for the appearance of a property, evening viewings can be carried out in daylight, windows are open so everywhere smells fresh, gardens are full of colour, and everyone just seems to be in a good mood.

This is the time of year when your home will look its absolute best, or at least it should be!

My friend Clare and her family outgrew their three-bed semi some time ago but couldn’t afford to move. Then she inherited a little money and I got a call – ‘We’re going to move Rachel, advice please’.

Clare had started looking at what her house was worth – online valuation tools gave confusing results with nearly £100,000 between highest and lowest. There was nothing else for sale in her street and the only house that had sold recently was next door which went for a disappointing £430,000.

‘What do you look for when you give a valuation?’ She asked. I began the standard influencing factors – size, number of rooms, local schools, transport links…….

There was silence at the end of the line, then she said very slowly ‘Without picking up my house and dropping it somewhere else, what can I do to get more than next door?’

Ah well, a lot depends on how much you want to spend:

Add an extra room – Clare’s garden is too small for a conservatory but converting the loft and adding an extra bedroom could add 15% value to the house and make it more saleable.

Update the kitchen and bathroom – These rooms sell houses and while Clare’s are both functional, the floral borders scream ‘20th Century’.

Open the kitchen into the lounge. An open plan living space is very desirable and many believe a kitchen island will magically unleash their inner Nigella.

Convert the front garden into parking – Clare often has to park in the next street, a space at the front would be popular and is an absolute must in busy areas by stations and schools.

Again silence, so moving quickly onto less costly options:

Kerb appeal – Clare’s theory is that if the outside of her home is a mess the burglars will walk on by. Hmm, maybe but it will definitely have that effect on buyers. In summer it’s easy to make the front look more appealing – wash the door and sills, polish the house numbers, put up a hanging basket and place a few pot plants by the door.

Garden – Outside space is a huge plus but in summer Clare’s garden is always strewn with toys, and a large trampoline has been killing the grass for years. Time for a gardener, dismantling the trampoline and tidying up.

Décor – Clare likes strong colours but these can be like marmite to buyers who may be put off by the time and cost of redecorating. Time to neutralise.

Clutter – This just says ‘the house is too small’. Clare’s beautiful original fireplace has been hidden by stuff for years, she needs to declutter or hide things in the loft (friends garages can also be useful for this.)

Presentation – It’s amazing what you get used to – stained carpets, peeling wallpaper, poor DIY? Hire a handyman for a couple of hours and bring the outside in with a large vase of flowers.

Summer is a great time for BBQ’s and if you’re thinking about selling at some point in the future, why not invite some friends round and ask them what they like (or don’t like) about your home while they're munching? Or if you don’t want to risk your friendship, you could get a professional opinion from a quality local agent, like Belvoir.