Why scent matters when trying to sell your home

When a potential buyer views your home, they will be soaking in every aspect: the space, the décor, how the property works, but what about how it smells? Our sense of smell is powerful; it can evoke emotions, and is the sense most closely linked to memory. It can also provoke an immediate response. When a perfumer is developing a fragrance, they seek to convey a wealth of feelings through their distinctive mix of aromas, yet what one person may love, another may loath. No matter how beautifully presented your property is, how perfect it matches their dreams, if there is a particular scent that lingers, you can guarantee that this is what they will remember when viewing your home. This is why scent matters when trying to sell your home.

Winter doesn’t help

With the cold winds blowing and freezing temperatures, we are less likely to have windows open. The echoes of ‘shut that door’ will be singing through households as energy bills are always at the forefront of our minds. Keeping our homes warm around this time of year does mean we often sacrifice ventilating them; therefore, scents that can often be dispelled by an open window may take hold. With this in mind, it is essential that you are extremely conscious about aromas in your property, especially when you know viewings are about to take place.

Some of the most common smells are:

Cooking

The smell of fresh bread, a delicious dish cooking in the oven, that cheeky takeaway on the weekend – food and aromas are magical and intoxicating. Yet, once the last pot has been washed and your taste buds rejoicing, what can be left is a particular scent in the air. You may not notice it at first, but if you have left food out overnight, you will know that your kitchen the next day may not thrill you as it did the night before. Of course, you need to cook good and nutritious meals whilst your home is on the market, but just be conscious of what you cook the night before a viewing in case it has a strong odour that refuses to leave.

Our beloved pets

Oh, how our pets have gotten us through the pandemic, with many more people owning a pet today than a couple of years ago. We visit more homes today where there’s a furry companion than not. We think everyone will agree that our furbabies do come with their own unique, and sometimes potent, little aromas all of their own, but because we live with then constantly we often can start to not notice any scents lingering as we may once have done. Potential buyers will be entering your home with devilish noses and will always notice smells that you don’t. To minimise the impact pets can have on our homes you can remove those major odour producing items, such as their beds, toys and litter trays, for viewings, and it is always worth giving carpets, sofas and soft furnishings a deep clean with a deodorising product.

Artificial scents

Who doesn’t love a scented candle or a plug-in, or you may prefer incense burning through your home, yet those can often not be subtle and can give off strong aromas that can be a complete turn- off to buyers. Many people can be very sensitive to strong smells and they may even struggle to view your home if they feel the smell of these artificial scents is overpowering. Try, where possible, to use more natural aromas, for example fresh flowers provide a beautiful scent and will also add some colour and warmth to a room.

Trust your senses

Many of us are spending longer hours in our homes as we work from home, as well as continuing with our daily family lives. Therefore, our ability to instantly notice an aroma can often be diminished, which is why it is always best to assess your scent ability with a fresh nose. Take a walk, and after enjoying the fresh air come into your home and take a deep breath; you will then be surprised at what you discover.

Everyone’s home has its own aromas, and this has absolutely nothing to do with cleanliness. Whether it is bleach, incense, pets or last night’s meal, strong aromas will naturally have a ‘marmite’ reaction from potential buyers. In our own surroundings we tend to go nose-blind, which is why it is always a great idea to get someone else’s opinion.

Truth is essential

Do you have a friend or neighbour who will be truthful, even if you really don’t want to hear it? This is the friend or family member you need right now, they, we know, will be sensitive to the scents that they find in your home, but it also means you have time to do something about it.

Remembering what matters

Even in this busy sellers’ market, buyers will discard a property for many reasons and battle for those that meet their needs. If you consider all the senses: especially how it looks, sounds, feels and smells, when preparing your home for sale you will, no doubt, have buyers queuing to make an offer.

For more advice on how to maximise the sale of your property, then contact our team.

Thinking of buying a home in Herts, Beds or Bucks? What should you expect in 2022?

When it comes to the local property market in 2021 and the UK in general, words like crazy and frantic spring to mind. It was a year where the number of properties on the market was low and yet demand was overwhelming at times. Where house prices reached record highs at times, and many buyers were left out in cold and even struggling to get viewings. As we are heading to the end of the first month of the year, what is it like out there for buyers? What should you expect if you are looking to buy a home in 2022?

What has been happening

Competition for homes from buyers was fierce at the end of last year, which has been confirmed by data from Propertymark (the leading membership body for property agents). “Our Housing Market Report for November revealed an average of 29 potential buyers for every available property per branch – a 21% increase in competition from October, however, despite a rise in the average number of potential buyers, a record low supply of properties was recorded, with an average of just 20 homes per branch – 50% less than in November 2020,” stated Nathan Emerson, CEO at Propertymark

With the end of the stamp duty holiday last year, it was predicted that things may settle down this year, but this has not been the case. According to recent data from Rightmove, the number of buyers enquiring about homes is 15% higher than the same time last year. Yet, before you start to panic and wonder if you are going to face the same challenges finding a home as last year, there may be some light on the way for your search. Rightmove figures show that the number of requests for home valuations during the first working week of 2022 was up by 44% on the same time last year, and up by 48% on the same period in 2020.

What this means is that we should start to see more homes coming on to the market, giving you more choice as a buyer. At Deakin-White, we are seeing an increase in the number of enquiries by potential home sellers, who, due to a steadier return to normality, have increasing confidence about making that move which they have been considering for a while. There will still be competition for properties, and there are things you can do to make sure you are in the best position should you find that home of your dreams.

What you can do?

Buying power is what you need if you’re looking for a home in the next couple of months, and that can start with thoroughly understanding your financial situation. Playing the guessing game on presumptions and out-of-date agreements is going to place you on rocky ground before you have even begun your property search. You also don’t want to fall in love with a property, and start to plan where you will put your furniture, only to discover that you can’t afford it. Do a full financial audit, make sure your credit rating is in a healthy place, and then seek professional advice from a mortgage advise; if you unsure who to ask, we can certainly recommend a mortgage broker who has helped many of our clients.

We all have a vision of what our next home will look like, but what you think you want and what you actually need can often be very different. Sticking to an ideal and not being willing to be open to ideas or being able to compromise will make your search virtually impossible. Often it can be those properties that you had discounted for one reason or another that end up being the ones that steal your heart.

If you are selling a home as well as buying, in this market it is essential that you find a buyer for your property first before you start to search for your new home. You don’t know the position of other potential buyers, and having a buyer for your property will place you in a strong buying position and your offer will be considered stronger as a result.

You are not on your own

Many buyers underestimate the value an estate agent can bring to their search. Give our team a call today and let them know exactly what you want and need from your next property. You never know, the next home we are called to value could just be that one you are looking for. For more advice on the property market, and how to navigate it as a buyer, give our team a call.

What does 2022 hold for you and your home in Herts, Beds & Bucks.

With every new year we have expectations of the year ahead; we always hope it is better than the last, and during a pandemic we wish that even more. Yet, as we know, there will be a few challenges for us this year as economists predict that our living standards will deteriorate . But there is also some light too, whether you’re looking to move home or stay put, it is always good to be prepared. Our team at Deakin-White have come together to give you an insight into what 2022 holds for you and your home.

Base rate increase

If you didn’t have your eye on the ball last month, you may have missed the Bank of England’s surprise decision to increase the base rate to 0.25% from 0.1%, after the Monetary Policy Committee approved the decision. This is the first rise in more than three years. How does this affect you?  The central bank uses the base rate to charge other lenders and banks when they borrow money, which in turn influences the rate at which you borrow and savers earn. This may only equate to a relatively small increase in your monthly payments for those with a variable rate mortgage, and if you have a fixed rate deal you can breath a sigh of relief as you are protected for now.  Should you be looking to secure a new mortgage you will find that the rates are higher.

Buying a home

If you were looking for a home over the last 18 months you will know you have been caught up in a frenzy where available properties have been few and buyers many. This lack of supply over demand saw house prises rise and many buyers missing out on properties and even not even getting a viewing. We predict that this year will see things starting to balance out a bit. We have already seen an increase in requests for valuations from sellers in Herts, Beds & Bucks. It’s not just us that have seen an increase in valuation requests, Rightmove have also stated that they have seen a 19% increase in requests compared with this time last year. We’re excited with the range of homes that we predict will be coming on to the market in the new few weeks.

Selling your home

Last year was most certainly a sellers’ market but we do believe this year we will see more stability in the home counties housing market, although we still expect it to be strong for sellers. "If you do decide to sell your home in the new year, your chances of finding a buyer are very high, as we’re still seeing huge levels of buyer demand, and not enough homes available to buy”, according to Rightmove's property expert Tim Bannister. We have many buyers registered with us at Deakin-White who are still looking for their first or next home. If you’re curious about the current value of your property or thinking about moving, give our team a call.

Make your finances a priority

Regardless of what ups and downs this new year will bring, you have the power to get yourself in a healthy position financially. We can all make small changes here are there that can help towards a deposit, a new bathroom, or even simply improving your quality of life. When is the last time you did a rigorous assessment of your outgoings? You will be surprised by the number of people who don’t realise they are paying small subscriptions out for one thing or another every month. Be frugal about shopping and more so about what you waste – every positive change you make at home will have an impact one way or another to your monthly finances.

What is in your 2022?

New year plans and resolutions can often change or be put on the back burner as life takes over, but whatever you do this year, always keep a watchful eye on what’s happening financially around you. Placing yourself in a financially savvy position will only be of benefit when you decide it is time to move home and when that time comes, we will make sure that your money is invested wisely.

Four New Year’s resolutions to refresh your home in 2022

As the bells chime and the sound of Auld Lang Syne lingers in the air, we see a new year as a fresh start, a clean slate as it were, and many of us make resolutions. With aspirations to get fitter and healthier very often on the cards, yet have you thought about making a few resolutions for your home which could be easier to keep? Whether you have plans for a move in 2022 or not, your home is a place where you relax, recharge, spend time with loved ones, and we think it deserves a pamper or two along the way. That’s why our team at Deakin-White have come up with four New Year’s resolutions to refresh your home in 2022.

1. Why wait until spring

The tinsel is coming down, and the lights are being put away for another year, and whilst you are de-Christmasifying your home what better time to have a sort out, too. With all the new goodies you have received and that pile of kids’ toys battling for space in the cupboards, what better time to have a sort out so your home is all sparkling ready for the year ahead. After you have done reorganising, what about a deep spring clean? You can pull away the cobwebs of the past year and feel like you are having a brand new start.

2. Let’s get organised

How organised is your home? If you’re a fan of The Home Edit you can be envious of how they completely transform people’s spaces into a dream of organisation. With containers and baskets and lots of labels, a space which was a bit chaotic transforms: everything has a place, and things can be easily found – imagine that!! Now, you may not wish to organise your wardrobe, fridge and cupboards to such an extreme extent, but there is something to be said for having a few ‘organisers’ to help keep things tidy.

 

3. Add some colour

One of the most cost-effective ways to completely change the look and feel of a room is to change the colour scheme. Colour has a powerful way of affecting our behaviour, moods and thoughts; it can soothe us when we feel frazzled and can also heal our energy when we need it too. Even if you are not brave enough to add colour to your walls, you can do it through accessories and artwork. But which colour should you choose?

Pantone have invented a new shade for its colour of the year 2022: Very Peri is a happy periwinkle blue. They describe Very Peri as the “happiest and warmest of all the blue hues.” Blue certainly seems to be the colour of 2022, as it is also the choice of Dulux’s colour of the year – Bright Skies™. Dulux describe Bright Skies™ as a “light, airy and optimistic blue that’s good for the soul. It promises to open up and revitalise your home.”

4. Fill with green

In the spirit of getting healthier in the new year, how about spreading that to your home too. Adding plants to your house not only adds beauty and a touch of comfort but also offers strong health benefits too. Our homes can been filled with what are known as ‘off-gas’ pollutants which come from man-made materials; many houseplants can absorb these toxic substances, making them efficient air cleaners.

NASA scientists have actually done extensive studies on the air cleansing power of house plants and have even put together a list of indoor plants that cleaned the air most efficiently, including many household favourites such as: aloe vera, spider plant, peace lily and Chinese evergreen. House plants improve more than your home’s air – they also have healing powers for you, too. They are also known to improve your mood and lower stress and anxiety as well as reducing fatigue. If you work from home they can help to improve your performance and focus, who knew adding some green to your home could have so any positive benefits.

There’s no place like home

With the days short and colder, it is known that refreshing your home can boost your mental health, and who wouldn’t want to start the new year feeling refreshed too. And should your hard work start you thinking of pastures new, then we are here to ensure you keep the resolution of a new home too.

To find out about what is happening in the property market, give our team a call.

If you are thinking of selling your home in the new year then you need to act now. But why? New year is weeks away, surely you can get all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the celebration of the end of 2021 out of the way before you start to consider placing your home on the market? You may decide to think again when you have read our reasoning.

You could miss out

This has certainly been a year where the number of properties for sale has been low and buyer demand extremely high. Yet even in this sellers’ market you can still miss out if your home isn’t visible online for the busiest season of the year. Whilst most of us are trying to put together our kids’ latest toys, or nodding off stuffed full of Christmas dinner and chocolate, millions of us are spending our time looking for a new home.

Rightmove has reported that there was a 50% increase in the number of people scrolling through their website on Boxing Day last year compared with the year before. This post-Christmas surge has actually become the norm and as a result, at Deakin-White we like to get sellers prepared so we can launch marketing their home to hit this influx of buyers.

"As soon as Christmas Day is out of the way there’s a boom in people searching for property on Boxing Day, perhaps with time available during the holiday season and the resolve to enjoy their next Christmas in new surroundings. That is likely to push prices higher again and increase the competition from other buyers. Some of those additional buyers will also be new sellers who have held back from launching their property to market until this Boxing Day buyer boom, judging it to be a good time to sell and to move in 2022,” states Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, TimBannister.

No time to waste

Whether you’re happy for your home to be marketed now or prefer to wait for the post-Christmas rush, we want to get things moving straight away. Having Christmas photos looks lovely at this time of year with your tree & decorations, come January when we head back to normality, we can come round and take new images so your marketing doesn’t look dated.

Be clear

If you wish marketing to start before Christmas, be prepared for buyers wanting to view your home. There is nothing more off-putting than trying to view a property that is not available or inflexible to meet your needs. You could do more harm than good by undertaking this approach, but you may wish to stipulate that viewings can be undertaken until a specific date and commence again in the new year.

As we have mentioned it is the period between Christmas and New Year that sends property website servers into a frenzy, so if you want this Christmas just for you and your family, then request your home be marketed to hit this busy time so you can tap into all those incredibly keen buyers eager to move into their new home in 2022.

On the move

It is funny how the thought of a new year, a new beginning, drives so many people to want that new beginning to be in a new home. If you see your 2022 within different surroundings then get in touch with our team today so we can ensure that you can enjoy Christmas and truly have something to celebrate in the New Year. Call our team today and let us help you sell your home.

 

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