Paul Gosling is The Independent's "financial agony uncle" - having contributed to The Independent and a number of other quality newspapers for more than twenty years as a specialist in the fields of public sector management and finance, accountancy and social enterprise. He has also appeared on the BBC Today program and is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio Foyle and Radio Ulster.
Paul was commended in the Housing Journalist of the Year Awards in 1996 for his housing related publications and, therefore, it was no surprise to see his excellent "Splash out for a Quick Home Sale" article feature in the business section of the Independent on Sunday.
In the article, Paul focuses on the importance of presenting a house in perfect condition to potential purchasers. He places special emphasis on the front exterior, explaining that a lot of people will drive around first before deciding on which properties to visit. Dark and dowdy paint on doors and windows should be replaced, especially when in poor condition, however not with anything too bright as the new owner may find it too garish. Many people, he claims, ignore the front of their own house and he suggests that vendors should walk across the road, turn back and take a look at the property for sale from the purchasers' perspective.
Drawing from the results of a survey conducted by the Alliance & Leicester building society, Paul suggests that the colours used to decorate both the interior and exterior may influence how the property is perceived on that all-important first impression. Whilst browns, blacks and purples are negative colours, house buyers seem to respond well to reds, greens and particularly blue.
Hugh Dunsmore-Hardy, once the chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, also contributes to the article, commenting that there are a number of worthwhile improvements that can be made to a home for minimal expense that will reward the effort involved in the purchase price. The minor jobs specifically mentioned were decoration, painting and the repair of creaking doors, and if home owners have not got the time to do these small repairs themselves, they should consider employing a gardener or cleaning contractor to improve the appearance of the property.
Other important factors mentioned in the article included:-
One particular point Paul was keen to highlight, is that successful marketing and presentation is not down to the property alone. Vendors are more likely to complete a successful sale if they too are smart, friendly and welcoming. He offers the advice that ideally viewers should be shown around the house and then left to themselves for a little while. There is no benefit to be gained from being too pushy or by boring them with the number of electrical sockets present in each room. Maybe splashing out on some new clothes may also contribute to a quick sale!
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The sale went through very quickly with hardly any hassle and I have been able to stay in my home, which meant no disruption for myself and my children.I would definitely recommend this to anyone in a similar situation.
Mrs J, Exeter