STEAL A MARCH ON THE SPRING MARKET - SELL YOUR COUNTRY & EQUESTRIAN PROPERTY NOW

Equus Property Partner Alisdair Brown writes;

Being a senior partner at Equus one of the most common questions I'm asked by vendors is 'when is the best time of year to place an equestrian or country property on the market'.

Not difficult to answer - there is no good or bad time to sell due to there being a year round demand for properties with land, be it Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn our unique marketplace is not necessarily motivated by seasonal trends.

I appreciate that during the wetter, colder winter months it may appear illogical to sell, but it is often not the case in our specialist marketplace as the majority of Equus buyers are used to being out in ‘all weather’ and very often this time of year is the only time they have to secure a suitable property before a busy summer spent competing with their horses.

If you wish to get an overview of the current value of your property and receive advice about getting ‘market ready’ for selling in 2017 Equus will be pleased to arrange for one of our partners to meet with you and give a full market appraisal of your property. 

In the meantime I hope you find the following tips helpful toward getting your property in shape for selling - whenever it may be!

EQUUS ADVICE ON GETTING YOUR PROPERTY IN SHAPE FOR SELLING IN 2017

As we go into January/February 2017 there are far more people eager to buy properties with land than properties available to purchase, keeping prices buoyant and making it a very good time to place your Country or Equestrian property with land on the market. Also the winter period can bring a greater sense of commitment from both sellers and buyers to complete a sale in the new year as people often make life changing decisions.  

The Entrance Driveway: This is a buyers first and last impression of your property so try and ensure that the gates open properly and not hanging off the hinges, and if gates are electric ensure they are operational. All fencing of the surrounding gardens/grounds is in reasonable / good condition and not in disrepair. Also if there are any potholes in the driveway try to fill either with gravel or road planings so as not to be an obvious hazard to drive over.  On reaching the house the next thing that potential buyers will see is the front garden and paths which can in winter look particularly drab. Make sure your front garden is up to scratch by sweeping paths, painting any weather-beaten walls and mowing the lawn (weather permitting).

Vehicle parking is very important when you have a country or equestrian lifestyle so make sure the parking areas at your property are obvious so that the incoming viewer gets the full benefit of knowing what space they have for parking and garaging their 2 – 6 vehicles plus horse box and tractor. If you own a number of vehicles if possible it is worth parking some of them in another location at the property so that the designated parking areas are not overcrowded.

Garaging/Outbuildings: De clutter so that they add valuable extra storage space or otherwise to the main residence. Best to get a skip or go to your nearest boot fair to get rid of the ‘hoarded’ items.

The Property Exterior: Make sure the property looks well maintained and cared for from the outside, with windows cleaned and walls freshly washed to remove any dirt. The first seconds upon arriving are very important in terms of impacting the buyer’s decision. Keep entryways clutter-free and clean. Remove any wellington boots etc. from the front door area so potential buyers won’t trip over them. Make sure there is a door mat present for visitors to wipe their shoes.

The Property Interior: Tackle DIY jobs by making sure all small maintenance jobs have been made prior to putting your house on the market – such as fixing leaky taps and painting over scuff marks on the walls as spruced up fresh internal décor and paintwork goes a long way to creating a comfort factor for buyers. Then de-clutter the whole of the property either by ordering a skip, going to the local tip or choosing the most popular room in the house to store all of your non-essential kit. Let there be light: With shorter days during the winter months, it is crucial to maintain a good level of lighting in your home to make it inviting for visitors and it's important that you make sure all your bulbs are working to show off your home at its best. Safety conscious buyers may also be impressed by outside lights and security lights, so invest in those if you are able. If you have a wood burner open fireplace or Rayburn / Aga - It’s the time of the year for making the most of these assets, there’s nothing like having a roaring fire going or the Aga cranked up in the kitchen to create a warming feel. Buyers should be able to envisage themselves living in your home, so it pays to make it as inviting as possible. Plus, allow time for the house to warm up. If you know you're going to be rushing home from work to oversee a viewing, it's a good idea to set the heating timer so it comes on an hour before the buyer arrives. Smell is also important, so putting out a diffuser or some freshly cut flowers works really well.

Gardens: Messy, cluttered gardens can put off buyers, and make the surrounding grounds seem a lot smaller than they are as well as looking like a lot of maintenance work is needed. The winter weather can also tire garden furniture, and make it look unsightly. If possible, clear patio furniture away or ensure items are securely covered. It’s worth spending a few hours trimming bushes, removing fallen leaves and dead plants, and, weather permitting, mowing the lawn to ensure a tidy outdoor landscape.  If you have a paved or decked terrace ensure the area is jet washed to remove moss etc. and avoid viewers slipping up when walking in this area. To encourage as much light into the property as possible it is important that you cut back any overhanging foliage and tree branches in front of windows and doors.

Equestrian Facilities: Making a working stable yard neat and tidy is an effort but an effort worth making. The following check list should be a good reminder of what’s needed to make the best impression of your equestrian facilities to incoming buyers:

Maintenance: stable doors and windows in working order, guttering / downpipes functional, new coat of paint or wood stain to refresh the look of stable yard, lights and water in working order.

Yard swept, stables mucked out, clutter free of rugs, buckets, grooming kit etc., tack/feed room tidy, dung heap removed/reduced/tidy.

Indoor or outdoor Riding Arena: surface harrowed, jumps etc. neatly stacked, floodlights working.  All utility equipment such as tractor mowers, harrows, etc. stored away.

Paddocks: ensure fencing and gates are in reasonable order and if divided by electric fencing ensure the fields are properly divided and that the fencing works. Remove dung from paddocks and if the land next to gate entrances is very poached/wet/muddy fill with gravel/ wood bark/road planings or similar to create better entry / exit surface for the horses.

Pets: Due to the fact that all Equus properties have land most of our buyers will expect to be able to walk around the grounds / paddocks/stable yard / outbuildings etc. As a result of this it is always worthwhile making sure that if you own dog or several dogs that they are either secured in their kennels or in an allocated room or outbuilding so as not to put off any viewers who are not necessarily ‘dog friendly’ apart from they can be a distraction. The same applies to any other livestock you think may want to ‘join in’ with you at viewings!

This article was written by Equus Property Director - Alisdair Brown