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New Year, New Home. Top Tips for Selling Your Home in 2019

The New Year is fully in swing. 2018 is past and while we might wish otherwise, most of us are back into the rhythms of daily life. Many people see the start of a new year as an opportunity to reflect. To shake up the old way of life and make a change for the better. Be it in your work or home life, you may have made resolutions to change things in 2019 so that you can end the year feeling better than you did at the end of 2018. If you’re thinking of making a big change and moving house in 2019, the team at Castles have put together some expert tips to help you sell your home in 2019.  

Get a Proper Valuation

One of the most important tasks involved in selling a house is getting an accurate, thorough valuation from a qualified and experienced agent. A reliable valuation can be the difference between a quick, straightforward sale and a house that languishes on the market for many months.

There is a wide range of factors that will affect the value of a property. The current market conditions, how desirable houses in the area are, buyer sentiment - all of these are considerations a good agent will be aware of and take into account when providing their valuation. They will also look at elements such as the space of the property, the garden, proximity to schools, local transport and more.

House prices have risen over the last few years. However, with the uncertainty of Brexit and other underlying factors, experts have predicted that house price growth will slow down in 2019. However, last year, Swindon bucked the trend of stagnating house prices and instead they continued to increase. Therefore, it is not unlikely that this will continue on into 2019. Additionally, mortgage interest rates are looking set to remain low, leaving buyers feeling more confident in making higher offers on properties.

For advice on how to increase the value of your home, read our guide. Or, to book a property valuation in Swindon, fill out our valuation request form, call or visit us today.

Spring is Coming

Spring is widely known amongst estate agents to be an excellent time to sell a property. Many people begin in January looking to move house, making early spring a great time to get your property out there for all the potential buyers to see. More buyers means an increased chance of getting your home sold quickly. Don’t fear, however, if you aren’t ready to put your home on the market by the time spring arrives. There are still plenty of buyers out there the rest of the year. And, with the right estate agent, you’ll find the right buyer in no time.

Stand Out

Of course, if there are lots of people thinking of selling around the same time as you, you’ll have to ensure your property can stand out from the crowd and grab buyers’ attention. To do this, you may need to go the extra mile to get your home noticed. Having a good estate agent who understands the market and knows how to make your house stand out from the rest will go a long way. They can help you identify your home’s unique selling points, consider ideal buyer profiles and target their property marketing efforts accordingly.

Make A Great Impression

Selling your home is, in large part, all about the presentation. By presenting your home well, you are giving it the best chance of catching a buyer’s fancy. Many buyers will not see past a house that is dark, grimy or in need of repair, even if it could be the ideal home for them. Make sure nothing stands in the way of them seeing the benefits of the property.

Read our guide offering tips on preparing your house for viewings.

Tidying your property before a viewing goes without saying, obviously. But the best way to present your property is to begin decluttering it. Clutter draws the eye and can make a space look smaller. Minimalism has taken the world by storm. There are tons of books, TV shows and blogs that can help you effectively declutter your home, making it more attractive to buyers. Even things like shampoo bottles, when left out, can cause the bathroom to look cluttered and less appealing. Style is important. And a minimalist home is key to presenting a put together look. Think about show homes you might have seen. Consider the lack of clutter and how that presents. Make sure your rooms are impeccable. Beds beautifully made, carpets cleaned and surfaces clear.

Decluttering doesn’t stop inside the house. Don’t forget the front and rear of the property. Ensure it is clear and tidy, with no toys, weeds or litter hanging about.

Maximise the space by increasing the light flow around the property. Remove heavy, light-obscuring curtains in favour of thin blinds or sheer curtains. Invest in quality light fittings to bathe the right parts of rooms in light, and hide the less appealing parts. Hang mirrors to allow light to bounce off and around the room, creating the illusion of more space.

Bad smells are a huge turn off to buyers. So, if you have pets, consider leaving them with a friend during the viewings and ensure the house gets a thorough clean. Likewise, if you smoke, try to refrain from smoking indoors during the selling period and clean all the carpets, furnishings and fabrics, where the smell will most stick.

Brief Your Agent

At Castles, our estate agents are highly trained and experienced in finding each home’s unique selling point as passing that on when speaking to potential buyers. However, as the owner, you have the best perspective on your home. Chat with your agent and brief them on the selling points of your home. What do you most love about it? Let them know any interesting or unusual features or history, as well as any hidden storage space. This will help them to better present your home as a great find for potential buyers.

Other Top Tips

  • Many owners have taken the step of applying for planning permission for an extension, before putting their property up for sale. Planning permission can last for up to three years and can be passed onto the home’s new owner. So, it can be an added bonus for buyers who might consider extending the house themselves.

  • Get a condition survey to find out about any problems before you sell. This will put you in a stronger position. And, if you’re able to fix any issues, that will help ensure the value is not affected.

  • Buyers are increasingly looking at the energy efficiency ratings of properties. An up to date Energy Performance Certificate is usually needed when selling. Upgrading the energy efficiency of your home before selling can help encourage buyers and increase the value. Simple updates such as a new boiler, better heating controls, insulation and even simply using energy efficient light bulbs can help.

If you are looking to sell your home in 2019, you’ve come to the right place. Castles Estate Agents is one of the premier estate agents in Swindon. We were recently awarded the Best in Region by the Relocation Agent Network, for our commitment to providing a fantastic service to all our clients. Call our team on 01793 611677 or complete our online contact form today.


Why NOW Is The Time To Put Your Property Up For Sale

If you’re planning on selling your house in the near future, you might be thinking ‘I’ll leave it until January’ or ‘the market is quiet around Christmas, there’s no point putting it on now’. Christmas is a busy time for us all. And many of us are simply too swamped to contemplate something as seemingly arduous as putting your house on the market. Who would even consider such a thing?


You would be forgiven for thinking this way. However, in fact...


According to figures, there is up to 20 percent increase in property views in the period between Christmas and the New Year.


That’s the people sitting at home in the post-Christmas hush, thinking about the coming new year and looking through the property listings for their next dream home. And your property could be front and centre.

The Post-Christmas Property Hunt


The period following Christmas is often a time for reflection. People are looking towards the new year and contemplating the months ahead along with everything they want to achieve. It is a time when people are most motivated to make a change. Not just new years resolutions, but as everything quiets down over the holidays, there is more time and space to plan new ventures and take steps to fulfil our dreams.


By leaving it until midway through January, when everyone is back to work and school has started again, you could be missing out on a whole lot of potential buyers.


Once everything is back in full swing and that busyness once again envelopes our lives, there will be less time for people to browse property listings and seriously contemplate buying. The free time the festive period affords is a great opportunity to find buyers who are spending their days off looking at houses for sale online, in preparation for a move in the new year.


Furthermore, many people will take their property off the market over the Christmas period, assuming that they will not receive any interest. Their mistake could be your gain, as you will have less competition in the marketplace. Your home will be more visible to potential buyers as a result, meaning you are likely to get more viewings.

Still Intimidated At The Thought Of Selling?


Selling your home is no easy task. And therefore, you may be put off trying to sell around this time due to the sheer volume of other tasks you have to get done in this busy festive period. Buying gifts, visiting family, food shopping, preparing for the big day. All of these things take up time, energy and effort, leaving you little time to even contemplate selling.


Fortunately, at Castles, we can do all the heavy lifting for you. We are a team of professional, expert estate agents with many years of experience, helping people sell their homes across Swindon. From Wroughton to Old Town, we can help you sell your property quickly and efficiently.


We will provide you with a detailed, honest market appraisal that will give your home a better chance of selling. Using our knowledge of the local market and tried and testing selling skills, we will endeavour to get you the best deal possible on your home.


Castles is ultimately an estate agent you can trust. We recently received the award for Best in Region at the Relocation Agent Network Awards. The entire team is thrilled to have been recognised for their hard work and dedication, ‘maintaining the highest standard of service’, in receiving this prestigious award. This award, alongside our years of fantastic service and scores of happy customers and successful sales, demonstrates why Castles is the right choice for selling your property.


Start today by filling out our free valuation request form, to get a detailed, accurate valuation for your Swindon property. Or, get in touch with our residential sales team on 01793 611677. If you are looking to sell your house in Swindon, now might just be the perfect time.


Local estate agent, Castles Residential Sales & Lettings is proud to announce that they have won Relocation Agent Network's prestigious 2018 Best Agent West Regional Award. The win was announced at a recent Awards Dinner, which followed the Network's National Conference and Exhibition.


Held at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, London on Friday 23 November, the Awards Dinner was hosted by well-known comedian and TV presenter, Katherine Ryan.


The annual prize gives the winning Network member the title of ‘Best Agent in the West Region' and is awarded on a number of strict criteria including customer satisfaction, business innovation and a proven record of helping relocating buyers move in and out of the local area. 

Mark Noble, founder and managing director of Castles said of their win, "We are thrilled to be named as the region's best Relocation Agent Network agent. Not only does it demonstrate to our customers that we are one of the area's leading estate agents, but it rewards all of the Castles team for their outstanding commitment to quality service over the last 12 months."

Richard Tucker, Relocation Agent Network's Managing Director said, "This Relocation Agent Network accolade demonstrates Castles ability to deliver business innovation, whilst maintaining the highest standard of service. Congratulations to all the team at Castles for a thoroughly well-deserved win."


Swindon-based Castles Residential Sales & Lettings has exchanged contracts on its 4,000th property since opening 16 years ago.

One of the longest established and best-known estate agencies on Swindon’s High Street, Castles has sold and exchanged contracts on more than 4,000 properties since opening in 2002.


The celebration is made extra special as the agency has been awarded a gold award for Best Sales Branch of the Year in Swindon from Britain’s biggest customer review website for the property industry, allAgents. Its directory lists agents and thousands of properties for sale and to rent, and Castles has received 437 allAgents reviews. 

Additionally, the agency has a Feefo ranking of 4.9 out of 5, from the leading online reviews platform. 

The founder and managing director of Castles, Mark Noble, has worked in estate agency for more than three decades and was there to establish the business 16 years ago.

He says: “We’re  immensely proud to help homeowners and house buyers source their perfect home in and around Swindon. And the volume of completions further demonstrates why we’re a leading estate agency in our part of the country.

“We’ve had a very busy and successful year, and we've increased staffing levels in recent months to handle the heavier workload."

Castles Residential Sales & Lettings now employs 17 members of staff in total at its Commercial Road premises, including nine members of the sales team and five working in the lettings department.

Mark Noble adds: “We work hard to offer customers convenience and flexibility, especially in being open six days a week, giving opportunities for viewing all available properties at a time that suits them. That also means more time to discuss property requirements in enough detail with the very knowledgeable team in a relaxed yet professional environment.” 

The business offers a range of property services on top of residential sales and lettings, including property management and associated services such as conveyancing and producing energy performance certificates. 

Castles has also been chosen by the Relocation Agent Network and the Guild of Property Professionals as the best independent estate agent in Swindon to represent their networks locally.

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