Doing the basics: Selling an inherited house

If you’ve inherited a house from someone who has passed away, it can be a difficult time. Often, as a beneficiary, you would like to have a quick and stress free sale of your inherited property. However, sometimes it’s not that easy if the property needs updating.

There will be properties which need more work than others but even if the property you have inherited needs a lot of expensive work, you can get it into reasonable shape to put it on the market by completing a few simple and cheap tasks.

Exterior

Ensure when you're sanding down that you do a thorough job. Any old paint left on the door can cause an uneven finish when you come to repaintFront door - A lot of first impressions are made at the front door. If the door to the property has faded or chipped paint or worse still has broken windows/frames, repairing this is easy and a quick win. Paint work is the easiest thing to fix. Simply take the door off its hinges, sand down the old paint and repaint. Ensure when you're sanding down that you do a thorough job. Any old paint left on the door can cause an uneven finish when you come to repaint. For more tips, read our guide to DIY painting and DIY wallpapering

Front facing windows - Similarly to the front door, the state of the windows can have a big impact on the appearance of a property. Again, simply sand down and repaint with a weatherproof gloss. If possible, treat the wood with a preserver to keep wooden windows from rotting.

Garden and landscaping - A tidy garden can go a long way to smartening up a property. It shows that the property has been cared for and frames the property as one to be looked after in the future. Simple tasks such as mowing the lawn, removing any garbage, trimming hedges and pressure washing paths go a long way towards restoring a property to its former glory.

Interior

For a four bedroom house with two bathrooms in Southwest London, a deep clean would cost in the region of £480+VATDeep clean - If you do nothing else to the interior of the property, hire a professional company to deep clean the house. This will give the house a fresh feel and in some cases will help brighten the space up. It will also give you and potential buyers more of a fresh canvas to work with. For a four bedroom house with two bathrooms in Southwest London, a deep clean would cost in the region of £480+VAT. This would include all chemicals and machinery used in the deep clean and 30-36 hours labour. While this may seem like an extra expense, a deep clean can make the difference between a quick sale and a struggle to secure a buyer.

Leave some furnishings in the property - Furnishings will help prospective buyers get an idea of the space available in the house and how each room could be laid out. Furnishings also give an idea of the character of the building. If you feel the current furnishings in the property are not attractive then this advice can be ignored as dated or worn out furniture can have the opposite effect and give a property a drab or unloved feel.

Lighting - Not all viewings will take place in daylight hours so it's important to have adequate lighting in each room of the property so that prospective buyers can see all aspects of a room. This could be a simple case of replacing spent light bulbs or adding lamps in larger rooms where the main light isn't enough.

If you've inherited a property it could be a testing time emotionally and selling a property needn't add to the strife. Following the above tips can help get your property to market and aid in a quick and stress free sale. If you need advice on insuring an empty home, we can help. Towergate have 3, 6, 9 and 12 months policies to protect your unoccupied property.

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