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The basic rules for selling.

What are the basic rules of presentation for people selling their homes?
We asked Phil Spencer for his advice.

Basic rules for selling homes by Phil Spencer

Designation of Space

Phil says: 'What I've helped quite a number of people with is designation of space. You need to make it very easy for a prospective purchaser to walk through a house and be very clear what they would do in each room. Space is at a premium, and if you have a family all doing different things with a space - eating, cooking, homework, music, watching telly - the buyer gets confused. And because there's so much competition out there on the market, the last thing you want to do is confuse them.'

Know your Market

Phil says: 'It's also important to be very aware of who the target market for the house is. People have often chosen their house as a couple 10 years ago, they've now got three kids and are trying to sell it to who they were 10 years ago, to a couple who are thinking about starting a family. But they've lost track of what they liked about it when they chose it. They have to think about what sold them the house 10 years ago, and present it accordingly. Selling houses isn't something people do very often, so it's not something they're particularly experienced at. And they are making some pretty basic errors in some cases.'

Tidy Away any Clutter

Phil says: 'I've had some places that have been on for three or four years - by the time you've had your 50th viewing, you're pretty bored of it and you're thinking, "This is never going to happen". And so the standard of care and thought and preparation drops off. That's happening a lot. I've been to some houses where they've just got up from breakfast and disappeared out.'

Get the Price Right

Phil says: 'Sometimes people have been wildly ambitious, and they're not getting people through the door. I go round and look at other houses, look at their competition. And I'm able to come back and say, "Look how beautifully this house is presented, and it's four beds instead of three, and it's end of terrace, and it's just round the corner and it's on for less money than yours. Why would somebody come round and look at yours?"'

Get an Appropriate Agent

Phil says: 'It's important to choose the right agent - one who's used to selling your type of property. So go and have a look in the window at what else they're selling. And then there's standard stuff like agents' details. I've seen some hideous mistakes on agents' details that the owners haven't picked up themselves. And photos have got to be good - I've seen some pretty hideous agents' photos.'

Create Kerb Appeal

Phil says: 'First impressions really count, so your kerb appeal has to be as good as it possibly can be. The house needs to look as inviting as possible in order to get viewers through the front door. It's only having entered the house that they'll be able to appreciate the interior.'



Outgrowing your street

  • If houses in your street cost £250,000, don’t build an enormous extension and ask £400,000. People looking for a £400,000 house won’t want to live in a £250,000 street.

DIY bodging

  • If you make a very visible mess or bodge-up, it raises all sorts of questions in the buyer’s mind about all the more crucial bodge-ups they can’t see, for example, electrics and plumbing.

Replacing all the furniture

  • There is no need. It may look nice, but will it add a penny of value to your house? No, it won’t.

Too big a television

  • I have seen far too many living rooms that have been overpowered by the size of the plasma screen.

Too many bedrooms

  • There’s a substantial difference in price between a two-, three- and four-bedroomed house. After five, though, there’s hardly any.


Phil Spencer - Property Buying Advisor

As the nation's obsession with property continues to grow apace, Phil Spencer has become firmly established as one of the key industry players to comment on the ever-changing marketplace.

Phil co-presents Channel 4's ratings winning property search programmes Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation, which have a regular audience of over 4 million viewers.

Phil's main focus, however, is as CEO of Garrington Home Finders - a leading independent residential home search consultancy with offices in London and the West Country. Phil established the consultancy in 1996 after he recognised the need for a discreet and professional home search and buying advisor service favouring the purchaser rather than the seller.

For further information on Garrington Home Finders bespoke Property Search & Acquisition service, contact Richard Coe
T: 020 7349 7030
E: rcoe@garrington.co.uk
W: www.garrington.co.uk