If you’re planning to put your home on the market this year, you’ve certainly picked the right time to do so. Property prices in Brighton rose by a staggering 11.4% in 2017 (Halifax), meaning that now is a great time to sell up.

Given the strength of the market, it’s clear that homes in our sunny seaside city are in high demand. But even so, it will still pay to do everything you can to increase interest in your home, as more offers will increase your chances of making a decent profit. Here, we share four top tips that will help you to unlock the value of your home and achieve — or even exceed — your asking price.

Make a good first impression

Potential buyers like to imagine themselves already living in the property, so it makes sense to get it scrubbed up and looking its best. A buyer’s first impression is particularly important: many potential buyers will judge a house before they even cross the threshold, so you’ll want to make sure you do everything you can to improve your ‘kerb appeal’.

This means that you’ll need to pay special attention to your front door, external paintwork, front garden, and entrance hall. The front of your home is the best advertisement for what’s inside, so take the time to sort out any niggling maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off, like a broken letter box or an untrimmed hedge.

… But don’t overspend on refurbishments

While it’s true that buyers want to see your house looking its best, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on renovations. Unless your property is severely dated or in a state of disrepair, there’s no need to overhaul your kitchen or bathroom. Although this might make your home more appealing to buyers, there’s a risk that you’ll lose money on your investment. The money you spend could even offset the potential profit you earn from the house price rise, so it’s not a good idea unless you’re really struggling to sell.

Instead, focus on less expensive repairs and updates that you can carry out yourself, like repainting walls or sorting out the garden. Buyers prefer to see a blank canvas rather than a home filled with bold wallpapers, personal items, and photographs. It’s even thought that neutral paint colours like ivory and white can help your home sell for a higher price, according to the Daily Mail, so consider giving your interiors a make-under with a lick of neutral or pastel coloured paint. And remember: a thorough cleaning session will cost you nothing, but it can make a big difference in the eyes of potential buyers.

Get the right guidance and professional support

Your estate agent will be your first port of call for almost everything during the process of selling your home, so it’s crucial that you choose one that will help your home get the right publicity. They’ll also be dealing with the photography and listings, so you’ll need to know that your agent will showcase your home to its full potential. Before choosing an agent, don’t be shy to ask questions about what they’ll do for you, and don’t forget to shop around.

Once you’ve found a good estate agent, you’ll also need to take care of your mortgage arrangements, especially if you plan to re-mortgage when you move. You might even be able to port your current mortgage to your new home, which is a great option if you’re currently getting a good deal and don’t want to deal with the fuss of switching providers. A professional advisor, like The Mortgage Genie, will be able to offer more advice on portable mortgages, including whether or not your current product might be suitable for this sort of transfer.

Go with a reliable buyer

Given that property in Brighton is in high demand, you’re likely to have no trouble attracting multiple interested parties (especially if you follow these tips). But, once the offers are on the table, you’ll have to pick the one you think will give you the most reliable chance of a sale.

If you’re looking for a speedy sale, you’ll want to prioritise buyers who have already sold their home, or who live in rented accommodation, as they’re likely to be more flexible about when they complete the purchase. First-time buyers and cash purchasers can also be a safe bet, as their purchase won’t be subject to a chain — meaning your sale is less likely to fall through further down the line.

Moving to a new house can be a notoriously stressful process, especially if you’re keen to maximise the value of your current home. These tips should help you to streamline the selling process, and will help you to get the best price for your home as quickly as possible.