For most people, their home is their biggest asset, and the one they are most inclined to hold onto. Yet downsizing a property can be a very efficient way of easing a debt burden, especially for older homeowners who have seen their children fly the nest and may have unused space. While no one should feel pressured into selling their home, it is worth giving downsizing plenty of thought.

If you are thinking of selling up and getting something smaller, you need to be prepared for the fact that a lack of lending from banks has made this something of a buyer’s market. You’ll need to take every advantage you can when marketing your home, so here are a few helpful tips:

Fix up, look sharp

Not all buyers are put off by having to do a little work, but when you’re working with limited options you need to make your house as appealing as possible. Make sure you complete all repairs no matter how minor, and keep your property clean, tidy and clutter free. Your aim is to show your property in the best possible light.

Make improvements

Investing in double glazing or a new kitchen may involve some up-front cost, but you can easily make this back by adding to the asking price. People who want to put their own stamp on a property will not be put off by a nice new kitchen, and you’ll also appeal to those who want to move into somewhere that doesn’t need any work. Adding things such as double glazing and loft insulation are good selling points with regard to energy efficiency, promising the new owners lower utility bills.

Use a good agent, and stay out of the way

Estate agents are the ones who should be selling your home, so find one which is willing to promote the benefits of your home, and leave them to it. Buyers will feel less pressured if the owner is not hovering around them, and will feel free to imagine how they would use the space in your home. Allowing buyers to think this way is an important step.

Consider an alternative

If conditions in the traditional home-sale market are doing you no favours, you might want to think about selling through a property-buying specialist, such as Gateway Homes. While you will receive less than the market value, you get a near-instant decision with no chain to worry about, and a lump-sum payment to reinvest.