For whatever reason you have decided to sell you’re your beloved home. Its time to move on to pastures new and let your property be loved and cared for by someone else. Lets be honest we do care who buys it and we want it to be looked after and maintained over the coming years. However, sometimes we let things slide a little and before you put it on the market you need to make it attractive and appealing to prospective buyers. So what are your first steps? The first step is to look objectively at your property and look at it from a possible buyer’s perspective. What is appealing? What needs improving? And probably most importantly, is your local area attracting buyers?
Before you start to advertise your property for sale, follow the next steps and you will find yourself at a good starting position, so here goes:
Look around your local area – what properties similar to yours has sold recently and how much for?
Viewings – are important and first impressions are vital therefore you want the prospective buyer to see that the property has been well maintained.
Kerb appeal – what does your property look like from outside? We have all driven past properties before making an appointment to view. If it looks untidy they will probably keep driving and not glance back! Clean up the outside areas, move bins and tidy the garden if you have one. You want your property to catch a buyer’s eye.
When was the last time you cleaned the windows? – This is a must clean inside and out and give the frames a wipe down.
The front door – does it need touching up with a lick of paint? Can you see your door number or house name clearly?
The front garden – is the lawn freshly mowed or does it resemble a jungle? Tidy up tired looking flowers and weed the garden, once it’s done you just need a few minutes each week to keep on top of it.
Power washing – is a great way to spruce up pathways and make them look fresh.
Welcome mat – it’s surprising what a difference a simple “welcome” mat can make or an odd brightly coloured and aromatic potted plant on your doorstep, it’s decorative. They both make a home look inviting plus a nicely lit lamp for early evening appointments makes the entrance look homely.
Test run for the outside – look at your home from the gate, what do you see? Does it look inviting and clean? How does the garden look? Walk up to the house, look at the front door, does the door bell work? If not get it fixed.
Inside your home – if you have any outstanding DIY then finish it, you don’t have to spend a lot to make a house look presentable. Fix those broken door handles and touch up paint if need be. Then clean everywhere, it needs to be gleaming but not sterile, it still needs to look homely. Remove all clutter nobody wants to see unopened mail on the side or discarded newspapers or indeed a mound of shoes and trainers, make it look presentable and inviting does it smell fresh?
Hallway – they say most buyers make a snap decision as soon as they see a hallway if it’s clean, spacious and bright they are eager to see the rest of the house. At the top of the stairs place something beautiful or interesting to entice the buyer to explore further.
Under stair space – generally is used for coat and shoes etc this area needs to be clean and uncluttered. If its being used as a work station make sure it’s tidy.
Ornaments – some of us love them and some of us hate them. If every surface of your home has one think about putting in a cupboard for now, they may make your home look cluttered. Some people can see past them but some cant!
Fresh flowers – if possible add the odd vase but don’t go overboard, to the kitchen add a bowl of lemons or oranges you want to add freshness to your home in effect you are creating an illusion of a certain lifestyle.
Dining tables – this can be tricky, if you dress it up as though you are about to host a dinner party it could look a bit too much, opt for some flowers, maybe candles or a couple of beautifully designed bowls.
Floors – whatever type of flooring you have you need to make sure it’s clean, if you have wooden floors for example and have rugs ensure they are not thread bare.
Pets – as much as we love our pets they do usually leave an odour and pet hair, so where their beds are clean thoroughly and spray a scented household spray to eliminate any odours.
Lounge area – if possible position your sofas and chairs into a conversation area not an area that is used to watch TV, it looks more inviting.
Wall colour – if you have a funky wall colour you need to paint it with neutral tones that give a warm feel and make the prospective purchaser think they can move straight in without decorating first.
Bedrooms – this is important to use neutral tones in here to create a large space, go for plain linen and if you want to incorporate colour do so by way of cushions and a folded blanket at the end of the bed. The buyer can see their own colour choice can be easily integrated into the room.
Built in wardrobes or cupboard space – it’s a possibility the buyer may want to see inside so make sure they are tidy.
Children’s rooms and toys – as difficult as this may be the bedrooms need to be tidy as these rooms are generally the smallest of bedrooms. Toys need to be put away too.
Spare bedroom/junk room – we all have that one room we use to hide everything, you need to clear this space, turn into a bedroom, an office or just a clean room that can be turned into whatever the potential buyer wants.
Bathroom – this room needs to gleam, make it clean, light and bright, if you have a themed toilet seat get rid of it, white is good and splashes of colour can be added by way of a fluffy towel or two. Make sure the bins are emptied and all personal items stored away, nobody wants to see it. Have a bar of fresh soap to put by the sink for viewings.
Summary – ensure everything is in working order and you are happy to put your property up for sale, from now on keep the house looking neat and tidy at all times so you are not caught out with a last minute viewing. Speak to a reputable agent; visit a few to get a good idea of what an accurate and realistic asking price you should advertise for. Ask around friends and family for recommendations.
An online presence is vital and good professional pictures of your property will enhance its selling points. Floor plans are also essential along with an accurate property description; it needs to catch the potential buyer’s attention.
As soon as your property is on the market instruct a solicitor so all the legal paperwork is in place as soon as you have a buyer.
You need to be as flexible as possible with viewing times; the more buyers that view the quicker your property will sell, so for a while your weekends may not be your own.
There you have it top tips to make the most of your property when you want to sell it. It’s important to feel proud of your property and the years you have lived there need to reflect the care and attention you have poured into it. Once you have made the decision to sell, it only takes a week at the most to sort out the improvement points listed above.
All that is left to say is good luck finding a buyer and you now know what to look for when searching for your new home.