1. First Impressions Count
Ensure that your “kerb appeal” is at its best. Prospective buyers often drive or walk past and are more likely to want to know what’s inside the house if the outside is neat and tidy. If you don’t have green fingers, ask a landscaper to help you. Do you have some guttering that you’ve been meaning to replace? Then replace it. These jobs may be small but they’ll be big enough to put some people off. Try to ensure that the garden is neat, windows are clean and that any rubbish is out of the way. If you have a driveway, make sure that it is weed free. Make the best of what you have to offer.
2. Making an Entrance
Whether you have a hallway, a porch or are bringing guests straight into your house, this should be welcoming and clutter free. Remove or store any bulky furniture. Often the Estate Agent will accompany prospective purchasers so ensure that they have the correct keys, that the door opens easily and that there is space for everyone.
3. It’s Time to Tidy Up Your Life
You’re going to be moving so this is the time to deal with anything you don’t want to take with you. Although you may be moving because you need more space, you don’t want your buyers to realise this. Once you’ve taken unwanted items to the charity shop or boot fair, make shelves clearer and have boxes ready for items often used so that if you need to tidy them away quickly you can pop them in a box.
4. Let’s Not Get Personal
Most people have pictures of their nearest and dearest but you want buyers to visualise themselves in your home and not to be distracted by your belongings. This is a great time to pack personal items such as photographs away. Allow yourself time in the morning to make beds, tidy bathrooms and wash or put breakfast dishes away. Kitchens and bathrooms are often a priority for buyers so make sure they see them at their best. Not everyone’s taste is the same – you may be a Star Wars fan or love bold art but this can be a distraction, so if you have strong pieces that are not to everyone’s taste it may be an idea to pack these away safely and replace them with something more subtle.
5. Rooms for Improvement
Make sure that rooms are shown as described. You may have changed your third bedroom into an overspill junk room but potential buyers will want to see a bedroom and not two rooms and a junk room. Has your office/dining/games room all taken over one space? Try to distinguish it as one room so as not to confuse buyers.
6. The Sweet Smell of Success
We get used to our own aromas and many people have beloved cats and dogs but not everyone appreciates the smell of wet dog or cat litter. If you smoke, start smoking outside keeping any butts out of sight. Ask an honest friend to tell you if they can smell anything that might put buyers off and try to alleviate any unwanted “pongs” by having well placed candles, oil burners, plug in or stand-alone air fresheners in place. Unwanted smells can put buyers off. If you have pets, try to arrange that they are in one place when viewings take place or are taken for a walk and that their bedding is as fresh as possible.
7. A Blank Canvas
Your house is your home and it is up to you to paint it whatever colour you want or to paper it as outrageously as you like but strong colours and patterns can put buyers off. Not everyone can see beyond the paint or paper. If you are able to replace bold colours in mute or neutral colours again, your potential buyer will see a blank canvas.
8. How Does Your Garden Grow
If you have outside space whether it is a small back yard with enough space for a table and chairs or acres of lawn, make sure these are well kept. If a buyer walks into a back yard full of weeds and rubbish or a lawn that’s a foot tall, all they will see is work. Ensure shrubs and weeds are kept under control and any rubbish is tidied away.
9. Let The Estate Agent Take The Strain
It’s always best if you can arrange for your Estate Agent to accompany the viewings as they are professionals and know how to show your house to its best. Make sure they are well informed so that any questions they are asked can be answered. Buyers are more likely to be honest with an Estate Agent, so the Estate Agent can give you immediate feedback.
10. Keep It Simple
You fell in love with your house, try to remember what you loved about it. What you’re trying to do is to sell potential buyers their dream home. Take yourself around your house and try to see it from others point of view. Is there enough space? Is it tidy? Is it clean? Is it too personal? Does it smell nice? You want people to see your house as their future home