If you’re planning on getting your home up for sale this summer or autumn, you’ll probably need to spend a little bit of time on getting it ready for buyers to view. First impressions count, so remember these golden rules and you’ll be well on the way to signing that contract.
Lose the clutter
Nobody’s going to expect you to present your home like a clinic, but untidiness is a real turn-off for many buyers. Be brutal when you’re doing your clear outs – if you haven’t used it for a couple of years and it holds no sentimental value, get rid. “You can use this as an opportunity to make a bit of cash before you move, so spend a few hours photographing your items and putting them on sites like eBay and Gumtree or take them to a car boot sale” suggests Pimlico estate agent, Andrew Reeves.
Clear coats and shoes from the hallway and move things off surfaces – tables and worktops that are crammed full of stuff create the wrong impression.
Make your home look welcoming, but not too “you”
Buyers have to be able to imagine themselves living in your house, which they won’t find easy to do if it’s full of personal items and quirky designs that only you love. It’s good to have a little bit of personality, but too much can be overwhelming and really put people off. Beige walls and minimalist accessories might be your idea of hell, but they’re worth living with for a few weeks if they help you achieve a faster sale.
Look at your home from a different perspective
When you get used to living somewhere, it’s easy to stop noticing the things around you. Dirty tile grout, scuffed walls and peeling skirting boards can all go un-noticed by you, but could be a real deal breaker for a fastidious house hunter. “Walk out of the front door and go back in again as if you were a buyer, paying attention to all the nooks and crannies and checking whether things are as presentable as you’d want expect someone else’s house to be” says Eden Harper. Taking a new look at your surroundings and putting yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes can really help you get things looking fresh again.
Clean the tiles, wipe the skirting boards, dust the corners, look out for cobwebs and give a fresh coat of paint where needed. Also make sure all your light bulbs are working, your cupboards are tidy and the bedrooms are nicely presented – it will all help create a homely feel that people will be able to visualise themselves in.
Keep it clean
We’ve already mentioned giving the tiles and skirting boards a once over, but a good deep clean can really help your home say “buy me”. Hiring in a professional cleaning company might cost more than doing it yourself, but they’ll be able to do a really good spruce up in a fraction of the time. Ask them to clean your oven, windows, floors, cupboards and all the areas you find tricky to get to.
Take care of the garden
It’s pointless having an immaculate interior if people are turned off before they even step through the front door. A survey conducted by Zoopla in 2017 found that over a quarter of potential buyers said an overgrown garden really put them off.
First impressions really do count, so spend some time cutting the grass, trimming the borders and doing a bit of weeding if your garden is looking a bit unloved. “Add some patio furniture, plant some flowers and tidy up any exterior paint work before you put your property on the market – you never know who will be driving round and taking a look at the exterior before deciding to arrange a viewing” adds M&M Property.