11 June 2015

Preparing your home for sale- Part 1

Thinking of selling?  Here are a few hints and tips.

Since modern buyers can look up how much you paid for your property you will need to convince them that you have added value through improvements, or that prices generally have gone up. Don’t imagine that simply because you have done lots of work you will automatically get it back as added value. There is a “value ceiling” set by neighbourhood average property values and no matter how much you have spent improving your property it may not exceed this ceiling.  Work which adds space such as a loft conversion will almost certainly add value, but cosmetic work such as a new bathroom may not add value although it may make your property easier to sell.  An en-suite bathroom can add 5% to the property’s value but don’t do it at the expense of a double bedroom as this will devalue your property. The number and size of bedrooms is still the preferred indicator of property size and therefore of value for most people.

Maximise the space you have on show. No matter how big or small your property is it’s the available space that sells it.
You can maximise that feeling of space by showing more of it! Think about buyers being able to see under furniture, leaving space under beds, sofas on legs. And don’t use the space to store things – buyers will see it and think there is not enough space for their own stuff.  Store excess furniture, ornaments and general ‘stuff’ out of sight, preferably in a storage warehouse. The investment will pay off; buyers will see space and will not notice the odd missing chair or side table. You can make do with what is left whilst you are selling.  Don’t use the garage to store excess. Buyers will want to see the garage and won’t be fooled if they find it’s full.  Using the loft for storage is what people expect – but make sure that it is well organised, as a buyer wants to see that it is useful space which can be easily accessed.  Floors need to be clean and tidy to increase the sense of space. If you have a carpet, get it cleaned. If the flooring is badly scuffed or marked think about changing it.  All surfaces, shelves and tops of cupboards to be kept clear. If you can’t make room for items out of sight then think about putting more into storage. No-one will notice if the toaster is missing from the worktop but they will remember there was not a lot of kitchen worktop space.

Move furniture around so that when you enter the room you see more floor space. 
There is no harm in leaving out your Gucci bag so the buyer see’s the ‘sort of person’ that lives in a house like this one. If you have a home office make sure it is spotless, no bits of paper lying about and no dust on a printer that is rarely used.
Remove as much of the clutter as you can – don’t imagine that because you are selling a family home the next buyer wants to see a rooms full of children’s toys. This includes the paintings and drawings that are on display around your home, they appeal to you but may be getting in the way of a buyer seeing how they might organise and use the space.


Neutralise strong colours and decor. Orange kitchen walls may look lovely to you, but will put off more people than they attract. Magnolia might be dull, but it won’t offend anyone. The aim is to appeal to as many people as possible.  Store away quirky, personal items as they might be distracting. If you are a collector put away the collection. It is personal to you and not relevant to the buyer. Restrict the number of photos on display. A few will help to give a ‘lived’ in friendly feel, but too many will clutter up the rooms.

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