12 June 2015

Preparing your home for sale- Part 2

In our last blog we gave you a few hints and tips on how to make your property look ideal to viewers. Keep reading for some more great tips. 

Don’t expect others to see past the ‘foibles’ that you have lived with; the hole in the ceiling; the scuffed paint work on the door frames. Ask your friends to be honest about what they see that you no longer notice. Fix the problems, particularly the easy ones such as repainting.  Don’t mask serious problems. If the property has damp and it isn’t something you are willing to fix, get quotes for the work and leave them with your agent. Trying to disguise an issue will eventually come back to haunt you, when a survey brings it to light it will provide an opportunity to negotiate down the price.  Clean windows let in more light, as does removing any netting or blinds that you normally have up. Let viewers see your rooms with all the natural light you can get. It will always look better and the rooms will look bigger.  In the kitchen consider replacing the unit doors and handles if they are shabby but the unit carcasses are in good condition. They don’t need to be expensive, just look good.

“Show home” living

No nasty smells.
Always make sure the bin is empty. If you have pets move them outside for a viewing if possible and make sure their food & water trays are clean and washed with no litter trays in the house. You may not be able to smell anything, but non-pet owners will notice the odour.

Keep it tidy.
At some point in the sales process you will sigh and say “….but I have to live here”. True, but you’d rather be living somewhere else so it’s worth making the effort to keep the property permanently on show until you have a sale. A buyer might want to come round at short notice so always have the house ready to be viewed.

Details matter.
In the bathroom make sure the towels are neatly folded on the radiator, the shower screen is streak-free, the bath, hand basin and toilet are sparkling and a new bar of soap looks better than one which is melting away. If the bathroom is tiled, ensure both tiles and grout are clean.

Kitchen work tops
These benefit greatly from under-unit lighting - so if you have them, turn them on. Ensure all light bulbs work – especially in cupboards and under the stairs where prospective buyers might want to look. Open the windows in summer. In winter ensure the house is warm.

Potted plants or fresh flowers
These brighten up the room, but make sure their smell is not overpowering. The smell of furniture polish gives the impression the home is well cared for.

Leave a light on
This can create a relaxed atmosphere and brightens the room. Ask viewers to take off their shoes when looking around – it makes people realise that you care about your home, and gives the impression the property is well looked after. 

Cut back overgrown bushes and trees. Fill in old ponds or sand pits. These measures can add to the size of an existing garden and allow a better view. Look out of your windows front and back. What can you see? If it’s not pretty in the distance then create something nice to look at close by. Use brightly coloured plants in pots or tubs if you don’t have a garden to catch the eye.  Remove old sheds or greenhouses. Getting rid of these not only creates space, but also lets in light.  Ensure that the garden is tidy; the lawn should be free of leaves, paths swept, weeds removed, loose paving fixed and clean the garden furniture. Hanging baskets, planted tubs and window boxes make a house look cheerful and create a fresh smell. Even in winter a floral display makes a property look cared-for and desirable.  Look at the front of the property -perhaps the front door or garage door needs re-painting or a new one fitted? Make sure external paintwork, guttering and doors all look to be in good order.

This may all sound like a lot of effort but, believe me, it will pay dividends and should help to secure a buyer more quickly, thereby cutting down on the amount of viewings and giving you the chance to move on to the next one sooner!

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