A little preparation before putting your home up for sale could make a difference to how long it is on the market. A pristine home that someone can envisage living in is more often than not going to sell much quicker than one which is tired and cluttered.
#1 Make sure everything is clean
Dust and clean everywhere thoroughly. Give the windows, sills and guttering a thorough washing. If you’re extra busy it might be worth considering hiring a cleaning company to stop by every couple of weeks to keep on top of things for you.
Now’s a good time to rationalise your belongings (it will save time when you move anyway). You want buyers to focus on how great your home is so banish piles of shoes from the hall, and organise storage. Storage space is a huge selling point, and if your kitchen cupboards and wardrobes are stuffed to the brim, buyers will think there isn’t enough storage. Invest in some boxes as these will help make your belongings look more organised, and remove items you don’t need immediately (you can stow them away until you move).
#3 Pay attention to smells
It’s not about brewing fresh coffee on the morning of a viewing but about avoiding bad smells — like stale cooking, toilets etc. And make sure the toilet lid is ALWAYS down!
#4 Make good
• Spend some time fixing those small areas that never quite got addressed: loose door handles, leaky toilet, paint scuffs.
• Dramatic colours could turn off potential buyers so simply repainting your rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites will allow them to focus on the space rather than be distracted by the colour of the walls.
• If the kitchen looks a little outdated, it may be worth replacing some of the fixtures and fittings, or even the doors themselves.
#5 Create the right impression inside
Give each room a purpose
The spare room that’s been used as an office / guest room /dumping ground won’t help sell your home unless you show buyers how they can use it themselves. So pick a use and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.
Style each room and highlight focal points
Draw buyers’ eyes towards any special features with bright colours or accents like plants. A pop of colour like a red throw or pillow can draw a buyer’s attention to that relaxing seating area, or a striking vase of flowers on the mantlepiece to your stunning fireplace.
Turn the bathroom into a spa
Create the feel of a relaxing bath. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, add some scented candles and faux plants, and buy bathmats and towels in coordinating tones for a touch of luxury.
Reconfigure your room layouts or get rid of bulky furniture
Large items of furniture can make a space look smaller than it really is. Just by moving the position of furniture may be enough to address this, if not it might be worth putting oversized items into storage short term. Help buyers picture themselves relaxing with family and guests by grouping your furniture into arrangements that inspire conversation. Props, like books, will help to show relaxing areas.
Pare back personal items
Buyers need to be able to envisage themselves in your home, so removing anything overly personal, like family photos in the hallway or your kids’ artwork on the fridge, paintings that aren’t to everyone’s taste, will make the house more neutral.
Create a light, welcoming environment
Open up all the windows to let in natural light and add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim. A bright, cheery room looks bigger and more inviting.
#6 Create the right impression outside - boost the curb appeal
Some buyers will make a decision without stepping over your threshold so curb appeal is incredibly important. Tidy up the garden by trimming your shrubs and weeding flower beds. Fix any peeling paint and keep the drive clear. Adding potted plants by the front door can make a big difference by creating an inviting feel.
#7 Ensure your property appears good in marketing material and on the internet
This is what others see and read about your house before they even think about a viewing. Make sure your agent’s photos are professional and where possible stage each room on the day so that it is shown at its maximum potential. Validate and enhance the property description so that it encourages enthusiasm. Remember that on the internet — one click and people will have left your page.