Hot and Eligible

How often we have been told that ‘first impressions’ count – and how true that is.  Preparing your home is no different.  Making your home attractive is a key component to achieving a quicker sale and potentially adding thousands to the price you achieve.

So what’s in the Top Ten?

  1. Everyone talks about decluttering – and it’s certainly true to say that your property needs to be neat and well-cared for.  Make sure though it doesn’t look more like a bare hotel room than a welcoming home.  Think seriously about what you want to take with you to your next home and give away the excess items at the beginning.  Put children’s toys away in storage alternating them for everyday play.  Ask a friend to help decide what enhances the room and what detracts – and act on it.  Potential buyers need to properly appreciate the available space and not be distracted.
  2.  Check the paintwork.  A scratched front door, grubby marks on the walls, peeling drainpipes etc work against you:  if you don’t show evidence you care, why should any prospective buyer?
  3. Decoration should be neutral.  Potential buyers need to find it easy to see how their furniture could look in your home.  Teenage taste may not be your buyer’s!
  4. Get on with those minor repairs.  Replace cracked tiles, freshly grout the shower if necessary, replace stained or frayed carpets; fix any broken door handles.  Be critical – your buyers will be.
  5. Remove any smells.  ALWAYS ensure your pets are not present when you have a viewing.  Bad smells are certain to put off your buyer so check for any drainage problems, unemptied bins.  If you are a smoker, be especially wary.
  6. Clean until you can’t clean anymore!  Cleanliness is right up there amongst the most important tips.  Make sure the taps are sparkling, the floors are clean, the carpets hoovered.  Put in fresh towels. The better you present your home, the quicker you will find your buyer.
  7. Gardens:  keep them tidy, mown, and patios lichen-free.  If you have a courtyard, some colourful pots and furniture will enable buyers to see your outside space as an ‘outside room’.
  8. Kitchen:  possibly the most important room in the house now.  If it needs upgrading, maybe just changing the worktop, changing the tiles (or simply freshening them up) could be a more affordable alternative.  Make sure the worktops are clear.  Never leave the washing-up.  Put unnecessary appliances away.  A bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of flowers adds a fresh touch.
  9.  Consider the lighting:  ensure every room has a welcoming glow; put on the table lamps to avoid any dark corners; using mirrors can sometimes help a dark hallway or landing; make sure the windows are clean.  Making your home feel light and airy will engage the buyer which can only be to your advantage.
  10. Got a woodburner?  Light it in the colder weather:  create the right atmosphere.  Always ensure your home is never cold so check the central heating comes on at the right times for viewings.
Star Tip:  make sure it is your agent who undertakes the viewings – and leave them to it.  The agent will know why the buyer is looking to move and which advantages to highlight.  They can ask the sort of questions you can’t; for example: how it compares with others they have seen; could they see themselves living there etc.  Leave it to the experts. Opportunities can easily be missed and the agent is best placed to capitalise these for you.
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Trisha Ashby-Rudd

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