Deciding to move to pastures new? What should you do before putting your house up for sale? Here’s a practical guide of things you may wish to consider before putting your house on the market.
1. Tackle odd jobs
From a wobbly bannister to a wall covered in a child’s sticky handprints, now is the time to tackle all the odd jobs that you have been putting off for years. Giving your walls a fresh lick of neutral paint will make your home seem lighter, brighter and bigger. Consider ‘staging’ your home by adding a vase of fresh, bright flowers. These will be small things that you might not even notice now but can make a big impact on potential buyers.
Before any pictures are taken of your property, it is important to declutter but not depersonalize. That is not to say that your house or flat must be completely empty, but rooms should be tidy, any floors, desks and windowsills should be clear. People need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there. People often find this difficult, so make it easy for them to see all the living space you’re offering.
3. Get ahead: obtain estimates for anything that may need to be replaced
It is not unusual for people to offer lower than the asking price because ‘the kitchen needs to be replaced’ or ‘the bathroom needs updating’. Although you don’t need to do these yourself, obtaining some estimates can provide a realistic reference point.
4. Take an objective look at each room
You may love your bright red but that can be off-putting to some buyers. Covering bright walls in a more neutral tone can make the property appeal to a wider audience. It may be useful to ask a friend or relative to give their honest view: as they don’t live in the house every day, they will be able to point out anything which can be improved, as well as what really makes the house shine.
5. Don’t forget the garden
After decluttering the inside of your property, don’t forget to review the garden. Grass should be cut, flower beds weeded, and sheds cleared out. Tidy up the garden: cut bushes back, clean the patio and furniture of any lichen or dirt and maybe place a few potted plants around. While this doesn’t add much value to your home it makes it more likely to sell, as people visualise themselves using and enjoying the garden
6. Aroma appeal
Bad aromas are the single biggest ‘turn-off’ for prospective buyers. Don’t just cover them up, fix the source of the smell. Clear drains, wash bins, open windows, air the kitchen from old cooking smells, dispose of any soft furnishings embedded with cigarette smoke.
Conversely, good smells can make a property feel like an alluring home. While it might be impractical to bake fresh bread, cakes or brownies for every viewer who visits your home, you could perhaps brew some fresh coffee or light a scented candle.
7. Consider opportunities for development
Is there enough space in your back garden for an extension? Could your attic be converted into an extra bedroom? These are opportunities which could help add value to your house. If you have the time, obtaining planning permission for these extensions can also appeal to buyers.
High quality photography can showcase your property to its best advantage: this should always be carried out by a professional photographer. A beautiful gift wrapped in a brown paper bag has as much allure as a beautiful house badly photographed. Choose a reputable estate agent who values using an expert to create a professional brochure as part of an excellent marketing package so that your property is shown in its best possible light.