Did you know that you should never put your house on the market without preparation? You never get a second chance to make a first impression on a purchaser, or indeed the estate agent who visits to give his valuation.
Firstly, walk around your house with “New Eyes”, as if you were seeing it for the first time. Make notes on anything that does not look attractive so you can consider whether it is viable to put them right.
The primary tasks to be carried out are getting rid of clutter, hiding family photos, cleaning out cupboards, removing excess or oversized furniture, and cleaning.
Our top tips would be:
- Clean, clean, clean. Clean everywhere, not forgetting windows, fireplaces, taps, domestic appliances. If you have already moved on, consider having a cleaning company visit every two weeks or so.
- Kill the smells. Nothing is worse than left-over cooking smells leaving your house smelling like a greasy spoon cafe.
- Get rid of the clutter. This will make the space seem so much greater. Put away your clothes. Throw out or remove all those old magazines. Don’t forget to get rid of the garden clutter as well as that which is inside.
- Repaint any “colourful” walls with bright neutral colours. This will allow purchasers to focus on the space rather that concentrate on how much they hate your “bad taste”.
- Keep the decor simple. You may love your black and orange striped three piece suite, however most others will not.
- Get rid of all your personal items. Purchasers want to imagine themselves in the house and it is not easy with someone else’s family photos on every surface. Your children’s works of art on the fridge are also a turn off.
- Bring in the light. Open all blinds and curtains to maximise light. Even consider strategically placing mirrors, and using artificial light if any room is lacking.
- Bring in the outside. A few high quality, well placed healthy plants, will draw the purchasers eye to features that you want them to notice, such as fire places.
- Make sure that furniture is not too big for the room. If it is, get rid!
- Organise your cupboards. Storage is a big thing for purchasers. They worry about where they are going to store things. You must show them that you have plenty of storage space in all rooms. Neat and tidy is the order of the day.
- Tackle the to-do list. Fix any leaking taps and broken door handles. A purchaser wants to see that you have looked after the little things.
- Consider a minor renovation. It may not cost much to install new cupboard handles, or throw a rug over a floor, but it might make all the difference to the look and feel of the house.
- Give every room a specific use. Once you have done this, stage the room so its use is very obvious.
- Turn the bathroom into a haven. Buy a stack of pretty towels in co-ordinating colours, scented candles and a couple of small plants and the job is done for about £30.
- Close the toilet. Enough said!
- Make the living room a sociable space. Arrange the furniture so that it will make the environment more appealing and enable your purchasers to visualise how easy it will be to converse with family and friends.
- Go with the flow. Make sure that all furniture is arranged so that it is possible to go from room to room without having to think about avoiding obstacles.
- Make something “Yummy”. Some good quality biscuits on a plate on the table can help give a more homely impression.
- Provide kerb appeal. Tidy the garden, get rid of clutter, trim your bushes, mow the grass, do the weeding. Stand where a purchaser would get their first view of the property and consider what it would be easy to improve.
- Make your front door attractive. Do whatever it takes whether it be paint, clean or replace. Your purchaser will have to welcome guests there and getting it right is big deal. A first impression goes a long way.
As a final tip, your prospective purchaser may decide whether or not they like the house before they even enter it, so the outside look is of great importance. You can get a strong feeling about a house just by looking at the outside.