First impressions really do count when it comes to selling property. Most prospective purchasers know if they want to buy a home within a minute or two of walking through the front door.
So what can sellers do to boost the attractiveness of their homes without spending a fortune? Follow these simple steps to present your home at its best.
Start outside and view your home as a prospective buyer. It’s a huge mistake to assume people can see past a neglected front garden. There’s no need to hire a landscaper but gardens need to be cleared of any rubbish and paths made weed-free. Cut the grass, trim hedges and consider adding a few hanging baskets or potted plants on either side of the door to boost its kerb appeal.
The front door is worth particular attention as it is one of the first things a potential purchaser will see while waiting to be let in. A dirty front door or broken doorbell is not a good start. If the front door needs a fresh coat of paint, repaint it a tasteful colour. A new front door can help transform a property.
Internally the property must be clean and tidy, starting with the entrance hall. Tidy away all clutter such as shoes, coats and school bags. Remove any bulky items such as bikes or baby buggies to show off the available space. Make sure there is enough room for the front door to fully open.
DE-CLUTTER AND CLEAN
Clean the windows inside and out until they are sparkling. Vacuum regularly. Keeping a house clean and tidy for viewings can be stressful, especially if you work full-time or have young children. But dirty dishes in the sink or underwear on the bedroom floor won’t impress potential buyers. Remove any boxes from the top of wardrobes as it gives the impression there is not enough storage space. If you have too many belongings, store them in the attic.
Maximise the sense of space and light by keeping internal doors open. Many sellers close them for property viewings to create a good impression but it can make the hall and landing appear dark and dingy. Put the lights on and keep curtains open. Install brighter, modern lights.
To help a home appeal to a wide range of potential buyers , colours should be kept light and neutral. Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in your home. Deep purple or lime green walls are not to everyone’s taste. Avoid total redecoration but do give walls a fresh lick of paint if they are peeling or wallpaper hanging off.
Staging a property means making the most of its best features. Visit a show home to get ideas. Ensure beds are neatly made, cushions are plumped and you have fresh flowers. If you have an open fire and it is winter, light it. During summer, open patio and French doors. Transform a neglected spare room into an attractive living space such as study or guest bedroom.
KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS
Avoid installing new kitchens or bathrooms as there is no guarantee you will get your money back. You could easily spend £25,000 on a new kitchen but it unlikely to add that much value to your home. Most important is to de-clutter and clean. Tidy kitchen worktops and remove any bulky appliances. Clean any mould spots in the bathroom. Make any minor repairs that are necessary – broken toilet seat, cracked tiles or dripping tap. It could help you achieve a better price.
Not everyone is a cat or dog lover, some are frightened of them and others are allergic, so in the case of dogs get someone to take them for a walk. Clean the area they inhabit and remove all pet baskets, bowls and, most importantly, litter trays.
Bad smells can deter would-be buyers. Keep the property smelling fresh and clean. Shampoo carpets, particularly if you have dogs. Scented candles can create a pleasant aroma so long as they are not too overpowering.
If you are considering selling your home, you may find some of these services useful: