Achieving a successful sale on your home is not just dumb luck. It’s a long process of planning and preparing to ensure that you and your home are in the best possible position to get the value you deem it to be worthy of. Long processes aside, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your home is looking its absolute best once the viewings begin.
Presentation is key to ensuring outstanding first impressions which are memorable for all the right reasons. Also known as ‘staging’, preparing your home for viewings is essential to maximise the potential value from the sale of your home. Small tweaks can make the world of difference so pay attention to the minor details and make note of our top tips for preparing your house to sell.
1. Take a step back
The chances are that you have lived in your home for years and may have become immune to any defects. There may well be an unpleasant smell lingering in certain rooms that you have become nose blind to, or a crack on the wall you have become so used to that you forgot it was there.
It therefore pays to take a step back from your home, view it as an outsider and make the necessary tweaks. Rope in the help of a friend or family member who is comfortable providing some advice and suggestions; there’s no need for politeness here, honesty is the best policy!
2. Exterior appeal
The exterior of your house is the very first impression and you cannot underestimate the importance of it. Especially as many potential buyers like to do a drive-by visit to ensure a full viewing is worth their time. You could have a flawless interior but if the outside of your home is dilapidated and run down, it will leave an unfortunate sticking point in the back of the viewers’ minds.
Sure, if the interiors are beyond expectations then potential buyers may be willing to let it go if the outside is not up to scratch. But why take that risk? Wow them from the second they lay eyes on your home by cleaning up the outside area. Find those green fingers and deploy them: mow the grass, trim the hedges and add some potted plants. Small tweaks, big impact.
This one is pretty simple: clear out the clutter and be harsh. There’s no need to ditch all your superfluous belongings but you do need to put them out of sight. Make use of cupboard space, although be careful not to overload them as viewers may want to look inside any built-in cupboards, wardrobes and other storage spaces.
If you are really struggling then it may be worth nicely asking a willing friend or family member to temporarily store some of your belongings. Decluttering will make your home appear spacious and clean, increasing its appeal to potential buyers tenfold.
4. Repair and clean
The cumbersome crack in the wall that’s been making a statement for a few years? Or the unwelcome bathroom mould that has been lingering for a touch too long? What about that broken mirror on the wall that you still haven’t got around to replacing? Now is the time!
Even minor issues can have a lasting impact on the way people view your property. Find your inner DIY aficionado and get to work. Once you have fixed and repaired all you can, it’s time to get cleaning. It goes without saying that a clean house is more appealing but just remember not to forget any key areas. For example, don’t forget the grease on the oven or the cobwebs in the top corner of your hallway. Leave no stone unturned!
5. Let there be light
Natural light is always a winner. You may be limited with what you can do here, and we don’t expect you to whip up a few new windows. However, there are small steps you can take to bring more light into your home.
Throw open the curtains and blinds as wide or high as they will go. Open all the windows to let in both natural light and fresh air. If you’re really struggling to find natural light then turn on some floor or table lamps (even if you borrow them from friends). Nobody likes a dark and dreary room so maximise the light as much as you can, even if you have to get creative.
6. Smelling like daisies
It’s all too easy to focus on the visual elements, but never underestimate the impact that smell can have. A dodgy stink can be enough to completely put buyers off. For example, damp smells hint at a deeper issue within the property and if you’re a smoker then you may have become unaware of how strong the smell is in your home.
Open the windows, air the property prior to viewings and install a few air fresheners. Don’t over do it though, as it could look like you’ve got something to hide. For a delightful homely smell, bake something delicious. It will provide a lovely welcoming smell, plus you can offer your baked goods to visitors – it’s not bribery, just a nice gesture! Read these tips from Good Housekeeping for further advice on deodorising your home.
7. Temporarily evict your pets
We know you love your fluffy darlings, but we always recommend that you enlist the help of a friend or neighbour to take care of any pets during viewings. Not only can they become a distraction, the presence of pets also raises a few concerns.
What furballs are lingering under the sofa? Or unsightly stains hiding under the rug? And what about that wet dog smell, how long will that be hanging around? Remove the risk of your viewers wondering any of the above and lovingly offload your pets as a temporary measure.
This is by no means a definitive list and we may even follow up with a part two. Ultimately how far you go with the ‘staging’ process is up to you but it really is a crucial stage in the house selling process. Make your home irresistible and you’ll have too many offers to choose from! A nice problem to have.