Moving home can be one of the most stressful times of your life but don't panic too much because it can be easy to take some of the stress out of the process. Forget baking bread and brewing coffee - follow these simple tips to help create appeal and get your property noticed.
When looking for a new home, the top of most people’s checklist is space. Whether they are trading up or down, space is likely to be the key issue. Therefore it is imperative when selling to de-clutter your house as much as possible. You will have to pack to move, so do it sooner rather than later.
If you use a bedroom as a study or office, it must always be tidy. Boxes of files and personal papers all over the place are not acceptable. The room, usually the smallest bedroom will look cramped and cluttered.
Your Property’s Exterior
First impressions have never counted for more. Your messy hedges or uneven paving stones could lose you a sale before you even invite viewers inside. Take a moment to emotionally distance yourself from your surroundings and be critical.
Take a good, long look at the front approach to your property. The best view is from across the road. Does it compare well with other properties in the street, or does it let the side down? Are there any repairs that need to be done, such as replacing slipped tiles or slates? Make sure your home looks inviting and that it has ‘kerb appeal’. If you are not a fan of this kind of manual work, hire a local handyman. These kinds of jobs are quick and cheap to do, and make the world of difference. If you can’t find a handyman you trust, let us know as we have a list of suppliers we use regularly through our lettings department.
Showing your Property
In order not to undersell your property, and to maximise the impact of your property’s best features, preparing your home for viewing is an essential part of selling.
Whether you or the agent are showing potential purchasers around, it is important that your property is dressed properly. Strong colours can alienate potential purchasers. If they do not like your choice they will be counting the cost of redecoration, and that will undermine the value of your property.
Choose pale, warm, neutral colours such as cream or off-white. If your carpet is worn or badly stained, consider replacing it. Do not choose expensive carpet, but make sure that it looks reasonable.
It goes without saying that greasy hobs, crumby surfaces and sticky floors are an immediate turn off. But when your kitchen is spotless, what else can you do to make it appealing?
- Uncluttered surfaces give the illusion of space in a small kitchen. Put jars and bottles away in cupboards and clear as much room as possible.
- Make sure none of your appliances are running when viewers are being shown around - the buzz of the washing machine or whir of the dishwasher isn't the most inviting sound.
- You don't need to spend a fortune on a new fitted kitchen just to impress – save the money for your new house. New stylish cupboard handles are cheap and easy to fit, and can bring your kitchen up to date.
- Give any new bits and bobs an airing before you move. If you have splashed out on a shiny new kettle, replace that old one before you move and show your kitchen in its best light.
This is where the new owners will spend most of their time together, so it is vital you make the right impression.
- However much you love your pet, he or she needs to be out for half an hour while your house is being viewed. Dog or cat baskets and toys should be hidden and all areas of your house should be pet-hair free. Pet smells which are there are often not noticed by the owners so freshen up each room with room sprays and fragrances or open windows for a blast of fresh air.
- If your walls and cabinets are adorned with personal photos of you and your family, try replacing a few with more neutral snaps, perhaps of places rather than people. Viewers need to be able to picture themselves living there and pictures of you all around the house may be a distraction.
- No matter what the time of day or how sunny it is outside, be sure to put on all the lights in the house as this will ensure there are no dark corners or areas in the room, thus showing the available space to the maximum.
Rubber gloves and bleach at the ready! Hide away any personal lotions, potions and other bathroom horrors (hair removal cream, false teeth soak, and sanitary products). Now get scrubbing!
Make sure that clump of hair is removed from the plughole, the mirror and tiles are sparkling and there's no grimy rim around the bath tub or loo.
Vanity is key! Invest in a couple of expensive looking soaps and make a gleaming impression.
A small potted plant can bring colour and life to a bland looking bathroom.
A clean, fresh matching towel set will perfect your show-home bathroom.
Bedrooms are probably the most personal rooms in the house, so try to make them welcoming. Clothes should be put away and carpets fluffy and spotless.
Bed clothes should be clean and matching.
Don't forget that cupboards and wardrobes can hide a host of sins - if you don't have time to finish the ironing, or sort out that pile of things on your bedside table, hide them away. They'll never know!
Also make sure all bins are clean and empty.