Having decided to place your property on the market, make sure you ask your agent for tips that will help you sell your property. We have all seen those TV programmes about hoarders or the makeover programmes, but as always the truth lies somewhere in the middle. You have to make an effort, but remember the people viewing will be sympathetic to your cause as they will probably be in the same situation.
Take a big step back and have an honest look at your home. Does it need painting? Has it got a little tired? Now is the time to do something. If you have to chop some overgrown shrubs down to allow more light in – do it now. Get maximum effect when you first go to the market rather than waiting and losing out on 2nd viewings from prospective buyers.
The front gate and gardens are the first point of contact. Make sure the garden is tidy – especially if you have animals – and free of rubbish and clutter. In winter ensure the paths are free of snow and ice. Leave the driveway clear for those viewing to park their cars. And don’t forget to open the door with a smile!
At night leave an outside light or hall light on to welcome your viewers. Make sure the doorbell works and that the front door does not stick – does it need a coat of paint?
If you have dogs or cats, keep them out of sight and sound – ideally out of the house – many purchasers are afraid of dogs or have allergies to cats.
Let it shine
Tidy up peeling wallpaper and tired paintwork, but there is no need to overdo it. Replace broken light bulbs and give the impression the home is well cared for. Make sure the windows are clean – they are the ‘eyes’ of the house.
Warm & bright
Open all doors inside to avoid dark passages and landings, they make a house look smaller. Turn on the lights in dark areas before your visitors arrive. In summer, fresh air is important on warm days – open the windows. In winter, turn on the central heating – give a feeling of cosiness in cold weather. Light the fire to give a warm welcoming feeling.
Kitchens & bathrooms
Generally they help sell houses more than other rooms. Make sure they are sparkling and clean, keep on top of the washing up. Pleasant smells encourage – unpleasant smells discourage. Make sure you get rid of any unpleasant smells. Fresh flowers or plants make a room look cheerful and fresh.
Bribe the children to keep their rooms tidy! Unmade beds and cluttered floors make rooms look smaller.
You don’t have to empty the loft/garage/workshop but have them accessible to view and tidy. It’s a good chance to de-clutter, you’ll have to do that before moving anyway.
Do not ‘crowd’ viewers and try not to have too many people home when they visit. They have come to see the house and will want to take it in. Make them feel welcome and answer any questions in a simple and straightforward way. Otherwise, the less said the better and give them the space to have a look on their own.
Peace & quiet
Music and televisions are just an unwanted distraction to potential buyers, turn them off before they arrive.
Finish the viewing by thanking them for coming, offer a second viewing and let your agent know your reaction to the viewing.
Imagine You Are Coming To View Your House As A Prospective Buyer, How Does It Look?
- Be informative about the house and any improvements you have made.
- Think about what questions they might ask and be prepared – i.e. age of boiler, guarantees for windows.
- Be truthful, don’t mislead otherwise you’ll lose their confidence.
- Let them know the reasons why you bought the property.
- Be helpful about the local area, schools, shops, health facilities.
- In other words build a picture.