What your property looks like from the outside can be a crucial factor in securing a viewing. Many people will drive past your home before they decide to book an appointment to view. If your property looks scruffy or in poor repair from the outside, they will assume it will be the same on the inside.
Try some of these helpful tips:
- Ensure the property name or number can be easily seen from the road.
- If the house is painted make sure the paintwork is in good condition.
- Clean windows and doors inside and out and wash down all frames.
- Cut back overgrown shrubs.
- Cut any grass and remove weeds from flower beds and driveway areas.
- Hide away large bins (if this isn’t possible screen them off) and remove any other debris.
- Make sure the window dressings and window sills inside the house look neat and tidy from the outside.
- Make your entrance welcoming perhaps with a planter or hanging basket. Keep the area tidy and free from clutter.
CLEANING & TIDYING
It is worth taking the time, or hiring someone to carry out a very thorough top to bottom clean of your entire house before you put it on the market. It is also a good idea to be ruthless about tidiness; it is a crucial element in how well your home will be received by others.
Key areas include:
- Carpets – professional cleaning of carpets not only leaves them looking brighter it also helps to freshen the atmosphere and remove odours, especially if you have pets.
- Bathroom – need to be spotless and tidy. Even bathrooms in need of updating can be transformed by a really thorough clean.
- Kitchen – all cupboards, surfaces and appliances should be clean and the contents of cupboards should be tidy. Buyers will look inside to see how good the storage is. Ensure surfaces are as free of clutter as possible and avoid leaving dishes in the sink or on the draining board.
- Cupboards and storage areas – clearing out and cleaning will increase the sense of space and re-enforce the impression of a home that is well cared for.
A useful process which contributes to helping you get organised for your own move. It is especially important to remove as much as possible if you have ‘outgrown’ your house as buyers will get a sense of the property feeling cramped.
- Things that are of no use and that you do not wish to keep could be given away or disposed of.
- Things that you want to keep but don’t use on a regular basis can be stored away in a loft or storage unit.
- All other items should be neatly stored in your home or displayed to their best advantage.
Most people are attracted to a sense of ‘space’ and a property that feels spacious will attract more positive interest.
- Consider re-arranging furniture (or even putting some into storage) in order to maximise the sense of space.
- Take as many things off the floor as possible, the more floor space that can be seen the larger an area will feel.
- Keep styling simple and ‘bits and bobs’ to a minimum.
- Use mirrors to enhance small areas or spaces which lack good natural light.
- Lighting – dark areas can feel gloomy and small; use of lamps and accent lighting can help.
Creating a welcoming atmosphere is essential in putting potential buyers at ease. There are many factors that can contribute to this.
- If you have animals make sure their presence is un-obtrusive, not all buyers are animal lovers! Feeding bowls, litter trays, pet beds etc should be cleared away before viewings.
- Wherever possible a house should smell naturally fresh and clean, chemical air fresheners can be overpowering. Leaving windows and doors open as much as possible is helpful in keeping the atmosphere clear.
- Try to avoid cooking strong smelling foods if you are expecting a viewing as the smell will linger and may be off putting.
- A vase of fresh flowers can look lovely and will provide a point of interest in a hallway or reception room.
If your house is decorated in strong colours or a distinctive, individual style it may be wise to re-decorate in simple, neutral shades. In addition, with numerous new developments on the market, it is important to make your home appear as ‘fresh’ as possible; re-decoration is an easy and cost-effective way to achieve this.