Presentation matters! Buyers are coming to look around your property, and you need to make an effort to show your home at its best.
Don’t overlook the experience any potential buyer will have when viewing your home. For many buyers they are looking for a ‘lifestyle’ when they view a property. Is the ‘lifestyle’ you are selling one of fixing up someone else’s old home or is it moving into a space that they can make their own?
Don’t make buyers imagine how good it could be – show them.
Decide on the strengths of your property and show them off. Go all out to impress.
Here are 10 top tips for preparing your home for a viewing.
1. Drive by appeal
Many buyers will make a drive-by visit to your property before they decide whether or not to make a viewing. Tidy up the outside of your home, regularly mow the lawn, trim hedges and remove any weeds from your beds or pathways.
Consider giving the front door and the window frames a lick of paint, and if it’s the right season put some pots or baskets outside your property. Make them want to come in.
2. Entrance Hallway
This is the first space your potential buyers will step into and can set the tone for the rest of the viewing. Remove all shoes and coats, so that there is a feeling of space. If you have a door mat, consider purchasing a new one if yours is worn. Makes sure these high use areas are free from scuff marks on woodwork and walls.
Some say these are the eyes of your property. The glass will need cleaning inside and out. Wipe down the frames as these need to sparkle too! Replace any broken window handles and consider replacing the glass if this has any cracks or misting in the glass panels. If your windowsills are uPVC you should give these a really good clean. If they are wood, do these need repainting or re-staining?
4. Central Heating System
Does your system need an overhaul? If your boiler is old and inefficient, your buyer will more than likely be deducting the cost of replacing this before they even make their first offer. After agreeing a sale, you will need to complete legal paperwork confirming if this is in good working order.
Whilst not a legal obligation, consider getting your system serviced and certified, to offer that ‘peace of mind’ to a buyer. Also ask yourself, do you need to replace or repair any radiators or valves?
Is your flooring damaged or worn? If so, your buyer will be calculating the cost of replacing these. In some cases, it may not be practical to replace these, and you may just need to accept that this is something the buyer will be factoring in to any offer they may make. However, if you can consider changing or repairing any areas that you can.
6. Bathrooms & Toilets
Clear away the mountain of toiletries, medication and make up etc that accumulate in the bathroom. Remove from sight all cleaning materials, piles of loo roles and empty and ideally remove any bins.
Clear away children’s bath toys and put out clean, dry, folded towels. Sink, bath, and shower fittings should be spotlessly clean. Open windows to clear away any excess moisture. Consider replacing bath and shower sealants if mould has accumulated.
7. Living Areas
You need to declutter. Clutter makes a room feel smaller and makes it harder for a buyer to imagine themselves living in your home. Make sure distinctive features like fireplaces can be fully appreciated. Let the natural daylight flood in by pulling back the curtains and removing any items that might block light such as vases or photo frames on windowsills.
Consider the temperature of your home whilst buyers are viewing. Not too warm and not too cold. Whatever the season, be sure to regularly throw open the windows to let fresh air in.
During viewings, turn off the TV and any music that might be distracting.
Kitchens are probably the most expensive space to replace. If your doors or door handles are damaged consider replacing these, it will be much cheaper than a buyer looking to negotiate the cost of a whole new kitchen from your marketing price.
Clean and polish all surfaces, fittings, handles, cupboard fronts and appliances. Clean inside the oven and any integrated appliances that are included in the sale. Clear any clutter from surfaces and make sure the sink and draining area is completely clear.
Pet bowls should be cleared away, and always let in a blast of fresh air to clear any stale cooking smells.
Remove your food bin from the property, nobody likes the smell of rotting food! Freshly brewed coffee or baked bread are still the most appealing aromas to be found in the kitchen – it’s a cliché, but it’s true!
For many people the garden is one of the biggest selling points. Tidy away and remove any rubbish, weed and cut the grass, or wash down and consider replacing any broken decking or patio slabs. Put out some potted plants to soften patios and yards.
A seasonal fertiliser will add colour to a tired lawn. Be sure to cut back any overgrown bushes or hedges, particularly in smaller gardens. Does any fencing need repairing, replacing, or painting?
If you have pets, ensure all ‘mess’ is removed.
10. Space & Order
Potential buyers will want to see every room, so make an effort with every space in your house. The kids’ rooms can look like a bomb site but spend some time sorting them out, so they look like bedrooms again.
Toys can be boxed and all clothes, including shoes, should be cleared away. Buyers will want to look in cupboards and lofts too, so try to put these spaces in order.
If you are committed to selling your home, you will need to remove everything from the house at some point, so why not start to thin out before your home goes on the market and really show off the space your home has to offer.