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Top tips to prepare your house for sale

Top tips to prepare your house for sale

Close Thornton Estate Agents will be able to photograph your property to its maximum potential and show it off in its best light but you need to prepare your home for it's photo-shoot and for the viewings that follow.

First impressions really do count so make sure that you take the time to prepare your home - here are some of our tips for getting your property ready for sale.

Disassociate yourself

Begin by trying to disassociate yourself from your property as much as possible in order to view it as a potential buyer might. How would it look if you were seeing it for the very first time?

It’s worth considering who your target market is. Which type of buyer do you think will be interested in your property? The trick is to make your home appeal to your target market without alienating other types of buyers.

Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the house so it’s essential that each room is shown off to it highlight its purpose. If your dining room is full of work papers or exercise equipment for example, return it to its original purpose. Buyers must be able to see the potential for the house and where they would put their own items.

Increase your property’s ‘kerb appeal’

A potential buyer could be put off even before they have set foot inside your front door if they are given a bad first impression. You want them to walk up the drive or path already feeling impressed and excited to see more.

Gardens or any type of outdoor space can be a great selling point but an overgrown jungle could see your buyer running mile. Not only will the space look smaller and ‘forgotten about’, if paying out for a gardener isn’t in your potential buyer's plan or budget, it could completely put them off the property.

So do what it takes to create that lasting first impression. Make sure the exterior of your home is up to scratch and if your front door or fence is looking tired, brighten it up with a lick of paint.

Put up hanging baskets to add colour and if you have a garden consider adding some well-chosen bedding plants or perennials in tubs (remember, you might wish to take any perennials with you when you move so think carefully before lovingly planting new shrubs and trees directly into the borders!)

Move bins out of view and clear away anything unsightly including hoses, gardening equipment and children's toys.

Decorate and De-clutter

Making your home attractive to a buyer needn’t mean an expensive décor overhaul. Chances are it won’t be to the buyer’s taste anyway and will be replaced as soon as they move in. But you should freshen up rooms with a neutral lick of paint in warm tones.

Some reports suggest that clearing your home of personal items can make it easier for potential buyers to envisage themselves there. You may not wish to go as far as to hide away all evidence of yourself but at the very least, do make sure your rooms are clutter-free and as light and airy as possible.

A few additions can be considered - for instance a mirror hung in the hall can give the illusion of space and a few vases of flowers or some plants can freshen up the house.

Scrub, Scrub, Scrub....

Make sure your house is spotless. This means cleaning walls, carpets, sofas, windows and all surfaces. Focus particularly on cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, where grime and limescale can build up quickly. Many professional domestic cleaners offer a pre-sale deep cleaning service so if you have the budget and are short of time, this can be a worthwhile investment.

A kitchen is a huge selling point, so make sure all the worktops are clear and that it smells fresh and clean. Put away your worktop-cluttering kitchen gadgets and deal with the pile of loose change/post/letters from school/bits and bobs that lurks in many a kitchen!

Throw away unwanted items, store away ornaments, books and toys, and consider moving some furniture into storage to give the feeling of more space. Although this is a time-consuming process, having a thorough clear-out now will pay further dividends when you come to pack up your possessions prior to moving house.

If you do have pets, consider asking a relative or friend to look after them while viewings are taking place. While you love your furry friend, your buyer may not – or worse still, they may be allergic.

Remember to:

  • Hide away products in the bathrooms and kitchen. Remove dirty dishcloths and remove evidence of problems such as ants. In the bathroom, put out clean towels.
  • Put fresh bedlinen on all the beds.
  • Clear up all the coats, shoes and detritus in the hallway. The paintwork and fixtures in a hallway can take a battering so check for paintwork scuffs and grimy corners. Replace worn doormats and make the hallway as tidy and inviting as possible.
  • Tackle those broken parts of the house. This might include replacing broken light bulbs, repairing paint chips, giving the front door or walls a fresh lick of paint, or dealing with creaking hinges, dripping taps or cracked tiles.
  • Consider upgrading white goods and if your kitchen is past it's best, putting new doors on the units can be transformational. While these things could help to make your property sell faster do bear in mind that you may not be able to recoup their full value.

Promote the neighbourhood

You could prepare a file on the local area for potential buyers - it may help them make a quicker decision to purchase your home. Points to consider highlighting include:

  • Transport links
  • Schools and public services
  • Neighbours
  • Amenities
  • Entertainment and nightlife
  • Parks and other recreation
  • Restaurants and shopping
  • Community and safety

And finally....stay out of the way!

When potential buyers come to view your property, let them wander freely around the house. You want them to feel comfortable and as though they can spend time looking at each room freely. Be ready to answer any questions but do try not to hover.

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