After a summer lull, the housing market experiences a big boost in autumn. If you’re planning on selling, you’re no doubt thinking about how you can get the best price for your property and secure a sale as quickly as possible.
While big home improvements, such as extensions and new kitchens, undoubtedly help, the good news is some of the best ways to make your home more appealing to buyers are quick, easy and inexpensive. Here are the 10 things you should do before you let a single viewer through your front door.
It’s the first thing a potential buyer will see, so look critically at the outside of your house. Does the front door need painting? Is the path clear and free of cracks. Are plants and trees neatly trimmed? This is your chance to make a killer first impression, so use it!
Depersonalise your décor
Buyers need to be able to imagine this as their home, and they can’t do that if it has your stamp all over it. Pack up photos, kids’ drawings and knick-knacks that will distract people from what they’ve come to see – the house itself.
Sort the small stuff
Touch up paintwork and fix cracked tiles, loose door handles or dripping taps. They may seem like minor quibbles, but they’ll set alarm bells ringing for a buyer, who’ll wonder what else hasn’t been maintained.
Get your home photo-ready
Most house-hunters start with a property website, so your photos need to help your home stand out from the crowd. Before having pictures taken, open the curtains wide to max light levels, plump up cushions, and add flowers to make rooms look fresh and welcoming. If your décor is neutral, a flash of bright colour, such as a hot-pink cushion or table runner, will ensure your photo catches a browser’s eye.
Remove evidence of pets
Doggy odour and cat-hair-covered carpets can send buyers running for the door. If your family includes furry members, ask a trusted friend to give their honest opinion on whether pet smells have permeated your home, and hire a professional to remove smells and stains from carpets. Before a viewing, remove cat litter trays and take your pooch out for a walk.
Show people how they can live in your home
You’re not just selling bricks and mortar, you’re also selling a lifestyle, so create a space they won’t be able to resist. Turn a barren patio into an outdoor entertaining space, present that unused reception as a family-friendly dining space or show a box room as a smart home office.
Declutter, declutter, declutter
Too much stuff makes your home seem small and crowded, and will leave buyers thinking the house lacks storage. Pare down your belongings as much as possible, and stash clutter neatly in boxes for a more ordered appearance.
Go for a spotless finish
Now is not the time for a quick blitz! Don’t underestimate the difference a deep clean can make to the way your house looks. Dust skirting boards, picture rails and light fittings, clean windows inside and out, scrub tiles and wipe down every surface to show your home off at its best. Pushed for time? Hire professional cleaners to do a comprehensive job. The quick sale of your house will be well worth the outlay.
Let there be light
Make rooms look big, bright and welcoming with good lighting. Swap your bulbs for high-wattage ones and add extra table and floor lamps to illuminate dark corners and soften the central light.
You don’t have to splash out on brand-new fixtures and fittings – accessories can go a long way to smartening up any space. In the bathroom, a new white shower curtain can update an old bath, while a stack of coordinating fluffy towels, candles and decorative storage baskets will create a spa-like feel for minimal outlay.