The past year has been an eye-opener in many ways. For a lot of families, being forced to spend more time than usual in the home led to them realising they need more space. Others concluded a move away from the city to a home with outdoor space was preferable, and some have simply decided they want a change. The housing market, after an enforced lull, is picking up again and it promises to be a competitive one.
Are you thinking of selling your house? We’ve put a brief guide together that lists 10 things you should do to make your home sale-ready, and to ensure you get a head start on the competition.
1: Deep Clean
After the clear and troubling health scares of the last year, any viewers will want to be assured that your home has undergone a deep clean before they even visit. If you’re unsure, get the professionals in to give your home the once-over, and put in place hand-sanitisers for visitors. A deep clean would be on this list even before covid-19 disrupted our lives, so nowadays you should take extra precautions to assure cleanliness.
2: Find a Good Estate Agent
Don’t handle the sale yourself, put it in the hands of an expert. They will produce a professional marketing portfolio for the house and also know the area and the prices. You should talk to a few agents – try local ones for more dedicated service – and also ask around friends, family and colleagues for advice as they may have reports of poor or great service.
3: Get De-cluttered
Your personal ornaments and trinkets need to be put away when you’re dressing a home for sale. All surfaces should be clean for a fresh look. Also, remove occasional tables that you have round for convenience. The more minimal the room looks, the more the viewer can picture it as a blank canvas. Make sure your rooms look spacious and airy for the best impression.
4: Inspect and Get Repaired
Those niggling little faults that you know are there but don’t concern you too much will be of concern to viewers. Make a list of the small things that need repairing or damage that needs dealing with and get someone in to do the entire lot for a price. Small things such as sticking locks and handles or cracked glass in the windows may be everyday to you, but you want a viewer to see the house as perfect as can be.
5: Repaint in Neutral Colours
This is another tip that involves you getting rid of traces of, for want of a better word, you! There will be rooms that are decorated how you personally want, perhaps with bright colours or bold patterns. Paint over these with a neutral, plain shade that leaves the room itself as the focus, and not a bright orange wall! If you have not got time to paint rooms get the experts in, a good redecoration of ageing paintwork will give the house a lift that makes it look better all-round.
6: Remember the Exterior
It’s easy to forget about the outside and your gardens when preparing the interior of a home for sale, yet this is the first impression people will get of your home. Give the garden some attention and mow the lawn. If you have bare flower borders, buy some ready to plant hardy flowers from a garden centre and put them in. Make sure your windows are kept clean and any paintwork that looks shabby is repainted. Anything that is remotely unsightly you should remove. You want visitors to arrive at a tidy, more than presentable property that is inviting and attractive.
7: Consider the Lighting
Lighting a room properly is something you need to think carefully about. When showing visitors around you want every room to be perfectly lit. This applies in the day or in the evening as there will be some rooms that are not well-served by natural light. Don’t overdo it as that will be instantly noticeable, but a nice soft and warm light is the way to go. If you know a photographer ask them for advice, as they will be used to lighting sets. After all, your home is a set when it’s dressed for sale, which brings us to the next point.
8: Stage Your Home
A few of the above tips have involved de-personalising the home, and this is another step in that direction. Bear in mind you are not selling your home; you are selling the building! People want to see what it will look like when furnished, but also want to see beyond what’s in the rooms. If you happen to know someone with experience in interior design, they may be able to give you advice, or you could browse some of the well-known interior magazines and get ideas. Either way, take your personal stamp off the home as best possible.
9: Let Air In
Before you have a viewing ensure you leave a few windows open to let air circulate through the building. This freshens up the rooms and ensures that any odours that may be there that you have got used to are removed. Simple touches such as this are essential in giving the home a natural feel when people visit but remember to ensure the rooms are warm enough but not too warm.
10: Put the Coffee On!
It may be a cliché, but coffee smells good, and you want your guests to feel welcome so why not offer them a cup? It’s also easier than baking bread, which is the other recommended aroma!
The above are simple things you can do to ensure your viewers get the best idea of what your property offers them without being distracted by your personal clutter and décor. Take some time to get everything clean, tidy and fresh and you will stand the best chance of getting a sale.