Stand in front of your home and imagine for a moment that you are a potential buyer turning up for a viewing of the property.
Many people will decide to check out the property by doing a drive-by before deciding to call the Estate Agent to arrange a viewing.
What will they see if they look at your home for sale? What standards of presentation and décor would you expect as a potential buyer?
· Make sure lawns and gardens are neat and tidy.
· If you have fences or gates that need repair,now is the time to tend to them.
· Clear your letterbox daily.
· Clean the gutters of any leaves or debris.
· Make sure your windows have recently been cleaned.
· Sweep driveways and footpaths.
· If possible, store wheelie bins out of sight.
The items listed above will not sell your home on their own, but they will create a good first impression and it leaves potential purchasers looking forward to viewing the inside of your home. Remember, you never get a second chance to create a good first impression.
Now that you have ‘invited’ the potential buyer in, it is time to have a look in side to see how the inside of your home appeals to the purchaser.
Inside the home is all about creating a feeling. Many buyers will have only taken a few steps inside a house when they feel that it is right for them. Whether they make that decision consciously or subconsciously, when deciding if this property for them they will use all of their senses.
The things you should pay attention to are as follows:
- Remove clutter because cluttered rooms make your home seem smaller than it actually is.
- Allow as much natural light in as possible by opening curtains and blinds.
- If the weather permits, it is always preferable to have a couple of windows partly open to allow fresh air through. If it is cold or chilly out, put the heat on so that it is comfortable for the viewer.
- Make sure bathrooms and kitchen are dazzlingly clean. These are the two main areas that influence the decision on whether to buy or not.
- Get your carpets cleaned by a professional cleaner. However, if they are worn or tattered then it is advisable to replace them with new carpets. The same applies to curtains and soft furnishings.
- Remove all family photographs, so that the prospective purchaser can visualise themselves living at the property.
- Tidy cupboards, wardrobes and drawers. Prospective purchasers may not be spaciously aware so showcase your clever storage solutions.
· If you have wooden floors, have a good look at the condition of them. If they are scratched or stained, there are professional companies who, for very little money, can sand and re-stain or re-varnish tired old floors whether they are solid floors or semi-solid.
· Choose your wall colours carefully. Try to avoid strong colours because the taste of the potential buyer may not be the same as yours. Prepare the walls as if it were a blank (or almost blank) canvas, so use pale muted colours with a hint of warmth. An off white or newly revived shade of magnolia should be considered,and most paint manufacturers have a washable range of emulsion paints for any little accidents.
· Oil those squeaky hinges and door handles and fix any faulty light fixtures and fittings.
· Make sure that the home is clean and tidy and that the beds are properly dressed.
· It is quite acceptable to have a newspaper on your coffee table or a magazine on your bedside table, but focus on clean.
· Smell is particularly important, even more so if you have pets.
· Place some fresh flowers in a nice vase and/or light some scented candles.
· Remove dogs during viewings because some people are afraid of dogs (and cats), even if your pet is quiet and gentle.
· It is best that you are not in the home during the viewing because the potential purchasers may feel uncomfortable about asking hard questions about your home or the neighbourhood when you are present.
· Attend to any general maintenance such as doorknobs, light fixtures, paint touch-ups and anything that is generally obvious to the buyer. Take care not to get into a major renovating job.
· Make sure the home is clean and looks well maintained.