Here are a few tips on how to present your home in the best possible light without it costing a small fortune.
Remove litter and sweep the pavement outside. Okay, so no one is going to be fooled if the rest of the street is untidy but it immediately creates the impression that you, at least, care about your home.
A newly painted fence or freshly clipped hedge and a clean, weed free path and driveway is always welcoming.
The front garden should be tidy and well-tended. Any rubbish should be removed entirely or at least put out of sight.
Don’t be tempted to use cupboards as a convenient dumping ground. Keep them neat and tidy. Prospective buyers will not take kindly to being submerged in an avalanche of discarded clothing as they open a door, saucepans even less so.
The back garden should also look well cared for. Make sure that your lawn is edged neatly, flowers beds are weed free, patio areas are swept clean and shrubs and trees are neatly pruned.
The front door is worth particular attention. It is what buyers concentrate on while they are waiting to be let in. In addition to a new coat of paint, you should replace broken knockers and other fittings.
Ensure that the kitchen and bathroom are kept sparkling clean and fresh smelling. Any broken handles or hinges on cupboard doors should be replaced; the same goes for shower fittings and dripping taps.
Bedrooms should be kept clean and tidy. Built in wardrobes and other storage areas should be rearranged to make them look as neat and spacious as possible.
While it may not be worth going to the trouble and expense of redecorating, unless you have an eccentric colour scheme, all paint work should be clean and free from cracks or stains and any chips should be touched up with a small brush.
Generally speaking, rooms should be clean and tidy and you can even create the feeling of more space by removing certain items of furniture. It is certainly worth offering your children some sort of incentive to keep their rooms reasonably tidy. However, remember this is your home not a show home and people expect it to look lived in. Still, on balance, it is probably best to remove those roller skates from halfway up the stairs!
Take particular care to clean the areas your pets inhabit and eliminate any strong smells. In the case of dogs it is best to keep them away from people viewing, if possible, try to arrange to have them taken for a walk.
Studies show that people react positively to properties shown under a bright light. So, during the day keep curtains wide open and windows clean. At night switch on all the lights replacing blown bulbs or dull fluorescent tubes.
Peace and quiet is always desirable, although soft background music can help create a calm atmosphere. Avoid loud noises such as barking dogs or banging pipes and make sure the television is switched off.
All carpets, floor coverings, curtains and soft furnishings should be clean and in good condition.
Just to be on the safe side, remove all small valuable items from view.
As for the outside of the house a coat of paint costs next to nothing, but is proven to be one of the most important factors in creating a good impression.
Windows should be cleaned inside and out and any cracked panes replaced.
Smell has more impact than you might think and will either work for or against you. Scour kitchens and bathrooms with bleach and use lemon scented polish to add richness. Fresh flowers and pot pourri placed strategically around the house can help, along with the smell of baked bread or freshly ground coffee.
If you show a prospective buyer around your home avoid having too many people present. Although friends and neighbours may be well meaning, less is definitely more.
Be polite and don’t try to entertain the buyer, they are looking to inspect your house not make a social call. Never apologise for the appearance of your house, after all, it is your home. And if you are asked why you are selling tell them the truth, without giving away too much information.
We will be happy to cast a critical eye over your home to see where you might be able to make any simple, cost effective improvements.