11 top tips to selling your home
Viewing properties online has become such an embedded part of the home buying process, with many property owners having never known any different, it’s hard to believe that this all started less than 20 years ago.
Since the arrival of property portals such as Rightmove in 2000, 98% of us now look online when we want to start searching for a new home. With people often making up their minds on a property within the first few seconds of viewing, it’s essential your photos show your property at its best.
Looking online, it is easy to see how photos of homes showing bright rooms with minimal clutter, fresh flowers and neatly made beds are far more appealing than those of dark properties filled with toys and clothes, crumbled sheets and plates stacked up next to the sink.
While it may be your estate agents job to get people through the door, you can certainly help by making sure your home is presentable. Getting this right not only means your property will sell faster, but it could also add thousands to its value.
Whether you are preparing your home for photographs or presenting it to perspective buyers, here are some tips to help you.
Prepare your home for a speedy, top-price sale:
Create killer curb appeal
As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It is therefore, worth investing some time, and money, making the most of the front of your house. While mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes and cleaning the path are a minimum requirement, consider washing (or even repainting) the front door, replacing dull house numbers and purchasing a new doormat.
If you have a driveway or allocated parking space, leave it clear when photographs are taken and for prospective buyers to use when they visit.
Decluttering will delight
Have a clear out and get rid of all the ‘stuff’ you’ve accumulated over the years before photos are taken and viewings start.
Once a sale has been agreed, recycle or throw away all that you can, put any extra belongings into storage (or with a friend). While it can be tempting to fill attics and garages, remember viewers will want to look in them and overflowing storage suggests the house simply isn’t big enough.
And while we are talking of buyers snooping (and we they all love to) remember they will be opening cupboards and wardrobes, so ensure shelves are tidily stacked and clothes are neatly folded or hung. This shows buyers you are an organised person who takes care of things- like the house they may be about to buy!
While it’s important to declutter, you don’t want to be left with a soulless space. Remember people are often buying into a lifestyle as much as a property, so show them the appealing side of yours.
Natural and neutral
Once you have cleared out the house, it’s time to neutralise. No buyer has ever been put off by cream walls, they can find it hard to get past strong colours and patterned wallpaper though. Make it easy for people to imagine living in your house by giving the walls a fresh lick of neutral paint, it’ll also make your home seem lighter and bigger.
Spruce up with a spring clean
Remember people are buying into a lifestyle, they don’t want to come into your home and start thinking about cleaning, so ensure your home is sparkling! Clean each room from top to bottom, including surfaces, floors, windows, ledges and get rid of any cobwebs (yes, even that one high up in the corner).
If staying on top of the cleaning is tricky, then having a weekly cleaning service while selling is a good investment.
Now is the time to get on top of all those little jobs you’ve been meaning to get around to. Repair holes and cracks in walls, fix chips in woodwork, mend broken tiles, stop that dripping tap, make sure all spotlights and light bulbs are working and replace mouldy grout or sealant.
Kitchen is key
As all estate agents, and home renovation TV shows, will tell you – the kitchen is the most valuable room in a house. It’s worth the most per square foot, and can be the deciding factor for buyers who are on the fence.
If your kitchen is looking a little tired you don’t need to go to the expense of fitting a new one, replacing cupboard doors (or even changing the door handles) can make a huge difference.
Remember to keep surfaces clear, putting away anything that can fit neatly into cupboards. Worktops that are empty, apart from a bowl of fruit or vase of flowers, are far more appealing than those covered in toasters, jars, blenders, breadbins etc.
Buyers love the idea of coming home to a fresh, beautiful bathroom that reminds them of luxury hotels or soothing spas they have visited.
As with the kitchen, you will want to create a blank canvas. Start by putting away all the things that usually reside on the sink, end of the bath and in the shower. Then remove any items that imply housework (toilet brushes, wastepaper baskets, sponges, cleaning products, spare toilet rolls etc.).
If you’ve followed the above tips then the bathroom is already; spotlessly clean with freshly painted walls, no more leaking taps and shiny new grout. All that’s left is for you to do is ‘dress’ the room.
Adding beautiful, soft towels can instantly transform any bathroom. New is best, so it’s a good idea to keep some for display only. Bring in a few accessories to add elegance and luxury, such as fragrant soaps, bath oils, natural loofahs and candles.
Light and airy
Neutral colours and a good clean will already have helped make your house brighter. Ensuring the windows are clean inside and out will help get maximum light into the house, add to this by turning on lamps in any dark corners.
You can use wall mirrors to make a room look much bigger and lighter, this can be particularly effective in smaller rooms or hallways. Bright, airy rooms feel bigger and make the property more attractive.
Sweet smell of success(ful home selling)
Bad smells are a huge turn off for prospective buyers. A proper clean will make your home smell fresh and appealing. Clear drains, wash bins, open windows, clean the carpet and wash bedding.
Equally, good smells can go a long way to making a house feel like an attractive home. According to research, sales are highest when a simple scent is in the air and recognizable scents (think lemon, orange, pine, vanilla and cinnamon) have been found to be most desirable to buyers.
Don’t forget the garden
It’s a cliché, but for good reason – gardens are often seen as an ‘extra room’, making it important to ensure yours is at its best.
A poll from Zoopla showed that more than a quarter of potential buyers would be put off by an overgrown garden, so mow the lawn, cut back the bushes and remove any weeds. Tidiness creates the impression of a garden that can be easily maintained.
Introduce a sense of relaxation in this additional living area by positioning a table and chairs in a spot where buyers could imagine having a morning coffee. Add colourful picnic wear, potted plants, lanterns etc. to show it in its best light.
Get on top of your paperwork
With all the above in place, things could well move quicker than you’d initially thought so you need to ensure you have a solicitor in place to start the conveyancing process. A good conveyancing solicitor will break down and fully explain all costs associated with selling and provide a fixed upfront fee for their services.
Buying a property is likely to be the biggest purchase you ever make and it is vital you choose an expert conveyancing solicitor to ensure you don’t face any property nightmares further down the line.
How We Can Help
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We understand the importance of having an experienced conveyancing solicitor on your side when buying or selling a home, so call us today on 01525 378177 or contact us online.