We strive to give your home market exposure and get potential buyers viewing your property. This guide is how you can help make sure your home meets buyer expectations and ensure a quicker sale.
When selling your property, making your home as appealing as possible is vital. In a market with more properties available than buyers, it's important that the potential for sale from any viewing is maximised. The large number of properties available means home buyers have become more discerning and demand a higher level of quality from any potential house purchase. Where do you start? The best place is to put your self in the mindset of a potential buyer, what would you expect?
To help as much as possible, we've put this guide together to give you some pointers on what you can do. You may need to spend time and money in raising the presentation of your home, but a little effort now can lead to a better price and quicker sale.
A potential buyer will immediately form an opinion on the property as a whole simply from first appearances. So it's important to make sure your front of house is in order. Compare your house in comparison to those of your neighbours, and best kept homes in the nearby area. Make a list of points where you feel other properties set a high standard, this will help improve your own homes "kerb appeal".
Lovelle Estate Agency can recommend tradesmen to carry out any of the tasks recommended below.
Roof - Ensure there are no loose or missing tiles, and make sure all leading is undamaged and tidy.
Guttering & Facias - Make sure all guttering is clear of debris, and any damage is repaired. Ensure any fascias are clean and repaint any metal guttering if necessary.
Brickwork - Check brickwork for wear, make sure damaged areas are re-pointed. Damaged brickwork could lead a potential buyer to suspect damp issues with internal walls. Painting is a good way to give the outside surface a clean look. Avoid bright, garish colours, as not every one will share your tastes. Instead opt for more neutral colours, such as light creams or magnolia on main areas. Pick out features, such as areas above or below windows in white.
Front Door(s) and Windows - Clean all windows and windowsills, repair any broken glass, frames or fittings. Make sure the front door works properly and is secure. Make sure any signs of wear are repaired, paint, stain or varnish if necessary. Oil hinges. Keep the door way clean and free of litter and clutter.
Garage - Make sure the garage door opens and closes easily. All paintwork or finishes look tidy, repaint, stain or varnish worn areas. Ensure the entrance is free of litter and clutter.
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Wall or Fence - Remove moss or weeds that grow on or around a wall or fence. Repair damage and touch up areas of wear and tear for the appearance of good condition. Make sure gates are easily opened and close securely. Oil hinges and latches.
Path and Drive - Make sure the area is clean and well swept, especially during autumn. Remove any weeds or moss. Use a power washer to create a cleaner, brighter looking path or drive.
Lawns, Gardens and Hedges - If you have a garden, spend time keeping on top of your garden chores. Keep all lawns regularly mowed, especially during spring and summer. Remove weeds and litter from any borders. Tidy up overgrown trees, bushes and hedges by trimming them down. If your property is surrounded by a lot of trees, consider cutting them back to allow more light into your garden and property. Make sure you get permission before cutting back any trees from neighbouring properties.
Gravelled or Pebbled areas - Rake for an even finish, remove all litter and weeds.
In general, repair or replace anything broken, paint, stain or varnish anything showing signs of wear and tear or looking tired. Remove all rubble and tidy up any clutter. If you have a "For Sale" board, make sure it's clearly visible, trim any foliage that may obscure it from being viewed.
Through the door
Hopefully you've followed some of, if not all of the previous points and taken steps to improve your property's "kerb appeal". So now you've got some potential buyers through the door we need to try and seal the deal. We need to make sure the property looks as good inside as it does out. So we've listed some general concepts for you to think about and also some room by room pointers to help further improve your homes appeal.
De-clutter - When a prospective buyer visits your home they'll be trying to imagine it as their home, how they might put their stamp on it. This is where less is more. The less clutter there is in your house, the easier it is for any potential buyer to imagine their own ornaments and furniture in place. Remove any unwanted items (as you're potentially moving in the near future it's a good time to have a clear out) and put any items which may be distracting into storage. This will incur some expense, but will greatly increase your chance of a sale.
Colour Schemes - Your homes existing colour scheme is a reflection or your personal tastes, something prospective buyers may not share. The best approach will be to create a blank canvas, by using more neutral colours. Creams, white, magnolia and beiges will not only neutralise a room's colour scheme but also help open up a room by adding a more spacious feel. Take time to touch up and freshen any old paint work, redecorate if needed.
Lights - Ensure that all light fittings are working correctly, replace any bulbs that are blown. It may advantageous to keep all lights switched on when showing a potential buyer around to further the "light spacious" feel, especially on dull days. Use a higher wattage bulb to maximise the effect.
Smells - It's important your home doesn't have any lingering odours from food, pets or smoking. Your home should smell clean and fresh, this is especially important in the kitchen and bathroom where all work surfaces and tiles should be disinfected. Avoid using over powering scents.
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Room by room
Entrance Hall - This is usually the first part of your property a prospective buyer will see and as first impressions count, it's important your home feels welcoming. Remove any clutter, put away loose footwear, hang coats and scarfs on proper hangers, clear away newspapers and letters. A new welcome mat will help reduce dirt being walked through the house. Adding a mirror into a hallway can make it feel more spacious and adds interest.
Living Room - Remove all large and striking items, photos and ornaments which may strongly reflect your own personal tastes or lifestyle. Arrange furniture to make the room feel more open and spacious if possible. Remove any obstructions that could get in the way of a viewing, consider putting any unnecessary furniture into storage.
Dining Room - Make sure table cloths or runners are clean or new. Create an attractive focal point on the dining table, with a plant or flowers.
Kitchen - It's important to get this room right, as it's one of the key rooms to a successful property sale. Replace or repair broken worktops. Replace doors on wall and base units with a modern style if they're looking dated. Make sure all appliances are spotless. Clean all tiled areas making sure all grouting is dirt free. Keep the sink clean, disinfected and tidy, clean and put away any dirty dishes. If you have a boiler in the kitchen then box in all pipe work.
Bathrooms - Keep all personal toiletries and cleaning materials stored out of view. Ensure all the surfaces are sanitised especially the taps, toilet, sink and bath. Replace the shower curtain if necessary and adorn the room with fresh towels.
Bedroom - It is important the bedroom reflects that it is a place to unwind and relax, also having TVs or computers in a bedroom could give the impression there's a lack of space. So if possible, store or put away all items like TVs, entertainment systems, computers etc, keeping the room tidy and free of clutter. It is very important the bedroom feels spacious. All clothes should be put away and not left on the bed or back of chairs, as doing so can give an impression of the lack of storage space. Storage boxes or suitcases should also be removed from view. If bedding looks worn, replace with new.
Spare Rooms - It is important to have a purpose for your spare room and clearly define it's function. A spare room upstairs could be a spare room for guests, nursery or playroom, study or office. A spare room downstairs can be interpreted as a utility room, washroom, or again as a study or office. Add furniture to further define the rooms use, if necessary.
Conservatory - Make sure all windows and doors are clean inside and out, and blinds are dust free. Arrange furniture to maximise floor space and give the impression of being spacious.
Back Garden - See the same points apply from the previous sections Lawns, Gardens and Hedges and Gravelled or Pebbled Areas. Make sure any outdoor lighting functions correctly. If you don't have any, consider having some installed, as it could prove useful during evening or winter viewings. If you don't have a shed, consider getting one to help store garden and possibly household items. Outdoor furniture increases the usability of the garden and should be added if space allows. Make sure any existing furniture is clean and in good working order. Consider replacing any old or worn looking items.
Certificates & Receipts - If major improvements have been made to the property, make sure you have any certificates and receipts available to show prospective buyers. Buyers who may wish to purchase your property for rental purposes, will often ask for NICEIC certificates for electrical installations.
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