Some of you will know that we recently sold our house which means that we’ve been spending a lot of our time viewing other properties. One of the things when buying, and even when you need to sell your property, is thinking about how it’s presented to a potential buyer. I’ve been put off a lot of houses just because there is so much clutter everywhere that I simply couldn’t imagine it as an empty space.
If I’m being blunt, then I’d go so far as to say that if I don’t like the look of your home, then I’m not particularly going to want to move in. First impressions are absolutely everything because whether a buyer consciously, or subconsciously, decides they do or don’t like your house, a few things can make all the difference. So what are these few things you can do to help sell your property?
Pulling Up To The House
Believe it or not the first thing people see is the outside of your house. This is how they’re usually displayed online and, of course, when we’re pulling up to the house we don’t get to see the indoors first. It’s basically just a good idea to make good of everything that people see when they first look at your house; nobody likes really dirty windows and dirty looking net curtains. Take a step back from your house and ask yourself what you’d think if you were potentially going to buy this property and do it from top to bottom.
Look at the roof and check the condition of it; are there any tiles missing and is there a lot of moss present? (We looked at one house where there was a tree growing out of the bricks in the chimney! Safe to say we didn’t put an offer in).
When was the last time you checked the gutters? Are they overflowing or blocked with leaves and mossy debris? You can usually tell after you’ve had a bit of rain because you’ll hear the water trickling over and splashing down. This can also cause damp on the walls so if you’ve got any damp patches on the outside, and even ones coming in, it could be your guttering.
Windows are usually another thing that people look at these days. Most houses will have double glazing of some description but if not it may be worth taking this into consideration when coming up with a price for your house. Either way I’d make sure they were clean, as well as the ledges outside just to spruce up the presentation.
Whether you’ve got brick weave, gravel, concrete or slabs it’s a good idea to ensure the lead up to your house is as tidy as possible. Get rid of any rubbish, rogue weeds and just generally make it look presentable. They’re all easy peasy ways to help sell your property without spending a fortune!
While lots of people adopt the attitude that ‘it’s still my home’ when they’re trying to sell, it doesn’t really look good when someone looks around your house and sees all those unfinished DIY jobs. We actually looked around one house at the very beginning and there were sample paints on the wall, the border had been pulled off and it had also pulled some plaster off the wall too. It just didn’t look maintained and could’ve been so easily rectified. It takes so little work; fill the holes and paint the room a neutral colour even if just to get rid of the samples on the wall.
You don’t have to go all out and redecorate the whole room, buy new linen and accessories and lay a new carpet, it’s literally about working with what you’ve got and making it presentable and appealing to viewers.
Just make sure everything is generally well kept. Yes, it will appeal to those people who are potentially looking for a ‘project’ property, but for the majority of families we’d like to at least be able to move in and take it on room by room in our own time.
Create A Good Feeling
I love walking into houses and getting a ‘vibe’. Lots of the houses we walked around gave me the wrong kind of vibe as soon as we walked in; I couldn’t imagine living here, I couldn’t see me cooking in the kitchen or I couldn’t see us raising our children here. They were all things that were, and still are, quite important to me. It’s not always about how the property looks, it about how it makes your potential buyers feel.
You can use one thing you’ve got to sell your property – windows! You can never go wrong with natural light so throw open the blinds and curtains and, if it’s a nice day, throw the windows open too. This will let the fresh air in and makes the spaces feel more open. If, for whatever reason, you can’t do that then use your lighting. If it’s dark then put the ‘big light’ on or create an ambience with lamps.
Another thing that viewers will pick up on as soon as they walk through the door of your house is the smell. We visited a house where all we could smell was the dog, another one you could tell their house was overrun with animals and others just smelled lovely. It’s really easy to ensure your house smells good; we’ve got an air freshener in the hall way, I have candles burning nearly every other day, I have a spray air freshener and reed diffusers and all kinds of other things that keep the house smelling good.
Make sure any smelly bins are empty, any soiled nappies are out of the house and that anything that’s just kind of lying around is put away. You could even get some flowers to really bring everything together.
Get Rid Of The Clutter & Sell Your Property
Please, please, please, I beg you. Clutter is incredibly off-putting when you’re viewing a property because you can’t see the wood for the trees. You could have the most incredible looking house outside, but if it’s literally filled with books upon books, ornaments upon ornaments and is just generally filled with lots and lots of things, have a declutter. I appreciate it won’t be clutter to the person trying to sell their properties but buyers want to be able to visualise their own possessions in these rooms and it’s hard to do, and very distracting, when the room is filled with unnecessary items.
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Moving house is a great time to get rid of everything you don’t need but if these genuinely are some of your most prized items I’d consider boxing them up and storing them somewhere. This way viewers can get a real idea of the room size and have more of an open mind.
We currently use our garage for storing things we think we might need but, trust me, when we move absolutely nothing is getting past the door that we don’t need or use.
Show Off What You’ve Got!
Lots of different homes have lots of different selling points. Whether you’ve got a huge garden, an original fireplace or you’re close to a school, there will always be something about your house that people are looking for. Some things are more highly valued than others, and that’s ok, but do your best to really emphasise the best qualities of the house as this could be the difference between selling and being on the market for another 6 months.
What are your top tips for getting ready to sell your property? Are you a house moving pro? Or are you a buyer looking for something specific when it comes to viewing properties?