When selling your property, the first things potential sellers see when they arrive is the exterior of your property. It can be easy to have overlooked items over the years as you have become accustomed to living there however, someone viewing your property for the first time will notice. Dirty windows? Flaky paint on windowsills? Guttering hanging down? Rubbish gathered at the front of the property? Grass/hedge cut? Are the potted plants adding to the look of the property? These are all items which will be noticed however can be easily rectified.
Tidy Up & Declutter!
Sounds simple but many sellers do not do this, and it is one of the cheapest ways to improve interest from sellers interested in purchasing your property. Ensure that when the front door is opened, viewers have clear sightlines into the property and they are not obstructed by clutter such as bicycles, children’s toys or anything else that does not belong there…such as vacuum cleaners. Remove clutter from the windowsills and mantlepiece. If you have pets be sure to have tidied up any mess and hair before viewings and open windows in advance to remove any smells and odours. No one wants to live in a dirty, smelly house, so taking a few hours to clean it will assist potential buyers visualising themselves living there. Open curtains and blinds and ensure all beds are made and presented well.
Take some time and finish the odd jobs that have been bugging you. Attend to repairs such as broken drawer handles, cupboard doors hanging off their hinges, and missing bathroom or kitchen tiles. Replace any burnt out light bulbs and replace grubby lamp shades. LED bulbs offer excellent lighting and can really brighten up a dark room. Vertical blinds should be clean and unbroken, if needs be they can be replaced for very little cost. If the carpet in the property has a few stains, try using a carpet cleaner to remove these. If the carpet is heavily worn throughout or stained, it will be worth replacing this in advance. Many buyers want to move in with minimal or no works to complete, so bear this in mind when preparing your property for sale. In the garden ensure the grass it cut and that its not a dumping ground for animal waste or children’s toys. If you have a patio, present it as if you were going to have some friends over, perspective buyers want to be able to visualise themselves using the space.
If there are any broken handles or cupboard doors hanging off, fix these. Another possible option is to replace the worktop and doors provided the carcasses are in good condition. Again, if the cupboards need a clean, use this as an opportunity to throw out anything which is no longer needed. Clear away utensils and appliances from the worktops, ideally you want to leave them clear an open, as this will make them appear larger as they are free from clutter. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, so its import to present them as best you can.
Be sure not to forget to clean the bathroom! Place any laundry in the laundry basket and hang towels neatly over the rail. Clean the bath and shower cubicles removing any soap scum and limescale. If the silicone beading is mouldy, bleach can be used to improve the look of this, however it might be easier to have the silicone removed and new silicone applied. Tile grout can get discoloured over time and there are a few options depending on the extent of discolouration. Bleach can be used as well as steam cleaners to restore the original colour and remove dirt. Grout pens are available however I have personally never found these much use as it found it generally left the grout patchy looking. If there are broken tiles, replace these if possible. New vinyl can be installed and is a cheap and easy way to add a fresh look to your bathroom. Remove any unnecessary clutter from around the sink and ensure the mirror is spotless. The toilet…nobody likes cleaning it…but it will pay dividends. Give it a good clean, removing any soil and limescale build-up. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, so its import to present them as best you can.
Paint is basically money in a tin. Fresh paint will improve the appeal of your home to perspective buyers as many want to move in with little or no works to be completed. CAUTION: Use light and neutral colours, whilst you might love your Barbie pink bedroom and your midnight purple living room, many perspective buyers will not. Don’t forget about the skirting boards and architrave, white painted woodwork typically “yellows” over time so freshen up with a coat of fresh white paint. Don’t forget about the internal doors, a coat of fresh paint will do wonder although it is not much more expensive to install new internal doors which will improve appeal. Light neutral colours will make your rooms seem bigger.
Bad smells in a property are one of the biggest turn offs for prospective buyers. Don’t just cover them up by spraying air fresheners and deodorants, fix the source of the smell. If you have pets, ensure you have cleaned up after them, whilst you may love them, not everyone will, not to mention those who are allergic. Dump out of date food from cupboards and fridges and empty the bins. If necessary, clean the bins to remove any residual smells and open windows to ventilate the property.
Good smells will have the opposite effect of bad smells in that they will make your property feel like an alluring home for a perspective buyer. I’m not saying you have to bake a fresh batch of brownies for every perspective viewer but brewing some fresh coffee can create a comforting feeling. Do not go crazy with flowers, many people are allergic and if they spend the entirety of the viewing looking at your property through watery eyes whilst wheezing and sneezing, that will be all that they remember about it. Reed diffusers are a good way to add a decorative feature and a pleasant smell.
Most people have always been passionate about not freezing to death, so stick the heat on in advance of any viewings to be sure the property is sitting at around 18-20°C. If perspective purchasers are cold, they will not stay for long and it will make it difficult for them to visualise themselves living there. It will also reassure them that the heating system works.
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