We all have different tastes and it is worth remembering that one individual’s choice of style might not be in tune with another’s. When you decide to leave your property, the last thing you want to do is spend time and money redecorating, however a small investment can often lead to a big return.
Buyers need to visualise their furniture and their own lifestyle in the property – setting it out as a ‘ready-to-move-into’ blank canvas will greatly assist them in this. Northwood can help you to present your home to appeal to the widest selection of buyers, maximising our chances of agreeing a sale at the highest possible price. Here are some of our top tips for preparing your home for photos and viewings:
- The front gate and gardens create that all-important first impression. Ensure that the gate is freshly painted and hung correctly and that the garden is tidy – especially if you have pets. Cut the grass, weed the flowerbeds and trim the hedges.
- Make sure that the doorbell works. Ensure that the front door doesn’t stick. It should be freshly painted, with polished fittings.
- Clean the windows – they are the ‘eyes’ of the house. Dress them with curtains or blinds, as naked windows are unappealing.
- Repair any damaged decoration and give a fresh lick of paint where it is needed – particularly over any scuff marks.
- Make any minor repairs – fix dripping taps, fill and repaint cracks, replace mouldy grouting, adjust hinges, remove or replace items that are broken or damaged.
- Fresh flowers make a room look cheerful.
- Open all internal doors to avoid dark passages and landings – they make a house look smaller. Turn on the lights and table lamps before your viewers arrive. Replace any lightbulbs that aren’t working. Carefully positioned mirrors can add light and space to dark, compact rooms.
- Keep the house looking spacious and comfortable to live in. Remove any clutter, make all the beds and bribe the children to keep their rooms tidy!
- Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Clearing the surfaces will make the rooms appear larger. Remove grease, limescale and mildew and make the mirrors sparkle. Do the washing up and put the laundry away. Clean the toilet, ensuring the lid is down. Fresh towels are a welcome addition.
- In summer, fresh air is important. Open the windows – particularly if you smoke or have pets.
- In winter, turn on the heating – give a feeling of cosiness in cold weather. If you can, light a fire to give a warm, welcoming feeling.
- Pleasant smells attract; unpleasant smells repel. Remove the source of bad odours – ensure sheets and towels are fresh, pet bedding is washed and bins are emptied. Try spray polish to give your home that ‘cared for’ appeal, brew some fresh coffee or place a few drops of vanilla essence on a baking tray in a warm oven to create a baking smell. Avoid air fresheners – they are synthetic and often overpowering.
- If you have dogs, take them out of the house – many viewers are afraid of them.
- Make sure the function of each room is clearly defined. If you use your smallest bedroom as an office, place a single bed in there instead to show how the room could be used by a young family. Furnish your second reception room with a dining table and chairs to make it obvious to potential buyers.
- Don’t ‘crowd’ viewers. They have come to see the house and will want space to take it in. Make them feel welcome – turn off the TV, have relevant paperwork to hand (such as the Northwood property particulars, guarantees and information on local schools and amenities). Answer any questions in a simple and straightforward manner. Sometimes, the less said, the better.
- Imagine you are coming to view your house as a prospective buyer. How does it shape up?