Below is an article from our Guide to Selling Your Home Successfully, which you can read online here.
Once you have buyers interested in your property, it is essential that presentation surpasses their expectation. First impressions really do count - most buyers form an opinion within the first 15 seconds of entering a property. There are affordable improvements that you can make to your home that will significantly enhance the buyer's experience.
Years of a busy family life, entertaining, and general wear and tear can really let down your property and deter potential buyers. However, preparing your home for sale doesn't need to be expensive and you certainly do not need to completely redecorate. The exterior of your home is the first view buyers have of your property; a freshly cut lawn, well-kept plants and an inviting entrance will definitely impress and set the level of expectation for the rest of the property. This will also help your photos to look appealing. The opposite of this will clearly have a negative effect on buyers.
Here are a few of our recommendations to maximise the selling potential of your home:
- Draw attention to any unusual or period features
- Sensitively repair or remove broken or tired looking furniture, fixtures and fittings
- Clean and tidy every room - clutter can make a house seem small and messy
- Stage key rooms, use props to show how you could best utilise the area (for example the dining room, master bedroom or study), helping buyers visualise themselves living there
- Pets can be a turn-off for some buyers, so it is a good idea to remove pet hair, their beds and odours from the house
- Unpleasant or strong smells have a negative effect on people - avoid cooking before viewings and it may be advisable to smoke outside
When buyers view your property they are continually asking themselves "Can I see myself living here"? You want the answer to be "Yes, definitely" - however, they can be easily distracted by toys, bright walls and carpets, clutter, and even people. To sell your home successfully, a buyer needs to look beyond your personal taste and create their own image. It can be difficult to do, but depersonalising your home will help buyers to visualise themselves living there instead of you. Creating an atmosphere that is calm, neutral and clutter-free will give you the best chance of selling your home quickly. Below are a few tips we have picked up over the years:
- It sounds simple, but decorating your home in neutral colours provides a blank canvass for buyers to make their own mark on the property.
- Using lighter colours will reflect more sunlight making rooms feel airy and spacious.
- Remove excess clutter and unnecessary personal items from the floor, shelves and work surfaces.
- Try to arrange viewings when children are at school, too many people in a house can make it appear small and crowded.
- Using props and furnishings such as candles, flowers and paintings to stage rooms will help to show them off to their best potential.
- It may be a good idea at this point to put some of your furniture and belongings into storage. This will create space in your property and help you to prepare for the move.