When you are ready to market your home for sale, there is one thing you should always remember, and that is “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and often 30 seconds is your limit to get it right!
When buyers view properties for the first time they will be immediately judging whether your home is potentially suitable for them to buy, so it is exceptionally important to be prepared for that viewing, and give every opportunity to the viewer to imagine themselves living there.
Knocking on walls, checking out the neighbours and venturing into the loft are normally reserved for later viewings, but the first viewing is the buyer’s opportunity to decide whether your house has the right feel for them.
Here are a few tips that may help encourage buyers to fall in love with it.
- At the front of the house, remove all rubbish and recycling bins, sweep the pathway and tidy the front garden if you have one. If you have off road parking, keep the driveway clear for your buyers to park outside the house. In Autumn and Winter, try to ensure some level of outside lighting in case of viewings after dark. Dress up your front door if it is looking a bit tired, give it a lick of paint, place a new hanging basket up, fix the knocker and put a battery in the door bell!
- In the hallway, this is the first room a buyer will see, and what they do not want to be greeted with is school bags, shoes and coats. If you have a coat cupboard, place items away out of sight, if you do not have a cupboard, hide these items somewhere so the buyers won’t immediately think “this property is missing a coat cupboard”.
- In the main living area, this is where buyers will want to imagine themselves relaxing. Neaten and plump the cushions, fold away blankets and throws and straighten any mats. Clear any coffee tables and tidy away any mess, such as kid’s toys, pet beds and newspapers. If you have a fireplace, make it a feature and if weather appropriate, light it up!
- In the kitchen, you want this room looking especially clean and tidy as buyers will want to imagine themselves preparing food in here. Buyers will be looking out for available surface space so clear worktops and wipe down any surfaces to leave them looking sparkly clean. Clear away any washing up and neaten any tea towels / oven gloves. Straighten up any wonky doors, replace any missing handles and change any blown bulbs.
- In the bedrooms, buyers want to see how much space there is once a bed is in place, so as silly as it may sound, always try to place a bed in a bedroom when marketing your home. Although you may have a junk room, ironing room, study etc, if this room is being marketed as a bedroom, this is what buyers want to see it as. Keep the rooms looking tidy by making the beds and keep clothes neatly put away in any cupboards and drawers. Buyers will always look out for cupboard space, so where possible make sure each room has somewhere you can store your clothes.
- In the bathrooms, you again want to create a clean environment where a buyer would be happy pampering themselves, so as well as getting out the bleach, touch up any grout and sealant where possible. Equally keeping bottles, lotions and potions tidied away will keep the room looking clear.
- In the garden, you do not want the buyers to worry about maintenance, so keep any shrubs and bushes trimmed back, mow the lawn, remove any weeds and clear up evidence of any pets. A buyer will want to imagine themselves relaxing outside in the sunshine, so if weather appropriate, present the table and chairs for buyers to see where they could be putting their feet up!
- If you have pets such as dogs at home, please ensure that you take them out the house whilst the viewing takes place, as people may not share your love of pets, or they might be allergic. Also, when you live in a home with a pet, you can become immune to the smell, so kindly ask a relative or neighbour to be honest about whether the pet smell is lingering, and, if necessary have the carpets or upholstery cleaned and invest in a box of baking soda (perfect for absorbing pet odours) or spray rooms with a vinegar solution (but not too much or you replace pet smell with salad dressing!)
- General finishing touches such as fresh flowers do help to create a nice welcoming environment. Avoid any stale smells where possible by emptying bins and litter trays, opening windows and where appropriate, using air freshners or even better, bake some bread or, easier still, make some toast and put on a pot of fresh coffee!
Although many of these tips may sound obvious, sellers often forget the little things when marketing their home, as the busy day to day schedules take over. It does however make a big difference to securing a buyer quickly, and at the best price you can, so to avoid deterring any potential buyers, remember to prepare for viewings by keeping your home looking neat and tidy, clean and maintenance free!
To see the difference these tips can make, watch our video below where I show how doing some of the things listed above can vastly improve the presentation of your property.
Sales Operations Manager