Many people ask me what they need to do to prepare their house for marketing and from experience, I have found a few key things can really help… some more obvious than others!
When potential buyers arrive at your front door they will make an immediate judgement, and as the saying goes “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. My advice would be to make sure your front door is looking tidy, if you need to freshen up the paintwork, replace a door handle or renew the battery in the doorbell, these are all going to help improve that first impression. Also it is worth making sure any access to the house and doorsteps are safe and clear. I would also suggest a pretty hanging basket to make that first impression even better (as long as the flowers are alive and blooming)!
I find the best way to market a house is to show the rooms as someone else would intend to use them. So, for example, if you are marketing your home with a ‘dining room’, make sure the room presents as such with a table and chairs, so the viewers can imagine themselves hosting a dinner party or enjoying a Christmas dinner there. Buyers will want to envisage themselves living in the property and anything you can do to help them do this will improve your saleability. I would suggest making sure every bedroom has a bed and if you have a kitchen/breakfast room, try to make sure you have a little table or breakfast bar so buyers can see that you would be able to eat-in the kitchen.
It may seem obvious but de-cluttering can really help make your property look more spacious, so try hard to make surfaces look clear, especially kitchen counters which can easily get over cluttered. If you have cupboards you can barely open without everything falling out, have a clear out or take a few things to a family or friend’s house for the short term, this will avoid potential buyers thinking there is a shortage of storage space. But be careful not to go too far, bare properties stripped of any personal touches, belongings and home comforts can risk feeling a bit cold and lifeless.
Another obvious one but giving your home a dust and a hoover will really improve the presentation of your home and will also make the property feel fresh and well kept. Keep an eye out for cobwebs hiding in the corners as buyers have an eye for these things!
As well as the usual clean, I would suggest trying to make all glass and mirrored surfaces as clear and sparkly as possible to improve the light in the property. Mirrors can help give a perception of space but finger marks will ruin this! And remember glass shower curtains and windows, giving these a wipe will also improve the lighting and presentation of your home. It is also worth making sure all lights are working and no bulbs need replacing.
Every day use of a bathroom can result in a build up of limescale and mould. There are many great tips on how to scrub up your bathroom but it may also be worth investing in some sealant to improve the presentation of a bath, and if needed, updating the taps, shower heads and faucets to modernise your bathroom at a relatively low cost.
Although not always necessary, a fresh lick of paint can dramatically improve the presentation of a house. So if you have a littlun’ who has scribbled crayon on the walls, or the general day to day knocks have led to marks on the walls, it is worthwhile investing in a pot of paint to remove these flaws.
Everyday wear and tear means carpets can end up dirty and stained, and replacing carpets can be an expensive option. A cheaper option would be hiring a carpet cleaner, or renting a machine, to give them a scrub and make them look and smell fresh.
If you have a garden, it is worthwhile spending a few hours tidying it up, mowing the lawn, clearing any pet waste, and cutting back any overgrown plants that could make the outside space look smaller.
Flowers, coffee, fresh bread…. These all work! As obvious as they may seem, they do help! And buyers like to see that effort has been made as it shows you are motivated to sell.
Following these tips can really improve your chances of achieving your asking price or closer to it, so keep a weekend free and see what you can do!