In part two of our series on real estate, we give some easy tips to making your home as welcoming as possible and hopefully resulting in a speedy sale—selling a house can be stressful, add children to the mix and it takes it up a level. Think of your house like a movie set, or as if it was going to be featured in a glossy interiors magazine, and dress it accordingly. If you don’t think you are good at staging then why not invite a friend round who is and do it together and then enjoy a nice glass of wine! Here are my top ten tips:
1. Put away some of the personal photos. Some people struggle to imagine themselves in a new space. You do not want to make it harder by having images of your life around every door!
2. Buy lots of scented candles and have fresh flowers as often as you can. I know it sounds obvious but it really does work as it makes a world of difference to have something living and pretty in your home. It also reinforced the lifestyle you are selling and it gives a property a warm and romantic feel. In my experience this change makes a great impression on women viewing your house!
3. Make sure pets are out of sight. You do not want a prospective buyer being distracted by anything while viewing your house, you don’t want them swooning over how cute the dog is!
4. De-clutter!!! People will say it time and time again but when it comes to actually doing it somehow it just doesn’t happen. You must de-clutter before you put your house on the market. It gives off the completely wrong impression if all your cupboards, shelves, under the bed and garage are packed with stuff!
5. Do not cook smelly food the night before a viewing, or at least buy some Oust! The number of times I have shown a house or flat to someone that they would have otherwise liked but were immediately turned off by the smell of last night’s dinner.
6. Do not give someone a reason to find fault, if you have a few scrapes and scuffs in the paint work just spend one hour with a brush and paint going over the obvious marks. Depending on the colour it should blend right in, but do a test patch first just in case!
7. Have your house professionally deep cleaned. It costs a couple of hundred pounds for a big house but it will make the world of difference to a buyer when the sink sparkles and there isn’t any limescale or mould in sight! Not a bad outlay if it gets your house sold fast!
8. Cobwebs!!! For some reason we do not notice cobwebs where we live, but take a look at your ceiling and you are bound to find some, get rid of them – nothing makes a house look more tired and uninviting. I have seen some terrible cobwebs in my time, creepy!
9. Re-paint the front door. It will make the first thing a buyer sees look fresh and inviting. Maybe think about changing the colour to something that has a wide appeal, keep in mind it won’t be your front door for much longer!
10. Have quotes for everything you can think of that someone might want to do to your house, new windows, extension, loft conversion etc. Shows them the long term possibilities your home offers, this saves buyers’ time and gets their imagination going!
And remember, you want your house to be the best property that buyers see and keep in mind most buyers will view around 10 houses. If you are not sure where to start and you have a spare hour one day then look at properties online in your local area at a similar price, select the two you find most attractive and go and view them. This will give you a sense of what buyers are seeing and expecting in your area for that price.
Gabby Adler is a independent property buying specialist that works exclusively with families looking to buy in Richmond-upon-Thames. She takes the hassle out of the house hunt and presents you with your top options based on your criteria.