Getting a buyer to easily visualise how your property will suit their family and lifestyle is crucial to selling your property. Obviously, there are some factors like location that you have little control over. There is a great deal you can do to improve your house or flat but not much you can do to improve a neighbourhood.
Focus on those things you can improve or influence. Making sure you select the best solicitor or agent you can with experience, local knowledge, access to the required marketing channels and a proven track record in selling properties like yours in your area is an obvious first step.
Closer to home, while there is no need to constantly bake bread, do keep your property tidy. De-clutter wherever possible to optimise the sense of space. You may think you have a three bedroom house for sale, but prospective buyers might be seeing two bedrooms plus a storage room. It goes without saying that your property should be spotlessly clean.
Ask a friend to look over your property with a critical eye for an honest assessment and don’t be offended by their feedback. Décor is a very personal choice. Potential buyers can be overwhelmed by the taste of the seller when really they need to see the potential of the property so repainting in neutral hues may be a good idea.
Review your lighting too. Brighter modern lights can make a home seem sunny, much more cheerful and up to date. Avoid major overhauls or building work especially in the kitchen and bathroom, but do install new taps, mirrors and door handles if they are damaged or look dated.
‘Kerb appeal’ is a term estate agents often use which could be translated as ‘first impressions count’. You don’t want buyers drawing up at the kerb and deciding not to bother with the viewing having judged the exterior. If you have a front garden, keep it neat and tidy, mow the lawn and make sure refuse bins are hidden or at least as unobtrusive as possible.
Equally, if you have a back garden make sure it’s tidy and looks like a space for entertaining. Inexpensive plastic patio furniture and some potted plants can help create the impression of an ‘extra room outside’.
Your front door is the centrepiece of your ‘kerb appeal’ so it’s worth repainting it in a tasteful colour or renewing it if it looks a little tired and weatherworn. Update any outside lights too (make sure they work).
The immediate entrance to your property, whether it’s a communal stairwell or an entrance hall creates a first impression. Make sure it is tidy and uncluttered. If you have an entrance hall, paint it in a neutral colour, remove any bulky furniture, upgrade the lighting and limit accessories to maybe a mirror and a rug.
Pets. Some people love them, some hate them and some are allergic to them. Make sure that your pet is not in the house during viewings. Remove all bowls, baskets and litter trays. If the potential purchasers are pet lovers, they will pay more attention to your animal and less attention to your home. Pet haters will feel uncomfortable and rush round the viewing, leaving as soon as they can. If the potential buyer is allergic to animals, you can say goodbye to that sale almost immediately.