The time has come where you’re looking to sell your home, and of course you want to make as much money out of your property and find the right buyer as quickly as possible. To help you achieve this, before calling the estate agents for valuation/photos to be taken, follow our little guide to preparing your home for sale.
What affects house value?
The condition of bathrooms, kitchens, windows, and doors plays a major role in the value of your home. But don’t think you have to complete extensive works to put your property on the market to get the most out of it. Simply make sure it all functions as it should. This could be as simple as freeing up hinges and handles with WD-40 if needed, filling in gaps in the grout, re-sealing bathtubs, sinks and showers, particularly if mouldy, replace broken lightbulbs, and carry out a deep clean of ovens, showers, sinks, tubs, cupboards, tiles and windows to ensure that it looks as good as new.
Your driveway, front of house and garage are all likely to be the first things a potential buyer sees, whether looking online, driving past or on a viewing. So ensure pathways are clear, bins are stowed away, any dead flowers/plants are removed/replaced with fresh ones and consider power-washing driveways, guttering and front of houses to make it look as fresh and clean as possible. You’d also benefit from getting the windows and windowsills cleaned too.
Buyers like to visualise what their home may be like. Although their tastes may not be the same as yours, it is better to have a house that looks lived in than empty as this may make the house feel cold, unloved and highlight areas of disrepair. If you’re unable to or not currently living in the property, where possible, it is worth leaving furniture and furnishings to help inspire buyers on how to use the space.
Throws, rugs, furniture, cushions, generic pictures, lamps and books help bring life to a home. A bunch of fresh flowers in reception rooms wouldn’t go amiss either as it’ll give that homey feel.
It is also beneficial to store photographs of you and the family and very personal items to help the space to be quite neutral and allow potential buyers envision themselves living there.
Scents also play a big part
The smell of clean laundry, fresh linen, flowers and cleaning products all give that homey, comforting vibe. Of course you don’t want your laundry hanging out to dry when you’ve got viewers coming to see the property so it is worth putting a load on as close to the viewing time as possible and hiding it away whilst they’re over. If you can’t face the stress of it, plugins and diffusers will help you achieve that desired effect.
Before a viewing, pour a liberal amount of fragranced toilet bleach around the bowl to give the illusion of a freshly cleaned bathroom.
Additionally, the smell of freshly baked goods is always a welcomed treat. If you have the time and actually like to bake, test the theory out and bake the morning of a viewing. Just be sure to keep a close eye on your baked goods as you don’t want a burning smell lingering.
Clean and tidy
It can be quite stressful constantly having to clean and tidy your home ready for viewings. During the selling process you may find it beneficial to hire a temporary cleaner to help with the extra load. Alternatively, carrying out a deep clean once a week and staying on top of the cleaning and tidying is beneficial. Keep cloths handy to wipe around baths/showers/sinks, staying on top of the washing up by doing it as you go along, doing laundry at breakfast, lunch or after work, and heading to the laundrette if you don’t have a drier or the weather is too appalling to hang it out. This will all help you stay on top of it all.
Be sure to focus on the garden too. Regularly mow the lawn and clear it of leaves and debris, and ensure that any garden furniture and pots are nice and clean too.
Don’t forget that as part of the buying party’s process, your home will go under a thorough investigation by the valuer. They’ll look for potential leaks, mould, damage to property, faulty windows, doors, decking etc. to give a true reflection of the property’s value.
If it’s a case of just touching something up, carrying out remedial work beforehand will save a lot of hassle and headaches further down the process. However, if it entails a big and costly job you may be happy to discount the sale value so you don’t incur these costs. You may already be familiar with the general state of the property from when you purchased it and had your own assessment. If you didn’t take action on the details listed, or are aware of a problem or fault, don’t think that you may get away with it, because the valuer is sure to pick up on it and could lead to lengthy re-negotiation or potentially cost you the sale of your property at the crucial moment.
Bear in mind there are several categories of review and your buyer could opt to have the most extensive one which may highlight some issues you were unaware of. Of course you don’t need to make compromise on general decoration, as this is down to personal taste; it is a factor of functionality, repairs and costs to do so.