Dean and Co’s top tips for getting your home ready for marketing and viewings!
Part 1- Kerb Appeal
You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Make sure your front door looks its best, your potential buyer will soon be standing on your doorstep nose to nose with it.
Jobs to consider if needed:
• Repaint (black, blue, white, red or green are good choice).
• Polish all knobs and knockers or replace if dated.
• Make sure your doorbell works and does not look like it could give an electric shock.
Freshen up the exterior if needed, these simple tasks will help with saleability:
• Sand back and make good any peeled paintwork around window & door-frames.
• Wash down windows to remove pollution grime.
• Repaint the exterior (especially if it is white).
• Replace any broken roof tiles.
• Scrub away any build-up of moss around drains (a sure sign to surveyors that there is a drainage problem to tell the buyer’s mortgage lender about).
• Make sure you can clearly see your house number from the street.
Tidy-up your garden. Basic maintenance is all that is needed so consider:
• Mowing the lawn.
• Clipping back hedges.
• Keeping the flowerbeds, driveways and paths weed free.
• Removing any plants that have died.
• Keeping your front garden clear of any dead leaves.
• Check and make sure that any fences, gates, railings or outside walls are in good repair.
Clear outdoor clutter:
• Remove any vehicles from the driveway.
• Make sure the hose pipe and any garden tools are stored safely.
• Any kids toys are put away.
• If you have a dog, make sure you clean up any mess!!!!!!
Lots of buyers ‘drive-by’ property to check it’s worth their while booking a proper viewing appointment. Do not give them the chance to form the wrong first impression or worse , just drive away – keep the outside neat and tidy.
Part 2- Stepping Over The Threshold
We have plenty more for you to consider when getting ready to market your home. A well-presented hallway sets the tone of a house. It is where buyers form their first and last impression of the inside of your property. Clear the clutter. Hallways can easily become filled with coats, shoes, umbrellas, bikes and post. If you have to sidestep any objects, remove them for the period of your sale.
Brighten up the hallway, often without a window to let in natural light, the hall can be one of the darkest places in a house:
• Repainting the walls a neutral colour and the ceiling in white.
• Changing light bulbs to LED’s.
• Hanging a large mirror next to the door (or at the end of the hall) to reflect light.
• Leaving doors to other parts of the house open to borrow light.
If your flooring is truly worn-out and beyond saving, replace it! Running the same flooring from the hall through to adjoining rooms ties a house together. It also makes your house feel more spacious.
Good choices of flooring are:
• Laminated wood flooring.
• Engineered wood.
• Karndean/Amtico or similar.
There is no need to go overboard but adding these few final touches to your hallway will certainly make if feel more inviting:
• Flowers or a sturdy potted plant .
• If your hall is long add a few framed prints.
• At sturdy absorbent door mat is a must!
Do not neglect your hall. It is not the most important room in the house but done well, it will leave a lasting impression. If you can make the hall light, welcoming and clutter free, you will immediately give buyers a positive feeling.
Part 3- The Chill Out Zone
Plump up the sofa cushions and lay a throw over the back of the newly polished Winchester, it’s time to prepare the living room for viewings. Living Rooms are often a focal point in the home, this is where we spend a lot of our time and buyers can tell a lot about a vendor from how this room is presented.
Time for a clear out, you want to show off as much of the room as possible so remove anything else that may detract your buyer’s attention:
• Children’s toys
• Family photos
We touched on flooring earlier so we won’t go into too much detail, however if you have pets and/or smoke your carpet will carry odours that buyers will pick up on and potentially be put off by. A few options:
• Shampoo the carpet yourself
• Call in professional cleaners
• Replace it if it is worn as well as whiffy
If you are thinking about laying hard floors, be sure to lift your carpet before you go shopping. You never know what you might find beneath, original floor boards might just need a light sanding or you could even find Parquet tiles.
Furniture should be minimal, in good order and positioned as to bring attention to a focal point in the room:
• 2 x Sofas
• 2 x Side tables
• 1 x Coffee table
Arrange the sofas so they face each other or in an “L” shape to create the impression that it is a social space. If you have a fireplace, funky painting, piece of art or a view of the garden (focal point) aim the sofas towards it. Do not positon towards the T.V. if you can get away with it. With lifestyle rooms you are trying to show buyers something aspirational. You’re setting a stage for them to project their own image of a “better life” onto. If buyers think you live a good life in your house, they’ll think a good life awaits them there too!
Part 4- Dinner Time
Time to set the table, no you are not having a dinner party, we just want people to think you are. Dining Rooms are often an afterthought for vendors but definitely worth your attention. If you don’t have a dining room then it is important to create a dining area with a table and a couple of chairs as a minimum.
Dress the table as if you are hosting a dinner party:
• A bowl of fruit or candle as a focal point.
• Good linen.
• Slip covers if upholstery is worn.
• Your best silverware and glassware.
If you have sideboard or display cabinet, ensure you have your best crockery on display and all the glass and the woodwork polished. Directional lighting over the table is best. If buyers view your house when it’s dark outside, create more mood with soft lighting and/or candles.
Part 5- Don't Snooze And Lose
Did someone say siesta? No, but it is time to make the bed and hide all your cuddly toys as you prepare your bedrooms for viewings. Bedrooms should be spacious, with plenty of storage and a bed as a focal point. Double bedrooms are worth more to buyers than singles so if you can fit a double in, prove it! Don’t leave buyers in doubt. Ideally you should be able to access the bed from either side.
All you need in a bedroom is:
• A bed.
• A bedside table (one either side if it’s a double).
• A wardrobe.
• That’s it! Anything else is just taking up space.
Storage is paramount in bedrooms, built in wardrobes are generally preferred and will no doubt have buyers looking inside so ensure everything is tidy. If you have freestanding furniture that you intend to take with you then you will probably be safe from prying eyes. It is all too easy to fill your wardrobes with clutter for viewings, but you should avoid doing this, use your loft space.
A few ideas for making your bed the focal point:
• Ensure you have clean, matching bedding.
• Fit a valance sheet on the bed so it can hide anything you might have under the bed.
• Matching lamps on bedside tables.
• And cushions!!
Kid’s rooms will never be spotless and buyers will understand this but a few simple touches will help:
• Minimal posters.
• Put as many toys away as possible.
• Have neutral bed spreads rather than Peppa or Thomas (it won’t be for ever).
Bedrooms need to function as just that! If you have an office space within, then it is advisable to remove it for the time you are trying to sell. Plenty of storage and a clutter free room and you are winning!
Finally, always remember to have the beds made when you have potential buyers roaming around.
Part 6- Ready Steady Cook
Pop the coffee on to percolate and get the cake in the oven as we talk about how to present your kitchen. Vendors always ask “shall we put a new kitchen in?” The short answer, No! For all the time, money and energy you will spend it won’t make a huge difference to the overall value of your property and it will more than likely not be to your buyers taste and may be the first thing they rip out. As long as everything is in working order and clean then your buyers should generally be happy.
Deep cleaning a kitchen is a chore but because it works, it’s worth the effort:
• Wipe down all work tops.
• Clean the sink & taps (no Limescale).
• Empty and clean your bin.
• Wash the floor.
• Wipe down all cupboard doors and handles .
• Refresh grimy tile grouting (grouting pens are an easy quick fix!).
• Clean the inside of your fridge.
• The inside of all cupboards.
• The inside of your cooker.
A clutter free kitchen is what buyers want, ensure all your appliances are in the cupboards, the more worktops buyers can see the better!
Put away all of your:
• Cookbooks etc.
If you have some damaged cupboard doors these are relatively cheap to repair or replace and we would recommend you do so if needs be. The same goes for flooring, if you have torn or damaged flooring, replace it. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just functional. Ensure the contents of your cupboards and fridge are in some order and neatly presented. A clean and tidy home is a happy one and you certainly want your buyers to think your house is a happy home!
Part 7- Zen Your Bathroom
Light some scented candles, demist the mirror and hang your fluffy towels on the heated towel rail, it’s time to show off your relaxing bathroom. Bathrooms, like kitchens and the rest of the house for that matter, should be clutter free and immaculate! If the suite is tired and dated (avocado) and you can afford to replace it, you should do so! Carpet in bathrooms is now frowned upon! Take it up and if you are lucky enough to find floor boards underneath, give then a sand and light varnish. If not, a cheap Lino will do the trick. Your main goal for the bathroom is to ensure it is clean, fresh, relaxing and even luxurious! Your buyer should be looking around thinking “Spa retreat”!
A few cleaning tips:
• Eliminate any traces of mould, if people see black spot mould they instantly think damp issues
• Remove lime scale from around taps & plug-holes
• Clean the shower curtain (better yet replace it or buy a glass shower screen and ensure it is lime scale free!)
• Give the bath and WC a good scrub
• Go over stained tile grout with a grouting pen
• Replace any sealant that’s peeled or become discoloured
• Give light fittings, mirrors & all surfaces a good once over
If you are going to fit a new suite, think about who your potential buyers might be. A bath is a must for families with young children, however working professionals might prefer a luxurious shower. Your safest bet will be a bath with rainfall style shower over, so think twice before replacing the bath with a large shower cubicle.
Declutter! There is that word again:
• Remove all cleaning products that might be in sight
• Shampoos and shower gels belong in the cupboards/cabinets for viewings!
• No one wants to see your back scrubber
• Dressing gowns and damp towels should be in the washing basket
• Bath mats should be on the floor and dry, not hanging over the bath
Finally you should ensure your bathroom is stocked with scented candles and bath bombs to give it that spa feel and smell!
If you would like more information or discuss your next move, please contact us on 01273 721061, email: firstname.lastname@example.org