Published: 12th September 2018
One of the key points to understand about selling a property is that many buyers simply want to make their move with the least possible hassle and to hit the ground running when it comes to making their house a true home. In a lot of cases, the last thing buyers want to have to do is put right issues left behind by the previous owner.
Putting your home in good, all-round order, therefore, not only makes it look more attractive (a good result in itself) but also sends out the subliminal message that you are the type of person who takes care of your property and they are unlikely to find any nasty surprises after they’ve committed to signing on the dotted line.
Take some pictures of your home from the outside and show them to at least one other person whom you can trust to give an honest and objective opinion. Then take their advice.
The fact of the matter is that you may be perfectly comfortable with the way your house looks from the outside, indeed there may be absolutely nothing wrong with it as such, but if you’ve been in your property for a while, there’s a good chance it could do with at least a bit of improvement and remember, first impressions do matter - a lot. For those with minimal outside, such as flat dwellers, it’s doubly important to make sure your entryway is as appealing as it can possibly be.
The average house probably has at least a short list of jobs which, in all honesty, are neither particularly important nor particularly urgent but should, really be done. These are the sorts of jobs which, generally speaking, tend to be fitted in when the home owner has the time.
When you decide to sell your house, however, you need to make the time and get them done. Putting it in simple terms, if you don’t really want to do them, then the chances are a buyer doesn’t either and if they see that you haven’t made the effort to deal with basic maintenance before a viewing, they may not feel inspired with confidence that you’ll sort the issues before you leave.
This may seem harsh, but the fact of the matter is that it’s soon going to stop being your home and become someone else’s. You therefore want to clear away everything which is distinctive to you so that a viewer can picture what they would do with the space.
This doesn’t mean you have to remove absolutely all items of decor, quite the opposite, some well-curate items could make a room look very appealing. It means that you have to remove anything personal, such as photographs, children’s art work and sports trophies, along with anything remotely controversial (religious artefacts, political symbols, sports affiliations, gambling-related items, hunting-related items…).
On the plus side, since you’re going to be moving anyway, you could take this process as an opportunity to go through your belongings and decide what to do with them, for example, you may decide to digitise some of your photographs and your children’s artwork so you have less to take with you. Contrary to popular advice, we suggest you remove flowering plants and fresh flowers so as to avoid triggering pollen allergies. Foliage plants are fine, in fact they are often excellent decor items.
When preparing to sell your house, ideally, you want to give it the equivalent of a spring clean and then work on keeping it looking that good all the time, or, at least, being able to get it looking that good quickly in preparation for viewings. Cover soft furnishings with throws (sheets will do) and keep a cordless vacuum cleaner at the ready for dealing with spills quickly.
Open your windows as much as you can and stock up on deodorisers. Note that we said deodorisers rather than room fragrances. We suggest you avoid using these since you will have no idea what kind of scent your viewers will like.
Invest in some attractive closed-storage pieces into which to sweep clutter quickly to be dealt with later. Storage ottomans can be great for this since they can be made to look like they are simply used as multifunctional furniture pieces and as they are essentially empty boxes (albeit strong ones), items can be just thrown in randomly and hidden in plain sight until the visitors leave.
If you found this article useful and you are considering selling your Manchester property then please contact our local area experts at Indlu who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, why not use our free online valuation tool to see how much your property is worth!