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31 May 2017

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So you’re selling your house – and you want potential buyers to fall in love with it. Not an easy feat!

Because, let’s face it: it can be hard to cater for everyone. But there are some simple ways to make your home as attractive as possible.

There are a few obvious things that we shouldn’t have to explain. If you have a gravestone in the backyard where you buried Fluffy the cat, it’ll probably be a good time to take it down. Nobody wants to buy a pet cemetery!

Otherwise, some common sense and a few selling hacks can help you turn your house into someone’s dream home. So here are our top seven tips to prepping your home for those potential buyers.

Keep the style neutral

Not everyone has the same taste as you do. You may adore that collection of porcelain cats but not everyone shares that opinion. It needs to go. You want to sell a vision of what your home could be for them, not what it is for you.

Think neutral when it comes to the décor and remove any clutter. People want to be able to appreciate the space and imagine what they could do with it. If you’re painting your rooms, opt for neutral colours. Your teenage son may love the shade of black in his bedroom but it won’t help you sell your house.

Do a spring clean

An obvious tip is to keep it clean and tidy. Leave the bathrooms and your kitchen squeaky clean, and make sure that surfaces are clearly visible. Buyers can be a fickle bunch and a messy house creates the wrong impression. It may not affect the building’s value but that kind of negative association could be the difference between a sale and a polite “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Leaving a plate unwashed may not seem like a big deal but you have to keep your house show-ready at all times. It can be difficult to keep it in immaculate condition if you’re working or if you’ve a family but this process won’t take forever.

Have the place smelling great

Smells can really influence how you feel about a place so have your home smelling great for potential buyers. The first thing to do is to make sure there are no bad smells like tobacco smoke, pets or bins. Putting fresh flowers in each room can leave the place smelling great and make it more attractive. Some strategically-placed air fresheners could be a less expensive option.

Some estate agents recommend baking fresh bread and brewing coffee to create a real smell of home. If nothing else, at least you’ll have a nice snack after the viewings.

Get the garden ready

Potential buyers aren’t just interested in the roof and walls of the house – it’s the whole package. So it pays to have your garden looking its best. This doesn’t mean that you have to get it landscaped or install a fish pond. You can’t cater for everyone’s taste so focus on showing off the garden’s potential.

Keep it clean, cut any grass and present it in its best light. People will decide how they could use the space but they want to see what they’re working with. Adding some new plants is an optional extra if your garden lacks a bit of impact.

The doorway to success

You can’t judge a book by its cover – but most of us give it a go at some point. First impressions matter and the front door is the first thing that most people notice when they view a house. The last thing you want is for someone to have doubts before they cross the threshold.

Give any fixtures a quick polish and splash out on some paint if required. Make sure it’s in working order. Nobody wants to view a house and watch you wrestle with your front door lock for five minutes.

Fix what’s broken

Part of you may be reluctant to spend money on a house that you’re selling but it pays to do any necessary repairs. If your house is full of minor problems, the natural response of buyers is to wonder what outstanding repairs they can’t see.

That damaged shower head or broken door handle may not bother you but it’s going to be a red flag to a buyer. Especially a first time buyer who doesn’t have the spare cash to take on house with lots of niggly issues. 

Imagine you’re a buyer and walk through your house as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Most problems should be easily resolved but don’t take on any major jobs. A few quick fixes is one thing but you should avoid taking on extensive repairs before a sale.

Let there be light

Don’t underestimate the importance of light in a home. People want to have good natural light in their home so it’s important to do what you can with your resources.

You can’t get the sun to shine in a north-facing room. Still, there are a few tricks to help. Pull all curtains and blinds or remove them if you can. You want to let in as much light as possible. Clean the windows and trim any bushes that may be obscuring the window. You should also make sure your lampshades are clean and increase the wattage of all your bulbs to really make a room shine.

Hopefully, these illuminating tips will help you to make a quick sale. All of these simple ideas are easily done but they can make a big difference. And a quick sale means that it won’t be long before you’re moving your porcelain cat collection into that shiny new place!

Are you in the market for your next home?

So you’re thinking about selling your current home. What’s your next step? Check our Next Time Buyers’ guide and book a 30 Minute Meeting to discuss your mortgage options.

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