Preparing your property for sale
Buyers are taking much longer to make up their minds, viewing an average of 19 properties before making a decision. And when they finally decide to put in that offer, it is usually well below the asking price.
By addressing any problems you have before your property goes on the market, you'll not only make your life easier, you'll get a speedier sale, and at the right price.
There are obvious areas that you need to watch when selling your home. By concentrating on these areas, you should get the interest you are looking for. These key areas are your entrance, living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and the bathroom. This doesn't mean you have to forget about the rest of your house, but by keeping those areas tidy and clutter free, viewers will be able to see the potential with the areas you have concentrated on.
Your entrance is the first and last area that viewers will see. It will either welcome them in, or make them drive on.
Look at your house as though you are seeing the property for the first time. Remove any rubbish and dead plants, add bright flowering plants either side of the front door to welcome people to your entrance. If you have lots of rubbish, do a deal with your neighbours and go half on the cost (this only works as long as you don't need the whole skip yourself - although check our cheap skip hire advice in the DIY section!). Inside, make sure there are no coats hung over the banisters, no shoes left on the floor and the décor is bright and neutral.
A clear and uncluttered lounge will show potential buyers the space you have available for their own items and furniture. Plain carpets and neutral colours will open up even the smallest rooms, and carefully placed accessories should compliment the overall theme. Use furniture in scale with the room. If you have very large furniture in a small room, it will make it seem even smaller. Borrow or hire in furniture that will compliment the room, rather than take it over.
Make space by clearing everything away and clean thoroughly. Paint your cupboard doors using specialist paint to lighten old style orange pine doors. Update your units with new handles that will coordinate with your new look kitchen. New blinds, fitted close to the ceiling will make it appear higher and your windows appear larger. A spotless floor is a must, so get down on your hands and knees to really make it shine. Use simple, stylish accessories to accent the colour throughout the kitchen, which will tie everything together.
Never underestimate the importance of bedrooms; it's the reason 60% of people move home. A bedroom adds more value than a study or storeroom, so make sure every bedroom has a bed. Concentrate on the Master Bedroom - its adult buyers who pay for the property, so impress them with new bedding and curtains. Look at the layout, buyers must be able to walk around the bed, or they will think the room is too small. Don't forget the storage, it is particularly important to female buyers. Built in MDF wardrobes can cost as little as £200 and add classy handles to give a stylish finish. Buyers are not so bothered about children's rooms, but they must be clutter free and tidy, so bribe the children to keep their rooms immaculate.
A white suite would be preferable to a coloured suite, so if time and money allow, replace your tired and dated suite with a bright new white one. These can be picked up for less than £200 nowadays. NEVER have a carpet in the bathroom, it is unhygienic, and a definite put-off to potential buyers. Change it for a complimentary vinyl and a nice bath mat. Clean, clean and clean again when selling, and with just a few essential accessories and some scented soaps and candles, and your bathroom is ready.