Increase the Kerb Appeal
The property photographs and particulars are an important part of the marketing, but a buyer’s first impressions of the property in the flesh are absolutely vital. Ensure your property looks tidy and well maintained (see next tip) – consider giving the front doors, garage and windows (if wooden) a lick of paint, keep your front garden mowed and tidy, your driveway swept (leaves collecting or gravel spilling over the path looks messy) and add a few nice pots and plants. An untidy exterior can lead to buyers entering the property with a negative view, which can cloud their judgement on more important considerations. Make your property as nice to look at as possible and your buyers positive and impressed.
Don’t Ignore the Maintenance Jobs
When selling it’s very tempting to start ignoring jobs around the house, considering it a waste of time as you will soon be moving. While it makes sense not to spend time and money making large scale changes, ignoring the regular maintenance jobs or small niggling issues can come back to bite you!
Buyers will be mentally counting up the jobs needed around the property, so minimising these visible signs of wear and tear is important. Unseen issues also shouldn’t be ignored – for example, a leaky guttering, if left, can case water ingress that will be picked up in your buyer’s survey, leading to a costly fix or a possible price negotiation later in the process.
Consider Minor Redecoration
Most buyers will be looking to put their own stamp on a property and this feels easier when starting from a blank canvas. Colour preferences are very personal and something you love may not be to everyone’s taste. If your rooms are decorated in bright colours then consider repainting in a neutral shade. Chipped or yellowing paintwork can give bad impression, so give any obvious areas a fresh lick of paint.
In kitchens and bathrooms, consider whitening the grout (or even re-grouting) and resealing around sinks, showers and baths to give a fresh and clean look. Shine up the taps or replace if they are very dated and adjust cupboard doors to hang evenly. Simple changes such as these can make a relatively dated kitchen or bathroom appear a lot more appealing.
Keep the Property Clean and Tidy
De-clutter every room, but don’t leave the property looking too stark and unlived in. While it is important to make your rooms look as large and airy as possible, you don’t want buyers getting a sterile and unhomely feel. Get into the habit (if you aren’t already) of keeping everything clean and tidy, so you can accommodate viewings at short notice. Allowing mess to develop and then having to panic tidy (or just leaving it) before every viewing isn’t ideal!
If you’ve got pets then make sure they are out of the property during viewings. Take your dog out for a walk, lock the catflap for an hour and tidy away food bowls and litter trays. Pet haters can be easily put off by the presence of animals, but pet lovers can also be easily distracted from fully taking in the details of your property.
Make the Most of your Back Garden
A lovely back garden can really help sell a property so those who have made an effort with theirs can be confident this will be noticed by buyers. But don’t worry if your garden is a bit unloved – giving it a basic tidy up, including cleaning patios, clearing brambles/weeds, mowing lawns, pruning trees and planting a few flower pots can make a big difference. Ensure any broken fencing or sheds are fixed and consider treating the timber if necessary. Creating an outdoor seating area can help buyers visualise themselves socialising in the space.