With spring finally here, some people's thoughts turn to putting their house on the market. Having made the decision to sell, it is essential you make sure your property is ready for inspection by a prospective purchaser.
Obviously its main aspects, e.g. location & size, you can do nothing about, but there may be some potential negatives you can easily address and whilst this may have no impact on value it will increase the saleability. You will need a home report and whilst you may be itching to get the house advertised quickly, if there are any issues highlighted in the report it may be worth addressing these first. For example, failed double glazing panels can usually be replaced quite cheaply and may enable that great view that was previously obscured, to be seen.
See your house as others see it
Put yourself in a buyer's shoes and take a good honest look round. Does it stand out for the right reasons? First impressions are critical. Start with the roadside, a freshly mown lawn is a good start, and check out your front door. A viewer may wrongly assume that a neglected front door means the rest of the property will be the same.
Should you spend any money? Be prepared for that, but don’t go overboard. It is probably not worth re-fitting a kitchen or doing expensive redecoration - you are unlikely to recoup the cost and your taste might not be what a buyer is looking for - but some touching up can help. If you are going to redecorate now is not the time to experiment with that lovely purple colour you have always liked. Light, neutral colours are best and can help to 'enlarge' a space. Carry out any obvious repairs, make sure all light bulbs are working, sort dripping taps, replace broken glass. Clean the windows; easily done and what a difference.
A general tidy up goes without saying, and remove any unnecessary clutter which can make rooms appear smaller without making the property appearing empty and bland. Some personality shows the property is after all a 'home'. Make sure the 'use' of each room is obvious, e.g. a table in the dining area, beds in the bedrooms, and clear out the garage to show you can actually park a car in there!
Smell the coffee … create a homely feel
Just ahead of any viewings, make sure everything is as it should be. Fresh flowers are a nice touch, and the aroma of baked bread or brewed coffee is an old trick but creates a homely feel. Keep pets out of the way and turning on the lights creates a welcoming environment. Start with the property's best feature, perhaps a room with great views, and end there to leave a favourable lasting impression. Allow plenty of time so the viewer can relax and make sure you are ready for questions. What are the running costs? Crucially these days, what broadband speed is available? What is included in the sale? Have the home report to hand, and having a property schedule available that a viewer can take away will help them remember your property.
If a buyer remembers your house above all others for all the right reasons you are almost there. Good luck.