Spring is in the air and house buyers are out in force. Now is the perfect time to list your house on the market. Follow these easy tips to ensure your house is looking its very best for its moment in the sun.
We all grow to love our homes and it’s very easy to become attached to them. When it comes to selling your property, however, it’s important to be objective. If you want to maximise your sale price you need to promote your property’s best bits and minimise its down points. Ask yourself what you loved about your home when you first moved in – it’s likely prospective buyers will feel the same way. Look objectively at what is great about your house, and what needs improvement.
First impressions count
If buyers don’t like what they see on the outside they may not even bother stepping inside. Unkempt grounds and flaking paint give the impression of a house that is lacking in love. Ensure your front garden is neat and tidy. Consider a paint job to freshen things up (neutral colours are best). Add style with potted plants. If space allows add pops of colour with trendy outdoor cushions, a fashionable chair or a bright new doormat.
Keep it clean
It may seem obvious, but nothing beats a truly clean house. Tidy isn’t good enough – your house should sparkle for its open home. If you don’t have the time or patience it’s worth considering getting professional cleaners in – it’s a small investment compared with the return you are hoping to make on your house sale. Cleaning the carpets and washing the windows is a great idea, too.
Sense of smell
There’s nothing more off-putting than a house that smells stale or damp. Reed diffusers or scented candles are your saviour here, and vanilla is a great go-to scent. Don’t overdo it though – strong scents can cause allergies in some people. Be sure to open windows and doors. Home baking or a little cinnamon heated on the stovetop will give your home a warm and inviting ambience; just remember to clean up before the buyers arrive!
Cut the clutter
You may be attached to your grandma’s vintage vase collection but it’s likely buyers won’t feel the same way. Clear the clutter, remove oversized pieces of furniture and hide away the kids’ toys. For maximum impact move out and get your home staged by the professionals.
When it comes to selling houses neutral colours are best. Paint out patterns and bold feature walls – you may love your chartreuse walls but many will not. The aim is that buyers can see themselves moving into your home with minimum effort. Leave it up to them to stamp their own style on their new home.
No one wants to live in a cold and dark house. Schedule open homes for the sunniest part of the day, ensure all doors and windows are open and turn on the lights if necessary – too much light is always better than not enough. If cutting back a tree or two will make a difference to the amount of light entering your house, it’s well worth considering. If the weather is unexpectedly cold it’s a good idea to turn on the heating.
Bring the outdoors in
Green is the new black. Add instant style and freshness to your home with house plants. Potted trees and succulents add modern style and don’t require much maintenance. You can even hire them for the short period that your home is on the market.
Tackle the little jobs
Now’s the time to tackle those jobs you’ve been putting off for too long. If something bothers you, it will probably bother potential buyers too. Replace that broken light fitting, tackle that carpet stain and tighten that door knob. You’ll probably wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
Pay attention to the bathroom and kitchen
Finally, turn your attention to the kitchen and bathroom. These are the rooms that sell houses. You may not want to invest in a full-scale remodel, but small changes count. Turn your bathroom into a spa with fluffy white towels and draping deep-green house plants. Clean your kitchen sink until it shines. Remove magnets and notices from the fridge. Put out a bottle of wine and a couple of wine glasses, or a coffee pot and mugs. Make your home a place where the buyer wants to stay.
Written by Kate Shaw