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Preparing a house for sale – Top tips for getting your home ready to sell

October 12, 2020 | Michael Whittaker

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Preparing a house for sale – Top tips for getting your home ready to sell

By preparing a house for sale, you can make a real difference to the saleabilty and therefore the value of your home by taking a few steps and getting your house ready to sell before you go to market. Getting your house ready to sell will help create the best possible first impression for your home inside and out, increasing your chance of achieving the best price.  Within this article you will find all of our top tips for getting a house ready to sell.

Lighting

Poor or inadequate lighting can give a bad first impression of your home, which may well be undeserved. A darker room will feel smaller, and may lead buyers to think that the property is dark in general even if it benefits from great natural light (remember not all of your viewings will be during the day). If you light your rooms well, you can use it to your advantage, highlighting key areas.

When preparing a house for sale, take a critical look in each room of your home, with all curtains and blinds open to asses which have a good amount of natural light and which don’t. It can be a good idea to ask a friend to help with this, as you may be used to the usual level of light in the room. Ensure you try this at different times of the day, not just the brightest!

For the rooms which are a bit darker, consider employing stronger bulbs, or additional floor lamps. However bright the room, always ensure all blinds and curtains are open for any viewings.

Another technique in the case of darker (or smaller) rooms can be to increase the numbers of mirrors, as these will reflect light and give a greater feeling of space.

Outside

For the front of the house, effective lighting will increase the kerb appeal and give more of an impression of security at night. Lighting pathways and any other features in your front and rear garden will give a great first impression and invite the viewer to take a proper look around even during a night time viewing.

Decluttering

Decluttering will make your home seem bigger, and make it easier for buyers to see its advantages. Getting rid of your possessions may be difficult at first, but is worth persevering when preparing a house for sale to create a great first impression

  • Sell, donate, or throw away as much as possible, especially if you haven’t used
    something for a long time and don’t think you will need it in your next home.
  • There is also the option of renting a storage unit in the short term for bulkier items of furniture you would like to keep. You should more than recoup the cost of this in your selling price.
  • Once you have done this, take a look at all of your cupboards and storage spaces, and get rid of some more items, Storage is very important for buyers, and they will assume
    that if your cupboards are overflowing there isn’t enough storage
  • If you have changed the usage of any of your rooms, i.e. 2nd bedroom to office, then change it back to a functioning bedroom. Perceived value of rooms varies amongst buyers, in this example a bedroom is certainly worth more than an office.

Redecorate and repair

Other tips for getting a house ready to sell involve the internal condition of your home and  its fittings. If buyers see things that don’t work properly or are broken they will probably assume that you haven’t spent the correct amount of time maintaining your home and that this may lead to expense further down the line.

Even if this doesn’t stop the buyers offering on your home it will more than likely lead to a lower offer, as they will factor in the cost of making the repairs themselves and then add a bit on for the inconvenience.

Some things to check through;

  • All kitchen appliances
  • White goods
  • Boiler and radiators
  • Showers, taps and water pressure
  • Windows and patio/ balcony doors.  Do they all open easily and any keys are
    present
  •  Creaking floor boards, squeaky doors and loose handles for doors

In terms of redecoration, neutral colours are the way to go. Not only will this make your home appear brighter and more spacious, it makes it very easy for any incoming buyer to redecorate in the colours they like. If after redecorating you realise that any curtains, paintings or furniture look out of place or clash with your new (neutral) colour scheme, it is best to move these items out in to storage, sell or give away.

Freshly painted interiors can give a simple, brand new feel that allows buyers to visualise your property as their own home. It is important not to minimise that effect by keeping tired or out of place fittings.

Gardening

If you are fortunate enough to have a garden, or even a balcony space, then this is one of the most important features of your home and must be shown to its full potential, without fail.  When preparing a home for sale, pay particular attention to these points to really give your outside space the wow factor.

Lawns, decking and paving

Ensure all lawns are mowed, neat and tidy at the front and rear of the property. This
adds to the kerb appeal and gives the buyer the impression that your garden is
regularly used. If you live in a conversion or modern building with a communal garden, then a clean and tidy lawn also shows the garden is usable, which isn’t always the case with communal gardens. If your garden features paving or decking, pressure wash if needed to get it looking its best.  Repair any damage to decking and consider re-varnishing if needed.

Garden furniture

Decluttering your garden when preparing a house for sale is as important as decluttering your interior. Take a good look at your garden furniture, and if you have too much, any is damaged or looks old and worn then get rid or put in to storage. If you don’t currently have any garden furniture at all then it is worth buying or borrowing some. The garden or outside space will add the most value if buyers can see how it would be used by them, and even a table and chairs can create the vision of sitting outside on a summers evening. This applies to balconies and terraces just as much as gardens, whatever the size.

Fences

Take a critical look at any fencing in your garden and make any repairs necessary. Any
broken panels or fixings can give the impression that more repairs will be needed in
the near future, and as with internal repairs buyers will mentally discount this from the amount they offer. If you have recently replaced panels, ensure they are treated or
stained to match the others. Even if a particular section of a fence is a neighbors
responsibility then it can still create a poor first impression.

Bins

Although bins are clearly an essential item for everyday use, not many things can ruin
your your kerb appeal faster than bins in your front garden.  If possible keep bins in a
storage area (or create one if you don’t already have), to the side or rear of the house, or in the garage if you have one.

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