If you are considering putting your house on the market, then you need to do far more than just visit an estate agent or put up a for sale sign in the garden. Before you even pop off down into town to your local real estate agency, you need to step back and view your house through a potent buyer’s eyes and see the good AND the bad points. And then address the bad points.
Your property will likely be competing with brand new houses, often with developer or government led schemes and incentives to try and lure prospective buyers to sign on the dotted line. So you need to make sure your house is clean and well kept.
Most buyers, unless specifically looking for a renovation project, do not want to be taking on a property that requires major repairs or upgrading.
You should start off at the bottom of your driveway or at your front gate and consider the first impression made by your property. Is there flaking paint or varnish on the gate or railings? Is the driveway or yard covered in moss and weeds or are the flag stones all cracked and uneven? If so then sand down the gate and railings and give a fresh coat of paint or varnish. Hire a power sprayer and clean your driveway and repair any cracked areas.
If you have a lawn at the front of your property make sure you re-seed any patches that are bald or weeds and keep the grass cut short and tidy up the edges. Weed flower beds and chop back bushes and trees. If it is spring or summer time go to your local garden centre and buy some ready filled pots and hanging baskets to brighten up the outside of your house.
If there is a garage or garden shed that any prospective buyer will likely want to see inside, make sure this is tidy and everything is put away on shelves or in drawers.
Next take a look at the exterior of your house – are the outside walls drab and covered in cob webs and dust? Are all the drain pipes and guttering in good order? You should clean all your window sills and if necessary give a fresh lick of paint. And clean your front door so it looks inviting.
Inside make sure the first room the buyer will enter, usually an entrance hall, is enticing and tidy. If it is a long narrow corridor, place a small table at the far end with a vase of flowers or a lamp on it to attract the eye and make the corridor seem longer and bigger.
Most people live busy lives and often have no time to clear up properly after the kids, or tidy away all those old magazines or newspapers or bottles but if you want to stand the best chance of selling your house, you should make a concerted effort to get rid of junk and rubbish, neatly stack items away in storage space and ensure your home has an open, tidy feel.
Clean your carpets and flooring and your curtains. Get rid of any heavily patterned wall paper and paint the walls in a neutral fresh tone such as beige or cream.