By Jake Gready, Managing Director of Nexa Bristol
What does preparing your home for sale entail?
Preparing a home for sale entails placing a special emphasis on presentation and appearance, to achieve the best possible price and a quick sale.
Many of my clients have difficulty finding the time, motivation or energy to prepare their home for sale so I’ve developed this guide to highlight the key steps you should take to help you gain the highest sale price for your home in the shortest possible time.
Why the need to prepare your property?
• helps you think like a buyer to make the most of every opportunity
• assists with de-cluttering and organising in advance of moving – to save you removal
• costs for items you don’t actually want or need
• sets your home above similar houses
• makes your home appear more attractive, light, bright and spacious
and most importantly:
• maximises the price achieved from the sale
• increases the likelihood of a quick sale
Avoid the ‘drive by’!
You only have one chance to make potential buyers fall in love with your home and it is well-recognised by property professionals that the real key to success and a quick sale is the first impression it gives. The appearance of the exterior can make a huge difference as to how positively the interior will be viewed and most people find it hard to see through disorganised, cluttered or overdressed rooms. Some tidying and a little cosmetic work can really make the difference between getting a sale and losing the buyer’s interest as they drive by for a quick look before a formal viewing.
Step 1 – fix Your pre-sale preparation
Inspect the exterior and each room of your house and make a list of repairs, for example:
• Exterior: Broken fencing, steps, paving or decking areas. Damaged windows, woodwork, render.
• Interior: Cracked/flaking plaster, peeling wallpaper, damaged kitchen or bathroom fittings, dripping taps, broken locks, door and window furniture, wobbly shelves, faulty electrical appliances or plumbing. Call a handyman or tradesman for a quote to make repairs.
Step 2 – de-clutter
Preparing your home for marketing photos. Think like a buyer. First impressions are vital so improve the appearance of the exterior of your house and garden. Stand in front of your property and note anything that stands out as being unsightly or cramps the space. Really scrutinise and continue this exercise in every room of your home. Clean, bright and spacious wins buyers over so clean, clean, clean… allow as much light in as possible and clear clutter to make more space. Clean carpets and animal bedding to ensure there are no strong odours. And don’t forget to keep your de-cluttered house looking good throughout the process of selling, not just for the first viewing!
Step 3 – beautify
Preparing for your viewings. Even if you only have a short time to prepare your property, I can guide you through the most quick and effective steps to take for a successful viewing.
Fresh, tidy and spotless are key elements – no nasty aromas – strong cooking, animal or musty smells are all major turn offs so ensure carpets, furniture, bathrooms and kitchens are clean and fresh. Tidy away children’s toys and keep pet bedding and food out of sight.
‘Front of house’ welcome…
• Ensure your house name or number is clearly visible from the road
• Clear away any rubbish or unsightly items
• Trim hedges and any greenery blocking light from windows and doors
• Weed flower beds and cut back overgrown shrubs
• Have windows and paintwork cleaned
• Add flowering plants in hanging baskets, pots or window boxes near front entrance (and keep them watered!)
• Always enter via the front door for viewings
• Clear hallway of any unsightly clutter
• Remove any excess furniture blocking or cramping the available space
• Move toys or sports items to hidden storage area
• Store away out of season coats, hats and shoes
• Remove clutter from surfaces – papers, post, keys, mobile chargers, etc
• Re-arrange furniture to give an ‘open’ view of the space
• Remove, sell or store any excess furniture to make the room feel larger
• Clear floors of clutter to create more visible floor space
• Tidy and clean shelves, coffee table, etc
• Dust surfaces, lampshades and fittings
• Get rid of newspapers and clean the fireplace
• Reduce the amount of ornaments and books or magazines on display
• Draw curtains right back to allow as much light in as possible – fit tiebacks if necessary (and set aside the net curtains!)
• De-clutter and clean all work surfaces and floors
• Put away infrequently used appliances to create more space on worktops
• Organise, tidy and dust all items on open shelves
• Thoroughly clean oven, hob and sink
• Tidy cupboards (people will often look in them)
• Ensure the room smells fresh – no strong cooking smells!
• Open the windows before viewings to allow the air to circulate
Garden and outside space…
• Mow the lawn, strim lawn edges, rake and remove leaves
• Weed flowerbeds and cut back overgrown shrubs and foliage
• Tidy away garden tools, hoses, recycling boxes, bins or any unsightly items
• Put children’s toys and outdoor games away or out of sight
• Dispose of rubbish and garden refuse
• Clean or sweep paths, patios, decking and driveway
• Leave space on the driveway for buyers to park
• Clean or put away plastic garden furniture
• If you have a patio, place a table and chairs to showcase an extra ‘outdoor room’
• Add or refresh plants in pots or containers and keep them watered
Need some more advice?
Give me a call and I would be happy to pay you a visit to see how you can best prepare your home for a profitable sale. I am a property specialist and my expertise and knowledge is often underestimated and underused. I’d be happy to give you a constructive critique and point out any weak points about your property. It’s all part of the personal one to one service that I offer my sellers to help them achieve a quick and successful sale.
10 quick steps to impress potential buyers…
• Hang up clothing, jackets and towels
• Clean all kitchen and bathroom surfaces, close toilet seats
• Dust all other visible surfaces
• Hoover or sweep all floors
• Open windows – ensure all rooms smell really fresh
• Open all curtains and blinds fully
• Place a vase of flowers in hallway and a bowl of fruit in the kitchen
• Move your vehicles to leave parking space free for your visitors
• Tidy all surfaces – put away anything that shouldn’t be on display
· Leave out any useful information re: bus timetables, local schools and amenities etc that might be useful for the prospective buyer.
Don’t forget, if you would prefer a more personal appraisal of your home then why not invite me out to value your home and advise you one to one on how to best present your home to the market.
NEXA Bristol; Land & new homes, buying, renting, selling, management, property investment, property development