Properties today sell relatively fast, with the average UK home spending just 46 days on the market according to Zoopla data
How can you make sure your home look its best during viewings? Here are their top tips:
1. First impressions count
Remember that home-hunters will be judging your property even as they walk up your street. Look critically at the front of your home, the hedges, pathways, paintwork, windows and make everything as neat and smart as you can.
2. Spruce up the paintwork
Viewers will be looking at your house imagining themselves living there. If you update the decor before selling, choose a neutral palette to lighten and brighten the walls, making everything look crisp and clean. Play to your property’s strengths, choosing appropriate colours and styles and brightening up dark corners and hallways with lighter shades.
3. Look for home office possibilities
More of us are considering working from home more often over the longer term. While the kitchen table might have been ok during lockdown, a home office is a must-have for many buyers in 2021.
Even if you are selling an open-plan flat with no obvious office space, creating a work area with a desk that can be pulled down from the wall will help prospective buyers imagine themselves doing their best work in the space.
Look at the spare bedroom, or the hall. Put a laptop in position somewhere, make sure you plug it in! Good connectivity is a top priority for home-movers, too.
4. Set the scene
Pot plants are key! Don’t crowd the people out… but pot plants can create a sense of calm about your space when people look round. Little touches that will ‘set-dress’ your home, like a few soft throws, colourful cushions, plants and candles help viewers to feel positive about your space.
Look at Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. Make it easy for people to imagine themselves relaxing in your home. If it’s a sunny day then put a couple of chairs out on the terrace so buyers can imagine themselves having coffee there in the mornings.
5. Every home has its own smell….
There’s no easy way of saying this, but if your house has a smell you probably have no idea because you’re used to it. If you have pets, the carpets have seen better days or those cooking smells hang around, you’d better improve the olfactory impact of walking through your door.
Get your carpets cleaned. The difference in how a carpet looks once you’ve had it professionally cleaned as well as how it smells really makes it worth the £60 or so it’ll cost. Using air fresheners or lighting candles can also help and open all the windows before a viewing.
6. Sort out the repairs
If there are issues that need sorting out, get them crossed off your ‘to do’ list before you put your home on the market. Small things like bad wear and tear, broken windows, peeling paintwork and other cosmetic niggles can be fixed relatively quickly and easily. Try and look dispassionately at your home to identify what needs doing.
7. Remove the pets!
Puppies and kittens might be in high demand as a result of lockdown. But no matter how delightful you find your cat, dog or rare reptile, not everyone is a pet lover. Some buyers might be allergic or terrified of your four-legged friend, and Rover might take issue with strangers tramping through his house and behave territorially. It’s best for everyone if you give your pet a break elsewhere while viewings take place.
8. Declutter; make your home appear as spacious as possible
This might mean investing in a temporary storage unit for any big, unnecessary pieces of furniture or bicycles that might make the hallway difficult to navigate. Utilise existing storage carefully as home-hunters will open cupboard doors to see how you manage the space and always take the car off the drive for the viewing.
9. Clean is beautiful
We know everyone knows this already, but cleanliness really is important when it comes to first impressions. If you want to clean up financially by achieving your asking price, then don your marigolds to get your home looking sparkling. Remove distracting mess, bleach the bathroom, shine the windows, wipe down the skirting boards and make sure that even the insides of the cupboards are well kept. Look forensically at your home and try to see the ingrained grime you might have stopped noticing. If it’s really bad and won’t wipe off, consider a new lick of paint.
10. Garden delights
With private gardens high up on buyers priorities thanks to the recent lockdown, make sure yours is pulling its weight. Make the front and back gardens, or any communal spaces, as neat as a pin.
Green lawns and nicely kept gardens full of flowers will make buyers want to stop for longer and imagine themselves using the space. Go to the garden centre and invest in some pots and blooms, use fertiliser to make the lawn look healthier. Garden furniture and clever planting can break up a large garden and indicate to buyers how they might use it at different times of the day.