Selling houses… it can be a minefield, and stressful, but with a bit of forethought it doesn’t have to be. Here are my top tips for a successful sale. Time to get busy!!
This isn’t a process to be rushed (unless you really have to, in which case buckle up, you’re in for a fast ride). Choose a date in the future as your target for when you want to list your home. There’s a lot to do before listing a home, so cut yourself some slack and don’t schedule it for a weeks time!!! Work back from this date and break down what you need to do. Write a list of who in the household is going to take responsibility for each task. Stick to it!
Fresh set of eyes
When you live in a house for years, you get used to living with imperfections or “things on a to-do list”. Wires hanging out of corners for those alarms you never ended up installing?? (oops that was my place for a few years after we moved in!) Maybe you replaced some window trim and never got round to painting it. DIY jobs that were never quite finished? There’s bound to be something! A fresh set of eyes will pick up on those just like a buyer would, and some quick fixes could be the difference between a buyer seeing something looking run-down to something immaculate. Ask
a brutally honest friend, or a professional, to help you identify these little issues so you can get them sorted as soon as possible. I offer a DIY staging service where I spend time on-site compiling a document with easy-to-follow advice for you to follow to improve your home for sale. Many home staging companies and designers will offer the same service, and it’s a fraction of the cost of having your house formally staged. Worth keeping in mind if you are stuck where to start!
This is so important and yet the one people put up the most resistance to because yes, it does involve work, and in some cases an element of ruthlessness!! Clutter immediately makes the buyer think the house has insufficient storage, and that it’s smaller than it actually is. A misconception is that it makes it feel homely… it only makes it feel homely to you as it’s your home! Buyers don’t see it that way. Buy some boxes and think of it on the bright side… when you do sell, there will be less to pack up! Plus there is less to dust for all those open houses. Wrap trinkets and personal photos in newspaper and box them ready for the move. Instead of the table inside your front door having a pile of unopened post, a load of family photos and a telephone, think of a vase of flowers or a lamp and a plant - keep it simple and welcoming. In the bathrooms, clear everything from round the basins and bathtub and store them in the drawers or cupboards. This includes all those rubber duckies and boats from the bathtub! Children’s rooms are always tricky as you don’t want to deprive your children of their toys but if you get them involved and excited about packing some away for when you move, they actually have fun doing it and it makes for a much less busy space. Clear any unnecessary paperwork off the office desk, and from kitchen benches. All these things help the buyer to see past all the “stuff” and pay attention to the bones of your house.
Lick of paint
Fresh paint is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to freshen up your house, particularly if you have outdated feature walls or bright children’s rooms. Go for neutral tones which will appeal to a wider audience. Bright white trims are a great way to add that extra pop.
Give the exterior a once-over
Rotten posts, flaking windows, leaking gutters, mould, ripped fly-screens… None of these scream “I’ve been well maintained” and that’s what buyers want. They need peace of mind that they aren’t buying someone else’s issues. Fix these up before you put your house on the market, and of course clean the windows too! First impressions start from the moment they pull up outside, so view your house from the road and fix up anything you think will detract from the initial “I love it” moment.
Give your garden some attention