If you’re a home owner, it’s inevitable that at some point in your life you’re going to want to sell your house. Whether your family is growing and you need a bigger property, or the family have flown the nest and you need to downsize, you want to get the maximum price possible for your house.
If you’ve been in the property a short while, the wrench probably isn’t so bad when having to packing things up but if you’ve raised your family there, or lived there a long time, it’s a different matter. After all, it’s been your home and it will hold many memories for you.
However, if you want to sell your house and get the best price possible you’re going to have to take a step back from those memories and look at your house the way a buyer will. So, some of those more personal colour choices may have to go, and the broken swing set in the garden that hasn’t been used for years will need dismantling. Items cluttering up cupboard tops, or as we like to call them, mementoes, may need to be stored away temporarily if you want the place to be more appealing to buyers. There are many articles out there with suggestions of ways to help sell your house. Some useful, others not so, after all, are you really going to consider stripping and sanding floorboards or putting in a new fireplace just before you move out?
Here are the tips that we think are realistic and achievable to help sell your house
1. Consider a lick of paint
The woodwork and walls may be looking a little tired so consider a quick coat of paint to freshen up. Remember, colour is a personal choice, so try and avoid too bold a choice; you don’t want buyers immediately considering the cost of repainting. However, there is a balance to be had, don’t go too stark either. Too clinical looking can have the same effect.
There will always be advice to declutter and to what extent you should declutter is open for debate. If your cabinet tops and work surfaces are stuffed full of items then it can appear messy to some buyers. However, de-personalising to the extent where you remove all family photographs etc. can make a property seem unlived in and unhomely. Buyers will expect to see some evidence that this is your home, but they don’t want to fall over the kid’s toys or be worried about knocking over a precious collection. Put things you don’t use in the loft or if there’s no space (don’t forget, your viewers will want to see any loft space too), then consider using a self storage unit in the short term.
3. Clean Up
If you’re not painting, then a good clean up is essential. Wipe all those skirting boards and cupboard tops and replace any blown light bulbs. Give the bathroom grouting a scrub and clean around the base of the toilet (remember, seat lid down for any viewings). When it comes to the kitchen, make sure the bins are kept clean and any smelly contents removed before any viewings. Put out clean tea towels and remove surface clutter. You don’t use the sandwich toaster every day, so find a home inside a cupboard for it.
4. Stage your Property
We don’t mean turn your house into a show home, but try and show each room as it’s intended to be used. You may be using that spare bedroom as a make shift study and only have a desk, chair and filing cabinets in there, but if your sale particulars say it’s a double bedroom, you need your buyers to see that. Likewise, many people use their dining rooms to house the kids toys etc. but your buyers need to see they can fit their table and chairs in there. Don’t make them work to envisage what it could look like – show them. If necessary, borrow some furniture from friends for a short while to help you.
5. Give the garden a once over
The state of the garden will depend on the season in which you’re selling. However, whatever the season, potential buyers will still want to see the garden. Make sure that it’s looking as clean and tidy as possible. Buyers will want to see one of 2 things; that it’s a safe and secure for the children to play in or that it’s a good entertaining space.
6. Look out for the pets
Tidy up your pets belongings and if possible, keep your pet occupied, or even out of the house when viewings are happening. Pet loving viewers may pay them more attention and not focus on the things in the house that you want them to. Alternatively, people who don’t like animals may feel uncomfortable, particularly if your dog or cat is following them around. Needless to say, pets and everything that comes with them can make things a little smelly from time to time. Make sure there are no surprises for your viewers.
7. Prepare for your viewings
First impressions count, so if you know you’ve got a viewing due, give everything the once over. Clean up the shoes from the hallway and put the clothes from the bathroom floor into the linen basket. Don’t try racing around the house one room ahead of the prospective buyers picking things up as you go along. Make sure the lights are on and if it’s winter, that the house is sufficiently warm.
Selling your house is never an easy time, and when we start sorting through things and decluttering we always find we have more ‘stuff’ than we thought. To create the vision of more space you may even need to remove some furniture in the short term too. If you’re not downsizing and will need it in your next property short term self storage is the ideal solution. The small cost will be worth it if it results in you achieving your full asking price for your property.
If you need short term storage to help sell your house, get in touch, we’ll be happy to help and advise.
If you’ve got any great tips to help sell a house, let us know!
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