Firstly it may help you to bear in mind the following. You are not "doing up" your home. It is not your home any more. It is a commodity you are bringing onto the market.
Whether we like it or not, the first impression we get of anything is the one that is likely to last.
Psychologists say that when we first meet a person we make up our minds about them within 15 seconds.
The same is true when someone comes to view your house. The first impression they get is all important. They will basically make up their minds about whether they will buy it before they even enter your house or flat.
With people, if we’re lucky, we have more time to get to know the person behind the exterior. Then we can form a more realistic impression of who they really are.
But with a property, your potential buyer won't be hanging around for long enough to get to know your lovely home.
So, firstly, you need to pay particular attention to the front
exterior of your property.
This is the best term to use to describe the effect the external appearance of your property has on viewers.
Basically as they stand on the pavement what do they see?
Go outside and have a look. Try to see your home for the first time. Pretend you are a critical buyer.
If you have a garden make sure it is looking good. Mow the lawn, do some weeding. Give it a general face-lift.
Make sure the path and/or driveway is clean and has been weeded.
Make sure your front gate looks good. If necessary give it a lick of paint.
Get rid of any clutter. Less is definitely more.
Don’t park your car on the driveway. It will only detract from the view. The buyer’s imagination will work better if they don’t have to factor out your car or other objects.
Remove the children’s toys from the front garden. If you can bear it put away your collection of post-post-post-modern, ironic garden gnomes.
Paint your front door. (Do this carefully as a bad job will be a waste of time). You may even want to pay someone to do it properly. Put new fittings on it eg the letterbox etc. You may decide it's easier to buy a whole new door.
Clean your windows. Perhaps they need a paint aswell?
You probably need to pressure-wash the front of the house. (You can get good pressure type hose attachments from any DIY shop).
You may even want to paint the entire front of the house? If so choose your colour very carefully. Ideally you need the advice of a designer - or at least someone who went to art college.
Clean out the gutters. Buyers will definitely notice if gutters are full of leaves.
Think about installing some welcoming exterior lighting. Many people do a quick drive-by at night after work before arranging a formal viewing. Carefully positioned spotlights can have a really good impact.
All of this might be a bit of a pain. But don’t underestimate how worthwhile it can be to bother making the effort. It can make a big difference to your asking price. And more importantly it can ensure you get a sale.
A good source of advice here could be Estate Agents - See
How to Choose an Estate Agent.
If you use a surveyor they will also give you indications of any simple repairs you need to make to the front of your property. Buyers will spot these. It will make them question other maintenance issues.
People want to see a well-lit, light coloured, clean interior.
So you might want to paint the entrance/ hall. Again,
if you’re not too sure, ask an expert.
Get rid of Clutter
You want to make your space look as big as possible. Clutter is your enemy. Get rid of it.
Clear as many things away as possible. Remove excess furniture. This includes side tables, magazine racks. Photo frames; anything non-essential – except for flowers.
For example your mantelpiece should be completely empty, except, possibly, for a small ornament - positioned stylishly.
Ideally you should strip your living room of everything except for your three best objects. Rearrange these tastefully.
The idea is to get the buyer to be able to imagine how nice their
things would look in the property. (Sorry but they are just not interested
in how beautifully arranged your home was...).
Don’t take it personally: You aren’t selling your home.
You are selling the buyer a new lifestyle.
You might want to consider putting some stuff into short-term storage.
You're moving anyway...
Mirrors make rooms look bigger. You might want to buy a large one to hang in your entrance hall or over the fireplace.
Remove rugs. They tend to make rooms look smaller. If
they have left a stain on the carpet it might be easier to get rid of than
Clean the inside of all your windows. Clean the curtains and shades / lace.
Consider the view. If there is a good view then let it be seen. If a window looks onto something undesirable then cover it with heavy lace etc.
Ideally you want to have a complete spring clean of the entire house. Get into every corner. While you’re doing it de-clutter some more.
All the rooms in your house will need to look as good as possible. However
some rooms are more equal than others.
This is probably the most significant room in the impression it will have on the buyer.
If it is in need of repair then do it! And think seriously about a fresh coat of paint. Particularly on the ceiling where years of cooking might have taken their toll.
(Tip: If you do it yourself use a lot of sugar soap to
save you time and effort when it comes to the painting).
You could replace the exterior fittings on cupboards and shelves. Painting them is an option but it can all too easily look tacky.
Always tidy away as many of the worktop appliances as you can. Basically you want all work surfaces completely clear.
Organise inside cupboards and cabinets. People often look in them. So don’t just stuff them full. You want to make them look roomy and usable.
This is where you want the smell to be perfect. (Definitely burn the poor old dog’s basket). The traditional advice is to bake a loaf of bread and leave it out to smell good and look welcoming.
Don’t cook anything else before the viewing.
These are another potential big selling point. Time spent on doing up your bathroom will definitely pay dividends.
Certainly get rid of any mould from the corners.
Get rid of toilet bowl scale. (Search Google for thousand of easy how-to tips for these).
Get a new shower/ bath curtain. Get some new fixtures eg taps, towel railings etc.
A cool looking bathroom in an otherwise boring property can make all the difference. So consider painting or tiling it an interesting style. Check the many home styling magazines or websites for easy tips. Tip: Simply copy a classic winning design from these rather than your own idea - unless you are an interior designer. Otherwise it could all be a wasted effort.
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