12 Tips for selling your home

Written by
Stuart Robinson
September 20, 2018

They say a viewer will decide whether they want to buy your home in just a few seconds. Preparing your home for viewings, or “staging” as it’s called, is important. Not only could staging help you sell quicker, but it can potentially add thousands of pounds to its value, while costing you very little, if anything at all.

If you’re trying to sell your home, take a look at our top tips below which will show you how to make it as appealing to potential buyers as possible from the second they walk through the door.

1. Declutter your home

Less is more so aim to declutter your home before putting your house on the market. Clutter has a huge and overwhelming effect on potential buyers, so it’s one of the most important things to tackle before viewings.

The process and benefits of decluttering:

  • Spend a day decluttering your home, making sure your home looks tidy and clean while still maintaining a homely feel. Make sure to look in every nook and cranny, and remember viewers may wish to investigate cupboards and storage areas, so there is nowhere to hide that clutter!
  • You can give things you don’t need to charity or sell them, or if you can’t bear to part with your items ask a friend to keep them for you for a while or put them into storage.
  • If you have a small property, decluttering is especially important as your home needs to look like a liveable space. You may even wish to replace large pieces of furniture with small ones to make the property look bigger. Remove coats taking up hall space, and small trinkets on the side.
  • The kitchen is the most valuable part of the property, so remove bulky appliances such as microwaves, pots and pans, and hide any clutter that makes surfaces look smaller.
  • If your house is large, try not to make the space look too vast and instead make it look homely with warm lighting and cosy blankets. It’s still important to declutter even if your home is big- you don’t want the property to look overwhelming to a potential buyer.
  • Aim to depersonalise your home. Replace large family photos with wall art, and remove large colourful statement pieces which are particular to your taste. Potential buyers need to be able to see themselves living in the property as their own home, not living in your home.
  • Try your best to maintain a homely atmosphere, people don’t want to feel like they’re in a hotel room. People are often buying into a lifestyle as much as a property. Show them the attractive side of your lifestyle and how they could live it, especially for viewers who are less imaginative when it comes to home décor.

2. Spring clean

Before any viewings, clean until your home is sparkling. A hoovered and mopped/waxed floor makes a huge difference to the property’s appeal, so make sure you do this throughout, make beds, clean surfaces and dust and polish everywhere. Clean the windows, scrub the bathroom and kitchen from top to bottom. Put out fresh towels and fold away all laundry.

Cleaning will make the house feel fresh and smell good and you’ll feel more confident in your home’s appeal if meeting any potential viewers face to face.

3. Eliminate odours

Bad smells are the single biggest turn off for potential buyers. Don’t just cover them up, fix the source of the smell.

How to ensure a good smell:

  • If you’re a smoker you can eliminate the smell by placing bowls of vinegar around the house. Leave them out for three days and when you open the windows the stale cigarette smell will leave with the house along with the vinegar smell.
  • If you have pets you may not even notice your house having “that doggy smell” or the cat fur lining the rug. Make sure you de-odour the house with air and fabric freshener, wash things like blankets and dog beds and make sure that there is no visible animal hair around the house.
  • You can clear drains, wash bins, open windows and air the kitchen from old food smells, wash any grimy fabric or sheets and consider getting rid of any furniture which has a smell embedded in it.
  • Remember, if you’ve lived there for a long time you may not even notice that your house smells. Consider getting a close friend (who will be honest!) to come over and let you know if the house smells of anything.
  • It’s not just about eliminating odours, good smells can make a house smell enticing to a prospective buyer. You could bake, make some coffee, or if you have a fire consider burning some pinecones. Potpourri, flowers and some air freshener should do the trick too, but don’t let the smell become overbearing.

4. Complete dd jobs

Most people have small jobs that need doing around the home, but with life being busy most people haven’t got round to doing it by the time they put their house on the market.

Many buyers want to move in without making changes, so allow for this and get the jobs done as soon as possible, or get in a handyman to do it all in one day. This includes fixing or filling a hole in the wall, repairing any broken gates or fences, fixing any broken door knobs, cracked tiles and torn or threadbare carpets.

5. Tidy up the garden

Most viewers will want to see how they can enjoy the outside space, especially in spring and early summer which is when people are likely to be looking at houses.

  • Cut the bushes back.
  • Clean the patio and furniture of lichen and dirt.
  • Pull out weeds and mow the lawn.
  • Clear away any children’s toys or other unnecessary clutter and make the outside feel calming – people often want to be at one with nature in the garden.

While these tips don’t necessarily add much value to your home it makes it more likely to sell as people visualise themselves using the garden.

6. Decorate where possible

If you have the time, it is worth thinking about home improvements.Big projects such as kitchen renovations can be costly so it is worth weighing up whether the time and money is worth the investment when selling your home.

A lick of paint and replacing handles and light fixtures are cheap and quick ways to make the property look better. Whitewashing the property with white paint will give potential buyers a blank canvas to imagine how they would use the space if they were to move in.

While flooring is more costly, if you have a particular room or two with very quirky or dirty carpets, it may be worth replacing them as bad flooring can be very off-putting to a potential buyer.

It is always worth asking your estate agent’s opinion on which improvements would be worth the expenditure, especially if you’re looking to get house viewings underway quickly. We are always happy to give you advice at Zoom995. Why not contact us today?

7. Refresh your kitchen

The kitchen is the most valuable part of the property, and worth the most per square foot, so if it is in need of an upgrade, look at ways to refresh its look to add value and appeal to the property without spending too much time and money.

If kitchen cupboards are poorly hung or dated, consider replacing the doors to give it an instant uplift, or repainting them to give them a fresh look.Upgrading kitchen countertops is expensive, but can add some serious value, so consider asking your estate agent what they think.

It’s also worth considering upgrading the plumbing fixtures and white goods, but keep in mind that while that could make your property sell faster, you will be unlikely to recoup their full value.

8. Make it bright and fresh to view

Bright and fresh properties sell much quicker, below are a few tips to bring the light into your home.

  • Open the curtains and turn on the lights before a viewing.
  • Consider adding more mirrors into your home. The light will not only reflect, making your home seem brighter, but the property will also look bigger. This is especially useful in small rooms and hallways.
  • Clean windows inside and out, so as much light can come through as possible, and make sure you’ve replaced any broken light bulbs so they’re ready to turn on when a potential buyer comes round.
  • Lamps are a fantastic way to make the property feel bigger and brighter and light up a dark corner, all while maintaining a homely, cosy feel and adding to the overall décor of the room.
  • If you have a fireplace and it’s not a hot day, light the fire to add to the ambience.

Consider putting some warm lighting in the bathroom too, a room which often gets forgotten about when it comes to lighting. Viewers need to be able to imagine a bright and fresh bathroom in the morning, but a relaxing and calming bathroom in the evening while they’re having a bath and getting ready for bed.

9. Make your home pretty

While clutter is a big no-no, as are small knick-knacks and tat, prettying up your home with some nice plants and flowers makes the room colourful and fresh and they can also smell wonderful. Take a look at Pinterest or Instagram for a Scandinavian look to give you some inspiration. A couple of candles or a nice fruit bowl centrepiece always complete the look.

You will also want to make sure the windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains as naked windows can make the property look liked it’s not being lived in or is run down or impersonal. Plain and cheap curtains from the likes of Ikea or Argos cost very little and will instantly make the place look nicer.

10. Consider bigger renovations

If you have some spare cash, as well as the time to wait to sell, it is worth considering any obvious conversions. This could be a loft conversion for an extra bedroom or adapting a garage into extra rooms for instance.

You could make some serious money with the adaptions, rather than letting the new owners make the improvements. Of course huge home improvements are expensive and can be stressful, and you may also have to wait for a long period of time for them to be finished, so it’s important to consider how the changes could add value to your home and only go ahead with the plans if it’s worth it. Consider getting some impartial advice, such as from the team at Zoom995.

Some popular changes to the home to make your property more appealing include:

  • Knocking through walls to make an open plan living area
  • Adding a garden room
  • Creating a downstairs toilet
  • Changing your front garden to a parking space
  • Converting your loft into another bedroom
  • Converting the garage into more rooms

If you don’t want to do the renovations, getting planning permission anyway could add some serious advantages to your property and potential new owners may see it as a great opportunity to grab a bargain with the potential to add extra room and value to their home later.

11. Get the family out of the house

During viewings make sure your whole family, including pets, are out of the house. While you may be tempted to see who is viewing your home, it can be difficult to relinquish control.

Buyers will feel a lot more comfortable if they are free to look around and ask questions to an estate agent without worrying about offending you, or being concerned about disturbing your son playing FIFA in his bedroom or the dogs barking in the kitchen.

12. Leave it to Zoom995

At Zoom995 we’re the experts at selling property. We are trained to sell your property to potential buyers, highlighting the best parts and downplaying any less appealing aspects.

We find when sellers show viewers round their own property, they tend to immediately talk about its faults which would go completely unnoticed to potential buyers, while downplaying the fantastic features within their home.

It helps to have a fresh pair of eyes like our estate agents who can see the wonderful aspects of your home. We also know the local area inside out which means we know how your property compares to others on the market in the area. We are experts at using this and highlighting why it’s your property which needs to be bought over others.

We are also well equipped to answer any tricky questions potential buyers may have (you can bet we’ve heard them all before!), and give them peace of mind.

Looking to sell your property?

If you’re ready to sell your property, discover why to sell your home with Zoom995, and why not try filling out our instant valuation tool to get an estimate for your house or flat based on properties sold in your postcode?

Our agents will then get in touch to discuss a bespoke valuation of your property and arrange putting your home on the market.

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