There are certain tricks of the trade when it comes to selling your home. Well, at least that’s what the abundance of property TV shows like us to believe. Of course, everyone has their own taste and requirements, but there are certain simple techniques that can make your home more appealing to the prospective buyer.
This is quite well-worn territory and there are many guides on this to be found online. However, I have tried to accumulate what I feel is the most pertinent advice out there, along with a few little tips of my own.
Targeting and timing
If you’re a bit of a Kirsty and Phil addict and avidly follow Location, Location, Location, the first port of call when it comes to property advice may well be this dynamic TV duo.
Phil Spencer says that determining your target buyer is key when trying to sell your home. For example, if your area appeals to couples and young families – it could be wise to turn your office back into a 2nd bedroom and make space for a work area elsewhere in the home. This would mean that the property could appeal to couples planning a baby or who have a young child. In addition, consider when to put your house on the market. Spring (Feb/Mar) and Autumn (Sep) are apparently the key times to sell your property. Traditionally, demand outstrips supply at these times and therefore prices are usually at their most buoyant.
Make it light and bright
One common trend amongst buyers is the desire to have a light, airy feel with lots of natural light. I would be very surprised if someone actively looked for a dark, gloomy home! Make sure all your curtains and blinds are open for the viewing and if possible, try to have people look around in the daytime. Clean your windows so that light can flow into the room easily. Make sure any sheer curtains and blinds are fresh and clean to give the impression of maximum brightness.
First impressions count
You may have heard the expression ‘kerb appeal’. This basically refers to the first impression people get even before going inside your home. Try to give your property the best possible kerb appeal by keeping the area in front of your home neat and tidy. On the day of a viewing, ensure any bins are tidy and rubbish and recycling are cleared away if possible. You could even invest in a nice doormat and window box/hanging basket to make your home look more inviting. If you have a garden area in front of your property, try to ensure it looks well maintained by weeding and clearing any dead leaves/debris.
Some estate agents claim that a viewer makes up their mind about a property within around 30 seconds of walking through the door. If you have a porch/hall or communal hallway shared between other flats – don’t forget to make this area look well presented and tidy.
When looking around a potential new home, a prospective buyer will no doubt try and envisage themselves living in that space. They will imagine cooking in the kitchen and entertaining in the living room for example. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to try and de-clutter and de-personalise the space as much as possible. This will help the prospective buyer to see the property more as a blank canvas on which they can inject their own personality. Obviously, it’s not suggested that you hide all your belongings – but if you are able to clear away some clutter to give a sense of clean simplicity it could work in your favour. If you have lots of possessions out and on display, it may also give the impression that you have limited storage space.
Warm and welcoming
When people are buying a new home, they often claim that they get a vibe/instant attraction to a certain property. Something made them feel particularly comfortable and ‘at home’ in that specific property. Different people look for different attributes in a house, although one thing that’s fairly standard is that most people like to feel warm and cosy. If you’re selling your house in winter, make sure your heating is on and that the space feels warm and welcoming when people come in from the cold. If you’re home is chilly, it may not seem quite as inviting.
Appeal to other senses too. I’ve heard people suggest you bake bread to fill your property with a homely aroma of domestic bliss. Admittedly, this does seem rather over-the- top. A clean, fresh smelling home is always going to appeal, so perhaps invest in a scented candle or some delicate fragranced oils (don’t go with anything too overpowering). Open up some windows to get some fresh air running through your home. If you know someone is coming to view your property, try to avoid cooking very smelly food like bacon or fish as it could leave an unpleasant after-smell lingering around.
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