Preparing your home for viewings is difficult, especially when you still have to live in it whilst it’s on the market, or when you may have outgrown your current property and have a lot of furniture and belongings. Kebbell’s Andrea Fawell gives her golden rules and tips on how to enhance your home to speed up the process and get a good sale offer.
1. Get in the right mindset. Think of the house you are putting on the market as no longer your home as soon as you sign with an estate agent. It may feel counter intuitive spending money on doing up your home and not enjoying those benefits yourselves, but improvements such as new carpets do help with quicker sales and in some cases renovations and updates will increase the value of the property so will pay for themselves.
2. Sell at the right price from the outset because whilst you want to maximise what you can get for your property; you don’t want to keep lowering the price because you had unrealistic expectations initially. Lowering the price several times makes it look like there are underlying problems with the house and it will become unappealing if seen to be taking a long time to sell.
3. Have all your paperwork to hand including planning permissions and building control for any extensions. It can hugely speed up the process and will avoid problems and delays that could turn off potential buyers.
4. Pay attention to detail. The market is always highly competitive which means you need to do more to make sure your property stands out. Keep the house tidy, make sure windows and carpets are clean, jet-wash the patio and front drive, give a fresh lick of paint to every room, re-carpet if needed and re-grout the bathroom. Do a nose test for pet smells and the kids football kit in the utility room or wherever they end up!
5. Declutter, declutter and declutter. That includes wardrobes and cupboards (potential buyers do look in them), the garage, shed, loft and hallways.
6. Sustainability is increasingly important. Energy proof your house.Check that your insulation is up to standard and if you can, install solar panels and/or ground source heat pumps to give your home an edge. Everyone now asks about electric car charging so think about where one could be installed on your property.
7. Appeal to the masses. Make sure your home feels welcoming and homely. At Osborne House we are attracting all sorts of different buyers from downsizers to young couples, so we have to bear this in mind in how we present the show home, so it appeals to everyone. A neutral contemporary colour scheme is often desirable because over personalisation can put buyers off. Put away any overly quirky personal possessions.
8. Renovate your kitchen. The most ‘valuable’ room per square foot in a home is the kitchen. Consider painting or replacing your kitchen cabinet doors, upgrading counter tops and boxing in any pipes.
9. Add off-street parking. Councils continue to reduce parking availability so capitalise on this by converting your front garden into a driveway. This will be particularly beneficial if your home is in an area where parking is known to be difficult.
10. Keep each room light and bright to make them feel fresher, warmer and more inviting. Take advantage of the natural light that fills each room where possible or brighten darker rooms by installing spotlights, lamps or fairy lights.
11. Re-vamp your garden. Tidy the garden, weed the drive and give your home curb appeal. If you can, add luxury touches in the garden such as quality decking, a firepit or BBQ area, a pizza oven or maybe even a summer house. Re-vamping your garden and offering additional living space can increase your home’s value, making it more desirable to potential buyers. Now more than ever, buyers are looking for an inviting garden space.
12. Update your bathroom(s). Make sure your home has both a shower and a bath to appeal to everyone. Modernising your bathrooms to feel more luxurious and tranquil can help generate serious interest in your property. Think about replacing your shower curtain with a glass screen, installing a power shower and underfloor heating or a heated towel rail.
13. Move up. Expand your home by adding a loft conversion, ideally adding another bedroom and bathroom to the property thereby moving it into the next size band and adding value to your home. Whilst extensions are costly, they are particularly desirable for smaller homes in built-up areas.
14. Apply for planning permission. If you don’t want to do the extension or conversion yourself having planning permission for an extension in place before you put your property on the market can give you an advantage especially if your home has not been renovated recently. Many buyers look for homes that have the potential to extend to add more space.