Selling a home can be a real challenge, especially in tough financial markets, but there are some small, relatively inexpensive ideas you can try to help your home seem more appealing to potential buyers and hopefully tip the balence to a sale.
The obvious ones are:
- Clear the Clutter – Pack up as many of the little nik-naks around your home as you can, the house needs to look like it is lived in, but not buried under years of family life – potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in the property, which can be hard if there are masses of photos and nik-naks around. Box them up securely and either put them up in an attic space or if possible remove them from the house completely by placing the boxes into short-term storage.
- Clear down workspaces – Clearing the clutter in your kitchen and bathroom will make the rooms more appealing, put all your products in cupboards, clear down workspaces in your kitchen, replace any tatty towels/tea-towels, and remove any bins.
- Make larger spaces – If you have bulky bits of furniture or are using rooms for something other then their intended purpose, consider moving the items into storage as it will open up your home and show potential buyers the rooms as they were intended. Use common decorating tricks to bring more light and “space” into your rooms – particuarly your hallways.
- Check the Decoration – Make sure that the decoraton in your home is neutral – strong colours may be just what you like, but it may turn off potential buyers who don’t have the same taste of you. If you have bright or bold colours or patterns then invest in a tub of neutral paint and paint over it. While you are looking over your decoration with a critical eye, make sure that the paint work is clean and tidy, and re-paint any dirty, or scuffed areas. If your tiles are looking grotty but you don’t want to re-tile, then re-grout instead, it will make them appear fresher. Invest in some uplighters to make the room feel more modern, and to bounce the light around more. Wipe down light switches to remove any possible grim and have them looking fresh and clean.
- First impressions count – If you have seen any of the TV shows about selling your home, you may have heard the phrase “curb-side appeal”, it is basically the house sellers way of saying “first impressions count”. If your house doesn’t look appealing from the side of the road, then your potential buyers will be looking for even more faults inside the home. Keep this in mind when you are preparing your home to sell, make sure that your garden is tidy, that any rubbish has been removed, that the paintwork on the out side of your home is in good repair and the windows are clean. Make sure that the lawn is mown, and if possible, give it a feed to ensure it is as green and healthy as possible before any viewings, tidy any flowerbeds and pull out any weeds, and remove any dead heads on the plants.
- Do the housework – You don’t like looking at piles of dirty washing, washing up stacks or dusty shelves – neither would your potential buyers.
- Ask a friend to look after your pets – Although you love your pets and it is their home too, they would be happier not to have to deal with strangers invading their home. Also potential buyers may be more at ease without your huge dog leaping up to say hello – you have no idea what allergies your potential buyer may have, so removing the pets will help reduce this potential issue.
As well as the above points, there are other “tricks of the trades” that you can use which include:
- Make the coffee – Invest in a coffee perculator if you don’t already have one, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee is enticing, and is a subconcious trigger for comfort and well being.
- Lets eat cake – Another smell related trick is to do some baking, again, the smell of baking bread or cake is a “comforting”, “homely” smell which will put your potential buyers at ease, and also give you a talkng point and a tasty treat later in the day.
- Accessorise with care – Certian colours trigger feelings of well being and happiness – one such colour is yellow – use it sparingly throughout your home in the form of vases, cushions and throws to bring some colour to your home without being over bearing.
- Think about when you are trying to sell – It might sound odd, but there are time of the year that it is easier to sell your home then others. Traditionally more homes sell in early spring (Feb/Mar) and in autumn (Sept) – demand outstrips supply during these times and so the prices obtained for properties can be higher.
- Plan your viewing – If you have decided to let an estate agent show your home for you, then make sure you arrange to go out when you know there is a veiwing due, having the home owner “hover” while the viewing is taking place could put off potential buyers. If you are showing the home yourself, then think carefully about the time of day of the viewing, light can play an important part in showcasing your home. Make sure you know in your mind which route you will take through the house, and what features of each room you want to draw attention to.
- Investigate your market – Who is likely to be buying your home? Try and tailor your space and accessories to your target market – if you feel that your best chance to sell will be a young professional couple, turn your 2nd bedroom back into a bedroom but make room for a small workspace area elsewhere in the house. This would ensure that the house would also appeal to a couple with a young child or who are considering starting a family.
- Don’t hide things in your cupboards – Believe it or not, people looking around a home will check out your built in storage spaces – becareful not to over stuff them, or to hide anything you wouldn’t want found in them.
Hopefully this will give you a few ideas, if you are still stumped on how to present your home, then you could always try looking around the show home of one of the house builders in your area, when companies are trying to sell their new build homes, they have at least one show home on a development so potential clients can see the builds in detail, but as they are trying to sell their properties they will decorate the show home accordingly.
Although following some of these tips may help your home to sell, they are not a guarentee that if you do some or all your home will sell, it is always worth talking to friends and family, and also asking your estate agent if there is anything they could suggest to make your home more appealing. Keep in mind the finanical climate, area you are living and size and style of the property (all things you have very little control over) are also major influences on selling a home.