Selling your home can, unfortunately, be a long and drawn out process. However, if you take a little time and effort to prepare for viewings in advance of the property going on the market and of any planned viewings, you will stand a much better chance of achieving a sale quickly.
Here are a few pointers to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Initial impressions
We've all heard Kirsty and Phil banging on about "kerb appeal" but never underestimate the power of the first impression. If your viewer turns up and your front garden is full of weeds, or the wall is falling down, or there is litter on the driveway, or the paint on the front door is peeling, don't be surprised if they don't make an offer. Ensure the front of your house looks great - investing in a couple of potted plants or a lick of paint for the front door or garage will ensure the viewer maintains a positive attitude as they step inside.
2. Banish bad odours
Now don't ruin that first impression by changing your baby's nappy in the living room just before your viewer arrives. Think about your trips to the supermarket. Why is it you can always smell bread the moment you walk through the door? We all know it is to make us hungry and buy more food than we intended. Now, I'm not suggesting you bake a loaf of bread or brew fresh coffee before a viewing (it's a bit of cliché now), but if your home smells good people will find it more inviting. Open the windows and get some fresh air in the place, use a little air freshener, get a plug-in.
3. Keep it clean
Cleanliness, or should I say the lack thereof, can be the biggest turn off for a viewer. In reality, it is going to be fairly difficult to maintain a pristine show home, but do the obvious stuff like vacuum the carpets regularly, keep the hob free from grease, wipe away crumbs from work surfaces, etc. If your home is clean, it will feel as though you have looked after it.
4. Tidy items away
Remove as much clutter as you can. If your home looks cluttered, the viewer will immediately think that it is too small. Keep work surfaces clear, remove piles of clothes from bedroom floors, tidy the kids' toys away - but don't just stuff items into a cupboard or wardrobe as the viewer will probably look inside and that will give the game away. It might be worth shoving some items in the loft (if you have one), or even using a self-storage facility until the house is sold.
5. Warm it up
If your home is cold, people will not feel comfortable in there, moreso if it is an empty property. An ideal temperature range is between 18-20 degrees. Likewise, if your home is too hot, the viewer will not feel comfortable and wonder why you have the heating on full blast - it doesn't exactly scream "efficiency".
6. Hide animals
Just because you like your pet doesn't mean that your viewer will. Do your best to keep your pet and associated items out of the way. Your viewer will probably not want a dog jumping up at them and won't warm to the sight of a used litter tray. Evidence of animals can present themselves through odours, so use the tips listed above to make your home smell sweeter.
Viewers will be put off if they see mould and dirt, so get out the cleaning products and scrub hard! If the grouting between the tiles is not clean, try some of the stronger products or re-grout if they don't work. Make sure the bath and shower doesn't have toe nail clippings or hair in the plug holes and that the sink isn't splattered with toothpaste. Some clean and tidy towels will also make your bathroom look more inviting.
The kitchen area needs to be perceived as clean and hygienic, so make sure no washing up it left by the sink. If you have a dishwasher, get it in there. If you haven't, try to clear your draining rack so it isn't cluttered. If you have loads of items such as a coffee machine, juicer, food processor, sandwich toaster, tidy them away into a cupboard to make your kitchen look tidy and uncluttered. Lastly, scrub in the kitchen as hard as you did in the bathroom - everyone loves sparkling taps and sinks!
Viewers will generally want to see that your home has been reasonably well maintained. The last thing they want to do is move in and carry out a full maintenance programme. Take it as a given that any buyer will redecorate at some point after they move in, but don't let this lull you into a false sense of security regarding the paintwork. If exterior paintwork is peeling, touch it up. If interior paintwork is chipped or heavily scuffed, touch it up.
If you would like any support with selling your home under a relocation package, please contact us.