Top 5 Tips for getting your house ready to sell

Rebecca Arkell | January 23, 2015

With the dawning of the New Year, many of us are looking to, and making plans for, the year ahead. If you’re thinking of selling your home this year it’s worth noting that spring is the best time of year to sell – potential buyers aren’t away on their summer holidays, or making plans for the festive season.

And to make the most of the peak buying time, now is the time to start getting your house ready to encourage a speedy sale.

Our tips below will help prepare your house for market and make it irresistible for buyers:

Disassociate yourself from your home and de-personalise

As hard as it may be (after all, no matter how long you’ve lived here this has been your home) before you do anything else, you need to stop thinking of this space as yours, and start thinking of it as a space that will appeal to potential buyers. Not only will it make parting less painful but it will make the next step easier too: De-personalising.

When the buyer is walking around your house an important part of the decision to buy is that they can see themselves living there and your personal artifacts can hinder this. You might think that people should be able to see through this, and to use their imagination, but even for the most creative of us this takes effort and you need to make it as easy as possible for the potential buyer to imagine themselves living there, with their pictures on the wall and their granny’s dressing table in the bedroom.

 De-clutter

This tip will not only help you secure your sale, but will also help you when you move. Most of us are guilty of collecting an alarming amount of stuff, whether antique furniture, football programs or gadgets and gizmos are your vice, they all take up space. Whilst you might be happy filling your home with your treasures, they will make the space look smaller to a potential buyer, and you run the risk of putting them off your property. So now is the time to think; do you really need it?

If you do:

  • Consider packing small items away in a box that can be stored out of sight. It will save you time packing them all away when you move too!
  • For larger items or larger collections, consider hiring a storage unit to keep your pieces out of the way until you move to your next home.

 

If you don’t:

  • If your stuff still has some life in it or would hold value for someone else, then why not donate it to charity or sell on ebay?
  • If it’s past its best simply throw it away – but remember to recycle where possible.

Organise what’s left

This is important partly because it makes your house look nice, but also because it send a good message to your buyer – if he/she sees that you organize and take good care of your stuff, they will probably imagine that you take care of the rest of your house just as well.

And don’t just leave it to stuff that is on show – organise your cupboards and wardrobes too. Buyers love a snoop and you may undo all your hard work if they open a cupboard and the hastily shoved in items fall at their feet!

Make Minor repairs and repaint if necessary

Many sellers are loathed to follow this step, and it is understandable why; it is hard to justify spending money fixing and refreshing a house that you’re about to move out of…especially when you may have to do the same to the house you are about to move into.

But…and that’s a big ‘but’, it is worth it. Fixing a door that won’t close properly, giving your tired living room a fresh lick of paint or finally getting round to replacing that cracked kitchen tile won’t cost a great deal but should enable a speedy sale (possibly saving you money) and may even mean that you can command a higher asking price.

As you have the roller out anyway, now is the time to think about painting over that pink statement wall too. As much as you love bright colours, your buyer may not. Remember: Neutralise and de-personalise.

Clean and Tidy (and don’t forget curb appeal)

Lastly, it is time to give the house a good clean; make the windows sparkle, hire a steam cleaner to bring life back into your carpets and get rid of that stubborn mold in the bathroom. It should go without saying that people are much more likely to buy a house that looks clean and well looked after than one that doesn’t.

And this extends to the outside of your home too. It is crucial that you don’t forget the curb appeal of your property – if the front garden looks unkempt, the windowsills have chipped paint or if there is any rubbish lying around, then you may have lost your buyer before they have even stepped through the front door.

If you have a back garden, then mow the lawn, remove weeds and clip back unruly bushes. If a garden looks like it might take too much effort to up-keep, then you may loose the interest of the less than green fingered buyer.

Are you planning on selling your house this year? Let us know if you’ve got any tips to add to the above!

house with blue for sale sign outside