Preparing for a viewing is not only the catalyst to adding value to your home, but also to selling it. In such a competitive market, first impressions are crucial to making or breaking a viewer’s decision to buy. So it makes sense to highlight all the wonderful aspects of your property, while improving the areas that need a little more attention. Here we discuss five tips on how to prepare your home for a viewing.
- Start with the outside
It’s easy to overlook your front garden and the state of your home’s exterior when you’re busy sprucing up the inside. But it’s important not to neglect these features for two reasons. The first has to do with on foot or by car inspections of your property, prior to any official viewing. The second reason goes in tandem with the first; if prospective buyers aren’t faced with an inviting exterior, they’ll approach the official viewing with pre-conceived notions of what the property’s interior could be like – which could prove detrimental to your ability to sell. Maintain the following to help make your home look more appealing:
- Front garden and hedges: mow and trim them respectively;
- Drive and pathway: pull out weeds and sweep away any leaves or rubbish;
- Windows: clean from both sides and dress with blinds or curtains;
- Front porch: the entrance to the house should be the most approachable exterior feature so give the door a fresh coat of paint but opt for a light colour. For a finishing touch, you could add a hanging flower basket.
Note: the above suggestions also apply to your home’s back garden.
- Declutter but don’t lose character
Potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in the property – a cluttered, claustrophobic-looking space won’t do anything to inspire them. So strike a balance – remove unnecessary items but retain the home’s character. Glimpses of this will help your home sell faster.
After all, you’re not selling a previously uninhabited new build house; you’re selling a home, a vision, and a certain lifestyle that comes with living there. That’s what you need to capture in the presentation of your home. Moving from room to room should reveal a story that builds upon the buyer’s desire to purchase. To achieve this, address the following:
- Space: don’t give buyers the impression you’re a hoarder, as this will be off-putting and create a negative atmosphere. Throw away any unwanted things that take up precious space while placing the rest in storage until you move home;
- Size: decluttering isn’t just restricted to your personal, sentimental items however. It also applies to large pieces of furniture, such as sofas and tables, which tend to overwhelm a space. So replace these with subtle, smaller alternatives. This will open up the rooms, encouraging more natural daylight to enter – a trick that instantly makes a room appear larger;
- Soft furnishings: pull back curtains or swap any out-dated ones for blinds to further maximise the house’s space and highlight its selling features.
- Repair and refurbish
The best viewings happen when you, the seller, aren’t present because this gives potential buyers the opportunity to freely explore and understand what the house has to offer them. Buyers are more inclined to consider a property on the basis that it won’t require more money for redecorating. So to impress them, pay close attention to the details:
- Strip walls of any peeling wallpaper – paint them in neutral colours;
- Patch up any cracks in walls;
- Replace any broken door knobs or handles;
- Fix any broken doors, drawers, or kitchen cabinets;
- Scrub clean the inside of the oven, especially if you’re an avid cook;
- Hoover all rooms, taking extra care to cover seemingly hidden areas – buyers won’t be scared to have a thorough look;
- Replace any broken light bulbs;
- Polish mirrors;
- Fix leaking and/or stiff taps;
- Fix cracked tiles;
- Clean and polish taps, removing any lime scale;
- Clean and replace tile grout;
- Redo the sealant if it’s grown mouldy;
- Lay out new mats and hang up new towels in the bathroom;
- Wash your garden patio and clean outdoor furniture.
- Create a warm ambience
Both natural and artificial lighting should open up the potential of a room. Walls-wise, stick to a neutral colour palette. Although this may not sound very warm, it does in fact have two benefits. Walls painted in earthy tones, such as white, cream, and beige, encourage light to bounce off them; creating the impression of a spacious room – a blessing if you’re dealing with low ceilings and small windows.
The other advantage lies in soft furnishings. These include cushions, throws, rugs, curtains, and tasteful pieces of artwork in contrasting colours which can really play up a room’s character, providing the desired brightness.
Address dim corners to highlight the maximum potential of a room. Overcome this issue with the help of floor lamps for soft lighting or ceiling and wall lights to really brighten up the space.
- Embrace the other senses
Our sense of sight is a major determining factor in whether we like something or not. But that’s not to say you forget the other ones. Play on the senses of your prospective buyers. This is the key to letting buyers visualise themselves living in the property. So here’s what you need to prioritise:
- Smell: opt for natural smells as opposed to artificial ones courtesy of plugs-ins, sprays, and candles. After all, it’s impossible to cater for each and every buyer’s preferences. However, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and baked bread seems to be a popular choice. Alternatively, oust bad odours by opening windows, cleaning drains, and washing bins and changing their liners. Good smells will encourage buyers to continue looking through your home as their image of domestic bliss is confirmed with every peak of each room. Not attending to bad smells (for example piles of dirty laundry) will have the reverse effect.
- Touch: likewise, you can’t anticipate people’s like and dislikes. Some might like pets, some might not. The safest compromise is not only to make sure pets aren’t around, but also to remove pet hair from soft furnishings before you open your home up to a viewing. After all, potential buyers won’t be afraid to scrutinise every detail so it’s pivotal you prioritise them.
- Hearing: turn off the TV and sources of music as these can interfere with a buyer’s peaceful viewing and subsequent ability to decide on the property’s potential as an investment buy.
If you need more help on how to prepare your home for a viewing, call +44(0)20 7078 0214 to talk to one of our property experts at Kingsley Hamilton Estates – the name you can trust, when it comes to supporting and managing all of your property needs.