How to prepare your house for sale
It’s that exciting time when you’re preparing to move home and sell your current house, but there are a few common mistakes that could scupper your chances of a quick sale, especially during the festive season. Avoid these pitfalls and you’ll be sure to find the right buyer right away.
Not sure how to prepare your house for viewings? Use our FREE simple checklist and turn your house into a must-buy today!
You’re preparing your house to sell and may even have viewings booked, can you answer yes to these 10 questions?
1. Does your house give a great first impression?
It’s all about the curb appeal. A good first impression can make all the difference when it comes to selling your house. Think like a viewer, as you approach the house is the path tidy? Are the bins away? If your grass needs attention, the paintwork is tatty, and your doorbell doesn’t work you’ll instantly put off buyers before they’ve even given the indoors a chance.
Tip: If you have an allocated parking space, or room outside your house, reserve this for the viewer. A convenient and hassle-free viewing will help them visualise living in their new home right from the start.
2. Have you de-cluttered your space?
Space is key and if prospective buyers can’t see the space they won’t appreciate what this house can offer them. By presenting an organised, uncluttered home you’re encouraging the viewer to imagine themselves in this house and realise how much they could be getting for their money. Consider the Christmas decorations and remove excess tinsel from your shelves too, and don’t forget about your cupboards! Viewers will be nosy, and a closed door may be opened – don’t let your mess burst out and give the impression there’s not enough space or storage in the property.
Tip: Consider putting some items in storage until you move. The cost incurred would be minimal compared with a lengthy selling process. Removing large furniture for example could mean your house sells quicker and for the right price, why wait?
3. Have you de-personalised your space?
As with de-cluttering, de-personalising is just as important to show off the house and invite the viewer to picture themselves living in the space. If you haven’t detached yourself from the house before the viewing stage, this could impact the saleability of the property and delay your dream move to your new home.
Tip: Remove 90% of your personal photos and ornaments from around the house. The house should feel like a home, so you don’t want it to become stark, but viewers don’t need to see your entire china collection. You want them to imagine their personality in this home and make the decision to buy right away.
4. Is your decor neutral?
One of the most common mistakes sellers can make is not presenting a neutral canvas. Your style choices could be wonderful, but you want the next owner to see this as their potential home. You want to sell the house, so you can move towards your new life, this means showcasing the property to meet as many tastes as possible in order to find the right buyer. You don’t need to remove every bauble and paint the walls magnolia but take a step back and consider what areas could be improved.
Tip: Ask friends and family to role-play as house-hunters and tell you what they would change about each living area. It could be as simple as a new throw on the sofa or toning down the bright purple bedroom curtains.
5. Does each room have a purpose?
Are you showcasing every room to the best of its abilities? You may be using the 3rd bedroom for sewing or storage, but this isn’t going to sell your house. Make sure each room has a clear purpose and if it’s being marketed as a bedroom it should include a bed.
Tip: If you have large landing areas that are unused or wasted space, put a comfy chair and small coffee table in the area and present this as a cosy nook for reading. It’ll add to the lifestyle appeal and give the illusion of more living space.
6. Have you fixed any necessary minor repairs?
It’s all in the presentation and you should be proud to present your house to prospective buyers. You may be reluctant to spend money when you know you’re leaving, but minor repairs that improve the appeal of the property will increase your chances of a quick sale. The quicker you sell, the quicker you can move in to your dream home.
Tip: Tester pots of paint can go a long way, and cost very little. Pick up some samples and make the necessary touch ups to your paintwork.
7. Is your house clean and tidy?
Think like a viewer. Would you buy a house that had dirty towels in the bathroom or pet hair all over the carpet? House-hunters will instantly be put off and may even stop the viewing if they can’t see past the washing up, don’t lose your buyer because of a little untidiness or an open toilet seat.
Tip: Save time and energy and hire a professional cleaning company to do the hard work for you. They’ll do a fantastic job and you’ll find it easier to maintain once the deep-clean has taken place.
8. Does each room smell fresh?
Smell is so important it needs its own spot on the list. Much like with cleanliness, prospective buyers will immediately take a disliking to your house if they’re faced with an unpleasant smell. This could be old cooking, pets, smoke for example - anything that isn’t fresh and clean shouldn’t be smelt in a house viewing.
Tip: Remove pet beds and air the property thoroughly before any viewing. Invest in air-fresheners that slowly release scents to maintain a fresh feeling all day long, perfect for viewings at any time of day.
9. Is your garden space well-presented?
You’ve thought about curb appeal but don’t forget about the rest of your outdoor space. Whether this is a large rear garden, courtyard terrace or balcony – all outdoor areas should be treated as any other living space and be presented in a clean and tidy manner. Outdoor space is highly sought after, win over your viewer instantly with a wow-factor garden.
Tip: Bring the outside in, encourage the feeling of more natural space with potted plants and even reap the health benefits too! Read our top tips for garden lovers for more ideas.
10. Is your house ready to sell?
Congratulations! You’ve worked your way through the checklist and now your house is ready to be sold. Let the agent do the viewing where possible, it’s their job and they are trained to show off your property in the most effective way. Your house will stand out from the crowd if it’s well-presented and ready for a new owner.
Tip: Download and print off your FREE viewings checklist to make sure your house is prepared for viewings, and ready to sell right away.
Are you ready to view new properties? Read our handy guide on how to get the most out of your viewings as you search for your dream home. If you're looking to move to Kent, discover more about buying a home at a discounted price over on our Kent properties page.
If you’re over 60 and looking to move, take a moment to learn how our team can help you achieve your moving goals, and support you throughout the entire moving process. Visit our Move Simply page to discover more about how our service can help you buy, sell and move home.