As a home owner there are two critical things you can do to improve the value of your property. First of all, you guessed it, is choose your agent wisely and secondly is to ensure your properties presentation is immaculate. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. To get buyers to view your property you must first entice them with visual media i.e. photos and videos. If your property is not visually appealing you will turn away some buyers and give buyers a lower value perception of your properties worth. Buyers are trying to visualise themselves living in your property and some can not see past a dirty toilet, bath, oven or mould on the walls. Presentation is the most cost effective way to improve the value of your property bar none. The best part is that all it takes for most of us is time and a bit of elbow grease.
Here are my top 10 tips to vastly improve the saleability of your property:
- Keep it clean for viewings, there is nothing that will put potential buyers off like a dirty home. This can be difficult especially when you have young children. As a father of three I appreciate how hard this can be. A few tips that may help is put the kids toys away and only give them a few toys each. This will also lesson your packing come shifting time.Tidy one room at a time and then make it off limits if possible. Reward the kids for helping to keep their room tidy.
- Street appeal is critical! You will never get people to buy the property if they don’t even make it to the front door! Make sure you mow the lawns, trim the edges, weed the gardens and trim the hedges. Any broken fence failings or holes in the driveway should be repaired. Replace letterbox if it is in a state of disrepair, water blast any mouldy paths and remove anything growing out of the spouting. Buyers do not want to see that they are spending their hard earned cash on something that is going to take up a lot of their valuable time. Don’t forget to remove your washing from the line.
- Pets & smokers. I am an animal lover and nobody likes to hear that there house smalls of dog or cat. The unfortunate truth is that you often are unaware that your house smells because you live there everyday. Some tips to avoid reducing your properties value due to pet odour is to keep cat litter trays fresh and remove them for open homes. Clean your carpets and wash your dog regularly. Keep wet dogs out of the house and use air fresheners. Same thing applies for any smokers. Clean your carpets, remove ash trays on open home day and spray air freshener around the home.
- Repair any broken items! Buyers are looking for reasons not to buy your property and for faults to use to drive the price down. Your aim is to not give them any ammunition. Make sure that all door handles, cupboard handles, draw handles and tap handles are present and operate properly. Ensure all curtain rails and curtains are in good order. Wash curtains if needed.
- Wash your windows! Dirty windows are visually unappealing and reduce the rooms natural light. It is surprising how often this is overlooked by the homeowner and commented on by the buyers. A little bit of elbow grease is all that is needed to make a big difference visually and don’t forget to remove that mould on the window frames.
- De-clutter! Ensure that the kitchen bench tops are clear and remove any bills and pictures etc that are stuck to the fridge. Buyers like to see clear lines. Declutter your kitchen draws and children’s bedrooms and remember to hang up clothes and bathrobes. It amazes me how often I see photos with a bathrobe lying in a heap on the bed. As mentioned earlier, buyers are trying to visualise themselves living in your property. If your home has a lot of family photo’s it is a good idea to limit them to a few.
- Paint. Any flaking, peeling, old discoloured or bold coloured paint should be replaced. Buyers are like water and take the least path of resistance. If the houses on the market your competing against don’t need painting guess which one the buyers will buy. And from my experience buyers will often pay a bit more not to have to do any work.
- Re-carpet! Re-carpeting worn or dated carpet can totally transform the feel of a home.Whilst this is a costly exercise it may be worth considering any free finance deals on offer at the carpet stores.This will give you plenty of time to sell your property before having to pay for the carpet.
- Toilet, bathrooms and kitchen! Nothing is more visually off putting than dirty stained toilets, baths sinks or mould. It is critically that all mould is removed and get those toilets, baths and sinks sparkling. Don’t forget to clean the shower glass and replace any dirty or mouldy shower curtains. Remove tooth brushes and put the toilet seat down. Often overlooked is cleaning he inside of the oven.
- Make your home inviting! Open your curtains and let in as much natural light as possible and let in fresh air on nice days. Dark stale rooms feel depressing and uninviting. In the colder months get the house nice and warm and remove any condensation. Nobody wants to live in a cold damp home! The smell of freshly cut flowers, baking and coffee all play to the buyers senses, helping them to visualise life living in your home.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but trust me it will pay off in the long run in both money and reduced time on the market.
Once we have the buyer falling in love with your home, the power in the negotiations is shifted. If we can get multiple buyers to fall in love with your property we are on track to achieve a Premium Price and hopefully set a new market record!