We’ve already covered how to whip kitchens and gardens into shape before potential buyers come for viewings, but now we need to think about the house in general. Every nook and cranny needs to be in tip-top condition because a bad first impression is also known as the only impression.
Everything that looks or feels out of place will be a little overwhelming at first, so just remember that each job will only take a small amount of time. Before anyone comes to have a nose around, wander around every room of the house with a note-pad and pen, making notes of everything that needs sorting. Once you’ve compiled a check-list, deal with them one by one, ticking them off as you go. Here are a few pointers of the things to keep an eye out for when you’re making your to-do list…
– Anything that needs fixing or replacing – The sight of broken furniture will distract viewers from what you want them to be looking at, such as room size, views or furniture. It is especially important to fix anything they may inherit from you along with the house, such as dishwashers or washing machines. Make sure all power out-lets are screwed in tightly, that all lightbulbs are working and make sure to oil down any door hinges that might squeal in protest during the viewers’ tours.
– Peeling wallpaper – Again, this is because scruffy and worn wallpaper will distract viewers from the really important things. Not to mention, a scruffy house will be a whole less appealing to them.
– Cleanliness – Check every hidden fraction of the walls looking for damp and dirt and use some Cinderella backbone to get rid of it. No viewer wants to see grime on the window frames or mould turning a corner black.
Gutter that Clutter!
Mess is your downfall when taking buyers around your home – they will sub-consciously interpret a lack of floor space to mean small rooms or not enough storage. You could just stuff everything into the back of a wardrobe somewhere, but what if they open the doors to see how much clothing space they’ll have? Be tough on yourself and throw out anything that you honestly do not need anymore. Give bric-a-brac to the charity shops and bin old trinkets you never look at anymore.
If you can’t bring yourself to throw anything away, ask a friend if they wouldn’t mind storing things for you, just while you are presenting your house to strangers. You may even consider renting out storage containers, just to get everything out from under your feet. If it helps to sell the house, it will only have been an investment.
It would also help to remove personal items from around the house since these will not only be a distraction, but off-putting to people who want to view it as a clean slate. Put away family photos, posters or small ornaments, making your home as simple as possible.
If You Have Done It Right…
Once everything has either left to join the British Heart Foundation or found a temporary retreat somewhere else, you shouldn’t have a single article hiding your carpet. Nothing but furniture should be touching the floor. It should look ready to be displayed in one of those glossy magazines that only picture pristine family rooms and streak-free kitchens.
For final touches, open windows to let in some fresh air, give every surface a good polishing and maybe stand a bunch of flowers in every room. How could any viewer dare resist?
To read other articles we have posted on getting your house ready for viewings, visit our blog: www.enlightenea.co.uk/blog.