Seven Super Selling Steps

It can be a buyer's market, so how do you make your home stand out from the rest? Follow these super simple tips and you'll be on the right track for selling success

The right first impression. Your home needs to catch your buyer's interest from the first moment they see it; on the internet, in a brochure or in person. Anything that makes your house look scruffy will also make it look sad and uncared for - think untidy gardens and peeling paint. No matter how impressive your house is on the inside, that first underwhelming impression of 'Oh, is this it?' will lead the way for the rest of the viewing. Luckily this can be easily rectified. Look at your house with buyer's eyes; does it look attractive and welcoming? Tidy the front of your house of any litter or dead leaves. If you do have a garden, make sure it is mowed and, if it's the spring or summer, think of investing a couple of pounds in some bright bedding plants. And finally, take the 'ultimate buyer test' - can your house be easily found i.e. is it clearly numbered?! There is nothing worse for a buyer than not being able to find the property they want to view!

Clean and clear Every buyer wants a light and bright home, and one sure fire way to quickly put them off is by turning your lovely light windows into grubby, hand smeared monstrosities. Dirty windows can easily turn the most beautiful rooms into dank, dark spaces. Dig out the squigee from under the sink and give all your windows a good clean and polish. Don't neglect the frames either - scrub UPVC until gleaming and freshen up painted frames with a lick of bright white.

Declutter. Any potential buyer wants to be able to imagine themselves and their family living in your house but this is hard to do when surrounded by someone else's belongings. Ensure that you are ready for viewings by tidying away any personal belongings. The souvenir teapot from Granny Julie's holiday? Hide it. The lovingly painted handprint butterfly pictures from the kids? Hide them. The same goes for personal photographs. To be able to show off the character of your home you need clean, streamlined surfaces and the size of your rooms will also be maximised. It can be hard when it comes to children's bedrooms but tidy away toys as much as possible. And your beautiful, cuddly family dog? Well not everyone will love his dribbly face as much as you do so make sure pets aren't around at the same time as viewings. Even pet lovers don't necessarily want to think of themselves living in the same space someone else's pet once lived.

Nice and fresh. The old tip of having baking smells wafting around the house during a viewing is nonsense - buyers want the house to smell and feel fresh and airy so make sure it smells as neutral as possible. Opening windows is the best way to achieve this (although balance this with the temperature in the house). Sidestep fragranced candles too as they can be overpowering.

Clever cleaning. Of course your house needs to be clean but we all live busy lives. One way of ensuring your house is in tip top cleanliness is to do a deep clean as soon as you decide to put your house on the market. Then, as and when viewings come in, you can easily keep on top of any 'intermediate' cleaning and show your house in its' best light.

DIY. Look around your house. I can guarantee there will be at least two or three 'little' DIY problems you have happily lived with for a few years. Mismatched door handles? Scuff marks on the stairway? They may not bother you (anymore!) but you can be sure potential buyers will spot them. Stack them up and they can give a bad impression of your house. Spend a morning fixing them and give make your home look and feel well cared for.

Staging. Walk into a showhome and what would be your first thought? It's usually how clean and yet 'lived in' it looks and this is done by very clever 'staging'. The home needs to make potential buyers live there. This is easy to do in your own home. Fresh flowers bring life into your property. Clean and ironed furnishings (cushions and bedspreads) provide a neat looking room. And don't forget, dress your rooms according to their use!

These easy to follow steps are cheap yet effective and will ensure your house looks well cared for and maximise its' potential.


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