- Kerb appeal: What can prospective buyers see from the road?
A viewer will get their first impression when they initially glimpse your property from the road outside. Make this a good first impression by ensuring the front garden area is neat and tidy. You may wish to brighten up the outside of your home by adding window boxes, hanging baskets, seasonal plants, and a clean welcoming mat. A freshly painted entrance door with clean and shiny fittings will create a good impression of the rest of your home.
- De-clutter & de-personalise: show-off the potential of your home, not your belongings
Clutter is distracting and prevents buyers from visualising themselves in your home. It makes the space feel smaller and creates the impression that the house is uncared for. It is necessary to be ruthless. Only keep essential, useful or beautiful items on display. Remove personal photographs, children’s drawings, personal memorabilia, any artwork or items of religious or political nature.
- Clean up: make your home appear as new as possible
Another simple way of making your home more appealing is to make sure it is clean! Nobody likes other people’s grime. All surfaces that can be seen and/or touched must be spotless. In particular, kitchen and bathrooms must feel “clinically hygienic”. Don’t forget to remove cobwebs and dust from ceilings and lampshades.
- General maintenance: fix all unfinished DIY jobs
Half finished repairs create the impression that there is a lot of work to be done on the property. If there are problems on the surface that have not been addressed, this could imply that there could potentially be more serious structural problems that have not been addressed either. Be sure to complete all minor repairs such as door hinges and handles, squeaky floorboards, dripping taps. A buyer is very likely to ask you to fix them before committing, or request a discount anyway.
- Freshen up and neutralise: offer a blank canvas to prospective buyers
Neutral colours sell because they don’t offend anyone’s taste whilst providing a blank canvas for people to imagine their own belongings in your home. This applies to every surface: walls, ceilings, floorings and furnishings. Opt for soft and natural colours that will make the rooms feel brighter and bigger. Freshen up the bathroom and kitchen by re-grouting the tiles, update doors and cupboards with new handles, and create a good impression in the bedrooms with fresh bed linen.
- Lighting: Whether natural or artificial, make the most of it.
Most buyers react positively to brighter and lighter homes. Light will make your home more welcoming, whilst making it appear bigger. Ensure you have sufficient lighting in all areas. Maximise natural light by ensuring windows are clean and your curtains are fully opened. This is especially important in the two key rooms, the bathroom and kitchen.
- Subliminal factors: appeal to the buyers’ senses
Buyers are automatically influenced by their senses: sight, sound, touch and smell. Make sure your home appeals to your buyer’s senses by eliminating any unpleasant smells (smoking, pets, cooking). Fresh air, scented flowers, candles or pot pourri will bring a pleasant and natural fragrance. Ensure all rooms have a focal point, are balanced and harmoniously decorated.
- Prioritise: invest where it will make a difference
The entrance hall is an important room on which to focus your efforts, as it will give any potential buyers the first impression of the interior of your home. Make sure it is welcoming, bright, clean and clutter free. However, the kitchen and bathroom are the most influential rooms by far. It is these rooms that can be responsible for the make or break of a sale. If you have a limited budget, invest in these rooms. The master bedroom can also be a deciding factor for prospective buyers. Finally, don’t forget the garden.