How to get your house ready to sell
If you are thinking of putting your property on the market, make sure you get the very best price with these six easy steps
The housing market is busier than it’s been for a long time, so now could be the perfect time to take advantage and start to plan that move. With lots of buyers out there you want to make sure your property stands out while also achieving the best possible price. Our guide to making your home perfectly presentable can easily be done on a budget and in no time at all.
Does decluttering help sell your house?
Yes decluttering definitely helps sell your house. The first thing to do when preparing to sell your home is to have a thorough declutter in every room, including the garage and shed. You want your home to look clean and spacious in the agent’s photos, so task all family members with the job of sorting out their rooms and allocate piles to take to the charity shop, recycle, sell or take down the tip.
Cluttered rooms can put potential buyers off and, once you’ve spent time sorting everything out – from wardrobes to kitchen cabinets – it’s a lot easier to maintain a clutter-free lifestyle and prepare for your move. Next, give the whole house a deep clean from top to bottom. If budget allows, hire a carpet cleaner from HSS or Rug Doctor.
How tackling DIY jobs can help reassure potential house buyers
Buyers won’t want to see anything broken or in need of urgent attention in your home. Walk around the house, inside and out, and make a complete list of all those jobs you never got around to. Look for leaky guttering, chipped wooden window frames, dripping taps or showers; even fascias that could do with a clean.
A well-maintained house shows buyers that you have really cared for the property and that they hopefully won’t find anything scary in a survey. It also prevents haggling over the asking price, as there won’t be anything for them to quibble over. For any tasks that need a professional, prioritise what needs doing most urgently, then work down the list and keep the receipts to accompany your survey.
‘My advice would be to fix the little things as they can be a huge turn-off for buyers. Cracking
paint or any holes or gaps in plastering can have a considerable impact on the overall attractiveness of the property. They also cost very little and require no expertise to repair,’ says Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global, creators of property concierge platform Moveable.
Check out more tips and advice in our DIY section
Make a good impression
Give your home kerb appeal by making sure that everything potential buyers see on first glance gives the best impression possible. Mow the lawn, trim hedges and any overgrown bushes or trees. If you have a timber front door that looks tired and flaky, give it a fresh lick of weatherproof wood paint.
Think about changing the hardware, too, with a new letterbox and house number, then add a welcoming door mat and mini potted tree. All these little touches don’t sound like much but they will make your home inviting to guests. As well as the exterior, you also want to ensure the hallway looks welcoming. Declutter shoes and coats, then make it homely with mirrors, framed prints, lamps and fresh flowers.
Should you depersonalise your house before selling?
Many homeowners find this one really difficult to do, but it’s one of the best ways to make sure that buyers can actually visualise themselves living in your property. It’s a lot easier to do if you are planning on going on the market soon, so it may be something you leave until you’re immediately ready to sell up.
Think of it as making your home anonymous, so hide or store away anything personal, such as family photos, holiday souvenirs, trophies, certificates and collectibles. Try to make your home a blank canvas so that the buyer can visualise themselves in it: not devoid of personality, but not overpowering either. It’s about selling the lifestyle and your home’s full potential.
How to present and stage your house for selling
As well as depersonalising rooms, you also need to define the role of each space in your home. This means making sure that the living area looks like a living area, rather than a playroom. Without wanting to sound obvious, if you have a separate dining room, it should have a dining table and chairs.
It’s surprising how many people use a room for other purposes than intended and this makes it difficult for buyers to imagine themselves and their furniture in there. If space allows, create a home office – many people now work from home or have children that need somewhere to study, so this can be a selling point. Equally, guest bedrooms should impress buyers with a fully dressed bed, bedside table and lamp.
What should you spend money on and what shouldn't you spend money on when selling your house?
Although it may be tempting to replace a tired and outdated kitchen or bathroom, in reality most buyers will want to put their own stamp on a property, so avoid spending money that you won’t get back on the sale of the house. There are some tricks you can do to spruce these spaces up without spending any cash. In the bathroom, remove mould and limescale and store toiletries away.
In the kitchen, keep worktops tidy, put washing-up away and clean around any pet areas. Give grouted surfaces a thorough scrub, while a lick of paint on walls will do absolute wonders and costs less than £30. Cleaning the windows inside and out can also make a big difference to the room.
Find more tips and advice in our cleaning section