Preparing to Sell Your Home? Tips for House Viewings

So, you’re ready. You’ve met with your dedicated estate agent and they’ve lined up some viewings - people who will hopefully take one look at your property and offer the full asking price! If only it were so simple. Fortunately, here at Castles we’ve put together a guide on preparing your home for sale, with helpful hints and tips to wow any potential buyers and get you one step closer to a sale. Read on to find out exactly how to realise the maximum value of your home.


Curbside Appeal    


Before even booking a viewing, many buyers will drive or walk past the house they are interested in, to see how it looks and what the area is like. Don’t waste this opportunity. Make sure you tidy up the front of your house so that it looks presentable. That means clearing away toys and debris from the front garden, mowing the lawn, trimming hedges or sweeping the drive. Perhaps your door and window frames have seen better days? Give them a fresh lick of paint or a touch up if needed. Clean your windows. Remember, first impressions count so if the front of your house looks inviting, buyers will be more interested to see what’s inside. Books, perhaps not, but when it comes to houses, people will most definitely judge by the cover!


Fresh Bathroom

 

Get out the cleaning products. Your bathroom needs to sparkle and shine when preparing to sell your home. Buyers will not be impressed by limescale and mould. For a natural way to remove limescale, use lemon juice, which gives the added bonus of leaving a nice fresh smell. If your bath or shower sealant is crumbling or covered in impossible to remove mould, replace it. Fix any leaky taps or broken toilet seats. Hide your toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, flannels, shampoo, etc.) to make your bathroom appear less cluttered. Finally, open the windows and let some air circulate, especially if your bathroom is prone to damp and mould on the walls.

 

 

In the Kitchen

 

In addition to cleaning your kitchen until it shines, paying particular attention to decluttering your surfaces, make sure you clean any integrated appliances that are part of the sale, such as the oven. If you have a kitchen diner or dining room, set your table as if for a meal, complete with matching crockery, polished cutlery and lit candles to add some ambiance. An age-old tip for showing homes to buyers is to have something baking - cookies are a good choice as you can offer freshly baked cookies to the buyers, further warming them to you and your home. Or, if you’re not much of a baker, simply simmering some spices and herbs in a pan of water on the stove will release the delicious aromas throughout the house. 

 

Garden Space

 

A garden is often a major selling point, so if you are lucky enough to have an outdoor space, it is likely this is one of the bigger factors that will influence the people viewing your home. Capitalise on this by making sure your garden is tidy and not overgrown. Do some weeding and clear away outside clutter. Check there are no broken fence panels, giving them a touch up of paint if needed. If you have an old, unused shed or playhouse that is looking a bit worse for wear, consider tearing it down to make the most of the space. Let the buyers envision sunny afternoons spent relaxing in the garden or indulging in a gardening hobby, not be distracted by overgrown grass or discarded toys on the lawn. You don’t need to transform the space into Kew Gardens, but with a little effort here and there, leaving a tidy space will be sure to leave buyers with a good feeling. 



Animal Friends


We love our pets, they bring us so much joy. But not everyone may feel that way. Be prepared that the people viewing your house might be allergic to, or simply not like your furry or feathered friend. And nothing is more distracting and possibly even off-putting than a barking dog dashing around the room in excitement at strange new visitors. The influx of new people into the home may also prove stressful for your pet, so it’s best to leave them with a trusted friend, neighbour or family member while viewings are going on.

 

Friendly Attitude

 

Remember, you are trying to sell your home. Think about a time you have gone into a shop and the store assistant has been unhelpful or indifferent, did it make you feel less inclined to buy from them? A friendly, positive attitude makes all the difference when it comes to selling. When people are viewing your home, be friendly, answering questions and pointing out some of the key features of the property. What do you like best about the house? Share it with buyers, giving them your unique perspective. Be enthusiastic, but not pushy, as this will turn people off. Offer them drinks or snacks and let them know you’re available to answer their questions. Be prepared with answers to some of their more detailed questions. Check out this Which? guide for the kind of things buyers might ask.

 

Declutter

 

Clear away the clutter in your home. Space is very important to buyers so maximise your space by removing unnecessary items and clearing away things that have been left out such as clothes, plates and rubbish. They will also want to check out the available storage space, so make sure cupboards, etc. are reasonably clear and well ordered. Resist the temptation to shove all the clutter in the attic or garage, as buyers will likely want to have a look there, too. If possible, clear out the garage, as buyers will definitely want to have a look and clearing it will help maximise space. Consider a professional clean to leave your house truly sparkling. Particularly think about your carpets and kitchen appliances that may not have seen a deep clean for some time!

 

Maintenance

 

If there is anything that needs fixing, get it fixed before the potential buyers come round. You might think they wouldn’t notice a broken hinge or leaky tap, but you would be surprised. Buyers want a house that is in good condition. Part of making a good first impression is ensuring any repairs or maintenance are completed in advance. A house that is well cared for is going to look more appealing than one that hasn’t, leaving buyers to wonder if there are any other, more serious issues that might not have been addressed. Check all your light fittings are working and that all plumbing is up to scratch.

 

Decorating

 

Whilst you might adore your bright orange and purple bedroom, it might be a bit of a turn off for potential buyers. If possible, think about redecorating certain rooms, using neutral colour schemes that are more likely to make the room look brighter and more spacious, as opposed to darker colours that can make a room look dingy and small. Carpets are included in this, although if you’re not keen on splashing out on new carpets, strip the floors and lay down some laminate or wood flooring to make the room look new and fresh.

 

Sell the Vision

 

Finally, buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in the property. Minimise distractions as much as possible to allow them to do so. Some estate agents may recommend temporarily removing family photos, as it is hard to imagine yourself living in a home with pictures of someone else’s family distracting you. This is ultimately up to you, however. Buying a house is an emotional purchase - help sell them the vision to increase their connection with the property, to the extent that they will want to put in an offer straight away.

 

As people who have been in the business of selling homes for many years, our best piece of advice is to remove those rose-tinted spectacles when it comes to your home and look at it as though you were the ones planning on buying it. Would you pay the maximum price you are asking for your home in its current condition?

 

For more advice on how to sell your house fast, or if you would like to book a house valuation, contact one of our expert team of estate agents today on 01793 61167 or email us. We are here to help with all your home selling queries.