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Selling your superbly presented home seen at its best by potential buyers will help your property sell faster, potentially add value and help buyers make a quicker decision. When you’re planning to sell your home, careful preparation can give the process a real boost. Traditionally English Heritage colours including, shades of beige, or light grey and white are the ‘recommended colours’ that give your house a versatile and relatively 'neutral canvas’ appeal to potential purchasers.
Paula Higgins, CEO of HomeOwners Alliance explains how:
This doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a skip. Strike a balance between emphasising the fantastic living space on offer and allowing some touches that show your house is a home.
Look for the little flaws you don’t see any more: perhaps an old picture-frame hole in the hall wall, a broken tile, a well-worn patch of carpet. They’re not huge jobs, but they may put off a potential buyer who doesn’t want to have to fix your snagging list.
Make everything sparkle, remembering to remove limescale, clean tile grout, and wax any wooden floors. Clean windows inside and out. Don’t forget your house needs to smell good too. A bad smell is the single biggest turn off for potential buyers. Find and fix the source of the smell, ensure you clear drains, wash out your bins and air the kitchen to shift old cooking odours. If you’re a smoker place bowls of vinegar around the house. Leave these for three days, then remove and open your windows. The vinegar smell will disappear quickly, taking the stale cigarette whiff with it.
Traditionally English Heritage colours including, shades of beige or white are the ‘recommended colours’ if you want to give your house ‘blank canvas’ appeal to a potential purchaser. Although this still works very well, grey is the new ‘on trend’ colour. If grey doesn’t work for you then white is always your friend. Both white and grey are inoffensive, and will make it easier for your buyer to move in and use the rooms immediately and neutral colours make rooms lighter and larger.
Gardens can be a huge draw for potential buyers. As with the interior of your home, you want your garden to be neat and tidy. Weed, cut back bushes, clean the patio/decking and any garden furniture, and cut the grass. A few flowers in pots, particularly in the front garden to boost kerb appeal, will make it as easy as possible for people to see themselves enjoying this space.
Cast an eye over the kitchen
Kitchens are important. More often than not, a kitchen is worth more per square foot than any other room. It can make the difference when buyers are unsure. Unless your kitchen is in a real state, it wouldn’t make financial sense to replace it when you have the costs of moving house to contend with – and some buyers will want to put in their kitchen anyway. However, resurfacing of worktops is worth investigating to give an instant lift. Also, remove any bulky kitchen appliances, and declutter the surfaces.
Cash in if you have the cash
Think about any obvious conversions that could be made to your property: perhaps adapting a garage or a loft into a gym or an office or a spare room. If you have the money to carry out the conversion, you’ll see the benefits of the increased value to your home rather than gifting it to the new owners. If you don’t have the funds to do the work yourself, you can make your property more desirable by securing planning permission prior to putting your property on the market.
Finally, know when to leave it to the experts
Let your estate agent do their job. They know what to say (and what not to say), they’ll highlight and downplay as appropriate, and they have experience answering tricky questions. However, you can make their job easier by placing fresh flowers around the house, a bowl of colourful fruit in the kitchen, and fresh towels in the bathroom. But go for a walk during the viewings.