Top Tips to Prepare for Viewings
Published at: 27/05/2016
So you've decided to put your home on the market and naturally would like to find a buyer as quickly as you can. In a perfect world the first viewers through the door will take one look and fall in love with your home exactly as it is, and if you live in a picturesque 'chocolate box' cottage' that just might happen. But the reality for most of us is that a little time and effort preparing the place for viewings should pay off, not only by helping you find a buyer sooner, but also in helping to secure the best possible offer for your property.
Here are Jackson & Co's top tips to prepare your home for those all-important viewings
You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. So make sure the lawn is mowed, hedges trimmed, and borders weeded. And attend to any exterior features that needs a lick of paint. You may even want to pressure wash the drive.
Live in a flat? You may have no control over the exterior of the building, but if your management company are a little lax at keeping on top of the housework in communal areas consider tackling it yourself in the areas your viewers will come into contact with. No, it's not your job, but ten minutes spent with the vacuum cleaner or a broom could really pay off.
Finish off any outstanding DIY jobs. You don't want to be standing holding a broken door handle that's just come off in your hand and telling your potential buyers "I've been meaning to fix that." Fix it now. And ensure paintwork is perfect. A buyer may want to redecorate once they've moved in but they will have to live with your décor at first and want to see a place they can move into and live in. Even better, repaint rooms in neutral colours. Not only will they look clean and fresh but you'll have created a fresh canvas for buyers to imagine their own belongings in.
If you have pets, or if your carpets could just do with freshening up, hire a carpet cleaner, or better yet get a professional firm in to do the job for you. You want your home looking, and smelling, clean and fresh.
DeclutterWe cannot stress this one enough. Which is why we've saved our biggest and best tip until last. Well almost.
You want your viewers to be able to picture themselves living in your home, with their furniture and belongings, so the more clutter you have the harder it is for them to do that. Consider renting storage space, or use a friend's spare room or garage, then go through your home removing all distractions and clutter.
Do you have built in storage cupboards and wardrobes that are full to the brim? Remove anything and everything you don't need right now to make them look roomier. Do the same with the garage.
Clear your kitchen counters of anything but the bare essentials like your kettle and toaster. Hide everything away and create that magic 'S' word again. Space.
Likewise in the bathrooms and toilets. Create clear, clean surfaces by hiding away all those shampoo bottles, washbags and other bathroom clutter. And make sure the loos seats are down before your viewings.
In hallways, living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, remove any unnecessary bulky furniture and anything that you don't need that is occupying floor space. The more floor and wall space a potential buyer can see the bigger the room looks.
You should also de-personalise every room by removing personal effects, ornaments, family photos etc. This may seem hard to do because, after all, this is your home, but you'll be packing them soon anyway when you move, so do it now. You may miss them while they are packed away, but the sooner you get a buyer the sooner you'll be reunited with them. As we've said before, buyers want to imagine themselves living there as their home, and not be reminded of your life there.
Even better, do all this before the estate agent takes their pictures.
These may be a cliché, but the smell of freshly made coffee or bread baking does make the place feel more homely when people come to view.
And as a final touch, some fresh flowers in a vase or two never go amiss.