As the real estate agents might say, there are three rules for selling a house: presentation, presentation and presentation.
Try to see your home through the eyes of a stranger. To start with, ask your real estate agents honest views on things that need doing. Any small thing wrong that he notices (for instance, ours noticed a cracked light switch plate that wed obviously grown so accustomed to we didnt even realise it was cracked) will certainly be noticed by would-be buyers.
You need to make your home look as new as possible.
Preferably put your house on the market when your garden is at its best. That first impression is so important! Then:
Do a spring clean to start with. Clear out clutter from spare rooms while youre doing this. If clearing the clutter away isnt possible (because the room is your office, for instance) then tidy it like its never been tidied before! The service areas in your home (kitchen, bathroom, lavatory in particular) are the most important. Clean, tidy cupboards and pantry will make your kitchen look roomier to buyers. If the kitchen is starting to look a little shabby, theres a lot you can do to make it look newer.
Bathroom and Lavatory
Make the taps, vanity unit, bath and shower all look as new as possible. If your vanity is the imitation marble type, car polish (or a special polish available from bathroom specialists) really can make it look new. Polish the lavatory seats and cistern as well.
This is often the dingiest room in a house. If yours looks badly neglected, splash out and try a fresh coat of paint. Get rid of any clutter in it, make the tub look as new as you can and give your washing machine (and that old freezer) a little attention, even though they're not being sold with the house.
Have the beds nicely made and the rooms free of clutter. Also tidy the wardrobes; buyers might want to investigate them. After all, they are buying them!
Tidy away clutter. Make sure drapes and curtains hang properly. This goes for bedrooms and dining room as well. Get rid of any scruffy pot plants. If necessary buy new ones. Plants need to look as though they think your living room is the best place in the world for them!
If your table is old and shabby, cover it with your most glamorous cloth (go out and buy one if you dont have one) and place a vase of flowers in the centrepreferably in colours that go with your dining room drapes. They dont have to be real; silk flowers are fine, and at least they dont make a mess.
If you have doors leading to outside entertaining areas (decks, courtyards/patios) these should be open before would-be buyers arrive and the areas should look as if you use them, even though you probably never have time. Youll be surprised at how much bigger these open doors will make your rooms look! Strategically placed pot plants around your entertainment area look particularly good.
If the day is dull, turn on all the lights in the house. The last thing buyers want is a dark home.
By following the above rules, we sold our first house in a week (after our agent told us houses in that area were hard to sell) and our second one in three and a half weeks, when the market was very flat and houses in our street that had been on the market long before ours were still unsold on the day we moved out.
Good luck with your sale too!
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