If you are considering selling your home fast then anyone will tell you that in the current housing market you need all the help you can get to secure that buyer. If you really want the best price for your property in the shortest amount of time then you can no longer reply on a buoyant market or an experienced estate agent to help you sell your property. Even the best agent is only as good as the product they have to sell.
There are many ways that you as a home owner can pro-actively help increase the chance that your property will sell quickly. Here are the top 10 tried and tested economical tips to help get your property ready for a sale:
- Don’t wait. This is an obvious one but don’t wait till the estate agent comes around to start thinking about how you can help the property sell. While they may have some tips, they will be more concerned about getting your business and getting the house on the market as soon as possible. Before you instruct an agent, carefully plan every action that you intend to take to get the property ready for marketing.
- De-clutter. It is quite amazing how much junk we as individuals can acquire. Have a clear out and anything that has been in the back of your hallway cupboard or stuck up in your loft needs to go. If you haven’t used it by this point, you don’t need it. If your property has good storage, your buyers will want to be able to see it, you don’t need your broken vacuum that you have kept because ‘you might be able to fix it’ come tumbling out of the door as it was crammed in the cupboard. Sort what you need, organise your cupboards so they are as tidy as you can make them then dispose of anything that you no longer need.
- De-Personalise. Obviously this is your home, and you don’t need to completely remove all the personality from the house. However, you are planning on selling the house, so gradually altering it so that it will be less obviously your home but a house for sale will help a buyer picture it as their home. If you have dozens of your family photos, a huge teddy collection or piles of books and magazines this can overwhelm a buyer and make it difficult for them to visualise themselves living there. Try and cut down on the number of personal items you have on show. Limit these items to a small number of favourite and carefully selected items. A few choice items will enhance, not detract from the size and feel of the house.
- Take a look at each room and identify any areas that require updating. Even things like painting doors and skirting, freshen the paint on walls for a light, bright look and changing wallpaper if the existing wallpaper is tired or old fashioned will all help. If the cupboards in the bedroom or hallway (or anywhere else) are starting to look old and worn out, get some replacement wardrobe doors that are modern looking with a nice finish. Add modern handles to doors and kitchen cabinets and if necessary change rugs, curtains and cushions to create a more modern décor.
- If you know you have a lot of furniture that you just can’t part with, you may need to store it somewhere else while you are trying to sell your home. A buyer needs to be able to see the space your property offers, and while a room without any furniture will seem bare, equally a room crammed full of furniture will make the house feel cramped and make it difficult for a buyer to see exactly what they are considering buying. Instead, focus on key pieces of furniture designed to enhance your homes selling points, like a dresser in a farm kitchen, a window seat or a trunk in a bay window, a rocking chair in a nursery or a select number of framed pictures on a picture rail.
- This is a must. Make sure that everything has a good clean. It may be time consuming to deep-clean everything but it will be worth it and it will make keeping the property clean for viewings much easier. Make sure bed linen is fresh, launder towels and clean all the blinds and curtains as these areas are often forgotten and become dusty. Dust light fittings, use carpet cleaner to bring new life into old carpet and if you really want to go all out empty kitchen cabinets and clean inside.
- Don’t forget to pay the outside of the house attention as well, since this is the first thing a buyer will see. Where possible, keep bins out of sight, de-weed and sweep up. If you have a fence or a gate, paint it and this will instantly improve the appearance of the outside area. If your house is painted, this can become dirty overtime so if you can afford to, give this a fresh lick of paint as well. If you don’t have the benefit of a garden add colour and interest to outside areas by including a few potted plants and flowers.
- Look at each room of the house, identify its intended use and then stage it to represent the use. Dining rooms should have a set table, with silverware, crockery and cutlery laid out. Bedrooms should be somewhere to sleep, so if you have a bedroom that is being used as the storage room which is something many of us are guilty of, then clear it out and re-instate the use; add a bed and a bedside table with some flowers, a lamp and a book.
- This is vital, if there are any minor repairs that you have been putting off doing, now is the time to do them. Apart from appearing unsightly, a buyer will notice any areas requiring minor attention and they may be put off as the minor repairs may be considered an indication that the house may be in need of other more serious repairs.
- Final Touches. Once you have de-cluttered, organised, cleaned and staged each room add some inexpensive final touches. Matching towels in the bathroom and scented candles will help a bathroom feel calm and luxurious. Bowls of fresh fruit, a few cookery books, bottles of oils and herb pots will help buyers appreciate how nice it could be to cook in your kitchen. In the living room, reed diffusers and fresh flowers will help to add fragrance and colours.