Sunday, 3 February 2013

Readying Your House for Sale!

Update: Check this out, it seems pets are the new craze on how to stage your home.

So I employed some tactics I learnt from the TV and Internet on this one.  Who knew idle web surfing and staring at the TV could be so useful.  Really though, the basics are just common sense, but I bet all present and previous house hunters will be able to tell you some stories, I know I certainly can.  

My 'go to' threesome for selling houses are Phil Spencer, Kirstie Allsopp and Sarah Beeny!  Thanks to them or all the tips, and the great excuse to watch their shows unhindered as one could claim they are research.  

First things first, get all of those odd jobs that seem to hang around for ages done and dusted, loose handles on drawers, chipped paint, blown bulbs etc.  Second, clean everything to within an inch of it's life, which means getting someone in for ovens, carpets and any other specialist job that may be relevant for your property.  Lots of domestic help companies offer packages for home owners who are buying and selling, not too dissimilar to the ones offered for end of tenancy.

Being a slattern when it comes to household chores is fine, it is me about 50% (OK, the proof reading husband is making me up this to 75%) of the time too, but when you are selling up everything has to be pristine ALL OF THE TIME.  Anyone interested in viewing your property does not want to see grease and grime, or your knickers drying on the radiator - put them a way for heavens sake.  Doing these simple things will show the prospective buyer that the house is well maintained, a grimy oven or a house in a bad state of repair will make a buyer become suspicious about what horrors you are hiding, and then the bottom line is they will be wondering how much it would cost them to fix it up.  

Next I removed any extraneous furniture, photos and ornaments, this is to make it look as spacious as possible, and to remove the 'you' from your house, this is simple, it will enable a buyer to imagine themselves in your house more easily, better for example than if dour great aunt Elsie is staring at them from the mantle.  

We would say our house looked very boring and not homely at all when we did this, I think we overdid the de-personalisation of the flat.  In my head I thought this was a good plan as my husband and I had made a bold choice of sofa that other people and sometimes us would not like.   
The living room with newish flooring and a fresh 
lick of paint
The kitchen post renovation completed 2010
The bedroom as we left it in October 2012
Lets now discuss, dogs, cats, children and us the home owners.  Out you go!  People like to bad mouth your style and decor in private, don't want to be slobbered on, sniffed, nibbled or peed upon and that's just the children!  You can go back in at the end of the viewing so you can answer any questions they may have thought of.

Now, if you think I am anti child or pet, think again, I have a dog, but let's alienate another group of which I am a member, yes, that would be the smokers.  Just don't, it literally stinks and stains everything, so as a general rule, never smoke indoors, buyers will be grossed out, and your lovely decor will always be ruined before you begin, as the nicotine literally seeps through paint.  Not to mention what it does to your insides.  

Finally, right before a viewing, the flat would get a thorough air out for as long as possible, it is less obvious than a sickly smelly plug in, and fresh bread and coffee smells selling houses is just ridiculous.  Plus in our case, it showed how quiet our old neighbourhood was, it is actually a really busy area, which may have put people off, so the ones we got through the door, we made sure they knew noise wasn't an issue, being set back those crucial metres from the road made all of the difference.  

Any hints and tips on selling your house you have found invaluable?  Let us know!

Photos courtesy of Rightmove and Sansome & George

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