First impressions really do count
Stand outside your property and try to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Does it have ‘kerbside appeal’? Is the lawn mown? Are the flower beds neat? Is the front door grubby? Do the bins need emptying? If you have a communal entrance hall, does the carpet need a hoover? Are there piles of mail making the place look untidy? In the winter, make sure any paths or steps are clear of snow and ice. If you have a doorbell, make sure it works.
Let them see the light
If your viewing’s after dark, think about the lighting so your home looks warm and inviting. Make sure house numbers and names can be seen clearly so your potential buyer can find you. Keep the porch or hall light on. During day time, make sure curtains and blinds are left open to maximise natural light into your home.
Your cat or dog might be your best friend and your kids are your pride and joy, but do keep any pets or children quiet or out of the house when you have viewings if you can. Let your potential buyers see your property without any distractions. Turn your music off too.
Full redecoration is unnecessary, but do give your home the once-over and do any little jobs that might be making the place look more shabby than shabby-chic! Repair any peeling wallpaper, touch up chipped or marked paintwork, dust the skirting boards, clean the kitchen cupboards, wash the floors, replace any light bulbs, thoroughly clean and tidy every room. And please, please, please... clean the windows!
Get a handy person in
If there are other things that are letting your property down (broken sash cords, missing doorknobs, broken tiles, dripping taps, cracked/ missing sockets), then get them sorted. It will be money very well spent.
Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes
This really is true so pay particular attention to these rooms. Put away as many of your items as possible so your potential buyers see clutter-free surfaces. Taps covered in limescale, a stained bath and grubby, cluttered worktops will not create a very good impression, so get your Marigolds on and clean, scrub and polish until these rooms look shiny and inviting!
De-clutter and recycle
Lots of storage space is always popular so do everything you can to maximise what you have. Sort out your attics and basements, make sure any cupboards are tidy and organised, recycle anything you no longer need or want (be honest) and generally have a good clear-out. It’ll be one less thing to do when you do move out.
Potential buyers always feel a bit like they’re intruding so minimise the amount of people in the house when you have viewings. If you are showing a potential buyer your home let them look around at their own pace and give them the option to explore on their own. They will have a great deal to think about and discuss and sometimes that’s easier if you’re not following them from room to room! Suggest that you leave them to it and offer to answer their questions once they’ve had a good look round.