Curb Appeal More important than you think. First impressions count. If buyers are put off from the start, they may not even bother ringing your doorbell. Same principles as indoors. Tidy up!
- Remove any litter or piles of leaves
- Weed the garden, plant a few seasonal flowers, add a tub or hanging basket
- Does the hedge need trimming?
- Is the fence in good condition?
- Does the gate need oiling, or painting?
- Does the front door need painting?
- Can you see the number of the house from the road?
- Is there anything you can do to improve your neighbour’s front gardens? Carefully and gently (!) offer to mow their lawn, trim their hedge, lend them a tub of flowers.
Make your house look the best on the road.
Inside Look at your house as if you were a buyer seeing your house for the first time. The entrance and first room are very important; buyers often get turned off within the first few minutes.
- Finish off any DIY projects. (If you can’t face it, get someone in to do it!)
- De-clutter! That famous phrase! The longer you’ve lived in your house the more clutter you’ve probably accumulated. Look at your things as if you were packing to move.
First: Sort out the loft and/or garage – are you really going to use that half tin of paint? Will you ever get back on to your exercise bike? Will you ever fix the rusty lawnmower? Be ruthless. Are you really going to take it with you to your new house, after all, you are supposed to be moving house, right? Now that you’ve got extra storage space, use it! Have a look round the rest of your house and check for things that you want to keep, but probably don’t use very often. They can go into boxes and be stored. If you run out of space, there are storage spaces to rent nowadays, or ask friends and relatives. You can always do a car boot sale, put it on eBay, or give it to the charity shop. Or even throw it away! Its very good feng shui to be de-cluttering, letting go of old, useless and broken things allows new energy to come into your house and your life. Packing is an awful job, but if you’re serious about moving you’ll have to do it one day soon, so why not make a head start?
- Clean, clean + clean again! Your house can never be too clean! Do all the corners you never usually to do, the windows (inside and out), wash the nets or curtains, shampoo the carpets, and send the dog to be groomed! They say the appealing smells are coffee and fresh baked bread, but even that won’t mask the smell of dirty bathrooms. In my book nothing beats the smell of polish and bleach! Again why not get a cleaning company to do this for you? Might seem an extravagance at the time, but a team of 4 cleaners could whiz through your house in a day and do all the jobs it would have taken you weeks to do. Then all you have to do is keep it tidy!
- Tidy. Sounds obvious. Buyers aren’t going to look inside your cupboards on a first visit, so put ‘stuff’ away! So make sure your ‘surfaces’ are clear. Fold your towels, make your bed, do the washing up
- Have a hard look at your kitchen. This is often the most expensive room in the house to ‘replace’, from a buyers point of view, so the last thing you want is to give them the impression your house needs a new one. Clean. Perhaps redecorate, a fresh coat of paint might be all it needs. Does it smell of cooking? Old, lingering cooking odours are very off putting.
- The next potentially off putting room is the bathroom. Sorry to say it again, but clean!! If your bathroom has mould growing on it, and a certain odour, buyers will think ‘new bathroom’ rather than ‘a good clean’
- Have a look at your furniture? Are you taking that saggy old sofa to you new home? No? So get replace it with a new one (suitable for your new home) now.
- Does every room have a purpose? And is it doing its job? Junk rooms are not allowed; turn it back into a guest bedroom!
Myself, I don’t believe in completely de-personalising your house. People want to buy a home not a show house. So its ok to have a few family photos on the mantelpiece and some of the kids ‘art’ on the fridge; but note the word ‘few’! Be selective and pack the rest away.
People want more from their garden these days. It used to be OK just to have a lawn. Nowadays people expect an outdoor room. Firstly, get the basics right. I'll say it again, tidy! Mow the lawn. Weed. Get rid of the pile of grass you're pretending is a compost heap!
Then think about the size of your garden and the people you want to sell your house to. Adding a patio with table and chairs always looks appealing. Is it safe for children to play in? Next do some planting.
If you know you're going to move in a few months time, plan ahead - find out which flowers will be in bloom at that time and plant them now. If you can't do that, add some tubs and hanging baskets. A splash of colour always looks cheerful and makes a good impression.
Remember: first impressions count!