Preparing a property for sale

Published: 23/01/2023

Selling a home can be very stressful. There is no denying that. But hopefully, if you have found the right estate agent to do it for you (no hinting here at all), then this stress will be kept to a minimum. Our job is not just to sell your property but to do it with the least amount of inconvenience to you. So, let’s look at our top four tips for preparing your property for a smooth sale…

1. Tackling repairs is a must. When a new buyer first moves into a property, they will already have a massive list of things they want to address when they move in. Not to mention the unavoidable tasks that come with a house move anyway. If they are selling a house of their own or moving out of a rented property, then the chances are they will have lots of cleaning and maintenance to do of their own. Now that’s not to say minor repairs will necessarily put anyone off; obviously, if a property ticks all of their boxes, then we don’t imagine for one minute that a broken socket or a dripping tap will change their mind. But when someone views your house, we want them to fall in love with it. Addressing these minor issues - that shouldn’t take you long or cost a lot - will give that ‘we love this house’ scenario a helping hand. Contradictory to this, we would not advise chucking too much money at more extensive work like new kitchens and updated carpets. Yes, we are sure it would appeal to a potential buyer, but these things are a matter of taste, and the chances are that most people will have their own design ideas in mind anyway. How awful would it be to invest in something just for it to be changed six months later – and even worse if you don’t even get to enjoy it yourself. Keep your money for your own new home but just address what’s needed to make the house a desirable property with lots of potential for someone else to put their own stamp on it.
2. Cleaning and decluttering go hand in hand with point one. When someone views the property, we want them to imagine themselves living there. Of course, they can’t bring their own furniture and have a nap in the bed (that would be silly – and no, that has never happened to us), but if we can create a space that they instantly fall in love with and can see a future living in, then we are halfway there. A kitchen that isn’t someone else’s taste can be overlooked, but if dirty plates are in the sink and food is splashed on the hob, it can be hard to see the potential underneath. No one needs to deep clean the whole house for viewings, but a quick run around with the hoover, the laundry packed away, and a bit of dusting could make a big difference. Decluttering ready for viewings is also beneficial in the lead-up to your own move. It’s unlikely that you will want to take everything with you, so why not tackle a bit every time you have someone looking around – start with one room and work through the house. Genius!

3. The first thing any potential buyer will see when they view a property is the front of the house, garden and driveway…so this needs to impress them. It’s always worth getting on top of the gardening, even if it's just mowing the lawns and doing the weeding, as this will grab their eye when they arrive. Maybe consider getting the windows cleaned and the garden furniture stored away if it is a bit weathered. If their instant thoughts are that things look run down, this will tarnish their opinion before they even step through the front door. The aim is that the second someone sees the property, they are already excited and can’t wait to see inside.
4. Be flexible with viewings. Of course, you don’t want people traipsing through your house 24/7, and we completely understand that, but as much as you have work and family commitments, so do those interested in your property. The more accommodating you can be, the easier it will be to show off your home, and the sooner (hopefully!) we can find a buyer. Limiting viewing times between 9-11am on a Wednesday morning is very restricting and will not get you the result you want – sorry. If you have tenants, it is also worthwhile chatting with them in the hope they will be flexible. This is trickier as they may (and all circumstances are different) not be 100% happy with the property being sold. They also do not gain anything from the sale, so they don’t have the same incentives as you. But from our experience, most people are good-natured, and compromise can usually be made. Keep communication open and try to understand their position during the process.  

We could go on…

So, those were our top four tips for preparing your house for a sale. There are many more – in fact, we could write War and Peace on the topic - but for the purpose of this blog, we have selected the ones that we feel would benefit you most. We want this next chapter of your life to be positive, and we have the tools to help you achieve that.
If you want to sell your house and are looking for an experienced property agent to give you advice and support on such matters, then call us. Alternatively, pop into our office, and let’s discuss the available options. 2023 could be the year for new beginnings
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