How to prepare your house for selling - a guide
So, we’ve talked about the questions to ask when you’re viewing properties for sale - but what about preparing your own property to maximise your chances of a swift, easy sale? Trust us, there’s nothing more off-putting than peeling paintwork, or dirty carpets (unless you’ve opted for a long-deserted renovation job!). Check our guide, earmark the must-do’s, then go forth and sell!
1. Start outside
Before you even think about the interior, you want to make sure that you’re creating a good first impression, and that means optimising the exterior. Stand outside and look at your neighbours' properties … how do you feel about your house in comparison? If you’re unimpressed, potential buyers are likely to be less so! Take a closer look at the following - and if they need action, you know what to do:
The garden - tidy? Grass overgrown? In dire need of a weeding? Kids (and dogs!) toys lying around? Could you add a few fresh flowerpots to brighten the place up a bit? You know what to do!
What about the windows - clean?
The front door - does it need a fresh lick of paint or a quick wipe over to make it sparkle?
2. Spring clean!
Back indoors, and a tidy house says a lot - we don’t need to tell you that mess is off-putting, and many buyers will immediately cross a cluttered house off their list. The answer? Get cleaning! It sounds obvious, but house-hunters are notoriously nosey - one clean room isn’t going to cut it … you need to be thorough! Here’s our must-cleans:
Carpets - a deep clean is usually a good idea, particularly if you’ve got pets - and hoovering is non-negotiable
While you’re at ground level, don’t forget to tackle the skirting
A thorough dusting of all light fittings, furniture and mirrors needs to happen … and it’s probably a good idea to wash down the walls too.
Don’t forget to check the corners for cobwebs - they get everywhere, especially in more rural properties
In the bathroom, a good scrub around the tiles, bath and shower area will pay dividends … no one should see mould anywhere. And don’t forget to shine-up those taps!
3. Add a fresh coat of paint
If you have time, a fresh coat of paint on the wall can make a huge difference, brightening a house and taking years off its age (if only it were that easy on humans … ) Neutral colours work best - they’re the least likely to offend potential buyers, unlike a bright orange bathroom.
4. Depersonalise as many areas as you can
Buyers are not so interested in the life you’ve made for yourself in your house .. they want to imagine their new life when they move in, and that means removing any personal photographs and pictures that you’ve got dotted around the property - all of them!
5. Get friendly with your toolbox
Why bother with a fresh lick of paint if you’re not going to deal with much-needed repairs and quick-fixes? Remember what we said about viewers being a nosey bunch … they’ll be on the lookout for anything that’s not up to scratch, so you do yourself a favour and fix what needs fixing! Here’s a rundown of the obvious ones:
Lightbulbs - check them all, replace the duds
Make sure linen and towels are fresh (or better still, brand new)
Similarly with soft furnishings - no holes in cushion covers, curtains or anything else on show!
Doors and cupboards - do they open and close as they should?
Ditto with windows
Fix leaking taps
Make sure shower curtains, bathmats and towels are clean! If you can’t scrub em up good, replace with a new set.
Hide wires and flexes where you can … no one wants to be tripping over the broadband router or standing lamp - plus it looks untidy.
6. Get a petsitter during viewings
We can’t stress this enough - while you might think it’s adorable that Rover loves to play on visitors legs, potential buyers are unlikely to see the funny side of it. What’s more, pets can be distracting - you want viewers to be totally focussed on the property, not on your cat. Finally - many people are allergic to dog and cat hair(another reason a deep carpet clean is a good idea!), so don’t risk it. Farm pets out to friends or family (or your local dog walker) while you’ve got viewings and you’ve got one less thing to worry about.
7. Find the right estate agent
An estate agent can be a critical part of the property journey, whether you’re buying or selling, and finding the one that’s right for you will mean the difference between a quick and easy sale, and one that’s going to be an albatross around your neck. Using an agent recommended by The Property Angel is a step in the right direction, it's all part of our personalised experience.
8. And when you’re finally ready, get the estate agent to show your house
There’s a knack to selling a house, and one that you probably don’t have (no offence). You’ve done the hard work getting your property in shape to sell, so leave the selling to those that have the years of expertise behind them!