Preparing Your Property To Sell

By Shelagh Marett
January 1, 2024

I am sure that everyone has heard the expression “first impressions count”, but when it comes to preparing your home for sale, first impressions do count and really are important.

A few simple rules could make all the difference to potential buyers when they decide to put an offer on one property over another.

A good place to start is outside … does your property, whether a house or a flat, have kerb appeal? Does it look good from the outside compared to the neighbours’ properties? If you want to impress potential buyers then make sure the front garden and approach look good:

  • Does the path need power washing or slabs replacing?
  • Are there any weeds to be removed?
  • Does the lawn need mowing?
  • Do the bark chippings in the flower bed need replacing?
  • Do the gutters need clearing?
  • Do the windows need repainting?
  • Do the drains need clearing of leaves?
  • Is the house or flat name or number visible and looking good?

All of these points together could make the difference between a potential buyer wanting to view the property or deciding against it.

Another well used word in all things property is “De-Clutter”. Make sure you de-clutter every room as best you can. Nobody wants to see your clutter on every surface in every room, including on the fridge? You would be surprised how much bigger a room can look if it is not filled with clutter and thus enabling potential buyers to see the vision of their life and belongings in your home.

 Be focused on:

  • Tidying bookshelves racks;
  • Removing or seriously downsizing ornaments;
  • Clearing kitchen worktops of all but essential items;
  • Sprucing up or removing overgrown pot plants;
  • Paying attention to posters on bedroom walls;
  • Removing from sight all animal bedding and toys; and
  • Opening all curtains and blinds to maximise the natural daylight;

If you are considering redecorating your home before putting it on the market, choose neutral colours for the décor as this will not only make any room look bigger, but also much brighter.  Colours can be introduced to a room by way of home accessories such as rugs, throws and cushions! You may well have a love of vibrant colours, but others might not share this and may be put off if they have to completely redecorate the property as a result of your love of deep purple!

“Attention to detail” is another cliché, but sound advice if you want your property to sell in a timely manner. Be aware of:

  • Lightbulbs that need replacing;
  • Leaking taps;
  • Drawers, cupboard or doors that don’t open or close properly
  • Cracks in walls or skirting boards; and
  • Shower curtains that need replacing

One obvious point when preparing your home to put on the market is to give it a good clean, but not just a quick once over, but a thorough deep clean. Start at the top and work your way down and pay attention to items such as:

  • Dusting all surfaces including skirting boards and in between bannister rails;
  • Cleaning all windows inside and out;
  • Dusting all light fittings and furniture;
  • Vacuum all rooms, corridors and stairs;
  • Remove cobwebs from ceilings and anywhere else they may be;
  • Polish taps, mirrors and shower glass;
  • Clean fridge and remove any strong smelling foods – you would be surprised at the number of potential buyers who will open the fridge!
  • Bleach toilets and tile grout;
  • Unpleasant odours from pets, shoe racks or smokers;
  • Clean the oven and grill; and finally
  • Put out clean towels and tea towels

If you are a pet owner the best advice is to remove the pet during any viewings as well as taking yourself away from the property during viewings. This is best left to the agent to carry out with potential buyers on their own.

In essence you want to showcase your property in the best possible light so that potential buyers can visualise your home as their home.