Do’s and Don’ts of preparing your property for sale

It’s sale time, you want your property to look good but you don’t want to commit too much to it. What do to?

First, clean up. Clutter free floors look bigger. A mowed lawn stretches the garden and trimming ragged plants adds size and polish. A good scrub removes mildew and other signs of age from painted surfaces and a declutter and clean of bathrooms make them look bigger and fresher. Clean windows emphasise outlook and make rooms feel more spacious.

Once it is clean, have a look around and decide whether your home ticks the boxes that people look for in your area. What tweaks can you make, using existing furniture and furnishings, to appeal to your ‘tribe’? Investors and sharers may want to see that they can put a double bed in each bedroom while empty nesters will see appeal in mulched, low maintenance gardens and a spare room for visitors.

Overall, you want to chalk up quick wins and cleaning and dressing the property beats renovating it every time. If you can add, or emphasise, a parking spot in a busy area, then that’s going to be a bonus too.

Don’t forget to leave ways for the new buyer to make the home their own. Depersonalising the decor leaves room for the buyer to see themselves in the space. And it’s also important not to waste time and money on areas that are highly personal. Of course, I’m talking about the kitchen and bathrooms.

Arguably, a clean and simple bathroom renovation may be worth the trouble if the old bathroom is truly dreadful. But more likely the new owner would like to renovate it to their taste and will simply factor in the cost of renovation to their offer. The risk you face is that they will look at your renovated bathroom, still want it to be different and still factor the cost into their offer.

The rule of thumb with kitchens is that you should never renovate the kitchen before sale as they are highly personal and most new owners would prefer to update the kitchen to their own specification. There is an expression that says the kitchen sells the house, which is correct, but the kitchen is an equally powerful factor in someone passing on the house. So best to clean it, then leave it alone.

On open day, tackle the details:

  • Open the windows and doors to give the place a good airing before and inspection – you want it to smell fresh and pleasant
  • Ensure that the house is a comfortable temperature – air-conditioning or heating on, depending on the weather, open a few windows so it feels fresh
  • Refresh the fruit bowl and add a bunch of flowers for colour and scent
  • Put away bottles and bits in the kitchen and bathroom, wipe down the surfaces
  • Take the rubbish out
  • Sweep outdoor surfaces and bring your bins in from the kerb

Good luck with your sale!

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