Whether you are upscaling or downsizing, relocating or simply recalibrating your life, selling your home can be a tricky business, full of paperwork, bureaucracy and emotion. And if the need to sell is a pressing one these can reach migraine levels. The good news is that there are ways and means to get the job done efficiently and effectively, without having to sacrifice a huge amount of value in the process. Here are 6 six great tips on preparing your home for a swift and efficient sale.
Declutter, But Don’t Overly Personalise
Let’s be honest; if you’re trying to sell up swiftly, efficiently and with little fuss, then potential buyers need to be able to picture their life in the property from the very first viewing. If that picture is one of harmony, love and domestic bliss, then it’s smooth sailing from here on in.
To make things that little bit easier for potential buyers, get rid of (or hide) excess stuff that you’ve accumulated throughout the years, making your place appear more spacious and allowing a little imaginative reinterpretation of the layout in the viewer’s mind. Also important, if you have bulky furniture that makes the room feel small, consider removing it and replacing it with smaller furniture, even if it’s just on a temporary basis.
A word of warning, however; in the process of decluttering, don’t completely depersonalise your house. For instance, while it’s a good idea to remove family photos, don’t take away tasteful framed pieces of artwork from the walls. In doing so, you risk making it appear a too cold and unwelcoming a space. It’s all about finding the right balance.
Staging & Props
It’s a truth of buying and selling houses in the modern age, that people are buying into a ‘lifestyle’ as much as a property. So, show them how fabulous and attractive your time has been since living there, and no doubt the offers will come.
Go in hard and focus on the finer details. If you’re trying to sell your quaint country cottage, for instance, leave some walking boots or wellies by the door and logs by the fireplace, so potential property buyers can imagine themselves going for country walks then warming up afterwards. Should you have a city penthouse for sale, then ramp up the sense of bachelor/ette, professional city slicker living by adding an ice bucket with some fizz and showcasing some gadgets. You get the picture.
Other well utilised, but ever successful tactics to make your pad more appealing include buying brighter light bulbs, baking break or cakes and brewing a fresh pot of coffee to evoke domesticity. Pot plants and flowers will also bring a sense of the outdoors in.
Take Great Photos
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers revealed photos as the feature they used most when searching for a potential property. It’s certainly true that those with bad (or no) photos don’t make it past the cursory glance stage, and when trying to shift fast, that cursory glance stage is awfully important. So, make sure you do your house justice by taking great photos of all that it has to offer. Blurry photos from your iPhone just won’t do. In fact, we think they’re pointless and counterproductive.
So, think about the image you want to capture before shooting. Do it during the day so you capture it in glorious natural light rather than seedy shadows. Open the curtains and turn on the lights to make the rooms look as bright and open as possible.
Stage your home by popping some fresh flowers on the kitchen table, adding cushions to your sofas or stack some magazines. All of this adds up to an overall image of your house which will merit further investigation. If your own photography skills are in doubt, hire a professional – all good agents have one.
Improve Your Property’s Kerb Appeal
While staging the interior of your house is important, equally important is to ensure your property looks attractive from the outside. A potential buyer could be put off before they even step inside the house if the exterior looks unkempt and shabby. A basic clean-up will go a long way towards brightening up the kerb appeal of your home.
If your front door looks tired, give it a lick of paint to brighten things up. Trim your hedge, mulch the flower beds and add hanging baskets, window boxes and pots filled with colourful and attractive plants. Consider hiding your waste and recycling bins with a wooden bin store. Remember, first impressions count.
Know Your House Inside Out
It should go without saying, but when selling your home with an emphasis on speed, you’ll be doing a lot of the legwork and showing those prospective buyers around yourself, so do your homework. Remember to take measurements of the rooms and know the square footage in case someone asks (if you haven’t measured, they’re sure to ask).
Make a mental note of all the best things about your house that you’ll want to show off. Does the bedroom get a lot of natural light in the morning? Are the windows double glazed? Is the garden south facing? Then for heaven’s sake, make the most of these features.
Although keeping your house looking top-notch and showing people around may get tiresome, remember that being able to do this yourself puts you in a really strong position. You know your house better than anyone, so use that to your advantage and really sell it.
Ask The Right Questions Of Potential Buyers
In the words of Chinua Achebe, ‘things fall apart’. Perhaps this has never been more pertinent than when buying and selling property quickly – a near constant stream of potential, pitfalls, promise and disappointment. Some of these inevitable ups and downs can be negated by asking the right questions of potential buyers before the process proper begins.
In doing so, you’ll be able to nip in the bud those who you feel are a risk to your time, and fast track those who have the potential to seal the deal quickly and with minimal fuss. We’ve written more about those all important questions over here; go check it out!