Here are a few tips to ensure you get the best possible sale in today’s market

First Impressions

When potential buyers arrive at your house, they will instantly start to form opinions within the first 15 seconds. We tend to find that most people drive past properties before arranging a viewing and if they do not like the external look of the property, they will not view.

External Preparation

Gardens – Make sure the garden is neat and tidy. The lawn has been recently mown and edged and the borders have been well tended.

Front Path and Driveway – Make sure they are cleared of litter and free of weeds. There is nothing worse than a path that is in a bad condition. People tend to judge the interior of a property by the external.

Front Elevation – Make sure doors, window frames, gates and garage doors are freshly painted and that the house name and number are clearly visible. A coat of paint is always refreshing.

Roof and Gutters – Make sure there are no missing or broken tiles and that all gutters are clean

General Maintenance – Get all the minor jobs and repairs completed

Internal Preparation

Colour – Where possible, colours should be soft and natural to give rooms a feeling of being spacious and airy.

Cleanliness – Make sure the whole house is cleaned, dusted and tidied from top to bottom, paying particular attention to bathrooms and kitchen. Windows and woodwork should also be washed and carpets free from stains.

De-clutter – this would give a more spacious appeal to the house and allow purchasers to visualise their own furniture and belongings in each room

Light – The correct use of lighting can create a feeling of warmth and cosiness in the winter and bright and natural in the summer. Studies prove that people react more positively to well-lit properties. Always open curtains during the daytime. In overcast conditions, ensure the property is well lighted. Use mirrors to magnify the feeling of space and light.

Sound – Try to avoid using appliances around the property to create a peaceful atmosphere.

Smell – people tend to be suspicious when the bread maker or a coffee machine is buzzing away in the background. However a clean smell is imperative particularly in bathrooms and kitchen. Display fresh flowers as the smell of them and furniture polish are hard to beat.

Pets – Not everyone is an animal lover. It is always a good idea to get family or friends to look after them on the day of a viewing.

Presenting the interior

Hallway – This is the first part in the property which a buyer will see and therefore you can create a strong impression to outline the rest of the property. Ensure it is well lit.

Living and lounge areas- This is the room most people use to live and entertain in. If there is a fireplace, then during the winter months, light the fire to make it more homely. During the summer and spring months, dress it with flowers or something similar. A mirror over the fireplace, can make the room look bigger and by using uplighters or a large plant behind furniture, can create a dramatic visual effect.

Kitchen – The kitchen can have a big effect on the saleability of a property. If the kitchen is old and tired, consider replacing floor coverings and installing new handles on the units. Ensure all surfaces are de-cluttered and spotlessly clean.

Bathrooms – It is imperative that all bathrooms are spotlessly clean. Grubby grout should be removed and replaced or alternatively cleaned to an exceptional standard. If the tiles are looking tired, bleach them and if that does not work, replace them. If you have a small bathroom, tile the walls as this will make it appear bigger. Remove carpets as people consider them to be un-hygienic and replace with ceramic tiles, cork or bamboo floors.

Bedrooms – Make sure bedrooms are spotlessly clean. Fill the air with fresh smells and turn bedside lamps on to light the room and give atmosphere.

The showing of your property

The following is a list of do’s and don’ts regarding the showing of your property.

If it is overcast, ensure the property is well lit.

Do not use electrical appliances thus creating noise.

Do not try to oversell your home by pointing out insignificant features i.e. number of power points in a room or how efficient the central heating is.

Do not state the obvious such as this is the kitchen.

Always let the buyer enter the room in front of you. Stand back to allow them to get a good view and feel of each room.

Do not point out the bad points or jobs that you have not got round to doing as these may not be things that are obvious to the buyer.

Always finish the viewing by showing the best room or feature of your property.

Do not do a lot of talking. Answer questions when asked but do not appear to be over keen or desperate to sell your home.

If you are comfortable with the buyers, ask them if they would like to view the property again on their own.

Do not put any pressure on them or ask for feedback regarding the property immediately after they finish the appointment.