The time has come: you’re selling your home. Whatever the motivation behind the move is, the process of putting your house on the market and finding a buyer who will offer your asking price, not a smooth one. It takes time, immense patience, smart choices and removing yourself emotionally.
So, if you’ve found an estate agent, the next thing to do is to get your house ready for sale. Follow these 5 simple steps to help accelerate the move and make the selling process it as easy as possible.
The number one thing to do when preparing your house for sale is to declutter it. Stacks of books, overloaded shelves and mantelpieces, overflowing shoe racks, etc. all must be decluttered, rearranged and presented better than before. You don’t need to go too minimal with it, just think of getting rid of the unnecessary hoarded items.
You will most probably have corners of your house filled with miscellaneous items – say, a table in a room that is mostly unused that has been swamped with old nicnacs that no one wants to claim or to throw away. However, when selling a house, this is a big no. Everything should have a place in your home that makes sense. At the end of the day, you’re not just selling four walls, you’re selling an idea of home living. Remember, what works for you probably won’t work for someone else.
Don’t hide everything in cupboards, either. This may work when the estate agent comes round to take photos for their website, but prospective buyers are nosey and will most definitely peer inside storage units and drawers. What’s more, you still have to live in your home whilst you sell it, so bite the bullet and a get rid of things. This is a great opportunity to do a big clear out to help you with your own move.
Prospective buyers need to be able to envision your home as their own. The key is to turn your home into a space that has a little bit of you and your family in it, but not too much that it puts them off.
Don’t strip your entire home of evidence that you live there. Nice family photos in nice frames on a mantelpiece is a nice touch, as is artwork and, say, personalised mugs. But anything too gaudy or unpalatable will distract the buyer.
You should also remove your pets – and any signs of them – whilst your house is being viewed. If a prospective buyer is a not a dog person but is met with bad odour and dog bed as soon as they step inside, they won’t be impressed.
The key with depersonalising your home is to let go of the emotion, and not think about what you like but what they might like. You must strike that balance between blank canvas and home inspiration; you want the prospective buyer to see it has a home that can be lived in, but not explicitly yours.
Cleaning your home is of the utmost importance when putting it on the market. You may think you run a pretty tight ship when it comes to cleaning, but that extra level of cleanliness is what can stand between a buyer meeting your asking price or not putting in an offer at all.
You should vacuum, dust, spray, wipe every crevice of your house so that it glimmers. If this is a big job, why not hire ASC’s industrial floor cleaner to give your floors the deep clean they really deserve.
And don’t forget about the garden – keep it trimmed and pruned at all times (even if it isn’t easy). You don’t want a prospective buyer to be put off by your home because the garden is a jungle and looks like too much work to manage.
- Sweat the small stuff
When it comes to selling a house, it’s all in the details and the presentation. In most cases you won’t know who is due to viewing your house – the estate agent handles that side of things – so you cannot predict what that person will or won’t notice. The key: prepare for everything.
The details you should pour over include: tidying the placement of things on tables and shelves; laying textiles and cushions on the sofas; choosing the best bedspreads; putting the toothbrushes in holders but putting the razors out of sight; adding fresh eggs to the rack in the kitchen, etc. Essentially, your home should look like an image in an interiors catalogue.
- Finishing touches
When you have finished steps 1 – 4, it’s time to let the prospective buyers in. Add some fresh flowers to your kitchen table, spritz the bathrooms with a fresh scent, open the windows, leave doors open ajar and turn the lights on. Then, when your house is looking at its very best, grab your bag, your kids, your pets and get out of the house for the day. It’s an unwritten rule that homeowners and prospective buyers should not meet, and for good reason.
Selling a house can be a very stressful time, and can take months, even years, to find a buyer. By following these tips you will ensure that your house is looking its very best, and will, therefore, increase the likelihood that someone makes the offer you want.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to do these steps one time – you should be decluttering, cleaning and presenting your home every time you have a viewer coming. But, the good news is, all your efforts will pay off in the end!