Selling your home can be an emotional experience. Whether it is a house which has been occupied by your family for generations, or a starter unit you’ve lived in for only a short time, we all tend to invest time and energy into personalising our spaces and making them truly our own. There can be a lot of sentimentality felt for our homes and the memories made there – no matter how exciting the prospect of moving might be.
What every seller need to realise, however, is that nobody is going to love your home as much as you do. Buyers need to be able to see your house as potentially their home; this is the only way others will fall in love with your house – by being able to see themselves there making their own memories, without a trace of prior occupation.
It’s not always easy to make a house that is still being lived in look like it’s unoccupied, but this should, as much as possible, be the aim of anyone trying to sell their home. There are some things a vendor can do, quite easily, to help to sufficiently depersonalise their home enough to attract the right buyer.
The old adage “first impressions don’t lie” could not be more applicable than when showcasing a property. The first viewing of a house it what will stay with a buyer; and the senses all come into play – sights, sounds, smells and there general vibe of a house. While a vendor has no control of factors such as weather or noise from the neighbourhood, sights and smells can certainly be used to best advantage.
The first thing anyone sees is the outside of a house. If this isn’t pleasing to the eye, it makes no difference how wonderful the inside of a house might be. Go out to the street and look at your house with a fresh eye. Anything stand out as needing attention? Take note of the following points to make sure your home gives its best first impression:
Retouch shabby paintwork
Clean all windows – inside and out
Mow lawns and sweep paths
Tidy and weed garden beds
Clear gutters of leaf litter
Place bins out of sight of front of property and clear away rubbish
Make sure rear yard is tidy and attractive as well
You will want the inside of your home to be on show: your house, not your possessions and personal touches. Before you place your home on the market is the time to clear away as much of the daily clutter of life and, like on the outside, take a fresh look at your house room by room and try to see it with new eyes. These tips can help enormously:
Have a big clean up – get rid of anything you’re not intending to take with you when you move
Retouch any shabby paintwork and undertake necessary repairs
Declutter as much as possible .
Put away knick-knacks and personal/valuable items .
Send your pets to stay with family/friends or have them boarded
Have carpets professionally cleaned
Dust all furniture
Tidy cupboards – especially in the kitchen, bathroom, and linen closets
Give the kitchen and bathrooms a thorough clean
Air the house well to help eliminate cigarette, cooking, animal and other household smells. Overuse of air fresheners will just highlight that something smelly was there in the first place! Every house has its own smell – though we can never smell our own – and unpleasant odours can be the kiss of death on a potential sale
Make sure all lights are working, replace globes if necessary.
Empty the house of as many occupants as possible when showing it – so the home, not the residents, are the focus.
These tips will ensure you’re best placed to have a successful result – happy selling!