Some general rules of thumb one shouldn’t ignore:
As a general rule a fragrant, neat, tidy and bright home will sell faster than a gloomy, grubby, cluttered and uncared-for one. And it’s about more than selling fast. It’s also a money thing. Nice-looking, clean properties tend to command better prices than homes that look neglected, tatty and dirty.
Here are five things to think about when selling your home to make it as difficult to resist as possible, a place that sells fast at a great price.
Arrange an Energy Performance Certificate in good time
These days all homes for sale have to have an Energy Performance Certificate by law. The document assesses and presents the building’s energy efficiency levels, replacing the short-lived and unpopular Home Information Pack that surfaced briefly some years ago. Any good estate agency will help you arrange your EPC quickly, a good idea since it’s something that buyers want to see. You can understand why it’s so important. If house A is identical to house B apart from being much more energy efficient, house A will attract more potential buyers. With energy prices unlikely to go down any time soon, if at all, it’s a vital consideration.
De-clutter… everything and everywhere
Some people have ‘the knack’. They can look at a property and see its potential, no matter how dreadful it might look on the surface. But most people struggle, so it makes logical sense to make your home stand out for all the right reasons. You don’t necessarily need to redecorate. But it helps to clean and de-clutter, things like getting rid of stacks of washing, piles of magazines and books, remove drifts of kids’ toys and clothing from the stairs, wash the windows, maybe even clean your carpets. Fresh, inviting and bright is the effect to aim for, and the same goes for your outdoor space. A muddy, toy-strewn bog is nowhere near as attractive as a tidy mown lawn.
Collect together instruction manuals, guarantees and even utility bills
The more paperwork you have handy, the better. If you have filed the service records for your boiler neatly, it gives a good impression and proves you’ve been taking care of the place. Stacks of date-ordered utility bills provide real evidence about the cost of living in your home. If you’ve extended it, keep the paperwork from the planning office and builders handy. And remember that moving into a new place is so much easier when the seller has left you the instruction manuals for the heating, oven, water system and so on.
Get your storage spaces in order
If there’s one thing people love, it’s plenty of storage space. If your built-in wardrobes, under-stairs cupboard, loft, basement or cellar, airing cupboard and shed are all absolutely crammed to bursting point, it’s difficult for most people to ‘get’ the potential. Clear them out to the point where viewers can see the extent of the space and you’ll make potential buyers feel a lot happier.
Home buyers are obsessed with the stuff, and light, bright rooms are almost as important as the location itself. Wash net curtains so they sparkle. Tie the curtains back and replace dark fabrics with light – Ikea will do, there’s no need to spend a bomb. Clean the windows and repaint the sills. Change coloured lampshades for white shades, which give off more light. Increase the brightness levels of the lightbulbs in every room. Add extra lamps to light gloomy corners. If there’s a tree or other plant life blocking the light through your windows, do some clipping to let the light stream in. And remove dark rugs to reveal a lighter-coloured wooden floor.
What about you?
If you’ve sold a property for more money than you expected, or faster than you expected, all because you prepared it properly first, we’d love to know what you did and how you did it!