1. Target Market and Timing
The first step to selling your property quickly and painlessly is to consider your target market. Who do you think might buy your property? Then try to tailor your space to appeal to the main group without alienating other groups that might also be interested. So if you feel a professional couple would be ideal, then turn the 2nd bed/office back into a bedroom and make a space for a workstation elsewhere in the house. This will ensure that the house would still appeal to a young couple with a small child. Spring (Feb/Mar) and Autumn (Sep) are the key times to sell your property when traditionally demand outstrips supply and therefore prices are usually at their most buoyant. While this has traditionally been the time to sell, there has been much more seasonal fluctuation since the start of the recession. Check timings with us.
2. De-Clutter and De-Personalise
Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in your house, so get rid of ornaments and photos - especially posters in kids' bedrooms. Put things you don't really use on a daily basis in the attic or storage. Large pieces of furniture should also go into storage; this will make rooms feel much bigger. Focus on the hallway - clear away coats/clutter; the bathroom - hide all your products; and the kitchen - clear the bench surfaces of appliances, jars, tins, etc, and replace any ragged tea towels or smelly bins.
3. Freshen Up
A fresh coat of neutral paint, new tiling or lino, and a couple of new kitchen doors can do wonders to smarten up a tired-looking property. If you can't stretch to re-tiling the bathroom, re-grouting should bring it up new. The same effect can be achieved by installing matching chrome fittings; replacing broken light bulbs; re-painting the front door; ironing sheets in the bedroom; taking down any heavy dark drapes; installing up-lighters in the living room for subtle lighting; and strategically placing flowers throughout.
4. Clean Up
If you'd rather not re-decorate, it is still essential that the house be spotless. Getting industrial cleaners in to really make the place sparkle will be money well-spent; have the carpets, sofa covers, oven and windows cleaned while you're at it. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, which need to be inviting and hygienic; finish up with a new loo seat; fresh white towels; and a strategically placed plant or two. Watch out for over-stuffed wardrobes - yes, people do look in them to check the amount of storage space - so clear them out. Finally, the garden is now seen as an additional room, so be sure to make your garden feel like a great space for entertaining and relaxing.
5. Get the Word Out
Always have a board up, and tell your neighbours - word of mouth is a powerful tool. You never know who might live just round the corner, waiting for your house to come to the market.
6. Preparing for Viewings
Everyone knows that first impressions count, and you'll want the house to appeal to as many people as possible; the more people there are who like the property, the higher the selling price should be. So sweep up, and make sure the front yard and hall to your house are tidy and inviting. Leave the pets with a neighbour, and thoroughly clean up any cat hair in particular, as many people are allergic to animal hair. Turn the lights and heating on; air out the house; and don't smoke or cook anything too experimental before viewings. If you've got parking, leave the space free for the buyer - this will add to the whole experience.
7. Showing a Property
Blair Cadell will happily do this for you but should you decide to show your property yourself, then think beforehand what order you will show the rooms, and guide viewers around the property once, showing the best rooms first or last. Don't overload them with detail, such as the size of your boiler or the trouble with the neighbour's cat. Be business-like during the first viewing; if someone is interested, you can always get to know them a little more on the second viewing. Never point out problems or issues, but do feel free to highlight the odd positive point, like a south-facing garden, or very convenient parking. Finally, invite viewers to take another tour round the property on their own... but don't go off and make a phone call - be somewhere nearby, on hand to answer queries.
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