Preparing your house to sell
Prepping and staging your property for buyers can make all the difference to close the deal. Keep in mind that buyers look at your house differently to how you see it.
Preparing your property for the market may take some time and effort but will make a positive difference in how buyers view it.
The first step is to say goodbye
You lived there for many years and created a personal space and many memories. Saying goodbye is a step forward to moving on. Start by walking through every room and think of all the memories you made. Then say goodbye to it as if it is already sold.
Your home now becomes a product in the property market and must be presented in the right way.
Presenting potential buyers with a blank canvas make it easier for them to visualize themselves living there. Buyers want to imagine their own personal belongings and pictures on the walls, and they can’t if yours are there. Removing personal items doesn’t seem necessary but it will open up space.
You don’t want the buyers to be distracted, pack away any personal photographs, heirlooms and ornaments.
Remember, that all these personal items will part with you and have a place in your new house.
We collect things we don’t use and let it stand or lay around. This is a big distraction for buyers. It is essential for you to pack everything away. Think of this as a head- start on packing. Clear everything off counters or shelves and put daily used items in drawers or closets.
A kitchen is one of the rooms buyers are most attracted to. They want to see open workspace.
When there are tenants renting your property make sure that you are on the same side, and that you understand each other’s situation. The agent should give the tenant ample time to do the most basic of tidying in respect to the owner’s objective to sell his property.
All rooms will present more space if loose things are stored away.
Cleared spaces make a big difference and it shows the work areas.
Store what you don’t use, and make a habit of putting it away. Try to remove as many things as you can. If you already have a storage area, you should re-organise and arrange it neatly. Go and collect some boxes at the local shop. Buy box tape and a black marker. Spaces under beds can also be used.
Clean, clean, clean
To prepare for a sale you must do more than the usual weekly cleaning. Do a proper inspection, climb on a chair and wipe your hand on top of furniture or lights. You might be surprised to what you’ll find. Consider getting help, if needed, for a detailed clean.
- Dust and wash every surface, light covers, fixtures, cornices, skirtings and all appliances, especially the ones in the kitchen. Use proper cleaning products.
- Remove bathroom and kitchen soap deposits and use limescale remover.
- Clean all tile grout.
- Use special products or the old recipes. Baking soda and vinegar paste spread on, and left for 30 minutes. Scrub away dirt with a brush and rinse with water.
- Floor surfaces – Carpets must be deep cleaned. Tiles must sparkle again.
- Clean windows and blinds
- Odours – Make sure your house is ventilated and smell good by using fresheners. If you are a pet owner, wash and shampoo all surfaces where they lie down and be sure to remove bedding and litter boxes before a viewing.
Cleaning your house properly before putting it on the market is the most basic thing to do and an absolute necessity.
Maintenance and repairs
Buyers that come to view your house are more than likely going to see and remember which things are wrong. Buyers prefer moving into a home that is ready to move into without delay. Evaluate the condition of your property from a buyer’s perspective. Tour your home with a critical eye. ( You may want an outspoken friend to give you an honest opinion of how your house looks to an outsider.
Maintenance should be up to date and the necessary repairs are done.
- Reseal the bath, shower and kitchen sink if the silicone is coming loose or is mouldy. This normally happens to silicone over time and can become an eyesore. Cleaning tiles and replacing silicone will give it a fresh look. This can easily be done in the correct way by anyone. (Maybe look at a video on the internet to show you how.)
- Doors and windows should open and close easily and not squeak. Inspect all and treat it.
- Light bulbs not working should be replaced with bright ones.
- Limescale should be removed on taps and porcelain
- Cracked tiles should be replaced if possible
- Holes and cracks in walls should be fixed
- Consider painting the walls neutral colours and brightening it up. Remember you are not selling your personal taste. Orange, purple and green walls might not be for every buyer. These days many people paint dark knotty pine ceilings white. You will not believe how much it brightens up a room. You don’t need a professional contractor for this. A friend or students might help you for only the cost of labour
- Most older houses have damp somewhere coming through. Use the correct products and method if you want to remedy it.
- Woodwork should be well maintained and varnished.
This is the first impression. It must give buyers a welcoming feeling.
- Keep the sidewalk cleared.
- Mow the lawn and clean the garden and paving of weeds
- Trim bushes, hedges and trees to open up space
- Pack away or remove things that fill up the garden space
This all seems like a lot to do and it could cost some money in the end. You must remember that your property must now be made a product that is competitively placed on the market.
Do as much as you possibly can to present it in the best way and help it sell faster.
You can start and prepare by making a checklist. This will help you prioritize what needs to be done. Try and complete as many things as you can and ask for help if you need it.