Look at your home through the eyes of a prospective purchaser. Improvements should be made on the basis that the property looks & shows well. Even cosmetic improvements can help reveal a property's true potential.
Here are some simple tips to help you sell your home faster and for more.
The first step towards selling your home is to price it right. Price it too low, and although you may get a quick sale, you'll always wonder whether you could have got more. The secret to pricing your home correctly lies in checking out the competition. See what similar houses in your area are selling for.
Knowing your buyer isn't about being psychic. It's about stepping back and looking at your home, the area it's in and the types of people who live around you and then making an educated decision about the type of buyer your home will appeal to. So, if you're selling a two bedroom flat in the town centre then it's less likely to appeal to a family and more likely to appeal to young professionals.
It can be hard when selling to keep emotions out of the equation. Invariably, your home will be full of treasured memories you won't want to let go of. But remember this means nothing to your buyer. It's important to make it as easy as possible for them to imagine life in your home. This means doing all you can to create a blank canvas for potential buyers.
Remember you're selling your home, so when it comes to improvements keep it simple! Simple improvements like a fresh coat of paint and tidying up the garden can make a difference.
As with everything in life, first impressions are very important. So start at the front gate. Mow the lawn and tidy your garden. Clean the front porch and if your front door needs it, give it a fresh coat of paint. Give the letterbox and doorknob a good polish. And if there are lights in your porch or garden make sure they work. You don't want to intimidate buyers with a dark and unwelcoming approach. However small, these things won't cost an arm and a leg and all help to create a good first impression.
Once inside its important to create a feeling of space, so clear away the clutter. Make sure your home is clean and tidy and clear of obstacles like discarded toys, bicycles and overflowing laundry baskets. Clear out your bookshelves to create a minimal look and make sure the coat rack isn't weighed down. And if you have furniture that gets in the way or has become tired and dated, consider putting it into storage. It will all help to give your place a lot more space!
If you do decide that some rooms need to be painted then this isn't the time to experiment. Stay neutral with a palette of creams and off-whites. Neutral colours help to brighten a home and give it a fresh look. They're also passive and allow the buyer to imagine your home in their chosen palette.
While it might make sense for you to push over the bed in the spare room and use the space as your office, to a potential buyer it looks like the room has a split personality. Make it easy for the buyer and give each room its own identity.
Kitchen fashions are always changing but selling isn't the time to fork out for a refit. There are lots of other ways to give your kitchen a facelift that won't cost the earth. Try painting tired and worn units or replacing just the doors. Even fitting new handles can give an old-fashioned unit a new lease of life. Hide the rubbish bin, clean the work surfaces and then dress them with a few well-chosen items - a bowl of fresh fruit, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and a nice bottle of vino to finish it off.
We all like to entertain from time to time which is why every home needs a proper dining area. In smaller homes a table in the corner of the kitchen will do just fine. You can add a folding screen to section it off and then give it a relaxing feel with soft lighting. In larger homes the dining table tends to become a dumping ground for children's homework, the computer and unpaid bills. Keep it clear and if you must put something on it, make it a vase of beautiful fresh flowers. Finally, introduce soft light with a dimmer switch, a table lamp or a simple candle.
The sitting room should shout comfort and relaxation. Clear away old furniture that gets in the way and keep the mantelpiece looking minimal. If your chairs and sofa are looking a bit tatty, try some throws or cushions to brighten them up. If your sitting room is small make sure it isn't being taken over by a TV that's too big for it. And introduce soft light with a dimmer switch, a lamp or a simple candle.
If there is one room in the house that needs to be spotless it's your bathroom. No potential buyer wants to wonder what that nasty whiff was or about the staining on the bathroom carpet. So give everything a good scrub, polish the mirror and clean the grouting between the tiles. If the flooring is worn, replace it cheaply with vinyl. Brighten up a well-used shower simply with a new curtain. Make sure the shelves aren't coming down with lotions and potions.
The main bedroom will be the new owners' private retreat. Clear out your cupboards leaving only your finest, neatly hung and folded. That'll take care of any nosy buyers and create a feeling of space within them. Go for a sophisticated look with clean white bed linen. Add bedside tables and reading lamps. Then, scatter a few coloured cushions in different fabrics at the head of your bed.
Children's bedrooms should be made as neutral as possible so that they appeal to kids of all ages. Start with a good clear out and then put what's left into neat storage. If needed, give the walls a fresh coat of paint and the carpets a good shampoo. Hey presto, you're done!
Your garden can make or break a sale, so give it a good going over. A tidy front garden is vital and if the back garden has become a bit of a jungle then it needs to be tamed. You don't need to spend much money, you just need to spend a bit of time. Mow the lawns, cut back trees and prune bushes to create more space. Sweep up the leaves and arrange any garden furniture so it looks like it is used. Add a few potted plants to any paved areas. Finally, if you're lucky enough to have a well-kept garden, then sell your home when it's in full bloom.
"It's simple! Properties that are well presented sell more quickly!"
You've cleaned the house from top to bottom, the hallway has been painted, the lights are on and the dog is on his holidays. But, even after you've done all this and you think your house is ready for sale, stop! Grab your agent and walk through your home from top to bottom and see if anything stands out. Often a fresh eye is all it takes!
You know your home inside and out but estate agents know buyers, and REA members know them better than most. With decades of experience in both buying and selling homes you can count on them to know what to say and when to say it. You're paying for their expertise, so when a potential buyer wants to talk price or terms, defer to experience and let your agent deal with it. Your job is to get your home ready for sale, it's your agents job to sell it.
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