Preparing a house to secure a sale

There is no doubt about it, selling a house is an art. While you may be prepared to live with a certain amount of clutter or grime on a day-to-day basis, when it comes to selling, only the highest standards will do.

The appearance of a house has a huge impact on potential buyers, so do not rely on their ability to see past any disorder to the potential beneath. Apart from anything else, they may use the state of the house to justify a lower selling price – and that can be a situation that is hard to negotiate your way out of.

If you are serious about selling your home, you need to make sure that it is up to standard – and fortunately, that need not be too difficult.

Street appeal

The first assessment that a buyer makes is of the state of your home as seen from the street. Unfortunately, many sellers think that the exterior of their house does not matter – but they are wrong. The external condition, in fact, is more important now than ever, given how many houses are sold through online agents, where high-definition photographs allow for endless perusing and zooming in on by the buyer.

Make sure that your home has street appeal by tidying up any external areas such as gardens and driveways, and ensure that garden furniture is in good condition. Check that garden gates are working and that fences or railings are in good repair and freshly painted. If the outside of the house looks unkempt, the chances are that potential buyers will assume the same applies to the inside – so why would they bother to view it?

Clean and tidy

Hopefully you will be welcoming many viewers into your home, so it must be clean and tidy, at the very least. These two are non-negotiable.

There are many things that can make tidiness difficult, including children and hobbies. With clever storage solutions, however, it is possible to hide almost anything away, so if you need more storage, get it before you sell the place, not after. Any clutter will immediately tell your buyer that there is insufficient space to keep everything tidy – and that is a big turn-off.

A lack of cleanliness is perhaps an even bigger turn-off for buyers. Once everything is tidied neatly away, make sure that every surface is thoroughly cleansed, ideally with something that smells gorgeous. Maintain this for as long as your house is for sale.

Never under-estimate the power of scent on your visitors – you may also want to burn a scented candle or use a reed diffuser when buyers come to call, since experts suggest that certain smells, particularly ‘foodie’ smells such as ginger and cinnamon, can generate feelings of goodwill in visitors.

To summarize, the esthetic state of your house is all important when it comes to selling it. You can play with colors and textures, and be inspired by the latest interior designers all you like, but the bottom line is clear – your house must be clean and tidy and in a state of good repair, to stand a chance of fetching the best price in the current market.

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