This is the last part in our three part series about preparing your home for marketing. If you haven’t seen the others in the series be sure to check out the links at the end of this article.
By now you should be clutter-free and have completed your mini refurbishment to present your property at its best. Now you’re ready to welcome prospective buyers along for viewings. It’s worth remembering that once you’ve listed your property for sale, there could be numerous viewings in the first couple of weeks when your property has maximum exposure on the major portals.
The hard work may be behind you, but you’ve got to maintain the effort you’ve put into getting your house ship shape. A viewing request could come at any time and whilst your estate agent will keep you informed of any upcoming viewings, there may be times where a prospective buyer requests at short notice.
To stay on top and always give the right first impression of your property, it’s important that you do a spot check of every room before you go out for the day. Here’s our 5 simple steps to preparing for a viewing in just 15 minutes.
Step 1 – Ready, steady, hoover!
Without spending the earth, we recommend buying one of those portable stick hoovers that seem to be popular these days. They are easy to use and you don’t need to battle to drag a hoover around the house and up the stairs.
Blitz every room in the main standing areas or where there’s likely to be the most foot traffic. Nobody wants to see the crumbs on the dining room floor from last nights supper! At this stage, you don’t need to be pulling sofa’s out to get the hoover in behind awkward spaces but just make sure you’ve covered the obvious spaces visible to the eye.
Step 2 – Open the windows and get a good flow of fresh air
In the morning (unless it’s freezing cold outside), open the doors and windows and let some fresh air flow around. Ten minutes will do. Empty any bins that have been harbouring the left overs from three nights ago and be aware that if you’ve got pets, the smell of leftover food in the bowls may be overpowering for a non pet owner.
To create the fresh smell of spring, light a scented candle for half an hour before you leave for the day (don’t forget to blow it out). You could also invest in the plug in air fresheners or diffusers to give your property that added fresh scent.
Step 3 – Make sure the kitchen is clean and tidy
Don’t rush out the door with a sink full of the breakfast dishes. We all know the mornings can be a race to get out of the door but it’s definitely worth setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier on the day of a viewing.
There’s nothing worse than seeing other people’s dishes piled up on the side when it comes to viewing a property so at the very least, fill the sink, give the plates and bowls a scrub and leave to dry on the draining board. Even better, if you get the time to put the clean dishes away, you’re onto a winner.
Step 4 – Take your pets, children and grandchildren out
We recommend that you arrange to go out whilst your Estate Agent is conducting a viewing. This isn’t always possible but maybe you could use the time to pop to the shops. If you have pets, particularly a dog, try to banish them from the house during a viewing. For non pet owners, the smell of pets can be a little off-putting and becomes even more obvious when you first walk in.
If you have children, or grandchildren, try and ensure they aren’t in the house during a viewing. They can add to the stress of the situation and how ever well behaved they are, children will generally take away the attention from your property if they are in the house at the time of a viewing.
You don’t want to create the impression of an established family home. What we mean by this is that a viewer has to be able to envisage their family living in your property. When the home owners and their children are present for a viewing, your prospective buyer may feel like an intruder on the family and it could create that sense of awkwardness that makes them feel rushed to leave as soon as possible.
Step 5 – Draw subtle attention to the positive’s
If there are areas of your property you really want to draw attention to, you can use some really simple tricks to create the desired affect. Perhaps you have a lovely Range oven in the kitchen but less than impressive cupboards? Why not put the oven light on to draw immediate attention to the Range? If you’ve got a spacious garden but you’ve got a washing line in the middle, don’t have all of your clothes blocking the views, save the washing for another day!
If there are areas of the property that are a little dark, you could consider placing some upright lamps strategically and leave them switched on to create a sense of light. We recommend leaving all of the doors open to different rooms, it will make the viewer feel welcome and will encourage them to look everywhere that you want them to see.
Your Estate Agent should be fully in tune with all the features of your property but it’s not their job to stage your property during the viewing, you need to offer a helping hand in setting things up in order to capture the viewers imagination.
We’re not trying to add to your workload when it comes to getting your property ready for sale but if you want to achieve the best price in the shortest possible time, you’ve got to cover the basics to get the best results. It may not always be practical or possible to get your property ready yourself and if that’s the case, it’s worth asking friends, families or neighbours to help out where possible.
The important thing to remember is that whilst the property you are selling might be your current home, in the eyes of the buyer, they are looking at it as though it’s their home. Your familiarity with your property could be your downfall when it comes to overlooking the basics.
If you’re struggling to pin point the flaws why not ask a friend or family member to give their critique? It’s not about taking offence to any negative comments, it’s about addressing the essentials and achieving the best results when selling. Obvious flaws may result in no offers from buyers or offers below market value and that’s why we hope you find this article interesting, inspiring and helpful!
If you choose us as your agent, we are happy to provide the constructive feedback that will help you to achieve the easy wins when getting ready to sell.