If you’re selling your home, you don’t need to spend a fortune to increase its appeal to potential buyers.
By investing a bit of time in the right places, you can improve your home enormously and make it more appealing, welcoming and cosy for people who come to view it.
Sprucing up your home could make the crucial difference between months on the market and a quick sale.
First impressions count
First, consider kerb appeal. After all, the front of your home is the first thing that viewers will take in.
Start with your front door. Giving it a good scrub down can make a big difference, or better yet you could give it a fresh coat of pain. Other jobs out front might include moving your bins out of sight and getting rid of any weeds or clutter. Make sure any plants are looking their best; if you don’t have any perhaps add some window boxes, or a couple of pots beside the front door.
If you have more time and money, then consider giving your windows and roof some attention. A 2019 YouGov survey of more than 2,000 UK adults showed the most important features for kerb appeal were well-maintained windows and a roof that appeared in good condition.
If viewers are confronted with mess and grime when they visit, it makes it hard for them to imagine how lovely they could make your house. So clean inside from top to bottom - a savvy buyer will look in all sorts of nooks and crannies, so be thorough.
Be sure to dedicate plenty of time to cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, as these can seem particularly unappealing if they’re dirty.
Also, don’t forget simple things like making beds properly. Always have one final check around your home before viewers are due to arrive.
Make it smell nice
While you don’t necessarily need to bake fresh bread or brew a pot of coffee, you should ensure there aren’t any bad smells in your home. If something does smell odd - such as a clogged-up drain - then fix it rather than trying to cover the smell up.
Also, don’t cook any smelly food, like fish, strong curry or garlic, before a viewing. If you have pets, then try to air the house well beforehand and keep them out of the way during the viewing.
Get your garden into shape
Give your garden a good tidy and get it looking at as smart as possible. Cut the grass and hedges, and clear away any clutter or debris, especially from pathways.
If you have fence panels that are looking worse for wear, then fix or replace them.
Time it right
Once your home is on the market, you may not have too much choice about when viewings take place. But if you can, try and schedule them at a time when your home looks its best. So that includes making the most of natural light. Also consider when traffic outside is at its quietest.
Brighten up your home
While presenting a blank canvas has its merits - so viewers can imagine how they would make your home their own - it can also be nice to add a dash of colour.
So, don’t forget the classic home-sellers’ tactic of putting out some fresh flowers. Plus, water, feed, prune, re-pot and re-position houseplants, so they’re looking at their best. Fresh fruit in a bowl can also do the trick.
These small flourishes really can make a difference. After all, you’re selling a lifestyle as much as a pile of bricks and mortar.
Now’s a great time to declutter your home. As well as getting rid of anything you don’t need permanently, consider what you can store away before a viewing in order to make the most of your space.
So, for example, make sure you don’t have dirty dish cloths on display in the kitchen. In the bathroom put away toothbrushes and toiletries and hang out clean towels.
Tick off those overdue DIY tasks
Leaking tap? Dodgy cupboard door?
Now is the time to fix all of those small niggling problems that you’ve just learnt to live with. After all, some astute buyers will wander around opening cupboard doors and even peering under beds. You’d be surprised!
Let in the light
You want to make your home seems as light and airy as possible.
So for a start, give all of your windows a decent clean, inside and out – you’ll be amazed with the results if you haven’t done it for a while!
Also, ensure nothing is obstructing the light coming through the windows. Pull curtains fully back and prune back or move any house plants that are blocking the light from coming through. Turn on some lamps too for a more homely feel.
Focus on the kitchen
If you’re going to invest time or effort into any one room, make it the kitchen, which is often considered the most important and valuable room in a home.
If you can afford to, consider new cabinet door fronts and new lighting. Or, for a cheaper fix, give your kitchen a new lick of paint and add new drawer and cupboard handles.
Light your fire
To make your home seem more cosy and inviting on cold or dark days, you could light a fire, if you have one. If not, then ensure any fireplaces are clean.
These small touches can help you bring out the best in your home, and make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers.