So, your house is on the market and now the fun starts! Georgie Wakinshaw, senior negotiator in our Ilminster office gives some handy tips to help you get the most out of every opportunity crossing your threshold
1) Be as flexible as you can
In these busy times, prospective viewers are often juggling work and family commitments, or travelling long distances to view several properties in one day. Whilst your agent will always try and group viewings together to minimise the inconvenience to you, your flexibility in being able to accommodate requests will be appreciate by viewers. Some vendors also ask us to only carry out viewings with buyers who are in a position proceed; whilst that is understandable do also remember - the viewing you turn down today may receive an offer tomorrow.
2) Kerb appeal
It seems obvious but stand at your front gate and be really critical. Could you hide your recycling bins? Does your front door need another coat of paint? Have you still got last Summer’s bedraggled flower pots on your doorstep? Mow the lawn, trim the hedge and fill any redundant areas with fresh gravel or bark mulch to give a uniform look. Check which fence belongs to you and if they are in need of repair then attend to that. Viewers almost always ask which boundary fence they have to maintain and if yours is a little worse for wear they will worry about the cost. Do you have a house name or number? Make sure the sign is clear and not rusty – or invest in a new one to keep it looking smart. If you have a patio or path, weed the joints and pressure-wash to give it a clean smart appearance.
We all love animals but a pet-heavy household can be a little off-putting for some buyers. Make sure bedding and litter trays are well out of the way for viewings and if you have an excitable dog try to take it out for a walk when viewings are taking place or ask a friend or neighbour to mind it for half an hour or so if possible.
Whilst of course you can’t reorganise your worldly goods before every viewing, you could invest in some attractive storage boxes and simply hide things out of the way. If you have more time start the inevitable sorting process – store the things you really need in your loft and take what remains to the recycling centre. Just remember, what goes in your loft will need to come down again when you move!
A good way to declutter is to take a large basket and walk into each room in the house taking away anything that doesn’t need to be there, then give the surfaces a wipe, stand back and admire the space!
Kitchens and bathrooms are the two most important rooms that leave an impression in buyers’ minds. Put pots and pans away and keep the worktops as clear as you can. Put out clean towels in the kitchen and bathrooms. Bleach the grout and sealant in your bathroom and wipe down any areas of mildew with bleach. Buyers will always confuse mildew spores with damp – don’t give them cause for concern!
People often joke about putting on fresh coffee or baking bread before a viewing. Beware of overpowering room scents that might not be to everyone’s taste or cause suspicion! Don’t cook fish or curry the night before if you can help it. Plenty of fresh air an hour or so before a viewing and a few strategically placed flowers, candles or diffusers can help enormously. On a dull day, switch on lamps rather than the main overhead light to create a cosy feel. Take inspiration from some home magazines, and see how they ‘dress to impress’ – some inexpensive new throws and cushions can brighten up a plain sofa or bedspread.
Symonds & Sampson's qualified and experienced residential agents can offer advise on selling all styles of property across the region. Contact them to arrange your free, no obligation market appraisal.