Tips on Selling
Vendors always ask me what should they do to enhance their chances of achieving the optimum sales price. Thankfully nowadays with the increase in popularity of TV programs such as House Doctor, Property People, Moving Up etc. most people are beginning to realise how important presentation is. My number one piece of advice is to make sure your house is sparkling clean and clutter free.
John Dunne, Proprietor, Hume Auctioneers.
Heres my Top Ten Tips to get the optimum price for your home:
1. Kerb Appeal - The First Step
Begin outdoors. Stand across the road from where you live and assess how your home measures up to the rest of the homes on your street. Does it grab your attention? Prospective buyers are likely to drive past your house first and only bother to come inside if they like what they see from the street. This is kerb appeal, and it is critical. Your house should be appealing and welcoming, one of the nicest on the street.
2. Clean Clean Clean
Elbow grease can add more value to your house than almost anything else.
Clean, clean and clean some more. The Kitchen, Bathroom and Master Bedroom are the most important rooms, but don't stop there. Exercise your vacuum cleaner, make the windows sparkle, do the washing up and wipe down surfaces before every viewing. Make up beds with clean white linen the bedroom will create an impression of crisp spaciousness.
3. Clear the Clutter
Mess all too easily becomes familiar junk, which we are used to having around. It makes individual rooms and the entire property look smaller and less appealing to your buyers. Remember you will be getting rid of all that unwanted junk when you are moving so take it to the dump now and increase your selling prospects.
4. Do the Little Jobs
Do all those little jobs round the house that you've always meant to finish. If you don't know what you're doing, get someone in who does. Broken window catches, a front door bell that doesn't work or half-finished shelves convey an air of neglect and signal to a potential buyer that there may be other, more significant aspects of the house that have been left undone. Walls that have been written on, or wallpaper that has been ripped immediately attract the viewers eye. Make sure they are concentrating on your propertys finer points instead.
5. Light and Heat
If its a cold day, make sure to have the heating on. A cold house suggests lack of insulation and high running costs. There are few more attractive things than a nice fire. If its a warm day, open the windows and create an airy atmosphere.
Be well lit. Does the lighting do justice to the size and contents of each room? Showing off your home is like a stage show lighting is inexpensive, but so important to get right. Nothing can create a better atmosphere than some well paced lamps.
Be ruthless when it comes to dealing with your pets. It's easy to get used to their smell - so ask a friend to be brutally honest with you. Does your house smell? Before each viewing eliminate unpleasant smells and banish pets to a willing friend's while you are showing people round. Get rid of pet hair too - brush and vacuum until you're sure it's gone.
7. Dont Forget About the Garden
Declutter it by removing bicycles, childrens toys and the boxes of wine bottles that you planned to take for recycling. Gardens do sell homes, but they have to look beautiful and not too unruly (its also why spring is a great season to sell, as gardens blossom).
8. Get Out of It
While your home needs to be on show, the people who dont come with it can be excused. Youre trying to sell your house, not your family! As teenagers and pets are not to everyones taste, take the opportunity to send them out for a walk before potential buyers call. That goes for you too. Viewers can feel like intruders if the owner is in when they call. If they feel hindered or inhibited, they are not going to be as receptive towards a buying decision as they could be.
9. Bedrooms Add More Value than Junk Rooms
So many properties have a junk room where families store toys, clothes, tools etc. There is nothing appealing about such rooms. Clear them out and replace the junk with a nicely dressed bed. Simple co-ordinating curtains can be hung at very little cost but with huge effect. It is often these simple rooms that clinch a sale.
10. A few Old Chestnuts for the Viewing Days
You dont have to go to the lengths of baking bread, but a pot of coffee is always welcoming Display fresh flowers (artificial ones are an inadequate substitute). Get rid of unpleasant odours stale cigarette smoke, old shoes or spicy food will drive buyers away. In the summer, mowing your front lawn before a visit can improve your viewers mood as they stroll up to your door. Naturally, you dont need to become an expert baker, flower arranger or aroma therapist, but the sentiment of such house-selling traditions holds true. If your viewers are comfortable in your home, your chances of a sale increase.