Smart Living | Lifestyle

Lifestyle | 27 Jul 2022

Top 10 ideas to prep your home for sale simply and cheaply

Putting your home on the market involves some tricky decisions, especially if your property still has that ‘lived-in look’. Here are a few ways to improve your chances of a swift and successful sale.

When we want to sell our home we want to do it as quickly as possible, at the best possible price. But spending money on expensive refurbishment and home staging to achieve a sale is not possible or desirable for everyone.

Instead, here are 10 ideas that anybody can try that should help see those eager buyers flocking to your door.

1. Clean out the cupboards

It’s tempting to think that the possessions in your cupboards are ‘out of sight and out of mind’, but Suzanne Roynon, interiors expert at Interiors Therapy, says potential buyers will want to scope out the storage.

“Grubby cupboards, inside or out – especially in the kitchen and bathroom are a top no-no,” she says. “Empty them, pare down the contents, give them a good clean and put back only the items you know you will be using.”

Once cupboards are clean, she recommends folding the linen and towels that you will use as neatly as possible and boxing and labelling anything else that needs to be kept.

“It shows potential buyers you are ready to move,” she explains.

2. Make a photo plan

Taking your own shots to sell your home? Photographer Joshua Wyborn suggests a plan to get the best out of your property.

“I would suggest that you capture two wide-angle shots of the main areas of the property, such as living room and kitchen, one photo of the bathroom, and one to three photos of the back yard if you have one,” he suggests.

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“And two photos showing the front of the house from the road as well as on a potential driveway/front garden.”

Mr Wyborn also adds that if you have other rooms such as a laundry room or pantry, you should take photos of them as well.

3. Reflect a bit

Consumer champion Helen Dewdney, suggests tactical mirror placement.

“This can give the impression of more space as you move from one room to another,” she explains.

4. Fix the small things

Dripping tap? Loose doorknob? Little annoyances can cost you a sale, says Claire Cossey of Just Knock Estate Agents.

“Fix those small jobs. We all have them. We all live with them. We all ignore them. Your buyers won’t!” she warns.

5. Take a long look at the hallway

We all keep coats and shoes by the front door, but one person’s handy cloakroom is another’s clutter, warns Janine McDonald, who runs Clear the Clutter Now.

“This is a big clutter pain-point,” she warns. Ideally the hallway should be completely clear. This is the first place buyers see when they visit your home, so it needs to be as clear as possible. If needed, try to keep just one coat per person and one pair of shoes regularly worn.”

6. Stage selectively

Hiring or buying furniture to ‘stage’ a property is an expensive decision, but Julia Starzyk, who runs property management group Star Projects, says there are times when it is worth making the effort.

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“Having your property staged might be a great opportunity to present future buyers with arrangement options. As an example, if a bedroom is quite small or has a weird shape – placing a bed in there avoids questions such as – would it fit a bed in?”

 7. Take a temperature check

Buyers are put off if a house is too hot or too cold during viewings, says Vivienne Harris of Hampstead estate agent Heathgate.

“On a warm day, open some windows so the property feels fresh. On a cold day, close the windows and warm the property through with the heating or a heater prior to the viewing.”

8. Consider painting

Is it worth splashing out on a can of paint or two? Ms Cossey, at Just Knock, says it depends on your current décor.

“Sometimes it really isn’t worth it. However, sometimes it really is,” she says. “If you have a unique feature wall which is only to your taste, then changing that strong colour to a neutral colour will definitely help attract decent and serious buyers.”

9. Phone a friend

Your pictures have been on your wall for so long that you don’t even see them. Ms Roynon, at Interiors Therapy, says that asking a friend for their honest opinion on your art may help you to sell better.

“Look at any art on the walls – what does this say about you or your home? How would it make someone else feel? If you are blind to it, ask a
friend to give you an honest opinion,” she says.

“Select aspirational items to show the house at its best and position them when a deep clean is complete.”

10. Let there be light

Whether you are photographing your property or showing people around, good lighting is key. Photographer Joshua Wyborn says that before you take photos you should turn on every light, even in daytime.

“We want as much light as possible; it also helps make the property look cosy or shows off how high-end it is.”

Ms Harris, at estate agent Heathgate, says lots of light is vital for viewings, too.

“If the property is dark, put the lights on before the viewing and ensure that curtains and blinds are up during daylight hours.”

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Interiors Therapy

Joshua Wyborn, photographer

Helen Dewdney, consumer champion

Just Knock Estate Agents

Clear the Clutter Now

Star Property

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