5 most important things to consider when selling your home
- Your home is just another one ‘for sale’, expect to have to compete for a buyer.
- Is your home looking its absolute best – could you not tidy / hide away a few more things, clean a little more?
- Go out when people come to view, you will just get in the way.
- Do not sell secretly, always get a board up and ADVERTISE.
- PRICE, be realistic. 99% of buyers never pay over the market value, so if you are asking over market value you will not sell.
5 Most common things buyers are looking for when buying a home
- Easy access to view your home. Make sure your agent can get hold of you any time and leave them a key.
- A clean, tidy home.
- A home that is easy to find. Make sure your number is clearly marked and parking is easy. If your street is not easy to park in, get your cars off the drive.
- A home that looks like they are expecting. Character homes should have an interior that reflects that, contemporary homes the same applies and if you are selling a four-bedroom home, ensure the bedrooms look like bedrooms not store rooms.
- A feeling of space and light. Even in a one bedroom unit all buyers want it to feel as spacious and bright as possible. Space and light is the most common term used as buyers wonder around a home they claim to like.
- Think like a buyer before you put your home on the market, make it look its best, if you can’t, expect to drop your price!
- Be self-critical of your property, you naturally will think it is the best on the market, but is it really? How does it compare?
- If you are in no rush to sell, or do not need to sell - why are you trying to? Generally, if selling is not a priority agents and buyers will pick this up and walk away anyway. If you want to sell go to the market, but expect market value, nobody ever gets more, except perhaps a property that has a particular rare feature or is in great demand by a specific party for a specific reason. In 95% of all cases your home is just one of many on the market at any one time.
- Work with your agent, you are paying for a service, expect one but also listen to their advice and expertise.
- If you are selling expect to have to put effort in, whether it is tidying, cleaning, going out so you are not in at viewing times, moving out earlier than planned - at the end of the day you do what you need to do to sell.
Tips for preparing your home
1. Looking through someone else’s eyes
We can never see our own mistakes in our home as we are always surrounded by them and it is easy to have the blinkers on. Get real and take the time to walk around the house as though seeing it for the first time. Even get a friend to walk through with you and get them to point out all the bad things they notice. You need to have a tough skin and accept what they say, as buyers will only tell you the truth by walking the other way.
2. First impressions always count
As cliché as it sounds, as soon as the buyer walks through the front door what they see will leave a lasting imprint as what to expect for the rest of the home. Bring up the standard of presentation at the entry and make sure the rest of the house lives up to the expectations you have created.
3. De-clutter and storage
No one wants to see someone else’s mess, especially if you are walking into a place you want to see yourself living in. Put away unnecessary knick-knacks into boxes and clean out your cupboards. Yes, people will open the doors and they don’t want to catch what’s falling out of them! Take up short-term storage and pack away those extra boxes, bikes, and furniture you don’t need. You want to give the illusion of more space; not how much you can cram into one area.
I hate the word depersonalize, as we all know someone lives in the house and we want the feeling of a warm inviting home environment. Minimize the family photos, especially the blown wedding picture staring at you from the bedroom. That makes people uncomfortable and feel like they are invading. Keep a small section of family photos to one area of the house only and arrange nearby other decorator items such as vases and flowers to take the focus off just staring at the people who live there.
There is nothing worse than walking into a dark house - it gives a negative feeling as though you are creeping around. It might be just a case of new paintwork but if it is more than that put a few lamps around and keep them on during the day for openings. It not only provides extra lighting but gives a special ambiance to the room.
Nothing freshens up like a brand-new paint job. If unsure what scheme to choose neutrals are always the best way to go. Soft whites, stone and yellows are the easiest to blend and co-ordinate with. But if you feel a need for colour, paint a whole bedroom or study area a different colour from the main rooms as a break in the neutral scheme. Putting in bright feature walls just for the sake of adding colour can more often be off-putting if not done to co-ordinate with the rest of the house.
7. Furniture Arrangement
We all know our own floor plan and how to move about the house, but bring strangers through in groups and they may be bumping into the furniture and only going away with bruises. You need to be aware of the walking traffic that will be going through your house on open days and move your furniture accordingly. Remove as many obstacles as possible from door entry/exits and be aware of large chunky furniture that may clutter up the room.
8. Hire Furniture
You might like the cushiness of your couch and the five beanbags your friends sit on for movie nights but this doesn’t mean the best presentation. Consider reducing the amount of your own furniture and investing in some hire furniture to finish the house off. New and well-presented furniture give a fresh sense of life to the interior.
Keep an eye on the small jobs around the house that you never got around to. People notice the dodgy light fitting, the door that doesn’t close properly and fraying edges of carpet. It is fair to say a lot of people only finish their house when they are selling but it is essential to get these jobs done as no-one will take on other people’s unfinished business.
We have all caught on to the fresh-baked bread and the coffee brewing to add a sense of ‘home’ to the interior but as the smell is one of our heightened senses it still has a role to play. Fresh flowers not only give life and add a touch of romance to a place but scented flowers such as lilies and roses are subtle mood lifters when buyers walk by. It is easy to get accustomed to the smell of our beloved four-legged friends but buyers will smell the scent straight away. Have your carpets and rugs cleaned and ask them to put a scent in the cleaner. You may even consider having the animals kept outside or away with friends for the duration of the campaign. This is a tough decision but the overwhelming smell of animals can be a major reason for the buyer to not consider your property.