If you’ve decided to use an estate agent,sell privately or use a we buy any home service, you need to be aware of how to prepare your house for sale. It can mean the difference between your property sitting on the market for months costing you money or potential buyers lining up.
However, figuring out how to prepare your house for sale can be difficult, as there is much more involved than just a splash of paint. It can be a lot of hard work and include additional costs, time and effort. Consumers are savvy and are looking for any reason to pass on your house.
While there are some factors you cannot control such as the property’s location and the current market, there are plenty of other things you can do to impress potential buyers. This article will detail how to prepare your house for sale.
How to Prepare your House for Sale Checklist
Tip #1: Declutter
You’re bound to have collected plenty of junk over the years including items that you believe will come in handy (in years to come) and others that you simply don’t have the heart to throw away.
But buyers don’t want to see your life.
They want to imagine themselves living in your property. They want to get a feel for the space and see how their furniture fits in the room. If buyers get a sense that you are running out of space, they may think your property won’t suit their needs.
Clearing out items such as books, DVD’s, ornaments, kitchen bench appliances and anything else that makes your house look cluttered can make a world of difference.
While this can be hard, the best method is to detach yourself emotionally. If you haven’t used something in over a year, chances are you won’t need it in the future. The best tips for decluttering are:
- Throw out what you don’t need!
- Give useful items, such as old clothes, to charity.
- Have a garage sale to get rid of the more ‘expensive’ clutter, such as furniture.
- And if you just can’t bear to part with it, consider renting a storage unit for a month or two while your house is on the market.
Tip #2: The Exterior
First impressions count. Long grass in the front yard, overgrown bushes and peeling paint is not going to impress anyone. Buyers will form an instant impression of your property from the moment they pull up. Even if the inside is immaculate, a messy front yard can be an instant turnoff.
Doing a little DIY and keeping a nicely maintained exterior can help purchasers develop a good feeling about your property from the start.
Improving your exterior doesn’t need to be an expensive project. There are several things you can do with a minimal budget that can help your home stand out:
- Keep the front lawns trimmed and clear of any debris.
- Cut back overgrown bushes and trees.
- Give your house a fresh coat of paint, including the front door. However, make sure you do this at least a month before potential buyers arrive as the smell of fresh paint is a dead giveaway!
- Sweep the walkways, driveway and footpath. You can even take it one step further and use a pressure washer to really make them shine!
Tip #3: Repair and Restore
More often than not, buyers are searching for a ‘ready made’ property that they can move into straight away. A house with visible signs of maintenance can be a deal breaker and deter many. In order to prepare your home for sale, it’s important to address any minor repairs and put some work into restoring anything that looks old or outdated.
A lot of the repairs and restoration that can boost your home are simple DIY tasks. However, these may be the tasks that you simply never got around to doing! Minor repairs can rejuvenate your house and show potential buyers a well looked after property. Keep in mind that these need to be high-quality repairs, as customers do not want to deal with the repercussions once they have moved in. The most important improvements that will impress any buyers are:
- Patch any holes in the walls.
- Get rid of damp and dry rot.
- Replace any light bulbs that have blown.
- Check all doors, cabinets and drawers are functioning well.
- Replace any cracked tiles and fill any small cracks.
- Fix leaking taps and update faucets
- Touch up rooms with a fresh coat of paint. Opt for a neutral colour.
Tip #4: Clean, clean and clean
Buyers are coming to look at your property because they are interested, so make sure you show your home at its best! A clean house can make people feel more comfortable and be much more appealing. It’s a good idea is to do a thorough clean a few days before viewings and after you have completely decluttered.
Cleaning your property for sale involves a little more than a quick sweep. The idea is to get your house spotless. The devil is in the detail, so pay serious attention to even the smallest areas. Focus on each room and clean as if your life depended on it! The best tips for cleaning your property are:
- Clean and polish the windows (inside and out!).
- Dust light fixtures, furniture, cabinets and anything else you can think of.
- Vacuum each room. Consider steam cleaning any carpet to make your rooms look new.
- Clean any dirty grout in the tiles.
- Polish all the taps and mirrors.
- Clean the refrigerator and oven thoroughly. Make sure to deodorise and get rid of any smells.
Tip #5: Lighten up the mood
Natural light is usually high up the list for potential buyers. Opening up your property can make it significantly more appealing and is an important element that should not be overlooked when you prepare your house for sale.
Using natural light to your advantage can help enhance the features of your property, enlarge the space and provide an inviting environment for potential buyers. The following tips can help you understand how to use light to your advantage without breaking the budget:
- Replace old light bulbs with a higher wattage, especially in low-light areas.
- Paint darker rooms with a reflecting, light-coloured paint.
- Cut back any trees that cast dark shadows over your property and inside.
- Install additional lights or lamps in poorly lit areas of your house.
- Replace dark, heavy curtains with something a little brighter. Make sure all curtains are left open to bring as much natural light in as possible.
- Consider adding a mirror in your hallway. It can help to bounce natural light and give the illusion of space.
Are you Running out of time?
While these tips on how to prepare your house for sale provide an excellent starting point, time is a luxury not everyone has. If you’re in need of a quick sale or don’t think the effort is worth the return, it may be best to consider a reliable cash property buyer.
Accelerate Homes partner with the UK’s most trusted cash property buyers. Our partners can complete a transaction in as little as seven days (they work to an average of 28 days), with risk-free cash in your hands and with minimal effort required on your behalf. Our partners purchase any house, in any condition. Contact us for a free quote today.