You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The initial impression that your home makes is long lasting and very hard to erase. Improve your chances of securing a buyer by placing yourself in their shoes. Cast a critical eye over your home, from roof-top to doorstep, and if possible, make those few cosmetic changes necessary to make your home more desirable. Remember, your goal is to maximise the attractiveness of your home, not entirely redo it, but below are some simple but important tips to enhance the saleability of your property, both inside and out.
Creating “kerb appeal” increases the number of potential buyers visiting your house and can add Euros to the final selling price. Maintaining the exterior of your home is a very important part of showcasing your home altogether. Always remember that it is the first thing a potential home buyer will see from their car and the deciding factor as to whether or not they wish to see more. Most people make up their minds within the first 30 seconds of seeing a property whether they like it or not.
- A freshly painted front door is a good place to start. The front door of the house should be very attractive to visitors. It is the first part of the home that potential buyers will be directly exposed to up close. Polish the door fixtures and repaint the door if necessary. Lastly, make sure the lock and key to your front door work smoothly and the door opens and closes easily.
- Check your windows are clean and window frames touched up. Peeling paint on a window suggests that work needs to be done on the property. This could be used to re-negotiate the price, so make sure everything is in order.
- If you have a garden, ensure that it is as neat and tidy as the inside of the house. Keep the lawn neatly groomed, flowers and plants neatly pruned and flower beds mulched and free from weeds.
- Check that the roof is free and clear from obstructions and moss and that all gutters are clear and securely hung.
- Is the exterior render in need of power washing or is a touch up to the paint required?
- Check that all gates and garage/outhouse doors are secure and their hinges oiled.
Your aim is to ensure that as the first buyer walks in your door, they are engaged and encouraged to venture further inside.
- Keep your hall and porch tidy. A confident buyer sweeps into a room. An unconvinced buyer has had to sweep through mountains of junk mail in the hall just to get in.
- Air out the property prior to viewings. Air in, damp smells out; open a window to ventilate the house, make use of ‘plug-ins’, scented candles or fresh flowers for a fresh scent, and if necessary to spray air freshener, use well in advance so as not to overpower prospective purchasers.
- Ensure that all carpets and floor surfaces are clean; free from stains and ideally polished if hard surfaces.
- Let there be light! Open curtains and blinds for more light and while you’re at it, make sure windows are washed and curtains and blinds are clean and hung properly. In winter, make sure all the light bulbs are working and have lights on during the day time. If you have a fireplace, have a fire blazing. Hearths can move hearts.
- In summer, natural light can create a wonderful atmosphere and give a feeling of freshness and cleanliness. So, draw back those curtains and open those windows
- Fresh paint and wallpaper. Are there any colours, objects or children’s art on the walls that need to be removed? Remember you have decorated your home to suit your style and taste. This style may not appeal to everyone so the best thing to do to make your home appeal to the widest range of buyers is to neutralize it. Paint walls in a neutral colour and show off any original features. This will enable buyers to visualize their furniture in your home.
- In vacant properties, try leaving some furniture behind to give the place a lived-in feeling, but equally well, whether occupied or vacant, make sure there’s space round sofas and armchairs so viewers don’t have to step over coffee tables and magazines to get to them. If a buyer sits down in a property, it's likely they feel at home, possibly even thinking of putting in an offer.
- Make sure your bathrooms and kitchen are gleaming (these are probably the most important rooms in the house). Touch up any scuff's on the walls with paint. Make sure countertops are free and clear. Check and clean the appliances.
- Check your ceilings for water stains. To a nervous first-time buyer, a damp stain caused by a minor past leakage suggests an impending flood; get it fixed and painted over.
- When clearing up and de-cluttering, try not to stuff items into the attic or the garage. Savvy buyers will be eager to view these areas to assess the available storage space in the house. Serious buyers will look at everything in detail.
While your buyer may be a pet lover too, you should still be sure to clean and remove litters, toys, bedding etc.
Following even a few of these tips will help to ensure that your home is shown to the best advantage, but remember the most important tip when looking to maximise the value of your home; call your local CASTLE agent. A member of our Residential Sales Team would be delighted to visit your home and provide free practical advice about enhancing the sales value of your property.