Making a great first impression
Most buyers make a decision about a property within the first few seconds of viewing it, so if you’re selling your home, it’s vitally important that you make a positive first impression. If you don’t, you could be losing out.
If your home is already on the market but you’re not getting a lot of interest, it’s worth trying to look at your home from the point of view of a buyer. Are there any obvious issues that could be deterring buyers? Our checklist will help you nip any potential problems in the bud.
Kill the noise
Most buyers will be hugely put off a property if they can hear excessive transport noise, or raucous sounds from a neighbouring bar, for example. If your home is within earshot of a busy road or train line, you might think about investing in double or triple glazing, although as a solution, that won’t come cheap…
If you only have the time to do one thing before a viewing, make it tidying up! Clutter is seriously off-putting for buyers, who will struggle to see past the mess. It creates the impression of a chaotic environment, when you should be aiming for serene and Zen-like.
Before you put your house on the market, do some serious de-cluttering. Whatever you can’t part with, put away. If you don’t have the room to store your belongings out of sight, you might want to think about putting them in a storage facility.
If you haven’t got around to redecorating in the last few years, try to look objectively at the décor in your home. That floral, shag carpet might have stood the test of time, but it might be a tad off-putting to the contemporary buyer. Equally, a coloured bathroom suite might have been the height of interior design when you first moved in, but nowadays? Not so much. Replace the carpet with a plain, neutral colour and invest in a low-cost, white bathroom suite before you let anyone over the threshold. It might set you back a few hundred pounds but it could make all the difference when it comes to attracting higher offers on your property.
High on the list of buyer turnoffs is a grubby home. In an ideal world, your home should be clean and sparkling before every single viewing. But if you have young children, you’ll know that can be pretty hard to achieve. As a bare minimum, ensure that your bathrooms and kitchen are completely clean and free of sticky, little handprints!
Bad smells are immediately off-putting for prospective buyers. And the difficulty is, you might not even know they’re there. If you have pets, you’re likely to have become used to their smell, so much so, that you may not even notice it. Ask a trusted friend to come over and tell you whether they can smell your furry friend. Bath your pet, wash their bedding and preferably have someone look after them while you show people round.
By all means, light a scented candle to lend a pleasant ambience, but go easy on the air fresheners, as buyers may worry that you’re trying to disguise the smell of damp!
Other easy wins include putting the bins out, moving smelly trainers from the entrance area, and avoiding any strong food smells before viewings.
Dressing the part
It doesn’t hurt to add a few flourishes to help your viewer form a positive first impression of your home. If the exterior is looking unkempt, do a spot of weeding, give your door a lick of paint and invest in some colourful flowers to adorn your doorstep.
Although strong food smells are a no-no, few people object to the smell of fresh bread or sweet treats in the oven, so put your baking skills to the test. Open a decent bottle of red wine (as long as it’s a decent hour!) and add a bouquet of freshly cut flowers (remembering to throw them out when they’re past their best).
Follow our golden rules to make a great first impression, every time. And for more help and advice on the legal aspects of buying or selling your home, just get in touch.