New Year resolutions for selling a house

7th January 2014

Preparation for selling is important. Look at your house from the road as if you were seeing it for the first time. Honestly visualise how potential purchasers will see your property.

Tidy up the gravel if it’s gone onto the grass, or if grass is growing through the gravel. Wash and clean the paintwork, gutters and windows. Dispose of cracked flower pots and withered plants, roll up the hose reel and put dustbins out of sight. Slipped slates or tiles often need little more than pushing back.

Even the smallest of back gardens is just as important, if you get potential buyers through the front door. Add a simple focal point to catch the eye by painting the shed a pastel shade, or arrange flower pots in an arty fashion.

Similar rules also apply to flats and apartments. It may not be your responsibility or your turn but take it upon yourself to keep communal areas and particularly halls tidy and welcoming whilst your flat is for sale. Leave courtesy notes under the doors of the other flats explaining what you are doing and you might be surprised by the support you get.

It is also essential to de-clutter and de-personalise inside.

Prospective buyers often feel like intruders when viewing houses. Hide away personal belongings, toiletries and mementoes. Take down window stickers and posters in children’s bedrooms, halve the number of family photographs and clear the fridge door of postcards and school paintings.

Ensure all the lights are working and make the rooms feel bigger by removing rarely used or unnecessary items of furniture. Store away shoes and unload coats from the hall and backs of doors. Don’t draw attention to a lack of storage space by leaving vacuum cleaners and ironing boards on view, or saucepans piled on kitchen worktops.

Clean, hygienic kitchens and bathrooms are essential. Re-grouting can revitalise existing tiles, and fresh, fluffy white towels will look inviting, even though you’ll take those with you.

Subtle air fresheners are a good idea, and so is shampooing carpets and sofa covers. Never leave out cat food during viewings.

Circumstances dictate the need or benefit of redecorating inside or out. Painting a wooden front door is a good start but simply working with what is already there can add appeal to even an old fashioned property, if it’s presented clean, tidy and uncluttered.