Preparing Your Home To Sell

Date Published 27 May 2012

The key to securing a sale is making your home appeal to the widest selection of buyers. Matthew Nash, Managing Director of Little London Estates offers advice.

You may love the way your home looks but, when it comes to putting it on the market, you need to take a more objective view.

Start by asking your estate agent for honest room-by-room feedback. They will have the experience to explain what will most appeal to buyers and what might be off putting or need changing.

Prospective purchasers often find it difficult to envisage their own furniture or possessions in a new space. So help them by removing as much clutter as possible and give everything a thorough clean, including the windows.

Most buyers are clued up on interior styles these days and hate dated décor. Adding up-to-date touches, such as fashionable cushions, door handles and crockery, will give your home visual appeal and make everything seem newer. Your estate agent can also advise you about styling your home to suit the local market and whether you need to appeal to families or couples.

If you've changed the use of a room, return it to its original purpose. For example, if a spare bedroom has become a study or storeroom, remove anything that makes it look utilitarian and install a bed and chest of drawers. This also gives buyers a clear idea of how big a room actually is.

Fix any visible problems, such as broken curtain rails, mouldy bath trims or scuffed paintwork. If the interior of a house looks badly maintained, a buyer will wonder whether other aspects of the property are in poor condition too.

This also goes for the garden, remove anything that makes it look smaller, such as trampolines and paddling pools, and dispose of any rubbish. Clean and organised garages or sheds also give a good impression and show any potential your property has for expansion.

Don't underestimate the impact an untidy street can have on your sale prospects either. Picking up litter, offering to mow the lawns of neighbours or to remove any junk from their front gardens can improve the local environment and make buyers stop to view your home, instead of driving on.

None of these actions need take much time or money but they could make all the difference when prospective buyers walk through your door.