Top Ten Tips
- THE APPROACH: First impressions are critical. Stand back and have a good hard objective look at your property’s kerbside appeal. What can be done to enhance it? It could be as simple as cutting the grass, but it might be the hedge needs trimming, the fence repairing, repainting or replacing. Simple jobs like remove the weeds from the path or drive and refreshing/replacing the gravel with stone chippings can make a huge difference.
- THE FRONT DOOR: It often tells a story of what’s inside. Does it need a coat of paint, the tarnished brass cleaning or replacing? Where possible a pair of decent pots with bay trees or similar looks great either side of the front door. It all helps set the right scene of approaching a nice house. Where you front onto a pavement, hanging baskets or window boxes can also help.
- THE HALL: Remove un-necessary coats and shoes and, where space permits, add a small table with a lamp or fresh flowers. A plug-in air freshener can also help get off on the right foot.
- THE INSIDE: Very few of us live a minimalistic lifestyle so de-cluttering is of paramount importance. When you move, you don’t want to pay the removal company to shift your junk, so remove it now, it’s a very cathartic process. At the very least box it up and store it in the garage or loft out of the way. An awful lot of cupboards are full of things we never use, so go through them, visit the charity shop and make space.
- DECORATION AND CARPETS: Re-paint those rooms with loud or garish colour schemes that might have seemed a good idea at the time. Homes with neutral/pastel colours throughout might look a bit dull, but do look bigger. Where necessary have your carpets professionally cleaned or replaced. One neutral colour throughout makes every home look more spacious.
- LIGHTING – both natural and artificial: Fogged double glazed windows are one of my pet hates, especially where you have a view. They’re not expensive to replace and will maximize the outlook and critically the daylight. On dull winter days lighting is necessary, so replace the blown blubs and use strategically placed lamps to hide any dark corners or areas without natural light.
- DEPERSONALISING: To get the best price, you need to make your home appeal to the widest possible audience. Your collection of antique tea pots or oddly realistic dolls might be contenders for ‘The Antiques Road Show’ but pack them away and enjoy the space their departure creates. Back to pets I’m afraid, the odour of your loyal old lab can make buyers run for the hills where you so enjoy walking him. In the same vain, a used cat litter tray can be equally off putting, and a major reason for buyers leaving as soon as possible.
- FURNITURE: Moving things around can often easily create the impression of more space. Most buyers when they walk into a room want to go and look out of the window. So, reposition that chair or bed and give them free access.
- POSSESSIONS: The golden rule is if you use it every day then leave it out, toaster, kettle etc. But that posh mixer or bread maker, put them away in the cupboards you’ve cleared.
- AND FINALLY: Fresh flowers and a well-stocked fruit bowl always give the right impression.