Wednesday, 30 April 2014

De-mystifying the buying and selling process #5 - How to present your house outside for sale

We’ve covered the inside of your house but what about the real first impression that buyers make? Try standing outside your house and having a proper look for 30 seconds. Forget that you live here and put yourself in a potential purchaser’s shoes. Compare it to the neighbouring properties or better still compare it to what you think is the best looking house on the street (that is if you have neighbours! If not then looking at similar properties on the internet will do just as well). 
How are the gutters looking? Been meaning to give the windows a sand and a repaint for a while? Well it’s now or never. Pressure washing the front of the house and the approach is a good start as is making sure the windows are clean, letting as much light in as possible.  Sometimes however something a little more drastic from painting to re-rendering may be required.  
As for the front and back gardens themselves, a well-kept, thoughtfully laid out garden is a powerful incentive for many people when they are choosing a new property. It goes without saying that you should mow the lawns, weed everywhere, pressure wash patio areas and re-lay any wonky paving stones.  Not every house is lucky enough to have an abundance of mature ornamental plants and established trees but with spring upon us you could get some seasonal bedding plants in to add some instant colour.
A table on a deck looking out over a garden with wisteria and sub tropical plants

Garden buildings, everyone loves a shed, great for storage and for some even a safe haven. If you’ve got one spruce it up, a lick of paint, tidied up inside and a lock on the door is another ticked box for a potential buyer. The best tip for gardens is to go out of your way to make it as easy as possible for people to imagine themselves using it. Everyone uses their garden for different reasons, whether it be somewhere for the children to play, a veg patch or entertaining space. Make the most of what you have and make it easy for people to imagine enjoying the space with friends and family.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

De-mystifying the buying and selling process #4 - Preparing your home for sale

You know your home and your area better than your agent, you’ll probably have a fairly good idea what type of person will buy it as well. One very important starting point when preparing your home for sale is to consider your target market, try to coax their interest without alienating others. Got a 3 bed  house with the box room used as a junk room/office? Then for example set it up as a proper small bedroom and move the workstation elsewhere to ensure you appeal to young professional and also those with children.

A cutting from the West Briton about preparing your home for sale
It is very important that you emotionally disconnect from your house when you decide to sell it, potential purchasers need to be able to picture themselves living in the house as soon as they come in through the door. De clutter as much as possible, take down elaborate ornaments and personal photos. Anything that you don’t use daily put away in the loft. Overly large pieces of furniture should also be stored and replaced with smaller ones and make sure you arrange items around the room to maximise the space and make it functional. It is vital that the house appears as large and inviting as possible.
Cleaning and de-cluttering is key. Put away all coats and odds and ends so you immediately get a feeling of space when you walk in through the door. A deep clean throughout will do wonders, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms which will need to shine. In the bathrooms put all bottles and products away, hang fresh white towels neatly up and maybe fit a new loo seat. In the kitchen and dining room clear all surfaces, lay the table for a meal and possibly put some flowers out to give it that spring feeling. 

Fresh coats of paint all round are always a good idea if you have the time. Avoid pure white as it makes the house look a little clinical but anything neutral and warm will do just fine. While you’ve got the brush out why not treat your old front door to a few coats too! Don’t forget the grimy old carpet, wood floors are always a good option if you’ve got some nice floorboards tucked away or if not then again stay neutral when fitting anything new. Kitchens can be brought up to date with new worktops, Corian looks especially good on a budget. Painting the units and fitting new handles also does a sterling job of smartening an old kitchen up and in the bathrooms re-grouting and installing new matching fittings will save you a packet.