In the current climate, it isn’t that difficult to buy a house. However, now that you’ve secured your new dream home, however are you going to sell your old one?
Many people are very apprehensive about viewing houses and it is a natural reaction pick fault if we think we may have to part with a vast sum of money, but come on, we aren’t trying to sell the Amityville place! Here are a few ways to make your home completely irresistible to whomever visits. Make sure you need to sell your house before you put yourself through the whole process.
This is the all-important rule for appealing to potential buyers. If they spot anything as minor as a messy garden hedge to a full circus setting up on your drive way, it can put people in a terrible mood for viewing the rest of the house. Planting flowers, pulling out weeds, cleaning windows, buying a new door mat and re-painting your front door will all allow your house to look prim and polished from the outside, getting viewers excited to what’s behind closed doors.
Beds, Baths and Beyond.
One of the main things that viewers look for is the number of bedrooms – and then bathrooms. Most of the time these are people looking for family homes to settle in or couple’s looking for a bit of extra space so sprucing up the bedrooms in your home will help them envision how each room can be used. Make sure that every room that is supposed to have a bed has a bed. It is easier for people to imagine turning a bedroom into…well, another bedroom than making a bedroom out of a study or box-room.
It is also important that you get rid of any unnecessary furniture so the room appears bigger. If you cannot walk around the circumference of your bed without bashing into a chest of drawers then a viewer may think there is not enough room.
Invest in a new pair of curtains, a fancy duvet or decor for the bathroom. Not only will these brighten up the place but they will add instant appeal to your Master bedroom and bathroom.
Give your home some TLC
A home that needs work is a home that probably won’t sell. Keen movers are already assessing the costs of redecorating to make the place their own so add on repairs to that bill and nobody will want to negotiate. Fixing roof tiles, re-painting walls and ceilings or taking care of cracked tiles, leaking bathrooms or loose fixtures will all add valuable pennies back on to your selling price.
Throw out your junk
Clutter is an instant turn off as is mouldy old garden furniture you never use or old toys. Have a car-boot sale or a clean-out before you invite over estate agents. Clutter makes homes look smaller and nobody is a fan of mess. If there’s something you don’t need any more that you can’t bear to throw away, assess whether you will ever use it again and if not try pawning it off to a friend or family member in case you ever need to borrow it. Alternatively you can make some extra cash by selling it on eBay. Giving things to charity will also minimalize your hoard. Everything else can go into flat pack storage boxes and be neatly hidden away.
A buyer’s pet hate is a dirty kitchen or bathroom. You should clean your house top to bottom, concentrating on everything from hovering carpets, scrubbing floors, wiping windows and dusting to polishing your silver-ware that nobody ever sees. It is also vital that you should get rid of the mould and oven grease that builds up in the homes problem areas. When your bathroom and kitchen are sparkling, viewer’s will be more enthusiastic about parting with their money knowing that you’ve taken good care of their future home.
It’s not that we encourage people to invite strangers into their homes at night time, but soft, warm lighting helps viewers imagine cold, winter’s nights snuggling up on the sofa in front of the fire with a cosy atmosphere.
Get rid of your personal touches and/or weird stuff
Statistically, a lot of house-viewers feel a bit weird about finding thing’s that give away too much about the previous house owner’s personality. Religious ornaments and political items can be a little awkward, especially if they conflict with your viewer, so try and put them in a drawer out of the way. That also goes for strange things people have given you as ‘joke’ Christmas presents including Samurai swords, medieval crossbows, military issued gas-masks, sexual paraphernalia, copies of ‘World’s Most Famous Serial Killer Methods’, jars of toe-nails and all the other bizarre stuff people have spotted in homes shortly before fleeing in terror.
Remember, you want the buyer to envision the place as their home – not remember it as yours.
Toning things down
On that note, some sellers have a very strong sense of personal style. The key is to neutralize as much as possible so that viewer’s see a blank canvas before them. Brightly coloured walls should be re-painted more muted shades whilst wacky wall-paper should be replaced. Neutral is always best as it is adaptable and more universal to other people’s tastes.
What are the best things about your home? Is it a huge bay window, a winding staircase or a beautiful 18th century fireplace?
Remember to point these out and draw attention to them with the right layout and décor. What’s the worst thing about your home?
Is it a hole in the wall from when you tried to play cricket indoors? Maybe you should cover that with a nice painting.
Lost in space
You should always decorate each room to suit its purpose and use the size to its full potential. Mirrors, light colours and minimalistic décor to frame windows create the illusion of light and space. However, large rooms needed to be filled to the extent that they don’t look bare. Buyer’s love to imagine where they might put their own stuff but they don’t like to imagine shouting across the room to each other to change the TV channel.
Do your research
Whether you’ve lived in your house for ten years or two, you should know everything about your home by the time viewers decide to grill you on every single detail. Make sure you have copies of the blueprints that show where all the electrical lines and water pipes are located as well as showing the layout. In the future, buyers may want to make changes to your house and providing them with all the information they might need will open a way to imagining endless possibilities. It’s also helpful for viewers to know how and when the house was built and who they can contact to find out more.
Whilst we’re on the subject, is it a good or bad idea to mention some of the things that might be wrong with your home? What should you do about explaining the youths that sometimes hang out on the nearby street corner or the ghost of a Yorkshire terrier that hides in your attic?
It can be really difficult to decide whether being honest is the best option. The problem is that buyers will find out eventually, whether it be from you, the estate agent or from any further research they do into the property so in this scenario it’s best to issue a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.
Show off all the good things about the house and living in your area but if they do ask about a specific issue then it is best to acknowledge it and attempt to minimalize it as a threat. If they’re bothered about a bright streetlight or a busy road explain how you’ve taken the best measures in dealing with the problem by investing in a black out blind or double glazing. That way your conscience can be clear and it’ll show, in spite of the situation, that a potential viewer can still find the house liveable.
Some people love animals. Others however, can’t stand them. You need to be empathetic towards this when trying to sell your home. Clean everything thoroughly to get rid of shedding and odours as some people may be allergic to animal hair. Make sure your pet is somewhere (such as with a friend or neighbour) where it won’t jump out at your potential buyers, bark at them when they walk through the door or decide that they’d quite like to use one of their handbags as a toilet.
Have your house valued
Buyers will only offer what they perceive the house to be worth. This is why it’s always a good idea that after you’ve fixed and cleaned your humble abode, you invite in a professional to assess how much you should cost on the market. They will tell you what other things you can do that might boost appeal and what aspects are going to lower the value. Don’t be afraid to ask for second or even third opinions. That way, you can be fully prepared to negotiate prices and make an informed decision that is fair for you and the buyers.
Need to sell your house Quickly?
If you’re in a position where you need a quick house sale then you might want to contact a house buying organisation such as House Buyer Bureau. I contacted the House Buyer Bureau when I wanted to sell my house fast, they assured me that they could sell my house quickly and they were right. In just over a week I was able to sell house for cash and stop repossession.