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How To Prepare Your Home For Sale

August 01, 2016 by Kennards Self Storage

When buyers are considering a house there are many factors that feed into their final decision.

As the seller, there are certain things you can do to influence this decision and improve your chances of maximising the sales price.

Find out how to prepare your home for sale and get the best deal with these clever tips and tricks.

1. Deep Clean

It’s time to give your house a better clean than it’s had in years.

Clean the dust off light fixtures, wash every last window, steam clean the curtains, scrub the walls, dust the skirting boards and if you have carpets, consider getting them professionally cleaned.

The human brain picks up everything in its field of vision and uses it to inform the overall impression, so although buyers may not directly notice dusty fan blades, it does have a subliminal effect on the overall appeal.

2. Declutter

If you want your home to look spacious and inviting to new buyers then decluttering is non-negotiable.

Go through your house and remove as much as you can from all visible areas and from cupboards and shelves. This is a good time to start reducing the number of items you have in preparation for your upcoming move.

Once you’ve thrown out everything you can, go through the space one more time and do the process again. You can simply pack some of these items away or put them in storage while your house is on show.

3. Organise & empty closets and shelves

It’s not just the visible parts of your house that need to be spotless, you’ll also need to clean up your cupboards as well.

All buyers want space, and an overfull and cluttered closet (or garage) makes it look as though your home doesn’t have enough.

Clean all unnecessary items out of your closets or garage and consider placing them in a storage unit while your house is on show. That way when buyers open closets and inspect your home’s storage space they’ll see that you have more than enough room.

4. Remove Personal items

It’s always a good idea to remove personal items (like family photos and children’s artwork) from your home before you show it to any buyers.

This may seem strange, but doing so makes it easier for buyers to picture themselves in your space. If the house is full of another family’s personal items it becomes harder for buyers to envision the space as their own.

Simply place the items in a storage unit or file them away until you make the sale.

5. Give your house a mini face-lift

Doing small chores around the house is a cheap but effective way to make a big difference.

These are the sorts of things you’ve probably put on the ‘I’ve been meaning to get to that’ list, like replacing cracked tiles or repairing the cupboard door.

Walk through the house and try to see it through a stranger’s eyes. Make a note of every small item that can be easily mended and then get out your toolbox or hire a professional. These small fixes are definitely worth the spend.

Doing these small tasks will probably take you one afternoon, but can make a world of difference to the impression your house gives.

6. Simplify Your Decor

Everyone has their own sense of style, but your leopard print rug or porcelain doll collection may not be to everyone’s taste.

When showing the house you want to pair down your decor to neutral.

Opting for innocuous decor and colours will make your house to appeal to a larger group of buyers. Pack away your quirky items or place them in storage while your home is on sale.

7. Update your bathroom

Bathrooms matter to buyers, but they’re also very easy and cheap to update without needing a full renovation.

Buy matching towel sets (with hand towels) and add a few nice soaps and candles. Paint walls white and make sure that the bath and shower are spotlessly clean.

If you have a shower curtain, now would be a good time to replace it and if you have a glass shower it makes the bathroom feel bigger if you use clear glass instead of frosted.

8. Light it up

Light makes rooms look bigger and more inviting. Natural light is always best, so when showing your house make sure you open up all windows and blinds.

If you want to create more light you can hang mirrors on walls opposite windows as this will reflect more light around the room.

Lamps are great in dark areas and make a room look very cosy when lit. It’s also worth remembering that different light bulbs give off different types of light, so you may want to replace any bulbs giving off very harsh or unflattering light.

9. Move your pet out

Not all potential buyers will be animal lovers and your pets and may trigger allergies or negatively impact people’s impressions of your home.

It’s a good idea to ask a friend to walk your dog or pet-sit your cat or hamster when you have people looking at the house.

10. Think about smells

Smells and aromas make a big difference to the appeal of your home. Don’t cook things like brussel sprouts, bacon or garlic the day of your showing as the smells linger.
On the other hand, homely smells like freshly baked bread or biscuits can make a big difference – so don’t hold back on making these items (provided you don’t burn them)!

If you’re not a baker that’s okay, simply light a scented candle and open windows an hour before guests arrive.

You should also remove items such as a litter box or dog baskets and use air fresheners in any areas your pets spend a lot of time.

Scents like lavender have a calming effect and citrus fruits have an energising one – so think about the time of day you’re showing your house and match scented candles to the mood you’d like your guests to be in when they view your home.

11. Know your best times

Different houses look best at different times of the day. This might be when your living room is flooded with morning light or when your shady garden gets that patch of afternoon sun.

If you’re selling in summer, you may not want to show the house at the hottest time of day – or if your house is cool this might be exactly when you want to show it off. The same goes for winter – you’ll want to show it when it’s going to give the best first impression.

Pay attention to the hours in which your house looks best and arrange to have buyers come at these times.

12. Plant flowering plants

It’s difficult to know when the plants in your garden are going to choose to flower, but imagine the difference a blooming flower bed can make to a potential buyer.

Thankfully, you can get ready-flowering plants from the Nursery fairly cheaply, so even if your show house misses the garden blooming you can still make sure your flower beds look good.

Plant a few flowering plants in focal areas in the garden.


13. Minimise furniture

Too many pieces of furniture make a room feel small and cramped. Place a few items in storage during the period of your sale to help open up the space and create better flow.

14. Repaint walls in neutral colours

Soft, neutral colours make the room feel bigger and a new coat of paint works wonders on a tired-looking room.

A neutral colour scheme also gives home buyers a blank canvas on which to project their own decorating ideas – especially if you’ve painted any walls in patterns, intense colours or in a way that might put certain groups of people off.

15. Draw attention to special features

If your home has features like big windows, a fireplace or a reading nook, now is the time to draw attention there.

An easy way to do this is to place a fresh bunch of flowers (or a colourful accent such as a cushion or vase) in or on the areas you want people to notice.

16. Improve the street appeal

The street appeal makes a big difference when trying to sell a house. Not only is it the first impression buyers get, but they often conduct drive-bys before they decide to view.

A few easy ways to improve the street appeal of your house is to refresh paint, clean up any scruffy hedges, pick up litter or leaf debris, mow the lawn and fix broken fences or gates.

If you live in a busy area it can also help to ensure you keep a parking spot free in front of your home on the day of the home viewing.

17. Boost first impressions

What do you see immediately as you walk in? Buyers are most observant at the start of a viewing so it’s important to think carefully about what they’ll lay eyes on as soon as they enter your house.

You might want to think about repainting the front door, sweeping the walkway and cleaning up or redecorating the entrance hall.

Remember that you never get a second chance at a first impression.

18. Help buyers relate to the space

A few well placed items can help to show buyers what they could do with the space and make your home more relatable.

For example, a book next to an armchair by the fireplace, candles and bath salts next to the bath or a pile of fresh towels on a sun lounger next to the pool. Home decor magazines are masters at this – you can find loads of inspiration in there.

These items will encourage buyers to visualise what they could be doing if they had your lovely home.

By employing these simple but smart tricks you can make a big difference to the way buyers see your home. Not only will you have more people interested, but you’re also more likely to get a good deal. Putting effort and spending a bit of money in these areas is a great way to provide excellent returns on a minimal investment.

Images courtesy of:

HandshakeClean up,Vase of flowersReading NookOrganised ClosetGarden FlowersBathroomChairSunlightBulldog


Kennards Self Storage

As a proud Family Business you can feel comfortable in storing with People Who Care. We have storage locations everywhere! And space for everyone! Personal and Business Space, Wine Cellars, RV and Boat, Gun Storage and Deposit Boxes. Keep it at Kennards, the People Who Care!

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