Tips for preparing your property to market
Guidance for preparing your property for estate agent’s photographs and viewing tips.
Our Property Manager Lisa Simpson has put together some guidance for preparing your property for estate agent’s photographs and some viewing tips.
The first impression that a viewer has is of the outside of your property so you need to take as much care presenting the outside as you would the inside.
Ensure that you have no missing or slipped slates or tiles on the roof. Is there any vegetation in your guttering? If so, get your gutters cleared. Give the external paintwork on soffits, windows, doors fences and walls a freshen-up if it’s looking faded or is peeling, a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference. Clean your windows. Keep your grass neatly cut and paths weeded, a few pots dotted around with colourful plants can make an attractive feature in a garden or on a patio or balcony. Move your bins as they are unsightly in photos. If you have a garage or driveway move your own car out when photos are being taken and when a viewer is due to arrive, you want the viewer to be able to park in the drive as though they were arriving at their own home and you also want them to be able to move around freely in the garage so keep the garage tidy.
Have a good look at each room, when were they last redecorated? If you have any rooms with scuffed walls then a quick coat of paint will make a big difference. Do you have any rooms with very vibrant colours? If the answer is yes then tone it down to neutral colours, you may love fluorescent green but the chances are, a potential buyer won’t.
Declutter. It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ we acquire when we’ve been in a property for a few years, look around each room put anything you don’t need in a cupboard or get rid of it altogether.
De-personalise. Take down all your family photos, potential buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house.
Define each room. For viewings give each room a definite purpose, if it’s meant to be a bedroom, show it as a bedroom, if you don’t have a bed make one out of boxes (just make sure no one sits on it), if it’s meant to be a dining room, put a table and chairs in it, this can help potential buyers see the potential for each room as described.
Along with defining each room, they should also be properly dressed. In preparation for photographs iron your bedlinen to keep it neat and keep the beds made. If you have half a dozen items of clothing/dressing gowns hanging on a hook on the back of your bedroom door or piled on a chair, remove them.
In the kitchen, keep work surfaces clear, do your dishes and put them away. Remove any hanging aprons, tea towels and oven gloves and put the bin outside. If you have a collection of 200 fridge magnets and/or your children’s drawings stuck to the fridge, then consider storing these for photos and viewings.
In the dining room set the table and put a nice bowl of fruit in the centre. Keep the lounge tidy, and coffee table tops clear of remote controls, newspapers, and clutter. Flowers are a nice touch but not those with an overpowering aroma such as lilies. If you use plug-in air fresheners use them sparingly otherwise viewers may think you are trying to mask something.
Ensure your bathroom is free of clutter, personal hygiene, and medicinal items. Ensure fittings are clean and check grouting to make sure that it’s clean and mould free, re-grout if necessary.
Before photographs and viewings put away any feeding bowls, dog & cat beds, cages, toys, and cat scratching posts. Ensure the floors and furniture are free of dog or cat hairs. We may love our pets but a potential buyer does not want to be greeted by a dog barking or jumping up at them or a cat sitting on their knee, remember that some people are allergic, even fearful. If you have dogs or cats consider asking a friend or neighbour to look after them during viewings.
Make sure the house is well-aired and not stuffy. Be warm and welcoming and answer any questions the viewer might have. As you show people around, open the door to each room and let the viewer into the room while you hang back at the door, this way the room will not feel too full of people. Once you have shown them around, invite them to walk around again unaccompanied, this will give them a chance to discuss things in private, with this in mind make sure there are no valuables left in any of the rooms.