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Most people will see your property for the first time as they drive past and will not waste their time viewing if it’s not what they want from the outside. Keep your front garden and drive well maintained, clean the windows, even re-painting facials, window sills or your old front door can make all the difference. If your property doesn’t get people through the door it can be an uphill struggle. Once through the door though, the majority of people can recall getting that ‘it just felt right feeling’ – If your entrance is warm and welcoming they will get that feeling.
Although we all love animals it can be off putting to a potential purchaser, having your dog jump all over a purchaser as they walk through the door, or the dirty cat litter tray can all give a negative impression. Not to mention some people just aren’t fond of animals or are allergic to animal hair or are genuinely scared of snakes and spiders. It’s always a good idea to take dogs for a walk whilst a viewing is happening, cover over any reptiles and give the house a thorough clean. You may be used to the smell of your dog but it will be the 1st thing that hits a potential purchaser as they walk through the door if your house has ‘that doggy smell’
No one expects your property to look like a show home but they will expect you to have made an effort to show it to its full potential, especially if you are asking top price for it. Put away things you don’t use on a daily basis in the attic or in storage. Focus on the hallway – clear away coats, shoes and general clutter; in the bathroom – hide all your products; and in the kitchen – clear surfaces of appliances, jars, tins, etc, and replace any ragged tea towels or smelly bins, but most importantly, do the washing up!
This cannot be stressed enough. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom/s, which need to be inviting and hygienic, consider re-grouting tiles if they are particularly stained, laying fresh lino if the current flooring has seen better days and either remove or replace grubby shower curtains and half used bars of soap. Watch out for over stuffed wardrobes and toy cupboards too, people do look in them to ascertain how much storage space you have to offer.
Showing Your Property
The majority of the time a trusted member of our team will be conducting the viewing and although it is not compulsory, it is usual that the property owners are not present. Why? Admittedly, you will know more about your property that any agent ever could, however a lot of purchasers feel un-easy about viewing a property with the vendors present. They are conscious of the fact that they are in someone else’s home and are less likely to relax and ‘feel at home’ in the property. They are also less likely to constructively criticise the property and when they do this it gives us the opportunity to use our years of experience to overcome any objections that they may have.
Creating the Right Atmosphere
Open blinds and draw curtains right back to ensure all windows are letting in as much light as possible. Open all doors to avoid dark passages (they make houses appear smaller). On cold dull days, turn on the central heating and lights, and if there is an open fire, light it, it will help to create a really inviting atmosphere. On hot days, fresh air is equally important. Strategically placed plants and fresh flowers always make a home more cheerful and fresh. Kitchens that are free from clutter give the appearance of being a pleasure to work in. Avoid creating ‘lingering’ smells in your home if you know you have viewings booked, the smell of strong foods is not inviting, the same goes for cigarette smoke and even alcohol can linger from the night before.
Don’t forget the gardens. Keep the lawn, hedges, shrubs etc neat and trimmed. If the garden is fairly small keep flower borders to the minimum and tie back any shrubs etc that over hang the lawn as this will open it out a little more. Outhouses, sheds, greenhouses need to be kept clutter free so there are no accidents from people tripping over paint pots, deck chairs etc If any of your garden structures are not safe for inspection, do make sure that people are made fully aware of this beforehand.
Get as many of those little jobs done as possible. Unless someone is buying a project no one wants to ‘buy’ work. Getting all those little jobs done will hopefully again, help with those two big points saleability as it will present better and also price achieved, if you are buying a property that needs jobs done it normally leads to a reduced asking price for more than it would have cost to do ‘those’ jobs in the first place. Getting work done within reason, can be a good investment of time and money.