If you have your heart set on a house move, use this time to prepare your home, ready to list it after lockdown is relaxed. With many retailers now upping their online offering, DIY and home décor products are becoming easier to obtain.
But where do you start and what improvements should you make to help your home attract the attention (and offers) of potential buyers?
We asked our most experienced agents for their top five tips on how to get a home ‘market ready’.
- First impressions count
Says Honeywell’s Chris Driver, “Not only is the front of the property usually the first photograph a prospective purchaser views online when looking for a home, many will drive or walk past the property prior to contacting the agent”. Jet wash/clean the driveway, weed the flower beds and keep the grass trimmed (after no-mow May of course). First impressions are important.
Miller Metcalfe’s Caroline Nicholas recommends extending that care and attention to the entrance hall to your property, She says, “The hallway is the first room you see as you enter so ensure that it’s well presented, and there are no shoes or coats on display. Position either luxury candles or air fresheners nearby so that when a buyer enters the home it feels very inviting.”
- Give the garden a makeover
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or back yard, now is a great time to get all those outdoor jobs done (and top up your tan in the process!). Says Caroline, “Paint the fence, power wash the patio, weed the flower beds and invest in hanging baskets and plants that will be in full bloom mid to late summer”.
- Lick of paint
Get all the decorating jobs done and give the property a new, fresh feel. Remember that you are decorating the house to sell it, so don’t take any risks with the colour palette or you’re just racking up the lists of ‘jobs that need to be done’ in potential buyers’ heads. For tips on maximising light and space in a room through décor, read advice on the subject, such as this blog from FreshHome.com.
If you can only tackle a couple of rooms in the house focus on the kitchen and bathroom. As Chris says, “Great looking kitchens and bathrooms can clinch the deal on house sales so make sure they look smart, shiny and tidy.”
Spending day after day in the same space means you get used to having your belongings around you and what feels like a normal amount of ‘stuff’ to you could actually feel incredibly cluttered to a buyer. Use this time to have a good clear out. You don’t have to go full on ‘Marie Kondo’ and KonMari, just free yourself of belongings that no long serve a purpose and invest in some decent storage solutions to stow away the stuff that you do want to keep.
Says Adam Ravenscroft at Gascoigne Halman, “Having lots of clutter sends warning signs to buyers. Not only does it make the property feel small and cramped but it suggests a lack of storage which can really put a buyer off. Decluttering will make the property seem more spacious.”
- Fresh eyes
Once you’ve done all the hard graft, Caroline at Miller Metcalfe recommends taking photographs of your home as a final test.
She says, “Look at them as critically as possible and as though you are a potential purchaser undertaking a first time viewing. Are the rooms clean and tidy? Does the property look welcoming as a home? Is there anything unusual standing out and detracting attention from the overall look and feel of the room? If there is, remove it. You could also share the images with family or friends who will give you an honest (yet kind!) opinion.”