If you are one of the people that are having problems selling your home, it may not be down to the economy alone. For if you are a buyer and are greeted with animal or old smoking smells, the house you are viewing is very cluttered and personalised, and it seems that it has somehow been neglected, due to the amount of little jobs that need doing, it will put you off immediately. And once a potential buyer is put off a house, there isn’t really any coming back from that first impression. So try to remember what it was about the house that made you fall in love with it and follow our tips, and hopefully you will be calling the removal guys in no time at all!
Create a good first impression
If your garden is full of old bicycles, shopping trollies and dead plants, can you imagine the impact this will give to your buyers? Making a good impression starts at the front door so paint it red (the best colour), tend to your garden and make it as neat as possible and pop a couple of large pot plants either side of the door. Keep weeds at bay, keep the lawn mowed and cut short and wash the windows so that they are sparkling on the outside and let the light in on the inside. It is quite easy to neglect the outside so make this a priority before you forget it.
Your first step once indoors, is to clear away all the everyday clutter that we all accumulate. This means all old paperwork that is scattered around that you do not tend to notice, old magazines and newspapers are another thing that need to go and try grouping items together. If, for instance you have a couple of lamps that are the same, then put them either side of a mantlepiece or bookcase to show them off. Once you have cleared away all the unecessary rubbish from your home, you will be able to see it in a slightly different light. You should keep in mind that your goal is to make your home as appealing to a wide range of people as possible.
De-personalise the house
No one wants to walk into a house and see a couple of massive Chinese swords hanging over the fire, a huge moose head in the den or an Adams Family style portrait, hanging in the loft space. Your brief is to make the space as neutral as possible so that a family or couple can move straight in and make it their own space. Buyers want to envisage themselves in your house and if there are personal prints of your wife’s naked body all over the show, they will have a lot of difficulty. However, do not go overboard with stripping the house of all its accessories. Paintings and ornaments are fine so long as they are pretty neutral and go with the rest of your colour scheme. Try to keep things as generic as possible and use inoffensive objects such as candles, lamps and plants.
Do your home improvements
If you have household repairs that are outstanding, now is the time to get them finished. So that boiler in the kitchen that needs covering has to be finalised, any holes in walls should be repaired and stains on the carpet and markings on walls all need to be thoroughly cleaned off. It is quite easy to think that if a house has so many minor repairs that are outstanding, are there more major ones that need doing? And your house will look neglected if these are not done. Buyers want to feel that the home they have just purchased is in good repair so add a fresh coat of paint to make them feel even better.
Fix smelly odours
You may need to ask a neighbour or close friend the tricky question of ‘Does my house smell?’ A strong whiff of dogs, cats, smoking or cooking can put off even the most determined of buyers. The best way I have found to clear a house of smelly odours is to get the carpets cleaned, professionally or if you cannot afford this, do it yourself by hiring out a carpet cleaner. And do not think that this is a lot of effort for little reward, a clean welcoming smell can make all the difference to a potential buyer and a horrid dank, damp smell can be just as off putting. It could mean the difference between someone making an offer and someone walking away. Once you have cleaned your carpets, don’t be tempted to go overboard with smelly candles or air freshner as it will then smell as if you are covering up something. Keep windows open until the last minute and let the fresh air in.