Just a quick google and there is no shortage of articles from various sources, including Phil Spencer himself, giving you top tips for selling your house. There are those who advocate baking bread and making coffee, or even parking a new expensive car outside your home, to help boost the sale. But which tips are legit?
While we can’t tell you which tips to use that will definitely sell your home, we’ve gone through numerous lists, and have compiled the Top Five that almost everyone agrees on.
1) Clean and declutter
This is definitely the number one thing cited by all the articles we reviewed. Having a cluttered home massively distracts potential home buyers from actually looking at your home. In fact, a study done by Anglian Home which tracked home viewers’ eye movements found that potential buyers spent 24% of their time looking at clutter, compared to just 4% of their time looking at structural features.
It’s also important to make sure that you clean your house from top to bottom, including inside closets and wardrobes. Aside from just making a good impression, cleanliness can also subconsciously give potential buyers a positive impression of your home. Home buyers like to open doors and see how much space and storage there is, and you don’t want them to open a door to a mess. Some realtors also suggest taking some clothes out of the closet so it gives the illusion that the wardrobes are more roomy and spacious.
No one likes to view a home and see all the things that need to be done before they move in (unless it’s a home they want to gut and renovate of course!). So it’s a good idea to look around your house, and even do a walk around with an impartial (read: brutally honest) friend or your realtor to see what jobs need doing.
Is there a door hinge that needs fixing? A broken door handle? Even something as small as a broken light bulb can contribute to turning a potential buyer off.
Outside space is always a big draw, but not if the outside space is overgrown and cluttered. Aside from making a bad impression, any potential buyer will be weighing up how much work they will have to do to the space, or how much it will cost them to pay a landscaper to whip the garden into shape.
So whether you do some basic landscaping yourself, or hire someone to do it, it’s well worth making your outside space look respectable. According to the Anglian study cited above, 22% of viewers’ focus was on the outside areas, so it won’t be wasted!
If you don’t have a garden, having some nice potted plants or freshly cut flowers can help spruce up your property and make it feel like a home.
Continuing on with the cleaning and decluttering theme, putting on a fresh coat of paint if you have faded or chipping walls is definitely a good idea. Equally, if your walls are painted bright or unusual colours, it’s a good idea to repaint in neutral tones, so the potential buyer can see themselves in the space without being distracted by your favourite shade of magenta.
Don’t feel like you have to leave your home completely devoid of personality, but minimise the number of family photographs and kids’ artwork or posters that are visible. Leave enough trace of yourself that buyers can see this is a home that has been loved and lived in, but not so much that they won’t be able to picture themselves living there.
Those are the top five tips that came up in almost every article we reviewed! Below are some honourable mentions:
6) First impressions
Don’t spend all your time on the inside of your home and the back garden and then forget about what your home looks like when viewers are walking up to it. We’ve all been told in job interviews that first impressions are paramount, and it’s the same for a home.
Increase your home’s curb appeal by making sure that your home looks inviting, the front garden looks clean and neat, and think about repainting the front door or fence if it looks tired and faded.
7) Get rid of smells
When you’ve been living in a place for a long time, there may be smells that you don’t notice anymore. Whether it’s from cooking, pets, or sports equipment, having odours hit a viewer when they walk into your home is not pleasant. They will also undoubtedly wonder if it’s a smell that they won’t be able to get rid of if they purchase your home.
If you’re worried that there may be a smell that you’ve gotten used to and are no longer aware of, ask your aforementioned brutally honest friend to come have a sniff.
8) Get rid of pets
After you’ve removed the smell of your pets, it’s also a good idea to remove their presence for the duration of the viewing. Not everyone likes pets, some people are allergic, and even pet lovers can sometimes get too distracted by the pet to look at your home in detail. Let your home be the star and let your puppy shine at the dog park!
9) Get the right price/valuation
How much to price your house at is definitely an important decision. Too high, and purchasers will be put off if they don’t think the property is worth it. Too low, and they will likely be wondering why it’s been priced that way – is there something negative about the property they haven’t been told about?
Your estate agent should be able to help you set the right price for market, and so will getting a proper valuation. If you have the time and means, it would be good to get a few different valuations, and base your price on the average of two or three.
Ever had anyone say to you ‘I wish I had less space?’. Me neither. And while you can’t actually create more space out of what you already have, some rearranging of furniture or even removal of some furniture pieces can make a space look a lot more spacious. Clever use of mirrors can also make a space look a lot more open and airy.