Preparing Your House for Sale

preparing your house for sale

Once you have decided to put your property on the market and you have instructed your agent, you need to make sure you are ready for the marketing process. It is easy to think of the marketing process as just people visiting once or twice a week to have a look around and doing a quick tidy up before they arrive. To give you the best possible chance of success in preparing your house for sale, you need to take a more proactive approach long before any actual viewings take place.

First Impressions

You often get two opportunities to make a first impression. Firstly online and secondly in real life:

Online

This in part is about your choice of agent and how they market their properties online. It’s worth checking both their own social media websites and portals like Rightmove. It is also about being prepared for taking photographs and marketing details before the property goes live. Having images that show your property at its best will generate initial interest. This is why for instance we use professional photography on every home that we market.

It is important that you are telling a consistent story about your home. The photos should match how the property presents itself in real life so your potential buyers are not disappointed. Images should also be truthful. Careful photography that conceals less desirable features won’t help you sell the property. This is not a good idea as the potential buyer will see what’s there when they view. Here at Lennon James, we go that step further versus your more traditional estate agents. Every home as standard has its own professional video presentation which we use to market your home on social media. We also create a 360-degree virtual viewing for prospective buyers to view your home prior to having a physical viewing. So the necessity to get your home looking its absolute best from the outset is key if you want to generate the maximum value possible.

Learn more about what we can offer to help you with preparing your house for sale.

In real life

The way your property is presented from the outside will set up the way a potential buyer feels about it. When preparing your house for sale it’s important to make a good first impression before they come in to view it. Many buyers will do a ‘drive by’ in advance to get a first look at the outside of the property. Maintaining a proactive approach to keeping things neat and tidy will make all the difference, even before the viewing.

Things you should consider

  • Keeping the garden tidy – especially in the autumn months
  • Washing down and painting front doors if they are looking tired
  • Cleaning the windows
  • If you have outside light, make sure that they are working and switched on for evening viewings
  • Removing any dead plants and ideally replacing them with something fresh
  • If the bins live outside, tuck them away in a tidy corner, so they’re not the first thing you see
  • Clear out the weeds from the paths
  • If the front door mat is frayed and messy, replace it
  • If you normally squeeze several cars on to your driveway, try parking around the corner. Give your potential buyer space to pull in as if they already lived there
  • Plants and pots that frame the front door will make a welcoming entrance
  • If there is a communal hallway to your property tidy up abandoned flyers, post and newspapers etc

TIP: As part of our valuation process, we talk to you about the type of buyer that might have an interest in your home. They may be like you when you bought the property, so think about what they will be looking for in a property. Focus on presenting the traits you think are most desirable.

Look at what other properties are available for your target buyer and consider what first impression those properties create online. If yours is better, it will be at the top of a buyer’s viewing list.

All our homes are upgraded on property portals like Rightmove, so that our clients’ homes are showcased in the best way possible. Again, the first impression if you stand out on the page versus the properties you are competing with, should make a huge difference.

Presentation

The most successful viewing is when the potential buyer can see themselves living in the property and can also relate to the property as it is now. Some simple ways to improve the presentation of your property when preparing your house for sale are:

Give rooms the right purpose

We don’t always use rooms for the purpose intended. We may use a dining room as a bedroom or a bedroom as a study. Some buyers find it hard to see beyond the current use of a room. So, if you are marketing a room as a bedroom, it is best to set it up as a bedroom. You need to show them the purpose of the room, not just tell them what it could be.

Keep it tidy

Keeping your house clean and tidy for viewings will not only create the right impression but help buyers see beyond your contents.

Declutter

This is one of the most impactful things to do. Even if it means you rent some local storage during the marketing period, keeping the property free of unnecessary clutter will create a sense of space and a blank canvas for your buyer to more easily see themselves living there.

Let in light

Keeping curtains and blinds open and windows clean, will let in light and create a better sense of space. If you are going to be at home for a viewing, switch on the lights in the rooms before your buyer arrives.

Set the temperature

If there are rooms in your home you rarely use and rarely heat, switch on the radiators ahead of your viewing so the whole property is warm and welcoming.

Bathrooms and kitchens

Should always be clean, tidy and mould free. Try keeping just your essential toiletries and products in the bathroom and storing the rest to keep clutter at bay. In the kitchen keep the worktops as clear as possible, which will improve the sense of space.

Pets

Not everyone will love your pet as much as you do, so they are best kept out of sight. This is especially the case with enthusiastic dogs who may scare your buyer off.

Keep it simple

If you feel the need to re-decorate before marketing your property choose neutral colours that have a universal appeal.

Minor repairs

The little things add up. If there are simple repairs that you have been planning to do, get them done before putting your property on the market. It will give potential buyers few things to find wrong.

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