12 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Sale

First impressions are very important to the prospective home buyer, so it’s important to put yourself in their shoes and look at your home as someone else would see it. Preparing a home for sale properly can make all the difference as to how fast your house sells.

First observations

All too often we are so used to our own home that we don’t see it quite the way a stranger would. We take a lot of things for granted or may not even notice – we are so used to them; so if you want a really objective view, why not ask one of your friends to give you their opinion. But make sure you ask someone who won’t be too afraid of hurting your feelings to tell you what they really think.

Ask them about first impressions, and how the house feels to them. Does the house look dirty or have any strange odours? It’s amazing the difference a coat of paint or tidying and rearranging the furniture can make.

Preparing a home for sale is not necessarily expensive, but a bit of time and effort can go a long way to improving first appearances. Here are a few tips to get you started.

12 home improvement tips

  1. Tidy up
  2. Put all those clothes and oddments away out of sight and back where they belong. Another suggestion is to put your personal items out of sight, family photos and souvenirs can take up a lot of space and can be distracting to the potential buyer. You already know you will be packing up to move so why not get a head start by packing up those things now?

  3. Rearrange your furniture
  4. Now you have cleared away the personal stuff you might have more room to move furniture around. Try and make your rooms feel spacious but arranged in such a way to feel friendly and comfortable. If your furniture is old and a bit on the shabby side maybe purchase a couple of throw overs or some slip covers, just to brighten the room, and distract the eye from the furniture. If you were planning on getting rid of any furniture or household items now would be a good time.

  5. Odour free
  6. One of the most offensive things when walking to any home is if there is a strange smell in the air. Old houses often have a musty stale smell, but it’s not that hard to freshen up your house these days – there are lots of products available that will mask or remove unwelcome odours from your home.

  7. Carpets & paintwork
  8. Dirty carpets give a terrible impression plus make the room look bad. If you can’t afford to have them professionally cleaned you can hire a carpet cleaning machine and do it yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised to see what colour your carpets really are once you wash them down.

  9. Pets
  10. Pets may well be man’s best friend but they don’t help you sell your house, if they are making it smell. Keep litter boxes clean, or even better put them outside; you might not smell anything but a person who doesn’t have pets will see animal hairs and smell pet odours instantly.

  11. Sparkling clean
  12. One of the best impressions you can give a person walking into your home is of sparkling clean windows and mirrors. Giving your chrome taps and fittings a polish is easy these days with wipe over cloths. Put out your crystal vases with a nice display of flowers to add a nice touch, and last but not least make sure you dust and polish the furniture.

  13. Lighting
  14. Another suggestion, particularly if your house is a bit on the dark side, is to switch on the lights. Just remember to get rid of any dead insects and dust.

  15. Kitchen
  16. Check for dirty dishes in the kitchen and that all surfaces are clean and spotless. Take extra special care to check the oven, you would be surprised how many people open the door and look inside.

  17. Bathroom
  18. Is your bathtub and shower recess spotless, no dark rims round the edges, no mould peeping out between the tiles? Good, because buyers will notice these things and a nice bright shower curtain helps if you haven’t got a glassed in shower.

  19. Leaks
  20. Check all your taps to make sure there are no leaks; replacing burnt out light bulbs is a good idea as well.

  21. Garage
  22. You might be surprised what’s hidden in your garage when you come to tidy it.

  23. Garden
  24. Cut the lawns and hedges; trim the flowers and any overhanging trees or bushes.

Whatever time you need to spend on preparing a home for sale will be worth the investment if the prospective buyer makes an immediate offer.

This article was written by William Eve. William writes about saving money, investment loans and real estate for Home Loan Finder. If your a first home buyer or looking to refinance, visit the Home Loan Finder website for great advice and competitive mortgage products.

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