It’s bad enough having to invite strangers in to poke around your house, but imagine how potential buyers feel, trying to see past the junk you’ve accumulated to find their dream home underneath. MyHome.ie finds out how to make it easy for them and what not to do when you’re selling your house.
Cluttered rooms, bad DIY, dodgy carpets and overgrown gardens are a big turn-off.
- Kerb Appeal: MyHome.ie puts “kerb appeal” at the top of the list for priorities when putting a property on the market. A lot of people will see a house advertised first and and will then drive past it to get a feel for the property and the area before contacting the estate agent to set up a viewing. So your garden has to look well kept and your windows have to be clean, with the frames in good condition. A few hours weeding your front garden and a lick of paint can go a long way. If your property looks shabby from the outside, then potential buyers will be put off immediately. Remember that you are selling a lifestyle so if the outside of the property looks neglected, then the perception will be that the same applies to the interior.
- Fresh: Give your property a fresh feel. Sometimes it’s a good idea to change the colour of a wall to make a hall, stairs or landing feel bigger.
- Time to declutter: Remove excess furniture from a room to create the illusion of space. You don’t want the people viewing it zig-zagging around a cluttered house. A lick of paint costs very little to clean up a dirty wall. Sometimes it is even worthwhile taking up old carpets and, if possible, sanding the floorboards beneath – especially in a house where children have spent their early years happily spilling things on them. Most potential buyers won’t want to keep your carpets anyway so this gives them the option of keeping the floorboards or putting down their own carpet.
- Spotlessly clean: Whether a house needs to be gutted or is in very good condition, there is no excuse for it not to be spotlessly clean, especially bathrooms and kitchens. The kitchen and bathroom are the key rooms that buyers consider when purchasing as they are the most expensive to replace. Many people expect to have to do a lot of renovation on a place after they have bought it, but dirt will put them right off. While a damp house means a big reduction in price for the seller, mildew simply caused by poor ventilation in places like bathrooms is easily dealt with. Get painting walls, airing rooms and scrubbing toilets – or pay someone to do it for you. A couple of hundred quid spent on cosmetics could mean a big difference in the selling price.
- Good work can pay off: Poorly built extensions and conservatories can put buyers off, but good work can pay off. This is especially so if your house is competing in an estate of almost identical houses but a well-built extension has made yours bigger. You need to distinguish your property in some way from other properties for sale in the area. Take a look at the competition and consider how you can distinguish your property from your neighbours.
- Remove all excess personal items: Owners and their kids, granny and pets should high-tail it to the country while their house is being viewed because while you might love your little doggie or pussy cat, a lot of people are nervous of animals and there is no point in them feeling intimidated. Getting the family out of the way also means they can’t get offended if a viewer or agent says something critical of the house. You should also consider depersonalising your property to a degree for viewings. Remove all excess personal items such as photos and ornaments so that potential buyers can imagine how their possessions might look in the property.