Increase the appeal of your property
This may sound obvious, but clearing the clutter can make a big difference.
So, if you've got stacks of knick-knacks lying around the house – including that higgledy-piggledy pottery bowl your nine-year old daughter made you – remove them! Whatever sentimental value they have, clutter makes your home look smaller and can make it harder for potential buyers to imagine living there, with their own stuff.
Pack it all away in boxes and store it – after all, you'll have to do this when you move, so you may as well get a headstart.
It's also a good idea to remove unnecessary furniture to make your home look more spacious. And give your cupboards a clear-out in case a nosy visitor decides to have a peek at what's inside!
People are likely to be put off by a rude seller or estate agent.
Stamp out smells
People are put off by strong household smells, such as those made by pets or cigarettes.
Deal with DIY disasters
Poor building work or DIY is a big switch-off. If you've got a few odd-jobs around the house that you've never got around to sorting out, this is the time to do it.
Potential buyers don't want to see a cupboard door hanging off its hinges, cracked kitchen tiles, or dripping taps. After all, these are things buyers will have to fix themselves if they move in – things they will have to spend time and money on, and this could affect their offer price.
Fix faulty fence panels
Mnay people won't want a garden that lacks privacy.
Add a lick of paint
It really is amazing how a fresh lick of paint can transform a room. Repaint the walls in a cheap but neutral colour such as magnolia to give it a brighter feel. If you want to add a splash of colour, you could use a bolder colour, such as red, for one wall, or use colourful accessories and cushions.
Make sure the kitchen in particular looks good. When making a buying decision, the kitchen is often the most influential room.
It's what's on the outside that counts
In some ways, how the outside of your property looks can be more important than what's inside. If a prospective buyer is welcomed by an over-run garden and paint peeling off the front door, chances are he/she won't want to come inside.
So give your front door a fresh lick of paint, clean the windows, mow the grass, trim the hedge, sweep the path, add some colourful plants round the door, and repair the gutters.
Choose your time to sell carefully
Some periods are 'hotter' than others; for instance, there is normally a summer 'drought' for selling houses, because people take off on holiday.
Santa stops sales
Another 'dead zone' for sellers is November and December, when potential buyers are usually too busy preparing for Christmas to think seriously about moving home. Conversely, sales pick up in January, thanks to the 'New Year' effect.
If your house isn't selling, then perhaps you can't see the wood for the trees. To get an honest opinion on the pros and cons of your property, ask your neighbours for their advice – and be prepared for some plain speaking!
Throw in some items with the sale price
It can be a good idea to include items such as white goods or furniture in the sale price – providing they're likely to be wanted. These can be particularly enticing to first-time buyers.
It's worth telling potential buyers immediately what will be included in the sale and what you will be taking with you. So if you plan to remove all the carpets and curtains, tell them!
To make your job easier, HouseWeb has created a very nifty inventory list for you to print off and fill in! This way buyers will know exactly what's included in the sale.
Be prepared to lower the price
If your property doesn't attract buyers through the door, it doesn't matter how appealing it is once they're inside. So if you find no one is interested once you put the property on the market, be prepared to lower your asking price.
That way, you're likely to attract more interest and more viewings – and who knows, if you do attract enough interest, the price may bounce up again as potential buyers outbid each other in an attempt to get a bargain.
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