Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Guest Blogger: Sarah Beeny, founder of Tepilo.com asks if now is the right time to be putting your home on the market?
There are many random statistics about how many seconds it takes us to make up our minds about a person or place, but the underlying truth is that buyers decide whether they like a property very quickly indeed. So, without doubt, the first impressions of a house are very important. I believe that the way a house looks from the front is one of the most valuable selling tools around. What you don't want to do is to put off buyers before they actually reach the front door.
It need not take a great deal of money to make the front look cared for. Just picking the litter up is a start. Follow that with a lick of paint and bit of weeding and planting. If you have a communal front door, whether you're trying to sell or not, my theory is that it is often easier to scrub the common parts yourself than to argue with whoever's turn it is.
Of course, you can give a house a complete façade lift, changing the front door and windows, replacing dilapidated drainpipes and gutters, or even adding cladding. It's pricey, but it can often add substantial value to a plain or uninteresting property in a sought-after location. But whatever you do, remember the outside of a property remains a reflection of the inside. If you're selling, make sure it looks smart. The front of a house is a statement to the world about how you live.
Here are my top things to do to your home before putting it on the market
CRUCIAL STEPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PROPERTY
* Clean the windows - inside and out.
* Clean the whole house - if you smoke, stop smoking inside and clean all ashtrays - if you have pets, wash their beds. Pet and cigarette odour are the two smells that come up most often in ‘put off' smells list.
* Look at your kitchen and bathroom from an outsider's point of view - if they are really manky, do something about it - often it only requires bleaching the grout and cutting out and re siliconing - get in behind the basin and loo and get scrubbing there, too.
* Deal with outside - start on the street - what do you see - potential viewers will stand and pause just there too and it's their first impression.
* Don't argue with neighbours about who is going to do what - check if they don't mind and get on and clean it up yourself.
* De-clutter - as if you haven't heard it before, but use this as the perfect moment to move the piles of stuff you don't use to a charity shop - if you do a good clear out in one go, you will be better about getting what you don't need to a suitable recycling unit or charity shop where someone might actually use your silly unwanted nonsense. You are then able to clear surfaces - this will give a much greater sense of space and almost more importantly, less of the feeling that the house is rather hard work to live in.
* Outside space - however small, in fact even more importantly if it's small - outside space is a real luxury and one that should be cherished, especially in an urban setting.
* Give it a clean - get a few cheapie pot plants and look out for an inexpensive table and chairs to show you can use the space.
* Small rooms - like small gardens it's rather more important to dress small rooms well, otherwise people may not be able to really envisage how the room could work.
* Try to avoid putting things just inside the door of a room - you ideally want to be able to get inside a room before you trip over something.
Tepilo.com enables buyers to sell or let their home with no charges or commission.