Preparing your house for a quick sale

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There’s no two ways about it; if you want your house to sell quickly and for the best possible price, you have to make it as appealing to potential buyers as possible.

What that means is you need to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Sure, to you it’s probably already a pretty lovely place to live, but to an onlooker who is about to make one of the biggest purchases of their life, it’s a different story. The scratches on the wall that you tend to ignore will probably be off-putting to a potential buyer.

The wallpaper that’s peeling, you know it’s just wear and tear, but to someone viewing your house it could be a sign of something more costly lurking beneath.

To help you avoid these sorts of pitfalls, this handy list gives you some pointers on how to give your house the best possible chance of appealing to a wider range of buyers and sell quicker, so you can concentrate on buying your own perfect new home.

Focus on the positives

There’s no need to draw a buyer’s attention to the quirks of your house. Instead, focus on the positives. Highlight all the things that you loved when you bought the house. Maybe it was the light that floods in through the windows, or the fact that it has a great open-plan family living space. Buyers will pick up on whether or not they get a good feel on a house and you can influence that. You’re not there to share the technical aspects of the condition of the house and the building – that’s what a building survey is for.

Clean, then clean some more

People often won’t be put off by decor they don’t like, or things that need replacing, but they won’t respond well to a home that’s dirty. Before you show any potential buyers around, make sure you give your house a good clean, dust and vacuum. For any scuffs or marks you can’t get off, most homeware stores sell something called ‘magic eraser’, which takes scuffs off effortlessly. Addressing these kinds of issues will make a huge difference. And remember, as the saying goes - a clean home is a happy home.

Sell the lifestyle

Whether your house is old and traditional or contemporary, potential buyers will expect it to look like a showhome. So sell them the lifestyle they want to buy into. Light candles that give off a subtle fragrance (nothing too overpowering), fill vases with fresh flowers, create displays of books and magazines that look stylish (Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for this kind of styling), and if it’s cold outside, make sure your house is warm inside. These simple tips are really effective in getting people to buy into what it could be like to live there.

De-clutter

Remember, viewers will want to see everything and that includes inside your storage cupboards, so it pays to spend some time de-cluttering. If your cupboards are full to the gunnels, they will appear smaller and it will make the storage available in the house seem less effective. This doesn’t mean you have to throw things away. You can store your things with friends and family until your house has sold.

Think carefully about your furniture

Do you have to squeeze past a particular cabinet to get to the other side of the room? Is there a chair blocking a window that lets lots of light in? If this is the case, move them out. Unnecessary furniture can play havoc with the feel of a room, making it seem much smaller than it is. To create more of a spacious feel, store any furniture that isn’t essential elsewhere.

These simple and cost-effective tips will do wonders to help your house appeal to a greater number of people. And the more people you get through the door, the better the chance that your house will sell.

Chiara is an editor who likes the simple things in life; a cup of tea by the fire, travel, and spending time with friends and family. She also can’t resist the lure of Scandinavian decor and has a penchant for anything warm and cosy. You can find out more about Chiara and follow her adventures on her blog, Wine and Olives.