Selling your house 101

Agents tips to maximise your property’s potential on open house day

The outside: get your kerb appeal right from the get-go so sweep like your life depends on it, prune straggly shrubs, cut limbs from trees that look precarious, hide bins, bikes, cubby houses and trampolines. Plant fresh flowers and shrubs, and lay turf squares on a tired lawn. Pressure wash paths and dusty outside walls and freshen external paintwork – it’ll be worth it when you get that extra few thousand.

Kitchens & bathrooms: these frequently swing a sale. The kitchen needs to look easy to work in so lose all culinary paraphernalia and just have a few simple generic items on show like a clean cookbook or bowl of fruit. Paint dated units or get new doors made up which can be done inexpensively, before adding modern handles, and install off-the-peg blinds in matching shades. Top it off with matching storage jars and a tablecloth for a stylish finish. Polish sinks, taps, toasters, hoods, stovetops, mirrors and anything else that shines – it looks great and reflects light around the room. Lose kids’ paintings and shopping lists from the fridge and banish bins and pets’ bowls.

Living rooms: need a focal point – not the TV – so a mantlepiece, fireplace or coffee table with lovely books always helps to add to the feeling this house is loved but also well-looked after. In winter have the fire going and in summer, fling open the doors to the outside.

Kids’ bedrooms: there’s no excuse not to have children’s bedrooms ship shape with all the storage solutions on the market these days. Tone down Dora the Explorer or Superman themes to help the buyer envisage either their own child in there – or in case it’s re-purposed for another use like a study. Let the kids play their part by suggesting a new colour for walls to replace the pink, or they could choose a fresh picture to go on the wall to replace the wrinkled poster.
The back garden: can I relax in this garden with a glass of wine in summer? Will the children be happy playing here? Is there a space for teenagers to hang out with their friends? These are all the sorts of kids people ask themselves when they wander into your garden on open day. Provide answers to those questions with a tidy, well-kept garden with obvious entertaining areas, and if there’s space, a quiet corner for book reading, and somewhere for play. Ensure it looks low maintenance with weeds banished, shrubs pruned, flowers dead-headed, climbers tamed and gutters and borders leaf-free.

Ten tips for a successful open day

  • Put lights on in dull rooms, even during the day
  • Unless it’s a freezing cold day, open windows
  • Have the smell of fresh coffee or cake in the air
  • Ensure all internal doors are open (except the separate toilet)
  • Make the house a no-smoking zone for not just that day but the entire time you’re on the market
  • Don’t cook anything strong that day or the night before, like fish or curry
  • Put the cat or dog in the garden or better still, take the pooch for a walk
  • Keep personal paperwork out of sight and limit personal photos to a few
  • Banish all valuables to a friend’s house or put into safe storage
  • Make sure the entire family is out.

 

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