We’ve all seen the television makeover programmes that have homeowners jumping through interior designed hoops before daring to put their home on the market but how much time should you invest in getting your home ready to market? Dluxe Magazine caught up with estate agent and interiors expert Oliver Rayns to find out, room by room, what’s needed to clinch that sale.
Outside the Property
First impressions are lasting impressions. Whilst it is the agent’s photographs that will have enticed the prospective purchaser to your door, it is the outside of the property that they will engage with initially. Low-cost improvements such as repainting the front door will positively enhance the first impression, tidying the front garden and parking clean cars formally on the driveway can make all the difference. Tuck away that wheelie bin too.
When it comes to the garden it’s important to keep things tidy. Make sure to remove the weeds and have the leaves swept up and cleared away. This will give any prospective purchaser the impression that your entire home has been well cared for- an unloved garden can make a whole house seem unhomely.
You’ve already made sure that the front door is painted and looking smart so not focus on what a buyer feels as they enter your home. It may seem obvious but brushing past coats and tripping over discarded shoes will make a buyer think you have no storage so keep things clear. Hallways can take a lot of wear so we’d recommend this as once place to repaint. Keep your colour scheme light and bright to portray a positive atmosphere to any potential purchaser. Paintwork should be as neutral as possible as some people may not be able to see past vast amounts of bold colours, so we recommend creams or greys as they are a lot more tranquil.
The kitchen is often the focal point of any property, so it’s important this is well presented. Low-cost ways of improving your kitchen include; ensuring all cupboard handles are well fixed and straight, that work surfaces are cleared and tidy, sinks are clear from dirty dishes and glassware/ tableware is put away in its appropriate place. Inviting ways of displaying your kitchen can include lighting a fragrant candle, a vase of fresh flowers and fresh fruit and vegetables displayed ready to be prepared.
Prospective purchasers want to imagine themselves spending relaxing evenings in this space. Depending on the time of year you are selling your property, natural light will enhance this room, so ensure that all curtains/blinds are fully open to allow the sun to flood into the room, open the windows if it is a hot day to prevent the room from becoming stuffy. In contrast to this, during the cooler, darker months burn fragrant candles and use lamps rather than bright, imposing lighting to create a cosy atmosphere. If you have a feature fireplace then make sure it’s lit. It’s always a good idea to declutter a living room- walk round and look at what you can take away without leaving the room feeling empty.
Bathrooms can often be put to the bottom of the pile, but this room is used every day and is just as important as a kitchen or living room. Simple improvements such as repairing damaged/discoloured sealants around the bath/shower, using a specialised grout cleaner if those white grouts have become discoloured and using a limescale cleaner on brassware can make all the difference. Visual improvements include fresh towels on the towel rail and try to tidy up the toiletries to keep things clutter free.
The bedroom is a retreat from the rest of the world, so try and display it in a fashion that presents that. Always present a well-made bed and add a couple of cushions for comfort. Switch on bedside lamps, tidy away clothes, and clear the tops of drawers and dressing tables. Try to make the bedroom as inviting as possible as this can really offer potential purchasers a lasting memory of your property.
It may not be something you see but an EPC is just as important. Energy Performance Certificates are the guidelines of how well your property performs in terms of energy performance and environmental standards. Every property that goes to market needs to have an EPC, so we’ve outlined some helpful tips on how to improve your rating before you have this assessment carried out.
We always recommend checking on loft insulation, the Government recommends a minimum thickness of 240mm, so if you’re lacking this, it’s worth adding some additional insulation to hit that target. The use of energy efficient lighting such as LED bulbs can vastly improve the rating for minimal outlay. Ensure that your boiler is serviced on a yearly basis and it’s worthwhile having the boiler serviced before going to market as it’s a selling point that all prospective purchasers will care about.
To find out more about marketing your home or for a valuation, contact Oliver Rayns Estate Agents, 115 Clarendon Park Road, Clarendon Park, Leicester. LE2 3AH. Tel 01162 960 940 www.oliverrayns.com