As a homeowner, there will come a point when you need to sell your house. This may be down to any number of reasons, such as moving to a bigger house or a different area/country, or the need to release equity and downsize to a smaller home. But regardless of the reasons for moving, like with anything that needs to be sold, it should be in as good a condition is as reasonably possible in order to maximise your potential sale.
Here are some steps that you can take before visiting the estate agents to ensure that you get more money for your house when you need to sell it:
1. Address any exterior issues first
When a potential buyer comes to view your house, the first thing they will see is the exterior of your house. Some buyers are known to cancel viewings if they turn up to a house and discover that it’s the local tip, full of all sorts of rubbish and debris outside. Here is a checklist of jobs to cross off for the exterior of your house:
- Fencing – are all the fences present and intact? Replace any missing or broken fence panels. If your fence panels are in good condition but are looking a little tired, get them stained. There are products on the market designed to keep your fence panels stained for several years in all weather conditions, and they don’t have a nasty smell when they are brushed or sprayed on.
- Windows & doors – make sure they are clean and well maintained. Again replace any broken doors or windows, as otherwise you will give your buyers the impression that the local area is unsafe.
- Guttering – the gutters have to be professionally cleaned every so often because if there is dirt or other debris in them, they can get blocked up and you will have water overflowing down to the ground rather than being properly drained. Similarly, if your guttering is broken in places, arrange to get them repaired or replaced.
- Roof – most people like to have a shower, but not when they are asleep in bed and it’s raining heavily outside. Get any leaking roofs repaired before you sell your house, or if it’s in real bad shape and you’ve got the cash to spare, get your roof replaced with a new one.
- Driveway – if you have a block paved or tarmac driveway, ensure that it is free of any oil stains and weeds. You can buy professional cleansers for use specifically on driveways.
- Gardens – for houses that have front and/or rear gardens, make sure that they are well maintained. You don’t need to have prize winning gardens, but simply making sure the grass is cut and any weeds or stinging nettles are removed will ensure it is more inviting to prospective buyers.
2. Freshen up those walls
If the interior walls in your house look tired or dated, get them painted. White paint is the cheapest of all paint colours to buy, and offers a blank canvas for anyone that moves into your house. And being a light colour, it will also make your room look bigger too.
Buyers are more likely to be interested in a property if it appears to have been well maintained.
3. Clean or replace carpets
Carpets have a hard life. People and their pets walk over them all the time, furniture and other items are dragged or situated on top of them, and eventually they won’t look as good as they did when they were new.
When your house is empty, vacuum and then hire a carpet cleaner to get those carpets looking fresh again. And if they are in really bad shape, consider getting a cheap, basic carpet fitted.
4. Get your kitchen and bathroom spotless
First impressions are really important to house buyers, and of course they will want to look at your kitchen and bathroom when they tour your home.
Scrub the tiles and surfaces down in both rooms, and use a specialist chemical cleaner for removing any mould or mildew (especially in the bathroom).
5. Tips if you are still living in the house
There are of course going to be cases where you cannot move out until your house is sold.
Buyers know this and it isn’t usually a big deal for them, however you can help improve the attractiveness of your house by making sure your furniture and contents are clean and tidy.
Get rid of any junk, wall posters, and excess furniture from your house. The idea is to make your house look like a home, but a nice home – not one that doesn’t have a proper place for things like paperwork or clothes.
If you simply can’t bear to chuck anything away, consider hiring a storage unit for those excess items until your house is sold.
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