How to prepare your beloved home for sale

When people ask the team if they need to do work to a property before they put it on the market we usually say no, as in most cases it’s unnecessary.

However there is plenty you can do to boost your home’s appeal without spending a fortune. Dressing a property prior to sale costs a fraction of the price of building work but is a highly effective way of maximising its value and the good news is you can do it yourself.

First impression is everything so here are a few tips for you to bear in mind when you are preparing your home for sale.

Over the next few weeks we share our top tips with you:

1) Nothing creates a more lasting impression than a newly painted room. A fresh lick of paint can lift a room and make a space feel fresh and inviting. Neutral colours are a safe bet such as a chalky off white which has an uncanny knack of making pictures and furniture ‘zing’ and a room seem larger than it is. Strong colours if used correctly can create comforting and cozy zones but get it wrong and your potential buyer will spend his time grappling with your choice of paint colour rather than admiring your beautiful sitting room. Touching up more recently painted rooms can also be effective but make sure the new paint matches the old. Finally make sure all DIY jobs that you have been putting off for years such as the broken loo seat or the lopsided curtain rail gets done. If you need to get a handyman in to help, I
strongly recommend it. It always amazes me what people complain about on viewings and dodgy DIY is one of them.

2) Next step is to rearrange furniture to ensure that the rooms themselves are as welcoming and comfortable as possible. The aim of the game is to try and make it as easy as possible for the buyer to
imagine himself/herself living there. Even if the furniture is not to their taste, as long as the room looks comfortable and somewhere they would like to sit down and have a coffee you are half way there. Make sure that any excess furniture such as side table number three in the snug gets put in the garage thus freeing up space. Remember ‘Less is More’ when it comes to dressing property.

3) Now it’s time to add the finishing touches and make your house look as cozy and ‘hygge’ as possible. Magazines on the coffee table, a fresh load of logs in the log basket, throws on the back of sofa’s, candles, cushions and even flowers (real or artificial) all help to create a luxurious and homely feel. In my experience the more loved a property feels the easier it is to sell so spending a bit of money in this
area is well worth it. Good lighting is also important so make sure all your lamps are on standby and leave them on before viewings.

4) The old saying ‘a tidy house, tidy mind’ is not just an old wive’s tale. Keeping your house tidy creates the feeling of more space and has a calming and uplifting effect on those viewing. Only recently I started getting a little help with the cleaning at my cottage (my fiancé has decided that my cleaning efforts are simply not up to the job/it!) and the joy I get when I return to a beautifully tidy house never ceases to amaze me. Decluttering is an important part of the tidying process. If you want some inspiration on how best to declutter your house and, believe it or not make it fun, I suggest you look into the Japanese ‘tidiness’ guru Marie Kondo.

5) If first impressions are what count, making sure the property exterior is looking up to scratch is essential. If the window frames or front door need a bit of attention it wouldn’t hurt to give them a lick of paint. If you have a garden or driveway make sure they are looking smart and tidy. Pressure washing any moss from hard areas such as the terrace is easy to do and highly satisfying. Mend any broken fence panels and invest in some colourful garden pots. If you have garden furniture make sure it’s on display even if it’s in the middle of February and Al Fresco dining is a distant dream. As long as the person looking can see the potential for sitting outside with a fine glass of wine admiring the sunset that is all that matters – Henry Coram-James