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If you are looking to sell your home, you will no doubt be going through the process of advertising it to potential buyers. Whether you use an estate agent or perhaps choose to sell privately, you will soon begin to have interest in your property, as buyers make arrangements to view your home.

Making arrangements to put your house on the market may seem like a straightforward process, but preparing your home for viewing is in fact one of the most important aspects of selling in order to gain an offer and secure a deal. Preparing your home or ‘staging’ your home may be the difference between selling your home fast and also adding value to your home and the potential price offered.

You need to consider both the inside and outside areas of your home. Buyers will be interested in your home’s ‘kerb appeal’, and when they arrive the exterior of your home is the first thing they will see and what will be their first impression.

Begin by ensuring grass is cut, and hedges and borders are neat and tidy. Clear any rubbish, garden toys and bikes and make sure any fencing is repaired. It is also worth investing in some hanging baskets or a couple of potted plants by the front door. This always gives a warm and homely appeal, and of course you can take them with you once you leave. Giving the front door a new coat of bright paint, will make the house stand out straight away and set a positive tone ready for the internal viewing.

Now that the exterior has given a positive first impression, you now need to focus on the interior of your home to help give potential buys a final lasting impression and help secure an offer. The first thing to do is de-clutter the property. It’s important to have certain personal items on display, but lots of clutter can be very off putting to visitors, and people viewing your home may have difficulty visualising themselves in the home. Find space either in the attic or perhaps with a relative or neighbour, where you can store your items temporarily. It doesn’t need to be completely clear and clinical, giving a potential buyer an idea of what family life looks like within your home will help them to clearly envisage themselves living there.

As with many things you need to speculate to accumulate, so by giving the walls a fresh lick of paint and replacing bulky furniture for a more suitable size for the room can make your home seem brighter and lets the buyer know the décor is at a standard where they are able to move straight in. This will in itself help you achieve your asking price as no work needs to be carried out.

Go through the house room by room and make any minor repairs like holes in walls or cracked tiles and shabby carpets or upholstery. Ensure everywhere is cleaned inside and out, remember viewers are likely to open cupboards and drawers. Make sure the kitchen and bathroom sparkle by getting rid of limescale, mildew, or mould around sinks and baths. Hang up fresh towels and put out fresh bed linen as this will be more appealing and inviting to people viewing your home.

According to many property companies and estate agents, including Right Move – the kitchen is the most valuable room of any house, and worth more per square foot than any other room. So consider updating the kitchen for a cleaner possibly more contemporary appearance. You don’t necessarily need to replace whole units, but changing the draw and door fronts can make a huge difference to its appeal.

Finally add finishing touches like bowls of fruit, lamps in dark corners and light a fire if you have one. Also get rid of stale smells and consider brewing fresh coffee or even boiling a small pan of water with oranges, cinnamon and cloves to give a lovely homely scent to the home.

by Cormac Henderson

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