One of the questions we (estate agents) get asked the most is: ‘Is there anything I need to do in the property?’ Many people are now staging their properties to almost show home standards which can certainly help to achieve a top price, but for some this is not an option due to cost, time or simply not knowing how (not having that vision).
De-cluttering is one of the most effective things you can do to help your sale, and it needn’t cost a penny. It means hiding away (or throwing away) things that add nothing to the presentation of your property. The following examples are based on the things we see the most, and our suggested solutions, although we do realise these are not always possible especially in smaller properties:
- Porch / Hall: Shoes and coats on view, if able, put them in a cupboard or even in wardrobes upstairs.
- Lounge: Photo-frames, ornaments, souvenirs, greetings cards, remote controls, etc. Try and minimise to a few carefully considered items only that ‘dress’ the room (think show home).
- Home office: Paperwork (bank statements, bills, etc.) lying around not only looks untidy, but is potentially on show to strangers when viewings start. Why not use this opportunity to get properly organised and file away or shred your documents.
- Kitchen: Worktops often double-up as overflow storage areas, typically including cereal boxes, wine bottles and a multitude of small appliances. What do you really need and use? Be ruthless and you might be able to get things back in cupboards, with just a few items on worktops (e.g. kettle, toaster and one or two other things that belong). Don’t hang the oven gloves or tea towels on the oven door handle and ensure the sink area is free from washing up items and draining tray.
- Dining room: If you have a dining table try and keep it clear, apart from perhaps a nice vase of fresh flowers.
- Garden: Children’s toys, compost bags, washing lines, unused paving slabs, dead plants in pots, etc. Get them out of sight (or to the tip, on eBay, freecycle, etc) if you can.
- Bathroom: Our eye is often drawn to a bright yellow bleach bottle by the toilet pan, and then many other multi-coloured items (toothbrushes, etc). Most of these need to be accessible daily but if you can hide them away it would improve the look and feel of the room.
- Bedrooms: Dressing gowns hanging on doors and personal items on bedside tables should be put away, and beds made neatly, think guest bedroom.
This may seem obvious but now that you have de-cluttered, make sure your property is also clean. In particular try to remove smears on windows and mirrors, marks on walls (much easier if kept the same paint for touch ups) and carpets vacuumed.
For more tips about selling your property see our other posts.