Unless you’re a commercial property developer, selling your home is something you’re unlikely to do often. This means that even if you’ve done it before, you’re likely to feel a bit lost as you try to take control of the process and achieve a suitably quick sale without compromising too much on price. Knowing how to increase the appeal of your home is the key to ensuring that things go well, and even if you have an estate agent helping you handle the selling process, your actions can make all the difference.
Set the right price
The best guide to setting the right price is looking at what similar homes are selling for in your local area. Although homes often sell for slightly less than the asking price, pitching too high can cost you money by delaying the process of finding a buyer, so you need to find the right middle ground. This is an area where estate agents can be very helpful.
Factors such as the proximity of schools and transport links can be a significant factor in what you can ask, as can fixtures and fittings, such as double-glazing. Many sellers underestimate the importance of appearance. Investing a few hundred pounds to improve the interior of your home can raise your selling price by two or three thousand.
Depersonalise your home
What are your home’s best features? To you, they are probably the things that make it feel like home – your colour scheme, your most striking pieces of furniture. It seems odd to remove these things before trying to sell, but prospective buyers shouldn’t be looking at your home when they visit – they should be imagining theirs. Presenting them with a neutral space means they can more easily imagine living there, and that makes them more likely to bid, as well as raising the amount they’re prepared to pay. This means that it’s often worthwhile repainting your walls in cream or magnolia and putting in grey or beige carpets, or sanding and polishing the floors.
Maximise the space
Polished wooden floors and pale walls also make your home more attractive by making it look bigger. You can add to this effect with strategically placed mirrors. Decluttering is vital, but leaving a few items in a cupboard helps to emphasise that your home has useful storage space and actually makes this seem bigger than if it were empty. You should be especially careful to remove any clutter around windows. Switching out old, heavy curtains for light, fresh drapes, or installing shutters, will make your home look much more open and inviting.
Give your home a deep clean
Homebuyers often lack the skill to identify serious problems in the places they go to see, but they’re quick to notice surface damage and dirt, and they tend to assume that this means a property is in poor condition. Hiring a steamer to clean your carpets, curtains and soft furnishings is well worth the money and effort. Freshly painted walls will always look good, but don’t forget to polish your windows and thoroughly clean the bathroom and kitchen. An attractive kitchen always helps with the sale, so it can even be worth investing in a shiny new appliance that you know will be noticed.
Take great photographs
When there are many properties on the market in the same price range, buyers usually choose which to go and see partly on the basis of the pictures they’re advertised with. This means that it’s often worthwhile to bring in a professional photographer who can show off your home at its best. If you choose to take your own pictures, don’t rush them. Try to take them when sunlight is streaming in, but add as much additional light as you can. Stand in doorways or the corners of rooms to make them look bigger.
The finishing touches
When viewers visit your property, you want them to find it as appealing as possible. Brewing coffee or baking bread has been shown to create smells that influence people subconsciously and make them feel more at home. Always let in as much light as you can, and if the weather is bad, turn on the fire (if you have one) to make the place feel more welcoming. Fresh flowers or a few pot plants can also help to create an appealing atmosphere.
Using these simple techniques can add thousands to the eventual sale price of your home. The more interested buyers you attract, the better positioned you will be to make a deal.