Published: 15/04/2019

Once you’ve decided to sell your property, you may find yourself preoccupied with finding a buyer. You don’t just want any buyer, however; you want the right buyer. In other words, you want someone who’s going to value it as highly as you do. Just how can you ensure that happens? By following our top tips:

Tidy up
Potential buyers need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living in it.
That pile of old newspapers that really have no value anymore? An abundance of toys that your children outgrew a long time ago? Bulky furniture that – if you’re being honest – adds nothing to the space? Get rid. If you find it hard to part with your things, enlist the help of a trusted friend to do it for you.
Other tips include setting the table for dinner, making the beds and adding fluffy towels to the bathroom.

But retain its personality
Having a spring clean is not the same as pretending you live in a hotel. Proudly display the parts of your property that make it a home – potential buyers will appreciate it.

Give it a makeover
It’s what we call improving your property’s ‘kerb appeal’. Despite the mantra, people do judge a book by its cover – in fact, buyers often form a judgment within seconds of walking up the garden path - so neglecting your front door if it’s a bit partial to crumbling paint is not a good idea. In a similar vein, tidy up the garden – both front and back, and move unsightly bins out of view. It is another room of your house, after all.
No matter how minor the repairs seem (think peeling wallpaper, holes in walls, broken door knobs, cracked tiles, mould spots and torn carpets) they can make the world of difference to how a potential buyer views your property. Similarly, spend some time – or money – on getting the place to sparkle. Limescale, grubby tile grout and dirty floors is never a good look. So go on, crack open the tool box and have a DIY Sunday.

Indulge the senses
How your home smells to outside visitors is vital in how it will be viewed. With that in mind, make sure you fix the source of any bad smells – don’t just cover them up. That means clearing drains, cleaning bins and opening windows. If you’re a smoker, placing bowls of vinegar around the place can help take the smell of smoke away – as long as it’s properly aired out after.
Why not invest in some new reed diffusers to give the place a fresh smell and pop to the florist for some new flowers, too? Brewing a pot of coffee just before they arrive can also make the place seem extra homely. Remember, it’s all in the detail.

Farm out your pets
Not everyone will appreciate just how cute Buddy is – especially if they’re terrified of dogs. And even if they do, you don’t want them to be distracted from your property, so it’s a bit of a catch-22! It’s a good idea, therefore, to ask someone to pet-sit for you while potential buyers are around.

Kit out the kitchen
The most valuable room in a house, a kitchen that wows can make or break a potential sale. In fact, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a new kitchen could increase the value of your property by 4%!
Can’t afford to replace the kitchen? Fear not – there are smaller things you can do, too.
Are the cabinets looking a bit shabby? You might want to consider refacing them – much cheaper but often just as effective as replacing them altogether. Upgrading counter tops is an expense but can add significant value, so it might be worth thinking about, too.
Make sure the surfaces are as clear as possible – putting away as many bulky appliances as you can - and put a bowl of fresh fruit out, too.

Lighten up
Choosing a more neutral shade on your walls will not only make your home seem lighter and bigger but can also help potential buyers imagine how they would adapt the space for their own needs. Other tips include adding some wall mirrors – especially in small rooms or hallways, cleaning windows – inside and out, putting lamps in dark corners and replacing any broken light bulbs.

Don’t overprice
Placing too high a price tag on your property can seriously turn would-be buyers off. Be realistic – with the help of your agent.

Choose the right agent
It’s all very well spending time perfecting the place but if you don’t have someone in the know promoting certain elements of your home, downplaying others and answering potentially uncomfortable questions in the most effective way possible, it can all fall a bit flat! An NAEA Propertymark Protected estate agent (like yours truly!) will give you the assurance that best practice is being followed, meets all requirements of the profession and works to industry standards, as well as ensuring your property is being marketed in the best possible way.