Dripping taps, stained carpets, half-finished shelves, unpainted doors, broken locks, loose doorknobs – pay attention to the detail. Viewers come with fresh eyes and X-ray vision so being on top of the house admin and making sure everything works is another demonstration of the love and care your home has had over the years of your ownership.
One area under a lot of scrutiny during viewings is your garden, so it needs to be spic and span to look as big and as inviting as possible. Rake leaves in autumn, replenish window boxes all year round, power hose the decking once it’s going green and replace light bulbs in case of evening viewings. Don’t be afraid to ‘dress’ your garden – many of us use them as an outdoor living room for much of the year so be bold in selling it, even if it’s small
Making an entrance.
Purists replicate Victorian front doors, with side panels, stained glass and top lights, when they have to be replaced after 150 years. “After that length of time they’re no longer fit for purpose in terms of weatherproofing and security,” says Robert Ditcham, Managing Director of Ayrton Bespoke. A Banham lock, heavier frame and built in sustainable wood will do it. “That will give you improved sound and heat efficiency,” says Ditcham.
SPIC AND SPAN.
GRUBBY GROUTING AND STAINED TILING ARE A DEFINITE PUT OFF IN ANY BATHROOM. ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND GET BLEACHING TO REGAIN THE SPARKLE IN YOUR ENSUITE. ANY MILDEW IN SHOWERS NEEDS ADDRESSING AND YOU SHOULD CONSIDER RESEALING BATHS AND SHOWERS.
You might love your sunset yellow living room and psychedelic wallpapered hallway, but when it comes to selling a home, it’s time to neutralise. “Bold personal statements should be removed and a relaxed, aspirational atmosphere created,” says Roger Wates of E & A Wates, interiors specialists. “It helps purchasers feel comfortable and already at home.” Rupert Robertson of Red Box says clients are getting the message: “They are increasingly choosing neutral but not bland wall colours so as to provide an effective backdrop behind brighter furniture or wall art; one particular choice has been F & B’s Ammonite for walls.”
Get into the zone.
Is your piano in the guest room, your study in the kitchen, your lounge currently a bike store? Zone your property and make each room fit for purpose so viewers can see the benefits and potential of every space. “By changing outdated curtains or replacing a tired blind, you can make a room infinitely more sellable,” says Roger Griffiths of The Curtain Workshop.
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BUILT- IN WARDBROBE
1. Take into consideration the size of the room when planning your wardrobe. Think about whether there is space for hinged or sliding doors
2. Make use of clever internal storage. A good bespoke wardrobe will have any combination of hanging rails, drawers and shelving.
3. Try not to make a wardrobe too imposing in a room. If the wardrobe needs to be very tall and wide find a designer who will make it in a bespoke RAL colour to match the walls so it is not too imposing in the space.
4. Often overlooked is internal lighting. Cleverly lit wardrobes with LED strip lighting look slick and are extremely practical
Source: Stanza Interior Design
EVERYTHING HAS A PLACE.
Find a place for shoes, school bags, coats, piles of washing, paperwork and toys when viewers come around. It’s really important to keep entrance halls and corridors clear so the house has flow. All your spaces will feel bigger without stuff on the floors or surfaces, and your potential buyer will be able to imagine living there more easily without reminders of you everywhere!
Light the way.
“From outside sensor lights to flicking a switch on the stairs down to the cellar – and every room in between – make sure you have a stock of light bulbs at the ready so no space is plunged into darkness,” says Emma Green of Emma Green Design. It makes a home feel unloved if some of the light bulbs have gone and could raise suspicions in a buyer’s mind about what else may have been neglected.
Make it easy.
You may not have the budget or inclination to do the work yourselves, but going through the process of gaining planning permission for a loft, side return or basement may be a game-changer for a future owner. Many people like to move and improve, making their mark on a property and perhaps a profit to boot, so getting permission and paperwork in order is very appealing for potential buyers.
COOKING UP A STORM.
YOU DON’T NEED TO REFIT YOUR ENTIRE KITCHEN TO MAKE IT APPEALING, BUT REPAINTING THE CUPBOARD DOORS IF THEY NEED A REFRESH OR CHANGING THE WORKTOP TO SOMETHING MORE CONTEMPORARY COULD SECURE A SALE, THEREFORE IT IS AN INVESTMENT WORTH CONSIDERING
Take care of what’s there.
As well as the door, a sign of how well a home has been cared for is the state of the windows. Refurbishing and restoring Victorian windows is an alternative to installing new, in order to retain the original look of your home. “A lot of people don’t want new windows in an old house but prefer to retain the original features of the house,” says Steve Carter, Proprietor of Sundial Property Services.
SOFTENING THE BLOW.
THROWS AND CUSHIONS ADD INTEREST AND CAN REINFORCE A COLOUR SCHEME, AS DO ARTWORK AND FRESH FLOWERS. DRESS YOUR HOUSE TO IMPRESS