Once you have the made the decision to sell your house it is worthwhile taking time to prepare your home for the market as first impressions for a potential buyer are all important.

If you have lived in your home for several years, it is a good idea to spend time seeing if you can declutter by removing personal items, excess furniture and anything that makes the space look crowded. Do have a spring clean throughout so the house, including windows, looks clean and fresh.

Have a look at any minor repairs that you feel need doing, a well-maintained home gives a positive impression. You may wish to consider staging to showcase the best features of your home, well placed furniture and décor can help buyers visualise the potential of each space. Kitchens and Bathrooms are often focal points for buyers, ensure that they are clean and well-lit.

Buyers will often look at storage spaces, so do organise your cupboards and storage areas to make them look as spacious and well maintained as you can. Lighting is important, natural light is preferred, open curtains and blinds for viewings, a room can look more welcoming with sun light streaming in through clean windows.

If you feel there are certain rooms that would benefit from a coat of paint, then redecorate, use neutral colours to appeal to a broader range of buyers. Prior to viewings it is worth eliminating unpleasant odours in the home, such as cooking smells, which can be off putting. If your home has energy-efficient features, make sure to highlight them, mention upgraded insulation, energy-efficient appliances or solar panels.

Initial impressions matter, enhance your home’s kerb appeal by maintaining the lawn, trimming bushes and shrubs and if required adding some colourful flowers. Clean the exterior of the house, consider areas that may benefit from power washing to give a fresh appearance.

Look out all necessary documentation relating to the house, so that once a sale is agreed these can be handed to your solicitor without delay. You may wish to instruct a solicitor prior to a sale being agreed to speed up the process.


After careful consideration you have selected the right estate agent to market your home, they have produced a lovely brochure with lots of well taken photographs and a floor plan, advertised it in the local press and displayed it on a wide variety of websites. Now comes the key part in selling your property, the viewings!

Although ultimately the house should sell itself, when it comes to viewings get it right and you can hook a buyer, get it wrong and they can be put off irretrievably. To succeed, there are a number of points to consider.

Firstly, before the phone starts ringing off the hook with appointment requests, take a look around your home with a critical eye and put yourself in the shoes of a prospective purchaser, is there anything that would obviously put you off buying it? Seek advice from your agent and ask yourself whether it needs de-cluttering, have you done those routine maintenance jobs that you have been meaning to do since last autumn or is granny’s old disused caravan with the mouldy green roof still languishing in the drive?

A fresh lick of paint here and there using light, neutral colours can help to brighten up a home and make it more welcoming particularly in dark rooms such as Suzie’s bedroom when she was going through her maroon phase before heading off to uni. It is important however to know when to say stop and sometimes new decoration in one area can emphasise how dowdy another might be. I also would not advocate spending a fortune on titivating your home, the new kitchen cliché comes to mind and sometimes one has to accept that a new owner will see your home as a project.

Prior to a viewing, it is only fair to expect a reasonable amount of notice to have time to tidy up, make the beds, put the washing away and mow the lawn etc. before visitors arrive. Although this can involve a couple of hours of hard work, it will help to create a good first impression but do remember that it is still your ‘home’ and that most buyers do not necessarily expect to see five star hotel standards.

There are a few basic ‘tricks’ that you can employ. Although it is not necessary to go to the lengths of baking bread or percolating coffee, make sure there are no unpleasant odours by opening windows before the viewing whilst scented candles or reed diffusers are to be encouraged. What lights to have on really comes down to the individual property, time of day and the weather. Avoid having every light blazing away but a few strategically placed lamps, particularly in dark corners can be helpful.

Turn off televisions, radios and Motorhead playing on the music system. Quiet classical music in the background is fine but the best sound if one lives in the country is simply birdsong in thegarden. Make sure the house is neither too hot nor too cold, just pleasantly warm. We may be a nation of dog lovers but our furry friends can get in the way or jump up so it is normally best if they are taken out.

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