Dos and donts of house selling please(21 Posts)
We are putting house on the market in next week or so. Am spending the week, de cluttering, taking down the too many kids photos we have and cleaning. Now DH think we should clean inside kitchin cupboards, and repaint the livingroom. I think its fine BUT whats the sort of thing that would put you off buying a house?
The bathroom could do with retiling which we dont have pennies for really, but would you consider that a sticking point?
Also Im tempted to only suggest viewings at weekend or when kids are at school but making sure I am or dh is always out with our rather large dog too.
To be honest, I wouldn't bother painting and retiling unless it is really bad. A freshen up to cover any scuffs or marks, yes, but don't redo the whole thing.
What's the first thing you're going to do in your new house? Redecorate!
Do make sure it's clean and tidy. I wouldn't object to clean washing drying, but I do object to food crumbs all over the place, cobwebs and a bath that looks like a peat bog. If your house is dirty, I will suspect there are also bigger maintenance issues.
If you have a dog, do shut it outside when there are viewings. Just because you love him, doesn't mean I'm not wary of him or want him to slobber all over my shoes.
Do make sure you open the windows and that the house smells fresh. Ask a brutally honest friend to do a smell test. A musty smell is also likely to make me suspect maintenance issues.
Do make sure the agent is briefed (or you are ready to explain) about any quirky things - unusual bathroom arrangements, when the heating was installed, that sort of thing.
Don't sit in the house and glower at me while I'm viewing if the agent is escorting the viewing. Go out for half an hour.
Don't cook fish/curry/anything really noxious the night before a viewing.
Don't obsess about the house looking like a show home. The buyer has got to be convinced that they can live it in from a practical perspective.
Best of luck!
If you can't retile the bathroom can you just clean the grouting instead? It makes a huge difference.
I would make your house look as light and airy as possible. Pull the curtains right back, switch lights on if it is a dull day. Don't restrict your viewing times because loads of people look at houses in the evening, especially at this time of year, and you could miss out on a potential buyer.
Definitely have someone take the dog out when you have a viewer. Also ask someone to be honest and tell you if the house smells "doggy".
I think cleaning the inside of kitchen cupboards isn't necessary, but if the living room is dingy a coat of a neutral colour of paint will make all the difference.
If the house looks like it has been looked after you will find it easier to get a buyer.
Good luck. I hope you sell quickly.
Don't worry about repainting or tiling, those are rarely dealbreakers, although you might want to give your paintwork a good clean with sugarsoap - it makes it look amazingly like new and a clean, a bright house is always a seller. Declutter and get rid of any dog-related beds/food bowls etc (shove them in a cupboard when people are coming round). Lots of people dislike dogs and any smell or chewed toys etc will put them off.
Clean to within an inch if its life and I mean bleach everythingclean windows skirtings etc.
Keep floors as clear as possible
Simple flowers in clean glass jars
Not too much staging
Not much on kitchen worktops.
Take dog out for sure!
Tidy up front and back gardens
But if I touch up it's never quite the same colour, it's just scuff marks nothing major. Will ask dh to re groat the tiles I think.
Wondering about where to hide washing bins!!
Declutter - not depersonalise so much - unless you have unusual tastes! just so the space is maxmised - for instance we stored a load of our books in our friend's garage - and clean
I wouldn't limit times of viewings -it puts people off but if dog was say in the garden when you doing them would that work
I once got these scrubby sponge clothes for removing scuffs, they were great. They sort of dissolved the paint around the offending area so you can cover over the scuffs. Great when your moving out of a rented flat!
Can't remember what they're called but I bought them at cheapy household store for £3 or something they might of been by JML.
Declutter in all rooms but especially concentrate on presenting kitchen and bathroom at their best - these rooms are often perceived as money pits if they need replacing straight away. I used to hide all the tooth brushes and other general bathrooom clutter (shampoo etc) I would then put out the fluffy house viewing towels (which were not used for any other purpose!)
Be out when the EA does the viewings. Most people want to imagine themselves there not you!
I agree about going out. Silly as it sounds, you may not be the best person to sell your house. E.g. doing a viewing recently one house-owner was telling me (rather too smugly) how he's upsizing, going for something better. Huh? So I should settle for your poxy offering? If you do stay at home, be friendly but don't say too much
Put washing etc in the car and park it a short distance away. We used our car for this when having viewings - v helpful!
The last time I sold I was around for the second viewings and was able to answer questions about the house, but if you do this make sure you stay out of the way while they're looking around.
Get really good photos done - they bring the viewers in in the first place. And make sure the EA gets a floor plan that is relatively accurate posted, too - I would rarely go and view a place I hadn't seen a floor plan for unless it seemed really really amazing (some places have the weirdest layouts, like the only thing being on one of the floors is the only bathroom, or something crazy like that, and I'm always sceptical there's something to hide if they don't want to show a floor plan!). I agree with what everyone said about cleaning, de-clutter, don't bother repainting, etc etc. I think a few flowers go a long way, too, and definitely everyone's right about light. And yes don't restrict viewings unless you have a lot of interest. Remember buyers may not already live in the area! For us, for example, it's a 2hr train journey to get to London to see prospective houses, plus the tube/buses, etc, and we have 2 DCs.
Just a few other ideas:
You can get a grout pens to clean up grubby grout quickly and easily.
Can you move furniture to hide the worst of the scuff marks on the paint?
I wouldn't restrict your viewing times if you can possibly avoid it. It always gives me the impression that a seller isn't really that bothered about selling and is likely to be difficult. And some viewers may only be able to do certain times.
Northern is right - be around to answer questions. Nay, offer information. The EA may be too young to know or care but things like distance to primary schools, the fact they have after-school or breakfast club, nearest park etc. Stuff that's self-evident but others wouldn't know even if they only live 5 miles away.
I agree with Cristina. We live in a rural area and one of the most frequently asked questions was whether there was a livery nearby. An Estate agent proablty wouldn't know the answer.
Put it on for a sensible price would be my top advice - don't necessarily go with the agent who values it highest, go with the agent who knows the local market intimately. No amout of dressing will make a difference if it's priced wrong.
Definitely agree about a floorplan. I am always really suspicious if one's missing and no room dimensions are given.
Get ready for when you accept an offer to. You will be your lawyer's favourite client if you have all the guarantees for building works, planning consents, completion certificates and FENSA certificates ready straight away.
Can you guess my job? I love the occasional client I get like that. Makes everything start off smoothly. And if a transaction starts smoothly, it usually stays that way
We were drawn to the garden in our new house. We hate gardening but the space was well presented and perfect for kids (we pay someone to do our garden now so it keeps up the previous owners hard work).
We also commented on how homely the house felt - however we also felt that her lounge was far too bare (but we could envision ourselves there).
The kitchen was really old but we were happy to redo the kitchen as my husband loves to cook and wanted his 'own' kitchen. I would say as long as the rooms are useable then new owners will change what decor they don't like.
Main thing is for house to be clean (ok so my house isn't, but am not trying to sell it), but not smelling of bleach/cleaning products and for it to look nice.
And agree about floorplans - I actually ignored some properties without one as I wanted to plan in advance of seeing the house!
Some great answers here already.
I'd ask the same question on www.housepricecrash.co.uk and compare the answers.
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