Even the smallest flaws in a house can put off potential buyers. With property prices rising in most parts of the UK, many purchasers demand nothing less than perfect when they are buying a home.
If you’re looking to put your house on the market – and achieve the asking price – it pays to make sure it is in a great shape. Here are the 10 things that do most to put off potential buyers and reduce the value of your home, and how you can address them.
1 Promote its location
Location remains the one factor that is most crucial when it comes to valuing a residential property. While homeowners can do little about an area’s crime rate or even desirability, they can persuade potential buyers that it is in a good location for them by pointing out its distance from the nearest public transport, supermarket, school, GP surgery or even a pub listed in the Good Beer Guide.
2 Appeal to your target market
What type of property are you selling? Large, three-bedroom properties appeal to families, while modern apartments are favoured by younger couples. If you are putting a family home on the market, promote it being a good place to bring up children by displaying play equipment in the garden, putting family photographs on show in the living areas and leaving details of nearby schools in view on the dining table or kitchen.
On the other hand, if your property would appeal to a young professional with a job in the town or city centre, sell them the dream by leaving your high-tech gadgets on show or maybe the route to the nearest train or Tube station.
3 Keep it clean
It doesn’t matter who your target market is, no property viewer is impressed by a grubby house or flat. The impression viewers get when they walk into a pristine home is one that will stay with them long after the viewing has come to an end.
Before the viewers arrive, gather the entire household and get stuck into the cleaning together – it takes far less time when it is a joint effort. And remember to throw out anything you can live without. Your property will not only look bigger, it will make packing and moving easier.
Remember to pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom because these are the two areas of a home buyers attach most importance to. Meanwhile, make the bedrooms as warm and inviting as possible by dressing the bed and tidying up the wardrobes.
And when selling a house in the autumn and winter months, make sure the property is warm before viewers arrive. If necessary reset the timing on your boiler to heat the radiators an hour or so the potential buyers walk through your front door.
4 First impressions count
The first thing buyers see when they stop in front of the house is its exterior. If the house looks bad on the outside they will instantly think it’s the same way on the inside. So make sure you fix anything that can put off buyers. For instance, you can repaint the house. Pay attention to the windows and the front door, too.
5 Is everything in the garden rosy?
The garden and other outside space are often a home’s key selling points. And keeping it neat and tidy does not always involve spending a large amount of money. In the winter months, keep the grass trimmed and take care of the plants – remembering to dig up those that have died. Also, get rid of litter – your garden should be clean and nice to look at.
6 Get a little expert help
If you know you are going to sell your home, it is better to trust the professionals with these types of tasks. Sometimes instead of fixing something you might break it even more. Potential buyers will notice these things and will think “Well, if he couldn’t fix this maybe there are a lot of things that are wrong in this house.”
7 Keep the noise down
Many buyers are looking to live in a quiet environment that remains peaceful in the evening. Neighbours, dogs, cars – they all create noise which is a huge flaw for some people. The best way you can soundproof a home is to fit modern, uPVC or aluminium double-glazed windows that protect against noise.
8 Animals aren’t always magic
Nobody minds a kitten or a dog. But animal hair all over the carpet, clothes and the furniture is not attractive to buyers. If you’ve had pets for many years try to get rid of the smell. And damage your pets can cause is often very unappealing. These include scratches on the walls, on the table and curtains. Viewers can spot this damage and think that you didn’t take care of your home.
9 Rooms with a view
If all you see when you open the window is another building then maybe the value of your home will drop a little. People love a good view and they feel like they have no privacy living so close to the neighbours.
10 Keep it light and bright
When buyers enter a home they try to envisage themselves living there. Therefore, it pays to consider what is on view in your home. If your interior is black with a red couch some buyers may be put off by it. So repaint in soft neutral colours when you decide to sell.
This article is brought to you with the kind help of Handyman Wandsworth