If you’re selling your home then the goal is to achieve the best possible price. While this has a lot to do with land and building design, a whole range of other factors can influence buying decisions too. You may not have the budget for a kitchen refit or brand new carpet. However, you can still have a positive influence on how saleable your home is with these top 5 tips. And if you’re home has been on the market for a while and you want to make your house more saleable then these tips will be of particular interest.
Tip 1 – de-clutter your space
This is a great, simple tip for selling a home (and for life in general). Clutter is very off-putting to buyers. It prevents anyone who might be interested in purchasing your home from being able to really see it. Most people can’t see past other people’s clutter and will assume there is something to hide. Buyers also make judgements based on how cluttered a home is. For example, they may assume that a lack of organisation might mean poor structural maintenance too. The main goal for a seller is to give a buyer the chance to feel at home in the property. This is just not possible if rooms are full of old furniture, surfaces are covered in junk and shelves are overflowing. So, throw out what you don’t need and pack away anything that looks excessive.
Tip 2 – paint the walls neutral
Paint is one of the cheapest ways to achieve change when it comes to interiors. Just a couple of pots of paint and a brush or roller and you can completely change the feel of a room. Not only does a new coat of paint make a space feel fresher and newer but you can create a blank canvas too. Neutral tones are perfect for selling homes. They give a potential buyer the opportunity to imagine themselves and their own tastes in the space. Neutral walls also feel calm and clean, both of which can help to drive a sale. Although buyers are always told to see past existing décor, most can’t. So, that statement red wall could be doing more damage to your buying prospects than you think. Give yourself the best chance of achieving the highest price and make the whole home a calm and neutral space.
Tip 3 – focus on the kitchen
If you have a small budget then pour it into the kitchen. In estate agent terms, this is the most valuable room in the house. The kitchen is worth more per square foot than any other room. It can also seal the deal for many buyers who may be unsure about the rest of the property. You don’t need to spend a fortune on the kitchen to make it a deal breaker for your sale. Changing cupboard doors doesn’t cost the earth (especially if you fit them yourself) and can give a kitchen a whole new feel. Replace worn or damaged tiles and re-do any grey grouting. Replace your kitchen blind and consider new taps, fixtures and fittings. If you can afford to replace the counter tops then this can significantly boost the value of your home.
Tip 4 – create light and space
Even the smallest, darkest spaces can be updated to make them more saleable. Use clever tricks such as placing a mirror opposite a window to introduce more light. Clean your windows so that they are gleaming and clear, rather than dusty and grimy. Replace dark curtains and blinds with paler shades and neutral tones to lift the feel of a room. Work out where the dark corners are in your home and place lights or candles to make spaces feel less gloomy. If you have an open fire then light it when buyers visit.
Tip 5 – make sure your home smells great
It’s surprising how much of a part smell has to play in selling a home. Bad smells can be very off-putting for buyers. This could be anything from garbage, to cigarette smoke and bleach. We’re often told that the smell of freshly baked bread is guaranteed a sale but you don’t have to go that far. Make sure that sinks and drains are not blocked and wash out your bins. Remove any furniture that smells of smoke or pets. Open your windows and use ventilators when cooking and consider burning scented candles when buyers look around. If you don’t fancy baking bread for each viewing then there are other options. Freshly brewed coffee, for example, is another smell that many people respond very positively too.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read more about Alex Hartley