Perhaps you’re thinking about putting your home up for sale and moving onto the next stage, your next venture. Change is always good, new surrounds and new beginnings stop you becoming stagnant. However, as with all changes, you must deal with the daunting part: making the change. After all, are you certain you know how to sell a home? Or, if you’re looking to buy a property, what to look out for?
If you’ve been in your current home for a long time or have had little experience with buying and selling a property, then you may be left a little bewildered. You know what you’d look for in a home, but are they the same things prospective buyers will be interested in?
Generally speaking, yes. There are the usual big things that people will look for but there are smaller things you can do to increase your property’s natural charm. If you’re wanting to learn how to sell a home, a lot of it is down to the property that you’re peddling.
But don’t be deterred, there are things you can do!
20 Tips on How to Sell a Home
Having viewings is non-negotiable to selling a house – it’s an endurance that you simply can’t get around. And while it’s tempting to just chuck a “For Sale” sign up and let prospective buyers trickle in – that’s not how to sell a home. Trust us when we say it’ll pay exponentially to put a little effort in first.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t declutter before hosting a viewing, stating “it’s about the house, not the stuff in it”. Which is fine, if the prospective buyers can see the house.
Did you know that for every square foot of floor space freed up is estimated to be worth an average of £238? Likewise, removing bulky items pushes the sale price up by as much as 11%.
Your child might be fond of the lime green walls they chose but the new buyer, that’s intending the room for a study, won’t be. A lick of paint will make the room feel brand new – and mean less work for the new owner moving in (who’ll already be inundated with to-dos).
Define Each Room
Remember you’re selling an experience and when people are viewing a property they’re trying to envision their life in your space. If you’re selling a house with a large dining room, ensure the visitors can picture the space as a dining room – not a room filled with an ironing board and laundry.
Leave a Little Personality
While you want your visitors to see themselves in the space, you should be showing how it can be used and highlighting the versatility.
Stay Out of the Way
At the end of the day, no one feels truly comfortable in someone else’s home, but especially so when the owner is following them around. They’re going to want to criticize your style choices, save yourself the upset and leave them to it.
Make the Most of Outdoor Space
If you’re fortunate enough to the owner of any outdoor area – be glad – it’s becoming a sought-after commodity. Any outdoor area will be a huge selling point for your property; so, you need to put some time into properly cleaning it.
That means cutting the grass, trimming the bushes, sweeping the patio and wiping down your garden furniture (even if you’re taking it with you – show them what they could have!)
Spend Time on Your Front Door
The biggest mistake people make when selling their homes is not sprucing up their front door. The front door is the first thing that prospective buyers see, it’s representative of the whole. So, repaint the door, replace the letterbox, update the lights outside and add some potted plants either side of the doorway.
Fix Up, Look Smart
Decluttering is just the start of the journey of “how to sell a home” – next is fixing the minor problems.
Often, when something breaks, as long as it half-works a lot of people will continue life around it. I’m guilty. However, when you’re trying to palm your property off on someone else, they won’t be so impressed with the cracked tiles in the bathroom, holes in the kid’s walls, the broken bulb in the spare room or kitchen door knob that requires ‘a special knack’.
Clean God Damn It
Okay. Now you’ve decluttered and can see the house. You’ve also fixed the niggly bits that have been desperate for some TLC for months. Now it’s time to clean. We don’t mean wiping down the surfaces, no siree. We mean taking the bins out and then washing down the bin, deep cleaning the oven and microwave, washing your sofa covers, scrubbing window panes and bleaching the toilet bowl.
You’re selling an experience, so, where possible, show only the good parts of domestic life.
Replace Kitchen Cabinet Doors
The kitchen is the most valuable room in a house. It’s worth the most per square foot and can make the difference when buyers are unsure whether to sign the dotted line.
A whole kitchen remodel would be both costly and time-consuming, and if you’re looking for a quick sale just isn’t feasible. However, replacing the kitchen cabinet doors will drastically change the look of your kitchen. It’ll make it seem brand new AND it won’t cost you that much either.
Add Mirrors to Small Rooms
Space is a commodity and at the end of the day, space is what they’re buying. So, when asking yourself how to sell a home, expanding space is hugely important. A very simple way to achieve this is by placing mirrors in small rooms or in places that reflect light.
Display Fresh Flowers
It’s psychology, you can’t argue with that. Fresh flowers signify health and growth and promote bright, positive vibes. Looking at yellow is known to make humans feel happier – so, yellow flowers it is then?
Bake Before a Viewing
This sounds stupid but it works. The best way to achieve this (and not need to bake every day) is to host an open house day, perhaps one weekend. Then, very casually, plan to bake various things throughout the day. This will A) act as a demonstration of how the house can be used B) make it smell wonderful C) keep you busy and out their way.
If you really can’t bake then brewing coffee should have the same effect.
Have an Open Fire
If you have an open fire (then why are you selling your house because they’re wonderful??) try and have one roasting throughout the open day. Obviously, if it’s summer this is unlikely to happen.
Fires are scientifically proven to calm us down and slow our heart rate – it’ll make your house seem like the perfect cosy home to your visitors.
Avoid Major Overhauls
If you’re especially keen, you might start making changes to your property well in advance of selling it. Which, may seem like a good idea. However, largescale overhauls, remodels and extensions are costly updates and any prospective buyer with an ounce of brain power will smell a rat. Why are you selling a home when you’ve just invested £20 grand into an extension? Hmm? What are you hiding elsewhere?
What you can do is replace faucets, door handles, and decorative items – this will subtly spruce rooms up without seeming strategic.
Love them or hate them, they’ve got to go (for the day at least).
There are three types of people:
- Animal lovers
- Animal haters
- People that are allergic to animals
And these are the three reactions that they’ll have:
- Animal lovers will spend more time cooing over your pet than looking at your home.
- Animal haters will be secretly fretting over how ingrained the smell of wet dog is to your carpets… and plotting their escape plan.
- People that are allergic will be frantically trying to keep a reaction at bay.
Arrange a puppy play date for the open day and remove any bowls, treats or toys that may give away the game.
Put a Load of Washing On
This again ties into the idea of selling them the idea of what their life could be like in your home. A load of washing churning away gives a sense of home, of “lived in cosiness” (a term we’re coining).
Washing is one of the more pleasant household duties, mainly because it smells good. Choose this chore overtaking the bins out on your house’s open day.
Remove the Lounge Door
Sounds like a weird request, right? But think about the kind of things people compliment when looking at property. It’s rare to hear: “Oh, it was lovely, it had lots of small rooms”. However, your visitors will remark on the “open plan space that just felt so light and airy”.
Remove Family Photos
This is going to be their house, how are they supposed to envision themselves if it’s covered in your personal artefacts? When we said leave personality we meant interesting interior design (obviously) – not pictures of your third aunts’ kid.
Park an Expensive Car on the Drive
The last and most material of the tips is to park an expensive car on the drive. It’s sad to know that this helps sell a property.
Remember: you’re selling their future dream, which means you need to be selling a life that they want.
Best ask your sisters’ rich husband if you can borrow his car for a day!
Still learning how to sell a home? Let us know on Twitter if you heed any of A Fancy Home’s 20 top tips!