First impressions count for so much - many properties have been bought before the prospective purchaser has even set foot inside the property.
So take a little bit of time - and treat your home as if you were seeing it for the first time again.
Step outside your own front door and approach your home and what do you see? Be critical, does it look neat and tidy and weed free? Are there any flowers in bloom? Would you want to go on?
As for the exterior of your home, a lick of fresh paint costs next to nothing, windows should be clean with neatly painted frames. A new front door can transform your property and it is what potential buyers concentrate on while waiting for you to let them in. The interior should be neat and tidy as well. In addition;
Studies have shown people react positively to properties shown under bright light. Even during the day, leave as many lights on as you can, keep curtains wide open. At night switch on all your lights, use higher wattage bulbs than you may normally use, replace any blown bulbs and dingy fluorescent tubes.
Those gorgeous photographs of your daughter, husband, wife, nephew, best friend, cat and so forth that line the hallway and stairwell? Take them down. All of them. The ones in the bedroom too, and living room, and everywhere else in the house. Do not forget the cute finger painting your three-year-old made you for your birthday last year that's stuck on the fridge.
Your buyers do not want to see the lovely life you have made for yourself in your beautiful home. They want to imagine the lovely life THEY could make for themselves in their beautiful potential new home. Do not allow anything to clutter that vision.
.... the sound of selling
Classical music playing softly in the background can create a calm atmosphere. Otherwise play it safe and go for peace and quiet.
.... control your pets
No buyer wants to be greeted at the door by your four legged friends, no matter how charming they are. If possible, remove pets altogether when you are expecting a buyer. Ask a friend or family member to take them off your hands for a while, or take them for a walk yourself. (more on this later)
.... the sweet smell off success
Smell has more impact than you might think. It can work either for you or against you. Nothing beats Fresh Air, so leave all your windows open and let nature lend a hand. If its cold turn the heating up, do not shut your windows until just before your your buyers are due to arrive. If you have pets or smoke make sure you neutralise these odours with one of the many products available.
.... every bit helps
Space counts, so if it does not serve a purpose, remove it. Some people would even go as far as renting storage space and a skip. Once you have removed all your clutter, clean like you have never cleaned before. Serious attention to detail is necessary here.
●Dust the skirting boards (if you are not sure what a skirting board is, yours are probably really in need of dusting)
●Clean the windows (inside and out!) and then polish them with Newspaper for extra shine.
●Dust light fixtures and fittings
●Vacuum like there is no tomorrow
●Get rid of cobwebs
●Polish taps and mirrors
●Clean out the refrigerator and deodorise it by a) placing an open box of baking soda inside it to soak up odours and b) wiping down the inside surfaces with vanilla exstract Bleach the tile grout
●Scrub the oven clean-it may sound excessive, but prospective buyers are notoriously nosy and judgmental
If you can soften colour schemes do it. Make sure your bathroom towels and bed linen are fresh and light coloured or white ideally.
.... get out
Presumably your estate agent knows what he/she is doing and has sold some houses before. So let them earn their commission and leave them to get on with it. No offense, but prospective buyers do not really want you hovering over them while they are trying to nose around in your wardrobe and pass judgment on your crockery. It is a bit off putting. If they feel awkward, they are much less likely to linger in your home and get the full impact of how great it is and how very much they would like to buy it.
.... and finally
If you are going to show your home to prospective buyers, avoid having too many people present. Be polite, but do not try and entertain your buyers. They want to look at your home, not find a new friend. NEVER apologise for the appearance of your home. After all it is your home! And if asked why you are selling, keep it short, tell the truth, without giving away too much information.