The other day I viewed a property on behalf of my client who is looking to invest. This is not an unusual event for me, I love sourcing properties for clients and most of all, love seeing the end result. If the truth be known, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to looking at properties for Sale or Let. I just find the property market overall, really interesting.
Anyway, the first thing I noticed when I arrived at the viewing was………
The Front Door (well obviously you might say!)
This front door had endured several harsh Scottish winters and looked quite sad really. It was at this exact moment, before I even rang the doorbell, that I thought – Hmm! room for negotiating here? It would need to be painted or replaced; I couldn’t possibly rent this house for him with a sad front door ☹
As I entered, the nice viewing agent showed me into the hallway, where I saw a hanging rail precariously leaning to one side with coats, hats, shoes and umbrellas. Now, I realise not many people live in a show home and know people still need to ‘live’ in their homes while they are on the market for sale. But come on, shove it in a cupboard!
It’s a well-known fact, the general public find it difficult to envisage ‘your’ home becoming ‘their’ home. If I were Joe Random looking to buy this house to live in, I would struggle to see past the personal items such as photographs, ornaments and the beautiful china tea set taking pride of place on the kitchen table.
This property was quite clearly a comfortable home for an elderly person. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s your target market.
In my opinion, shouldn’t a property for sale or let be attractive to the entire market?
Sometimes discussing the condition and lay out of someone’s’ home can be a sensitive subject to approach. However, how awkward is it now for this Agent? This property has been on the market for nearly 5 months, when every property around it has sold within 2.
This could easily be avoided by taking simple measures to attract the entire market, and in this case, not just the elderly.
Most people have an idea of what sort of home they want to live in. Make your home appealing to them by de cluttering and showing off the space. Let them visualise their belongings in your Lounge, Kitchen. Bedrooms.
Sometimes, the truth hurts, but I can assure you, losing out on thousands of pounds by avoiding the obvious will be more painful.
These steps can make an enormous difference to how quick an offer is made, but just as important, how much is offered.
Tips to Help Sell your Property
· Make the Front Door welcoming, make sure it’s clean, buy a new mat, if there’s space place a flowerpot on the front step.
· Clear the Hallway of shoes, bags, etc. Brighten it up with energy saving bright light bulbs.
· Remove personal items from ALL rooms, such as photographs, ornaments etc
· Brighten up each room with energy saving bright lights, open blinds/curtains.
· De Clutter the kitchen, especially the worksurfaces to enhance and show the space.
· Remove cleansing products such as shampoos, deodorants, towels, bathmats from the bathroom and place a fresh smelling diffuser/candle.
· If the grout around the tiles/bath/shower looks grubby, clean it with Cif (other products are available) or get it replaced. This makes such a difference and makes the bathroom look new.
· Buy Flowers
These are all basic ideas and could cost as little as £30.
If possible, you could spend just a little bit more and have carpets replaced, rooms freshened up and painted a bright neutral colour.
If you’re going to that extent, you might as well bake some bread and have the coffee brewing just before each viewing!
Don’t laugh, this works – this is what I was taught 30 years ago when I carried out open house sales in America.
I hope this has been useful.
If you are looking to Sell or Rent and need more information on how and or where to start, please get in touch with me at www.parkview-property.co.uk