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Preparing your house for sale – exterior space and kerb appeal

Exterior appeal house sale

Once you have made the decision to sell your property you have to be of the mind-set that your home is no longer your personal space.  It is now a product that needs presenting at its best in order to maximise its saleability to potential buyers.  Preparing your home for viewing can be quite a daunting task – especially if you don’t know what to do or where to start.

Why bother if you’re moving?
It’s important to remember that most people make a decision within the first sixty seconds of viewing a property so first impressions really do count. Although some people can view a property and visualize themselves living there, some people need help to do this. Preparing your house for sale can be the difference between achieving a quick sale at your asking price and having to reduce the figure further down the line.

Contrary to belief, you do not have to spend thousands of pounds in order to transform your home.  You just have to make sure your home appeals to its target audience so, with a little time and effort, and yes, perhaps a little money, you can soon have your house sold.

Where do you start?
Maintaining the outside space is something that is not often seen as a priority.  If you are selling you need to ensure that the outside has as much appeal as the inside. You get one chance to impress a prospective owner so you need to make sure when they arrive outside your property, they like what they see. If they don’t, there’s a possibility that any chance of a sale will be lost before they’ve even stepped through the front door.

First things first!
Begin by checking out the competition. I would recommend that you do this exercise prior to calling the estate agents as it could make a difference to your asking price.  Do you research and see what similar properties in and around your area are selling for.  Go and have a look at them and check out their kerb appeal.  Be critical and make a mental note of anything that would raise concerns to you as a potential buyer. Likewise note what things, if any make the property seem more appealing.

Now return home and do the same to yours – look at it unfavourably, through the eyes of a stranger.  Notice those trivial imperfections that you’ve been walking past on a daily basis for the last three months – you can’t afford to ignore them any longer.  Starting ‘front of house’ check the following:-

Presentation – are the roof tiles, facia boards, guttering, fence and gate, paving slabs, garage door etc. all presented well and in a good state of repair?
Cleanliness – are the windows and doors clean? Is there any peeling paintwork that needs attention?
Tidiness – does the lawn need mowing? Are the hedges trimmed? Have the weeds been removed and gravel raked?
Clutter – is the area free from rubbish, old plant pots, dustbins and dog mess? Do any children’s toys or bikes need collecting and putting away?
Decoration –do you need to replace any window dressings? Is the house numbered and do the doorbell and exterior lights work?
Appeal – Do you have any? Invest in a new front door mat if yours is looking tatty and treat yourself to some nice plotted plants to go either side of the door and if space allows consider a couple of hanging baskets.

Now the back
All the rules for ‘front of the house’ still apply but the garden itself should be viewed as an extension of your home so try to create an outdoor area that is nice and peaceful; a place where you can sit and relax, play with children or simply entertain friends. This doesn’t mean you have to call in Ground Force for a total revamp; you simply need to highlight its best features.

Having total privacy from you neighbours is a good start.  Ensure the fencing and shed are in good order and freshly painted. Clean any decking or patio areas thoroughly removing any moss or weeds. Invest in some new patio furniture if yours is out-dated so that viewers may be encouraged to sit outside if it’s warm.  If you have a water feature or external lighting, make sure they’re working before you are asked to turn them on.  Maintain the lawn and borders ensuring any dog poo is picked up and disposed of. Make sure the washing line is not in use or left out.  And if your borders are a little bare, invest in some potted plants – they will create great visual interest and you will be able to take them with you when you move.

Sue Hessom
Tidy Interiors


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1 Comment »

  1. Tess says:

    Why do I bother calling up people when I can just read this!

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