Prepare to Sell!

29th July 2014
If you are thinking about putting your house up for sale, you need to think about how you will present it to the world.

It might need a bit of an adjustment in your thinking - you need to detach yourself from it - no easy feat if you have lived there a long time and have precious memories attached to it. But, you have decided to leave and you can take you memories with you.

Here are my top tips for presenting a house for sale:

1 Detach yourself
This is the most difficult bit. We become very attached to our homes us Brits. We put so much of ourselves into them, that often when we come to sell, we realise just how much it means to us.
The best way to do this, is to fall in love with somewhere else...if this hasn't happened yet, try to compartmentalise your thoughts about each room. Take photographs of what is important to you, make a scrapbook, write notes on significant things that happened there. By doing this, you are 'signing off' and starting to say goodbye. Doing points 2 and 3 will also help.

2. De-clutter
Very important this...
In our daily lives we accumulate so much stuff, and we live with it sometimes without seeing it. Take a long hard objective look at each room. Remove anything that isn't necessary or that doesn't enhance the space. Remember the kitchen - a lot of people have very cluttered work surfaces - leave only the bare essentials out on show.

3. De-personalise
Another thing that will help you to detach yourself. Remove anything that is personal to you - you don't need to take out all family photographs, but don't have entire walls covered in them. Remove things that are a bit quirky and particular to you.

4. A lick of paint and a little bit of snagging
Newly painted woodwork works wonders and is not difficult or expensive to do if you don't mind wielding a paintbrush. Remove or replace scuffed wallpaper, paint entire walls if they need it - be objective. Paint over anything that is painted in an unusual colour - for example purple skirtings - in a more neutral colour. Check for chipped woodwork, finger marks, stains, and do something about them.

5. Clean and sparkle
Clean everything as if the Queen is coming to tea. Windows, light fittings, work surfaces, dust and polish prior to every viewing, and vacuum constantly. It may be a pain but if you want a good chance of a sale, it is vital. Plug in air fresheners can be a good thing as long as they are not overwhelming. Coffee on the go, and bread baking may be taking things a bit far, and are now a bit too obvious!

6. Hire a storage space
If you haven't the space to hide everything away, or you have large items of furniture that you want to put away to give a better impression of space, consider hiring a storage unit. They are quite reasonable, and you can often get a free period when you first take out the unit. Shop around locally for the best deals.

7. Gardens and the exterior...Kerb Appeal!!
Keep the gardens neat and tidy, especially in the summer - don't let the grass grow too long, keep weeds at bay. Check whether the shed could look better with a lick of paint, similarly the external doors, window frames, gates and fences.
Make sure your property makes a good first impression by checking the kerb appeal. A tub of brightly coloured flowers at the door; a couple of box trees either side of the door - something so simple can transform the appearance. If your door is looking a bit shabby, try new door furniture, or give the old ones a good old polish.

8 And finally
After all that hard work it would be great if you got some professional photographs to tempt in the buyers - make sure your estate agent's photographs do your property justice.

Happy selling and good luck!

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