Home Enhancement Ideas
Don’t just show your house……show it off!
We all understand the importance of creating a good first impression. When we are invited to an important event we wear our best clothes. When we meet people for the first time, we smile and offer a friendly handshake. It’s not much different when selling your home or rental property. A tidy front garden, with an attractively painted front door, shows that the owner cares about the property. This creates the so-called ‘ kerb appeal’ for buyers. When buyers return home after viewing several properties, guess which one’s they’ll remember best?
Now consider the following simple projects which will add further sparkle to your home and help create a lasting impression on buyers-
1. Declutter & De Personalise
Take a critical look at all rooms including the entrance hall. Try to create more floor space by removing unwanted furniture and unnecessary bits ‘n pieces such as boxes, toys, small rugs, family photos and collectables so that buyers can imagine where they can place their own personal possessions. Clear as much surface space on tables and kitchen work surfaces as possible. De-clutter cupboards and presses in order to create an impression of space. Make sure all seats are inviting and easily accessible. Remember…….. if a purchaser decides to sit down while viewing your home, this is a signal that they feel at home in this space and they may consider making an offer. When selling a rental property be sure to remove all junk mail, empty pizza boxes and any unnecessary old furniture/debris that may have accumulated in kitchens and hallways over the previous weeks.
Consider whether net curtains/roller blinds are restricting natural light from flowing into the house. Make sure bulbs are working properly in all rooms and consider how dark corners can be lit up. The kitchen should have good task lighting while bedrooms and relaxation areas should have softer lighting. Consider how your house will look from the outside at night time when interested purchasers might take a casual drive-by. You might decide that certain lights will be left turned on each night for the few weeks while viewings are progressing.
During winter, keep lights switched on for viewings. Remember also that hearths can stir hearts, so if you have a fireplace, make sure it's blazing!
3. Adding smells and scents
We’re all aware of the positive effect that a freshly brewed pot of coffee can have as we walk through the halls of a house. We should equally be aware of the scent that pets such as dogs and cats leave in carpets, rugs and sofa seating! Most important then to have windows open for a while before viewings commence. Use plug-in scents or light scented candles in strategic locations such as hallways, reception rooms and bathrooms and really, it makes good sense to shampoo carpets in advance of putting the property for sale.
4. General Repairs
How are general repairs? Any loose hinges on doors or grass growing out of rainwater gutters? A well-maintained house speaks volumes in terms of how it is being cared for and will allay purchaser fears about more important items such as plumbing and electrics. Check all paintwork inside and out? Would a coat of fresh paint bring a room to life? Check ceiling areas directly underneath shower trays for even the slightest leakage. Leakage repairs should be completed and any damp stain painted over.
5. Final Touches
Take a critical look at all wall and ceiling surfaces. Remove any cobwebs, dust off picture frames and thoroughly clean window glass inside and outside.
Remember that kitchens and bathrooms are focal areas. Empty your cupboards of half-empty boxes and store away food items. Fresh cut flowers on a table or workspace can create a lovely impression. In bathrooms, tidy bottles and creams, make sure shower trays and sanitary ware is sparkling clean and displays a few freshly folded towels.
Finally and when you are ready to open your door to viewers, why not ask one of our senior negotiators to have a final walk through the property. A fresh pair of eyes will provide you with the confidence that your apartment or house is ready for showtime!
All properties offered for sale or rent (the exception being those classified as Protected Structures) needs to have a BER Certificate before marketing is commenced.
If it is a rental property, ensure all levies and taxes have been paid – NPPR (non- principal private residence) charge, Household Charge, LPT ( Local Property Tax).
If the property is currently rented, will you be terminating tenancies prior to marketing or prior to close of sale? If so, be careful to follow the very specific procedures in relation to the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and its amendments. Terminating a tenancy can be complicated in certain circumstances and we recommend that you seek our advice before you take action in this area. If tenancies are included in the sale, proof of registration with RTB ( Residential Tenancies Board ) will be required.
Consider instructing your solicitor to request title deeds from your bank at the very outset – this will save valuable time when terms are agreed with a purchaser.
A spare set of keys for your agent will ensure viewings will work like clockwork.