While there is plenty of buyer activity, the property market is not out of the woods yet and sellers are still facing stiff competition. As a seller, you will therefore want to put your best foot forward and present your property in the best possible light, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.
Bear in mind, he adds, buyers make up their mind about a property literally within the first few minutes of seeing it. If they do not see what they like, they are likely to move on to the next property and a potential purchaser could be lost for your property.
Sellers need to look at their property with the same critical eye that any buyer would. Seeff recommends that these seven things are removed from your house:
- Visible clutter
Buyers need to have clear visibility of walls, doors, windows, size and so on. Too many ornaments or plants standing around makes it difficult for potential purchasers to visualise themselves living in the property. Spacious rooms resonate with buyers. They want to be able to imagine what the room will look like with their furniture so remove anything which is not essential to make the property more visibly appealing.
- Untidy garages and storerooms
Pay special attention to garages and storerooms. While a garage can be great for storage, remember the buyer needs to be able to see the garage in terms of size and features. Be sure to also clean the floor and driveway so that there are no visible oil or dirt marks or fuel smells. A clean and well-organised garage can add to the appeal of your property.
- Messy cupboards and untidy bathrooms, laundry and scullery
It is not unusual for buyers to want to see the inside of cupboards and bathroom vanities to get a sense of the storage space available. Buyers want clean cupboards and tidy areas. It is therefore important to tidy your wardrobes, kitchen cupboards as well as bathroom vanities, laundry and scullery areas.
- Personal effects
Remember that prospective purchasers need to visualise themselves living in your home. It is therefore always advisable to remove items of a personal nature including family photographs and personal trinkets. Do not forget to remove all those magnets on the fridge as well. While they personalise your home, the appearance of clutter can be somewhat off putting for buyers.
- Gym equipment
Given that a fit lifestyle is so high on the agenda of most homeowners, it is often common to find gym equipment in the bedroom or sometimes even in the living area. Ensure that it does not appear cluttered and rather store small items away from sight during viewings. If you are using a spare bedroom as a gym (or anything other than a bedroom), ensure it is neat and tidy.
- Children’s toys
Family homes often have an array of visible toys in the bedrooms and living rooms. Ensure these are removed or tidied. The same applies to children’s rooms where you might often find things stuck to wardrobes or hanging from door or cupboard handles or the curtain rail. These should be removed and the bedrooms as neat and clutter free as possible.
- Pet beds and paraphernalia
Not all buyers are pet lovers, and some potential purchasers may even have allergies. Ensure pet beds, feeding bowls, pet toys and scratching posts are out of the way during viewings. Pet owners are often somewhat immune to pet smells and it is important that your property is cleaned and aired out. Pet odours and hairs can be very off putting for buyers.