Property Article; Preparing your house to buy or rent! W/C 1st September

August 31, 2014 by Joanna Harrison

I can already hear the howls from you all telling me that you do not need to do anything to your property to sell or rent it. After all, anything sells in this town especially with the way the market is at the moment!!?? True?? Not quite….

There’s no question, that Leigh on Sea is more popular than ever, with not just local people moving around within it, but out of towners desperate for a piece of the Leigh lifestyle.

So, whilst a little bit of me agrees with this sentiment, I still think it is extremely important that before your property comes on to the market you walk around yourself and try and put a buyers hat on to see if you spot anything that needs a bit of attention.

Things that you have lived with for years, that you probably don’t even notice anymore, but may put prospective tenants or purchasers off, so give yourself a couple of weeks before rushing to the market.  

Do those little jobs that you have been putting off because trust me, they will make a difference and it will ensure you get the best price possible

Whether it is just a general de-clutter of the mountain of coats and shoes that seem to have taken residence in your hallway or that little job of re-decorating the lounge that was originally done when your son was 2 (he’s now 20), make sure that prospective buyers or tenants have no excuses not to go for your property.

So, start with the outside of your property… after all, first impressions are everything especially when buying a house!  

Most buyers or tenants will drive or walk past a house before even booking an appointment to view it internally and a sale can be won or lost from this first impression.

Be critical…. Is your front garden tidy? Does the driveway need weeding? Could the front door do with a new lick of paint? Does the car on bricks, that your husband has been promising to fix, finally need scrapping? A few hours spent tidying bits like this up can double the amount of people you’ll get through your door!

Next, once the all important internal viewing is booked, remember the first room they will go in to will be the entrance hall. It is often overlooked in favour of the more principal rooms, but your entrance hall will set the whole tone of the viewing. It is an extremely old cliché but, people really do make their minds up within a few seconds when entering a property.

That all said, don’t go too far though. I am a firm believer that you still have to live in your home while you are trying to sell it and it cannot become a show home with no soul. If you have a family house then it will probably appeal to another family just like yours, so they will expect the children’s rooms to maybe not be perfect, the fridge to be covered with crayon drawings and a trampoline to take up most of your garden.

Also if your property is old fashioned or dated don’t go to huge expense renovated or changing kitchens or bathrooms. A lot of buyers enjoy doing properties up and they will want to put their own stamp on the house and will enjoy the journey getting there. Please, please just make sure it is clean. You would not believe the beautiful houses that I have seen that for the sake of a dust and hoover could be presented so much better.

Which brings me on to the sensitive subject of pets. Now I have to confess I do not have a pet so I may be biased, but if you have a pet you have to appreciate that not everybody is as bigger fan as you. Your rottweiller may be the soppiest thing ever, but your prospective tenants do not know that when he is charging at them. And the litter tray from your cat that you have to step over to get to the back garden that could probably do with emptying, what impression do you think that gives?

And this brings me onto a very tricky question.. but, could the smell of your house be fresher? How can I put this another way? Does your house smell? If you don’t want an agent to tell you the truth, then maybe ask a friend to pop in to be brutally honest with you. You may not notice the distinct smell of your budgie or the subtle aroma of your iguana, but if people aren’t used to it, it will it put them off.

Now most of this may seem just like common sense, but with the million and one other things that you have to do for the day to day running of a home, whilst trying to market it at the same time, you would be surprised what can get overlooked.  And, if your agent is a lovely and polite as me , will he really tell you how it is and tell you to run the hoover round?

Well actually I would, but please don’t take it personally we want the same thing as you, to get you moved.


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