Your home looks perfect to you but when it comes to open inspections, potential buyers may beg to differ. So, how best can you impress these crucial people?
When you live at a house all the time, it’s easy to miss dirt, mould and cracks as well as pet smells and general clutter. So, well before your first inspection, invite a second opinion – in the form of a friend or family member – into your home. Preferably, someone who has a completely different domestic view to you, this friend should be as honest and helpful as possible. Alternatively, you could employ a professional stylist.
Your key aim when preparing your property for inspection is to create an inviting place that people will fall in love with. You already love it, it’s true, but do they see the potential for them to love and live in it too? If not, you’ll need to get cleaning, renovating, decluttering and fixing ASAP. Call in qualified cleaners before the first big inspection and aim to keep the house in a similar condition throughout its market period. This means it will only need a fairly simple clean before inspections, rather than a top-notch makeover every time. Remember to thoroughly buff and shine the inside of ovens, cupboards and wardrobes and clear away shoes and other possible trip hazards from door entrances. Declutter big time, especially if you love pretty bits and pieces, as this will make rooms appear larger and more spacious. Don’t forget crucial first impressions and street appeal either. Wash down the outside of your home and start weeding and pruning – again, calling in professional gardeners if needed. Move wheelie bins out of sight and clean out mail boxes. Repair hanging gutters, cracked windows and rusted metal details inside and outside your house. If your furniture is old and shabby, borrow or rent quality pieces. At the same time, ensure it doesn’t feel overly staged. Aim for a balance between clean, fresh and attractive and plenty of emotional and actual space wherein buyers can imagine how they too can live a great life here.
There are few things less attractive than a dark and gloomy property so ideally, arrange inspections for times when your house attracts the most natural light. Open all blinds, curtains and windows to ensure sunshine and fresh air floods through the home. Again, invite objective friends inside to check for smells – especially from pets. Your beloved furry friend might not be smelly to you but they can be to others! On this note, buyers may be allergic or may simply dislike pets (strange as this may seem!). So, thoroughly clean fur from all areas and store away food and water bowls, litter boxes and pets themselves. Deodorise naturally with flowers, scented candles and potpourri, or warm coffee and cake. But don’t overdo this either or you’ll have buyers wondering what smells you’re trying to conceal.
Along with appealing scents and light comes the importance of temperatures and sounds. Already over-emotional buyers will find particularly warm or cold houses as unappealing as dark ones – with the home showing up badly as well. Therefore, turn on the air conditioner or light that cosy open fire to give welcoming comfort and relief to those inspecting your house. Remember too, that this ideal temperature will demonstrate the home can cope with every season’s changes. Finally, turn off the television and dishwasher and put on some quiet music, in a style and volume that will add to the property’s ambience.