Ian Westerling, South East Area Director for Chesterton Humberts, shares his top tips for the perfect spring clean; to make your home look its best and create that all-important first impression. Preparing your home for sale is not a case of simply vacuuming the stairs and placing fresh flowers on the living room table!
The importance of first impressions cannot be understated, as a property’s curb-appeal can make prospective buyers feel positive about the property even before they walk through the door. Paint the front door and window frames, clear the pavement of rubbish and weeds, mow the lawn, remove dead plants or flowers, trim bushes and hedges. None of it costs much but can make a huge difference.
Make Your House Sparkle
Properties need to be immaculate so that buyers can see the full potential; serious attention to detail is required – especially if you are a smoking house or have pets! Before each viewing, dust everywhere, from skirting boards to furniture to lights; vacuum thoroughly and air out any musty smelling rooms. If you do opt to use a fragrance, don’t be too liberal otherwise buyers may be suspicious of what you are trying to cover up.
According to Rightmove, dirty kitchens and bathrooms are buyers’ biggest turn-offs so pay special attention to these rooms; bleach the grouting, clean the windows inside and out, polish taps and mirrors. In the kitchen, wipe the inside surfaces of the fridge and place an open box of baking soda inside it to soak up odours. Buyers can be nosy and poke around so don’t forget to clean ovens and cupboards!
Too many personal items can detract from a property so consider packing up things like holiday souvenirs, photographs of family, friends and pets, and definitely remove the children’s drawings/paintings pinned to the fridge door. Buyers want to be able to picture themselves living in your building home and that can be made harder if your personal items are distracting them.
You want each room to feel as light and spacious as possible, so get rid of all the unnecessary bits and pieces you have accumulated. Clear everything on kitchen counters, pack away knickknacks and remove CDs, DVDs and books off bookcases. Throw them out, donate to charity or store neatly in a cupboard; if you don’t need, want or use them now, chances are you won’t in your new home!
Lots of natural light tends to be important to buyers which I appreciate can be difficult for some. However, it’s amazing what a few simple tricks can achieve: replace dim light bulbs with higher wattage; replace dark heavy curtains with lighter ones; repaint dark rooms a lighter colour; and cut back any trees that cast shadows into your rooms.
Now is the time to face all those niggly DIY things that you have been avoiding: replace broken light bulbs, fix broken drawers, doors and leaking taps;cracks in the walls will need filling and so will the holes left by picture frames ; replace cracked tiles and you may want to consider replacing tatty wallpaper, worn cushions, bedspreads and curtains.
The Green Appeal
Don’t forget the garden. Similar things can be done at the same time as the frontage, but also ensure all clutter is cleared away into the shed, such as children’s toys, bikes and gardening tools.
Once you’ve done all of that you deserve a pat on the back. Not only would you have had a good work out, your home should be ready to showcase. Never underestimate what a good Spring Clean can do – it may well be the difference between an asking price sale and no sale at all!
About Ian WesterlingArea Director, South East – Chesterton Humberts
Ian has been trading in the home counties for over 25 years with extensive experience of selling prime property across the south east. He is highly effective at managing, motivating and leading staff for the greater good of a common goal and has an in-depth experience of dealing with acquisitions, expansion, cold starts and business planning. He is currently the Area Director for Chesterton Humberts in the South East.