DBPR asked property experts Jamie Hope, Sacha Moussaieff and Chris Maclean to offer their advice on how best to prepare your property for viewing.
Jamie Hope, Director of Sales at Maskells
“Moving house is often a very stressful thing. Why not break it up into a two part move? Box up a percentage of your belongings and put into storage during the sale process, which removes the need for piling things into cupboards.
Clean the windows; a small thing but always gets noticed. Lights on, curtains open, nice ambient temperature. Any small touches can influence a buyer.
Clean surfaces, fresh smelling – take the bins out the day before! Think about the general aroma, make some fresh coffee before a viewing and air any pet beds.
Always leave the house and let the agent do the viewing; there’s nothing more off putting than a vendor hovering meaning that the buyer cannot relax and say what they really mean. The psychology of a viewing is very important; the buyer needs to feel comfortable and not be “over sold” the property by the agent.
In terms of quick fixes and finishing touches, my advice is to not try and make a property something it is not. If a house clearly needs a bit of work, celebrate that. It is a rare opportunity for an incoming purchaser to create the home of their dreams!!! If a house has been refurbished over the last few years and is being sold “as new” bite the bullet and re-paint to create that box-fresh feel.”
Sacha Moussaieff, Director, Milton Stone
‘The best way to prepare a home for viewings is to ensure that it is clean, tidy and de-cluttered. Too much clutter can make a home feel smaller than it actually is. Many of our clients have a clear-out prior to marketing.
The temperature has to be right, in the summer months often the higher floors can be very stuffy so leave windows slightly open. In the winter, it is important to have some heating for viewings, even if you are away. Entering a cold house makes a bad first impression.
I always advise my clients to have their windows cleaned before marketing, if you have good views you should show them of and even if you don’t clean windows give a property a real lift.
Make access to gardens or terraces easy, make sure the agent knows where all the keys are. If you have window boxes and plants make sure they are watered and the contents are fresh and not wilting. If you have a patio or terrace, have it jet washed prior to marketing and lawns should be cut and tidy.’
Chris Maclean, Barnes Private Office
“Light is key; always leave curtains and blinds drawn back and turn on whatever lights can accentuate spaces and features.
Make sure the property is room temperature if possible (not too hot or cold), and smells fresh throughout.
Make sure agents have everything they need to market effectively, typically things like accurate lease lengths, ground rents and charges associated with running and maintaining the property. Approve photos, floorplans and copy associated with their marketing efforts in advance
Attention to detail, particularly to things a buyer may notice or touch during the course of a normal viewing, make a difference. In terms of décor, toning down strong colours and opting for smart neutrals is advisable, and refresh things like grouts and seals in kitchens and bathrooms if these show signs of wear. Make minor repairs which could affect the quality of a viewing where necessary”