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During these uncertain times of the coronavirus, we have all been told (unless we are key workers) to ‘stay safe at home’. At Salisbury Estate Agent Whites we have been following these guidelines to protect the safety of our staff and clients, and although we remain open for business, we are now operating from home and online.
This blog provides some top tips on helping you to consider what improvements, repairs and alterations you could do to your home to make the most of it. This not only could increase your enjoyment now, but it also will enhance the property's saleability should you be considering getting a valuation or selling the property in the future.
Things to consider inside the home:
1. De-clutter your home
After years of living in a property, it is easy to accumulate a LOT of stuff! De-cluttering is essential not only so you could show any potential buyers around, but also so you can see what needs doing to your house. As the saying goes, if you can't see the wood for the trees – cut some trees down! It’s the same with de-cluttering! Ask yourself do you need it? Do you use it and does it make you feel good? If you need any assistance here is a declutterer we recommend.
2. Give everything a home
Following on from de-cluttering – a great job to do is to make sure everything has a place to live so that utensils and other items such as a vacuum cleaner are not lying about the house. This is not always easy and you may need to consider adding some additional storage space.
After years of living in a property, the paintwork will become naturally tired, marked and in need of a little refreshing – they say one should repaint every five to ten years, this obviously depends on a number of factors including where you live, the climate and weather, and also the quality of the previous paint job.
For the interior, you may choose to do this yourself and re-paint room by room. Perhaps, for example, starting with the skirting boards or radiators. You will find a number of national and now local DIY stores have an online delivery service – so equipping yourself with the right tools and paints should be easy.
Should you wish instead to talk to a professional decorator too; especially if the exterior also needs doing – Whites has some great industry contacts, please see our list below.
4. Add any forgotten finishes
Were you always planning to re-place that kitchen worktop? Now is the time to finish building the impression that you were originally starting to create.
5. Fix broken items
For those of us handy at DIY - all this extra time at home is a great opportunity to fix things such as making sure things like your doorbell work.
6. Don’t impose your personality on your buyers
For those of you looking to rent or sell your house in the near future, it’s a good idea to try and de-personalise your house after all not everyone wants their house to be “all duck egg”.
7. Get neutral
When re-painting, consider using neutral tones to keep your home looking calm and not busy!
8 . Make each room look as large as possible
Don’t over clutter it, with endless amounts of furniture!
9. Make rooms look bright and cheery
Try and create opportunities for light to enter the rooms. Painting the room in light colours will also help to achieve this. Likewise, opening curtains and windows (when it’s a warm day).
10. Stage your house
Think about who your buyer might be and what their needs are. Try and facilitate these needs in your house to make it look good for potential buyers and chances are you will enjoy it more yourself.
11. Kids’ toys
Kids toys can often migrate around the entire house and make the house feel cluttered. It’s a great idea during this time at home to spend a little time, perhaps even involving your children, to decide what toys are used, loved and where they should live.
For those toys no longer wanted we recommend putting them aside or bagging them so that they are ready to take to a charity shop or to give to a friend when it's considered safe to do so.
12. Sort paperwork
With more time in the home and less out socialising, there has never been a better time to sort your paperwork. How about having a movie night and attacking your paperwork and filing at the same time!
13. Get cleaning
It is springtime after all – so use this opportunity to sort through cupboards, clean drawers, scrub floors, turn mattresses and other spring cleanings.
14. Make sure all cupboards, wardrobes and other storage areas remain tidy
You never know what area a potential buyer might want to explore or which cupboard they might wish to open! So do have a think and anticipate, what they might find when they open one and make sure the inside of your cupboards is as tidy as the outside.
15. Make sure important paperwork is up to date
Make sure you have guarantees/warrantees/planning permissions and your property complies with current regulations and legislation. For instance, recently installed double glazing needs a FENSA certificate.
Should you wish to sell or rent your house, the following are a list of things that would be good to do a little nearer to the time of viewings:
1. Make sure your house is “sparkling clean”
How often do you get to clean below the surface? (This is often one step on from your average Spring Clean!) At Whites, we call this type of deep clean a “Sparkle Clean”. We can recommend a number of local cleaning companies that would be able to help. Please see our list below with recommended cleaners.
2. You may need to get the carpets cleaned too
To give that fresh clean appearance, it might be worth getting the carpets cleaned. Sometimes even the most stained of carpets can look as good as new.
3. Clear off surfaces
So that they do not look cluttered, but instead clean and easy for potential buyers to see your house.
Make sure you have clean towels in the bathrooms.
5. Do the dishes
Dirty dishes, can stack up easily. Try to clean dishes automatically after you eat.
6. Do the washing
Keep on top of washing and ironing. There is no need for potential buyers to see your clothes waiting to be washed.
Regularly vacuum your house. Not only does it make it look clean, but also reduces dust.
8. Shine the mirrors and perhaps add a few more!
This a great way to add a touch of sparkle! Plus they are great for making rooms look larger, as they reflect light.
9. Don’t leave the clutter behind doors
You will obstruct potential buyers when entering and they may think you are hiding something from them.
10. Bake bread or how about having a slow cooker sizzling
The smell of cooking can help create that homely smell. It is good to engage with your potential buyer's other senses too.
11. Consider swapping personal pictures
This is especially important should you wish to appeal to somebody of a different demographic. For instance, if you are a family and want the house to appeal to a retiree, or a couple, or vice versa.
12. Have easy to make beds
Perhaps a fun tip I heard on the grapevine - is that their children ended up sleeping in sleeping bags on top of the beds! So, they didn’t have to make them each day.
13. Clean your windows
Clean and sparkling windows add to the curb appeal of a property, for all those potential buyers driving past.
With Spring here and the sunshine out more often, it’s a great time to get out in your garden and get it looking at its best. Here are Whites's top tips on what you can do now…
1. Think of your garden like a room
Make sure it has a joined-up feel to it! Also, think of the impression you are looking to create. Whites have some keen gardeners in-house, including Tony (Head of Sales) who would be glad to share a few top tips with you on getting your garden to look “sale ready.
2. Stage your garden
Think about your end user and their requirements. Try to create an area for each of these. For example, if you don’t own it, buy some garden furniture so that you can suggest where might be the best place to relax or to eat might be.
3. Keep it simple
Should you wish to rent or sell your house in the near future it is best to keep it simple. Unless of course, you end up selling your house to a keen gardener! An overly bedded garden may put people off as they will often be thinking in the back of their mind – how will I keep on top of it! Aim when possible to create a pretty, but simple look.
4. Add colour
Adding even the simplest of flowers or plants or even the odd pot plant can add a bit of colour to your garden. This is true, particularly of your front garden to attract viewers driving past.
5. Made kids’ toys look as clean and neat as possible
Try not to have plastic toys strewn about your garden, instead put them away neatly, making sure they have a home!
6. Paint fences, garage or garden furniture if tatty
Again, keep it looking neutral, you may love that purple bench, but buyers might be distracted by it.
7. Give everything a home
Put away garden machinery and tools, so that your garden does not appear to be overly cluttered.
8. Get weeding
And make sure you keep up with it! Weeds popping up through your paving or in your flower beds can look very messy!
9. Dangerous hazards
Make sure your garden is safe from hazards, after all your potential buyer may have a young child in tow.
10. Mow your lawn
And keep it mowed, it’s amazing how mowing a lawn can completely change the appearance of your garden.
I hope it goes without saying, clean up any dog mess! And make sure your dog is in an area that they won’t get in the way when viewings occur.
Keep your feathered friends in their pen, not everyone likes birds.
If you do decide you would like to rent or sell your home, don’t stress, family lives do not need to change just because your house is on the market, but it is incredibly important to choose an estate agent you trust.
It is often better to choose an estate agent that has been operating for a number of years, who have expert knowledge in the local area and market and have experience in dealing with tricky transactions. Whites have over 60 years’ experience at selling and letting houses in and around the Salisbury area. Here are our Google reviews.
To talk about the property market and advice on selling or renting your house please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Numbers for Cleaners Recommended by WHITES: