Getting your home ready for inspection

As if putting your property on the market isn’t stressful enough, but now you have to worry even more about the finer details of how it is presented?! Trust us – it will be worth it.

Before you even think about putting your home on the market you should take a good look at your home and what could be done to improve your surroundings. If you were a buyer, what would put you off the property? This is often difficult to deliberate on your own home as it is usually filled with possessions you love and adore. But once you have decided what needs a little bit of TLC, you’ll be glad you found it.

Anything can turn buyers off these days and therefore it is good to be prepared. To many the top turnoffs are as follows:

  • Pets and their pet things – Yep, you heard right - People are turned off by your little ball of fluff! In fact, nobody wants to see your cat’s dirty litter box or your doggy treats around the place. Make sure your pets are out of the way whilst your home is on the market. They should be away from your home during home opens or if you can, have them stay with a family member the whole time your home is on the market. This will help to eliminate any lingering pet smells that buyers definitely do not enjoy!
  • Cigarette smoke – This is usually a deal breaker! Honestly, no one wants to invest in a new home that smells of cigarette smoke and it is usually a reason potential home buyers walk straight back out again during home opens, not even giving the property a chance.
  • Dirty/Messy Bathrooms – Understandably, a huge turn off for potential buyers! It is common for bathrooms to become cluttered with makeup, perfumes, and other grooming items but don’t let this stop you from attracting the right buyer. It is important you store everything under the counter, and give the area a once over to ensure it’s clean and free of any hair and toothpaste stains – no one wants to see these.

Pay special attention to how your home is presented. Remember – a well presented property suggests a well maintained property – definitely something that buyers are attracted to. This usually gives the buyer peace of mind as a well maintained property suggests a limited chance of encountering hidden problems once the property is officially theirs.

Tying into this, remember you are always on show. From the second you list your property for sale, there will be buyers doing a sneaky drive-by daily. They will be scoping out the property, street and overall neighbourhood. This can often be the decider for some buyers. How the property appeals to them from the outside will help them decide whether they want to venture inside or not. Here are some ideas to help you keep your home in ship shape in case any potential buyers drive by for a looksee:

  1. Make sure your front gardens and lawns are well kept and maintained.
  2. Remove all junk mail and newspapers from the letterbox and yard as they arrive.
  3. Park the cars in the garage, if possible.
  4. Avoid having rubbish out for collection on the kerbside.
  5. Each night before sunset, turn on all outdoor lights.

When it comes to the inside of your home - do your best to create a warm and positive mood, making the buyer feel more comfortable. This is best achieved by making your home seem more inviting. This is achieved by embracing the following:

  •  Replace all dish and hand towels throughout your kitchen and bathrooms for fresh, clean ones. You could even buy new ones from a high street retailer for a low price to give your home that extra new feeling. Also, consider spraying them with starch so they appear ironed and free of any crinkles.
  • When it comes to rugs, pick up all visible chunks of wool from them and make sure they are secured using rug tape and rubber mats to keep them in their correct position and in the best quality. Rug tape will also help to limit any accidental trips for potential buyers coming through your home.
  • Use accent lighting for decorative purposes, helping to add ambiance to any room whilst creating visual effects.  It draws the eye to ornaments, paintings and feature furniture.
  • Keep nice smelling hand soap in your bathroom and make sure to wash your hands before your home open begins to infuse the bathroom with a beautiful scent.
  • Decorate with artwork to limit bare walls. Bare walls often create a cold and unwelcoming feeling, so spice them up with some dramatic artwork or just simple photographs of your family and friends.

Keep in mind – first impressions do count!

Another key factor that stands out to buyers is accessories. Whether you have some already or not, it’s the little things that help create a great impression to potential home buyers. Now is the time to get your hands on some trendy, statement pieces that will appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. It would be best to invest in pieces that you would be able to take with you to your new home so make sure you consider your new homes style before you purchase.

Next, think about finishing touches and what little changes you could make which may end up making a huge difference to how your home is presented and viewed by potential buyers. For example, consider purchasing fresh flowers to present as a centrepiece on your dining table or among other bits and bobs on your coffee table. This will help to create a homey vibe which will help buyers picture themselves living in your space.