Preparing to sell - Downsizing

How to prepare your home for the market in 2024

5 min read

To get your house ready to sell, first impressions are important. Read how to prepare your home for your market in ten easy steps.

  • Arti Dhamu, Move Specialist at My Home Move Conveyancing
    Arti Dhamu

    Move Specialist

    Published January 23rd 2024

married homeowners doing yoga in their tidy living room after clearing it to prepare it for sale

Even if you live in a hugely popular area where you’re sure your home’s going to be snapped up as soon as it goes on the market, there are still lots of things you can do to get your house ready to sell and boost its value and appeal. First impressions count for so much when people are both valuing and viewing property, and sometimes even the simplest of things can do wonders for your asking price and the offers you receive.

1) Kerb appeal

The very first impression of your home comes on the kerb outside it. An overgrown front garden, flaky window frames and shabby front door aren’t going to inspire confidence that you’ve looked after your home properly. Get your paint brushes out and freshen things up, like your windows and doors where you can, cut back any overgrown bushes or hedges, and clear away those unsightly weeds. You could even give your home a charming new name to make it even more enticing, which you can usually do free of charge.

2) Declutter

No prospective buyer wants to walk into your home and see piles of your mess. They want to visualise setting up their own life within the walls they’re walking, and the more spacious you can make your home seem the better. It might be best to take down some of your family photos and other heavily-personalised items. Remember you want the buyer to be imagining their life there and what they’d do with the space.

3) Redecorate

Been putting up with a grubby bathroom for a while now, or has your spare room been abandoned for years in a dull, uninspiring shade? Perhaps you’ve got a statement wall you fell out of love with a few years ago? Stripping garish wallpaper and repainting drab rooms in fresh, neutral colours will allow people visiting your home to view it as more of a blank canvas they can bring their own style and taste to. It’s amazing the difference a lick of paint can have when it comes to the overall impression your home makes to visitors.

4) Deep clean

Even if you think your home doesn’t need any redecorating, there’s little doubt it could benefit from a spring clean. A serious scrub might be all that’s needed to give your home a huge lift, as you get rid of any unwanted dust, cobwebs and stains. Deep clean your carpets, get the bleach out in the kitchen and bathroom, and clean all your windows inside and out. Polish your mirrors and taps, spruce up your kitchen tiles and make sure any skirting boards and shelves are gleaming.

5) Do repairs

It’s easy to lose track of minor repairs like broken light bulbs, small cracks in the wall or a grubby shower curtain. Though they might seem small, leaky taps and broken blinds are the kind of things that will jump out at people viewing your home. While valuations won’t really be thrown by worn curtains, these are the details that fussy buyers find hard to ignore as they view your home under an intense microscope.

6) Move your pets

Not for good, obviously! However, few buyers want to get your house rabbit under their feet while they’re looking around, or take an excitable greeting from your dog that jumps up at anyone who walks in the door, even if they’re an animal lover it’ll only be a distraction. Pets can often bring unwanted smells too, which aren’t going to help your case. See if a friend or family member can look after your furry friends to make viewings as calm and pleasant as possible.

7) Give your viewers space

The same goes for you too. No buyer wants you peering over their shoulder as they look around. They want to imagine starting a new life somewhere they can call their own, rather than feeling like they’re invading your space. Unless you’re selling privately, you’ll have an estate agent on board who should know how to do their job competently, so let them get on with the task of selling your home on their own.

8) Light the way

One of the biggest things people look out for when viewing a house is natural light. Bright and airy homes are much more appealing than dark and dingy ones, so it’s important to make the most of your light. Get rid of any heavy, dark curtains that block light even when they’re open, and pull blinds right up rather than simply cracking them open. Use light paint in any rooms that don’t get much sunlight, and cut back trees, vines or bushes blocking any rays from coming in through windows. If you’re still struggling a bit, try using light bulbs with higher wattage, and place more light fixtures in particularly dark areas.

9) Fix your garden

A pleasant garden can be a huge selling point. A welcoming outside space can add real value to your home and allow prospective buyers to picture themselves relaxing in the sun on a nice day or playing with the kids. Mow the lawn, pick up leaves, trim bushes, plant some flowers and freshen up any ailing garden furniture. You’re selling a lifestyle that extends beyond the walls of your home, so make your garden as appealing as possible.

10) Get planning permission

It doesn’t usually cost much to obtain planning permission for something like an extension or loft conversion. Showing a potential buyer how they could enhance your home even further, and that they’ll legally be able to, is a great way to sell the dream. Especially if they have a growing family and could use an extra bedroom and some more space in the future.

If you’re after some information on the steps involved with the sale of your home, take a look at our helpful house selling guide. Or if you’re wondering what the fees associated with a sale are, you can read all about the cost of selling a house here.

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