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Changes to the property market means it’s just got tougher to sell a house. But here are 10 easy things you can do to gain buyers’ interest. By Your Home & Garden deputy editor Christine McBride
1. Tidy up the garden. Make sure your lawn is clipped, pull out any dead or rotting plants and ensure the path to the door clear and unobstructed. It’s worth planting some potted colour in bare garden beds, or some quick-growing greenery. Do a quick walk down the street to see the house through a buyer’s eyes, and make sure your verge is clear and neat. Here are more tips for giving your garden street appeal.
2. Do the washing up. Get the whole family out for an afternoon and scrub the exterior of the house. Getting dirt and mould off the outside of the house is incredibly important, so that buyers see it at its sparkling best. Some people will glance at the exterior before deciding whether to go in, so you want the exterior to be your best advertisement.
3. Clear out. Make sure that the interior of your home is free of junk and clutter. Give away unwanted furniture and objects before letting potential buyers through your home – many charities will come and collect these to sell to raise funds. Or clear clutter by having a garage sale – you could make some money too!
4. Tone it down. Present a buyer with a neutral canvas onto which they can project their desires for their home. If you have boldly coloured walls, (yellow, green, bright blue) it may pay to paint over them with a more muted shade before trying to sell. Check out our easy DIY painting guide.
5. Fix it up. If you have broken appliances (A leaky tap? A non-working rangehood?) spend a bit of money to get these in good working order. The less work for the buyer, the better. Looking for a tradesman in your area? Use the Home & Garden directory.
6. It’s worth spending a bit of money fixing up the kitchen. If you have a cracked or peeling bench, consider doing a fast makeover by installing a new benchtop and new cupboard doors. Choose plain neutral colours; again, it’s all about that blank canvas. Get inspiration for your kitchen here.
7. Make sure your bathroom is spotlessly clean and inviting. If you’ve got an old shower or rusted bath, look into getting them cleaned, resurfaced or replaced. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it could make a big difference to getting that sale.
8. If your carpet is old or stained, consider hiring a carpet cleaner or getting the carpets professionally cleaned. If you have pets that shed, this could be especially important. People are turned off by old or smelly carpets, so you want everything as fresh as possible. Consider cleaning the curtains as well if they are mouldy or odorous.
9. Don’t forget the garage. If you’ve got a decent-sized garage that’s crammed to the rafters, do a big tidy and sort. Consider installing some decent shelving and perhaps a workbench, as this will make the garage look tidier and appeal to men of all ages! Here are some shelves you can make yourself.
10. Safety first. An alarm system will often really appeal to buyers, so if you have an alarm system in the home, even if you never use it, consider getting it serviced so it’s in good working order. If you don’t have one, it might be worth installing a basic system.
Read 101 more ways to add value to your home from Your Home & Garden magazine