Attention to details can help a home sell quickly
Don’t blame the market if your house isn’t selling. Take positive action, says Sharon Dale, who has been talking to people who know how to make a difference to a property that refuses to budge.
ANYONE who has put their home up for sale in the last few months will testify that this is a tough time for sellers.
The buyers out there are fussy and, in some cases, spoilt for choice, so it is crucial that a property makes a good first impression.
Andrew Beadnall, of Beadnall Copley estate agents, says: “We tell people they could lose the sale in the first 20 seconds if their home looks uncared for.”
Property stylist Anita Richardson agrees, but says many sellers are failing to accept responsibility and are using the slow market as an excuse.
“They say, ‘It’s not me, it’s the market’, when in fact there is a lot they can do to help make their home more saleable,” says Anita, founder of House Wow.
Another big issue is that most vendors see their own home through rose-tinted spectacles.
“When preparing their property for sale, they will often pay lip service and re-decorate in neutral colours and then put the furniture and belongings back just as they were before.
“Our job is to take off the vendor’s rose-tinted specs and help them to see their home as a new visitor does.
“What they need to do first is create a style that makes the rooms look good in photographs because that’s the first thing buyers look at in adverts and it’s those pictures that inspire them to book a viewing.”
Andrew Beadnall, whose company offers house doctorstyle advice to clients, suggests paying attention to the entrance is vital.
“One of the first things they’ll see is the front door.
“Time and time again I go to value houses where entrance doors are scratched and in some cases have kick marks. It is worth replacing the door or smartening it up with a new door knob or brass letterbox.
“Why not have a look round your neighbourhood and if you see a door which particularly attracts then make yours look the same,” says Andrew, who adds: “It goes without saying that sellers should carry out any DIY repair work – stick down curling wallpaper, secure a loose banister, replace any cracked panes of glass, all little jobs but they makes a difference.”
Wow factor and some personality is also important and one of House Wow’s clients in an exclusive Leeds suburb thought about buying a grand piano to give her home some oomph, even though she didn’t play.
“It was a good idea, though she didn’t do it in the end because they were so expensive,” says Anita, who stresses that while frills and features are important, the most important job is to de-clutter.
Too much stuff is a turn-off for buyers.
“People think they’ve decluttered when they haven’t even scratched the surface of it. You’ll go round and there’s that big nono: suitcases and boxes on top of the wardrobes. That screams, ‘We haven’t got enough storage space’.
“Clear out the garage and loft and create space to store the clutter in your home. That has to be the number one priority.”
Anita Richardson is founder of www. HouseWow.info the UK’s first online service creating branded and locally relevant property presentation information websites for estate agents including Enfields in Leeds and Whitegates in Dewsbury. Tel: 0845 299 7112.
Beadnall Copley offers house doctor style advice for clients. www.beadnallcopley.co.uk
SALE ROOM: Living rooms need to be warm and inviting to attract buyers.