Make The Most Of That Viewing
Published 26 November 2019
So you have your property on the market, and your estate agent is hard at work marketing it. Hopefully a steady stream of potential buyers will soon be coming through your door to take a look.
When they walk across the threshold, you have a very limited time to make a good impression, so preparing your home for the viewing is crucial. We are all emotionally attached to our own homes, so it can be difficult to look dispassionately at how you are presenting it. So to help, we have come up with Ten Top Tips to preparing for that viewing.
1. Let there be light!
No-one wants to live in a dark and dingy house, so you need to do everything to show how light and airy yours is. Open your blinds and curtains fully to let natural light in, and make sure your windows are clean for the same reason.
You should avoid the show home trick of turning every single light on, as that will in fact just make viewers think your house is so dark it needs permanent electric light. But if it’s a dull day (or the evening) you will need some artificial help to boost the daylight. Try to use lamps and feature lights (including under-cupboard strips in the kitchen) rather than harsh overhead lighting.
You don’t want to present a clinically tidy environment (it should still feel like a home), but shelves and worktops stuffed with your clutter will prevent viewers visualising how their own stuff would look in the house. In particular, clear up toiletries in the bathroom, and toys.
3. Downplay Fido
If you have a pet, then it’s their home too, and for some viewers this will make your property seem more homely. But not everyone is an animal lover, so overwhelming evidence of your pooch or moggie could be off-putting. Remove litter trays (no-one wants to see that), pet beds and toys, and hoover to make sure there aren’t pet hairs everywhere.
4. Cleanliness is next to…
You need to present your house spotlessly, because that will convince your viewer both that you have looked after the place, and that it is easy to keep clean. In particular, kitchen work surfaces should be clear and shining – it’s amazing how many people comment on that.
5. De-mist the bathroom
You don’t want to give the impression there is a damp problem, so if you have had a shower, make sure you open the bathroom window to get rid of condensation, and it’s a good idea to wipe down surfaces so they are dry, too.
6. Smells good
Smell is our most evocative sense, so how your home smells is important. Stories about how baking bread or making coffee will lure buyers are largely myth, but your home does need to smell fresh. It might be an idea not to cook that curry the night before…
7. The perfect temperature
Your home needs to be at a comfortable temperature (not too hot) throughout, so that it feels welcoming and warm. That includes the spare bedroom where you never turn the radiator on, and the bathroom. It’s nice to have a wood burning stove lit; that’s one urban myth that does ring true.
8. Don’t forget the garden
At this time of year it’s hard to present your garden in full bloom, but it should at least be tidy. Sweep up leaves, clear paths, and inject a bit of colour through winter-flowering plants in pots, or plants with colourful foliage.
9. Keep it safe
You will be having people walking round our house who don’t know it, and the last thing you want is for them to hurt themselves. You might be used to stepping over those cables snaking across the floor, but your viewers won’t be. Make sure mats are secured and there are no loose carpet edges.
10. Home, Sweet Home
The best piece of advice is to make your house feel like a home, not a clinical show property. Your viewers will want to visualise themselves living there, so homely touches will help. But don’t make it too personal to you, because that will act as a barrier to that visualisation.
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