The tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed coffee. A scented candle gives a subtle hint of fragrant vanilla. The mouth-watering smell of a freshly made cake.
If just reading about these has got your senses fired up, imagine what they could do for the sale of your home. A vanilla pod or a couple of coffee beans placed in a warm oven is the simplest thing to do – but it can be the cleverest thing to do if you’re trying to sell your home. There are many ways of adding instant appeal to your home before putting it on the market – things that add value but don’t have to cost the earth.
And the real issue is ‘instant’ appeal. It’s amazing how many people make decisions that involve their life savings in only a few seconds. Studies show that it takes people around a tenth of a second to form a first impression (marginally longer than it takes a fly to flap its wings!) – and that first impression counts. So when it comes to marketing your home, it’s important to make those first impressions really count.
OK, so what can you do?.
First up, look at your home with an objective, critical eye – from the inside and the outside. Even the smallest of cosmetic improvements can add value. While you see a sandpit for your kids, a potential buyer will probably see an unkempt garden. Your dog may be a much-loved family member but to others, he may be a grubby nuisance. What is your home’s kerb appeal? Is your home tidy and presentable? Have a close look for any signs of wear and tear or damage, such as cracked tiles, peeling paint and spiderwebs.
A Bentley property professional says the value of almost every home will increase with a pre-sale makeover. Here’s a list of things to start with :
· A fresh coat of paint does wonders. It’s best to use neutral colours that will have wide appeal.
· De-clutter and tidy (garden, kerb as well as the interior)
· Clear cobwebs and clean windows well to maximise the inside/out appeal
· Outside, mow lawns, rake leaves, sweep paths, prune overgrown shrubs and trees, weed the garden beds, clear gutters. Flowering plants create instant appeal. To neaten up empty flower beds, scatter a layer of bark or wood chips.
· Street appeal is vital.
· If you have a swimming pool, remove any debris and work at getting the water clear and sparkling.
· Garages and storerooms should be orderly and easily accessible.
· For a fresh update and a warm welcome, replace old door mats.
· Inside, the golden rule is clean and tidy!.
· Store any extra furniture and personal effects, leaving just enough to showcase your home and create a homely ambience but still allowing potential buyers to visualize their own belongings in the spaces. Some sellers even rent furniture in order to give their home a contemporary, fresh look in neutral tones.
· Bathrooms have to be absolutely spotless. No leaking taps, mould, dirty rings, stains or rust.
· Floor coverings should be professionally cleaned
· Have a look at decorating magazines for ideas how to freshen up bedrooms with a few strategic accessories – like scatter cushions, a bed throw or stylish headboard.
And on open day – you may want to consider these ideas to create a fantastic first impression:
· Put on some soft, background music to create a welcoming mood.
· Before time, place a vanilla pod, some coffee beans or a cake in a warmed oven. Your kitchen will be imbued with a subtle but inviting fragrance.
· Place a scented candle in the bathrooms.
· Find a pet sitter for the day and put away any pet debris such as kennels, beds and bowls
· Put away small items such as clothes, knick-knacks etc – and ensure the laundry doesn’t look like a laundry!
· Kitchen and bathroom benchtops should be cleared
· Open windows to freshen the atmosphere
· On cold days, warm things up with an inviting fire or heater.
· Place fresh flowers (preferably gorgeous ones from the garden) in strategic places eg on the kitchen table, dining table, bathroom vanity, bedside table and entrance.
· Be aware of leaving lights on inside the home. Too many lights on during the day is a clear signal that the house is dark.
Preparing your home for sale will take time and may cost a bit of money. However, there’s every chance that by making the investment, you’ll be getting out far more than you put in, say the experts in real estate Bentley. If you’re committed to getting the best possible price for your home, a bit of effort will go a long way.