11 of The Best Kept Secrets for Getting Your House Ready For Sale

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When you’re selling your home you need each potential buyer to fall in love with it in minutes. Here’s how you can help make this happen. Spoiler warning: this may involve hiding or removing bits of your home that you love.

Keep it Tidy

If a home is to be sold quickly, it must appear tidy at every viewing.  Appear is the key word, here. You can move unorganised things to places where buyers can’t look, such as inside the wardrobes that you are taking with you. If there is still stuff that’s in the way, box it up and ask friends or family if you can temporarily store it in their loft or pay to put it into a storage facility. Remember, viewers will look inside built-in kitchen units and wardrobes, so these must be kept neat too.
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2. Clear the Clutter

Now that your home is clean, remove some of the clutter. In the bathroom, you only want a couple of attractive spa-like toiletries on display. In the kitchen, put the washing-up liquid and brush inside a unit and clear the worktops. In the living areas, clear magazines from the coffee table and don’t have any shoes hanging around on the hallway floor. The more of the floor and other surfaces you can see, the larger your home will appear.
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3. Deep Clean it

Your home is probably clean already, but it’s the stains and marks that you need to work on. The blue patch on the cream hall carpet needs to be shampooed, the limescale must come off the shower head and the spiders’ webs on the light in the landing need removing. This all helps to make your home look that bit more special. Read our guide on the hardest items to deep clean and how to do it yourself.
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4. Make Sure the Exterior Looks as Good as the Interior

The outside of your home is the first thing that viewers will see. It must look inviting. Clear the weeds from the front and back garden; if you can, tuck the bins behind a bush; sweep the leaves away; mow the lawn; jet wash the drive and patio; replace that cracked window pane; clear the gutters and patch up any flaky paintwork.
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5. Make Every Room Serve its Purpose

If your home is being marketed as having four bedrooms with a lounge and separate dining room, make sure that it is seen as that. If you use the box room as a gym, remove the exercise equipment and put a single bed in there. If the dining room is used as a playroom, install a table and chairs. You want buyers to be able to see the home with bedrooms that are large enough to sleep in and a dining room that you can entertain in.
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6. Reduce the Personal

You don’t need to clear out every family photo and child’s painting, but you want prospective buyers to be able to see themselves living in your home, so don’t cloud their view with too many personal mementos, especially if your home is a shrine to a hobby that is not to everyone’s taste.
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7. Make It Smell Good

Nobody wants to step into your home and smell last night’s dinner. Brew some fresh coffee, bake a cake, light perfumed candles and place a few bunches of scented flowers around the place. It is a cliché, but it works.
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8. Cover Up the Drawbacks

If you don’t have a separate utility room and have to air your wet washing in the lounge, don’t do a wash before a viewing. If there’s no built-in microwave in your kitchen, but you have a free-standing microwave on the worktop, unplug the microwave and hide it away for now. Viewers won’t notice you don’t have a microwave, they will just see a useful expanse of worktop. You don’t want to showcase negative points.

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9. Fix The Obvious

Replace the blown light bulb in the loft, fill in that crack in the bedroom paintwork, fix the dripping kitchen tap. These are quite cheap and easy to do repair jobs, but they will make your home look well cared for and easy to move into.  

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10. Emphasis the Focal Points

A book left open on the window seat will show what a lovely place it is to curl up and read; a casserole on top of the range cooker will draw attention to this expensive appliance and a vase of flowers placed on the window sill will highlight the beautiful bay window. Whilst, if you have a working fireplace, lighting it up will give the suggestion of a cosy setting for potential buyers.
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11. Let the Estate Agent Show Your Home

Estate agents are trained to sell a home and to point out aspects that they know will appeal to their clients. Let them do their job. And, if you live in a small home and you want to detract from this, try to schedule viewings for when most of the people who live with you are out, so that it appears less crowded.
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