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How To Make Your House More Attractive To Buyers

Updated on February 13, 2013
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Simple and cost effective ways to improve the appearance of your house and increase the chances of achieving a buyer

Selling your home is an expensive business, so you will want to keep costs down as much as you can. But what can you do if your house isn't selling? In some cases, spending some money to improve the standard of your house to make it attract a sale will be required, but there are certain things you can do which either don't cost anything or require very little expenditure but may make the difference between achieving a sale or staying unsold.

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 Improving your house's potential

De-Clutter.

You want potential buyers to see your house, not have it hidden behind all your possessions. These items may be what makes your home, but buyers want to see the house itself, which is difficult if they are having try and visualise it without lots of stuff obscuring their view. Moving home is expensive, so de-cluttering also has the advantage of sorting out all the possessions you don't want to keep. These items can be sorted out and then sold-on using eBay, garage sales and boot fairs, making you some cash that can go towards the costs of moving. Anything else you no longer want to keep can be passed on to friends and family or given to charity shops. Anything you want to keep can go into storage until you move.

De-Personalise.

Potential house buyers want to envisage themselves in the house and are trying to mentally place themselves at home in the house you are selling. If there are lots of very personal items such as family photos, trophies and children's paintings dominating the house, it will be more difficult to imagine the idea of it being their home. You need to get the balance right though. A few photos of family and items will make the place feel like a warm family home, too many will drive home the message that it is YOUR home.

Clean.

Nothing is as off putting as having to view other peoples mess. Also, a dirty house makes it look like the owners don't look after it. This can ring warning bells with the house viewers that there may be more serious areas of neglect that haven't been seen. So, before a viewing, do the washing up, dust and hoover, wash the dogs bed, and hide away the litter tray. Make sure the house feels and smells clean and dry. Air the house and neutralise smells, but don't don't over do the air fresheners, some people will find too much of a strong fragrance off-putting.


Do The DIY.

Do It Yourself jobs that need doing or are only half completed can indicate a house in need of work and can, as above, give the impression that the house isn't cared for. A house in need of work will give the impression of a problematic home. If there is work that can clearly be seen that hasn't been done, then it would be easy to assume that there may be more work that is required but not sorted out. Complete all those jobs you've 'been meaning to do' and make the house have that finished appearance. If DIY really isn't 'your thing' or if the work required is beyond your abilities, get several quotes from trades people. If you really can't afford to pay for the job to be done, then at least you will have the quotes to present to the customer, should the need arise. This way, the customer knows you are aware of the need to have the work done and it's not just a case of you can't care less. You may be able to negotiate a price for the house which takes into account the cost of the work required. This way the customer will have a good idea of the costs involved and not be unclear as to the overall cost of the purchase of the house including the work.

Curb Appeal.

First impressions are important so make sure they count. Does the front of your house look appealing or appalling? Hide away the bins and. clear away any rubbish. Give the windows, path or driveway a good wash, and give the doorstep that extra shine. If there are bushes or hedges in your front garden, then give them a trim, cut back any overhanging branches and if there is a lawn, make sure it's cut.Healthy looking plants and flowers can make all the difference to the appearance of the house, showing that a little extra effort is taken and gives the impression of a well cared for home. Even if the space at the front is small, a couple of containers or a window box filled with attractive flowers or plants will make a positive difference.

Rearrange for presentation, not your needs.

You want your house to appeal to as many people as possible. Think about your target customer, is your place a first time buyer’s flat or a large family home. Arrange the house so that the customer can see how it will work for them. Turn the games room back into a dinning room, or the office into a bedroom. Consider repainting, using neutral shades and current styles to make your house appeallable to more customers.

Seek advice.

Ask the real/estate agent (its part of their job), friends and family for ideas on how to improve the appearance of your house. It can be difficult to look at your home with fresh eyes, so ask others. They may be able to see the glaringly obvious, that you've lived with for so long, you can’t see anymore.


'For Sale' or 'Sold'

None of these tips, apart from the cost of materials for doing the DIY, will cost anything but will make a big difference to the appearance of your home and it's potential for being sold. When competition is high or economical circumstances make selling properties hard, maximising the saleability of your house is a must and these easy and cost effective tips may be the difference between the board outside your house saying 'For sale' or 'Sold'.


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