Date Published 01 May 2015
1) Lawn in order
Summer-dried brown patches on lawns ruin the effect of a pretty garden, so keep grass as green as possible. If potential buyers are about to march up the drive and you are stuck with a brown patch, strategically place some garden furniture on top of it.
2) Clear purpose
`Make sure every room shows its original purpose,` says Robert Bailey of London buying agents Robert Bailey Property. `You may be using the dining room as a playroom, but clear all the toys away and set the table to show how many people can be seated. And take filing and home office equipment out of a spare bedroom and into cupboards.`
3) Let the air in
Musty-smelling rooms are off-putting and make people want to get out before they have even noticed the stunning ceiling rose. It`s summer, so you can open windows without fear of making the house feel chilly. Don`t forget to air rarely used rooms and teenagers` bedrooms.
4) Lighten up
If you have a dark room, add a table lamp, `But don`t go over the top and put every light on in the house unnecessarily,` says David Adams, head of residential sales at Chesterton Humberts. `Potential buyers may think you`re sneakily trying to cover up a lack of natural light.` And while we are on lights, one of the details vendors often don`t notice but buyers do is grimy light switches.
They are normally in a prominent spot as you enter or leave a room, so wipe them clean.
5) De-clutter the hall
Make the entrance hall enticing, so potential buyers want to see more of your home. If it`s cluttered, the first impression of the house is that it`s cramped, rather than open and spacious. `Move unnecessary items such as an excessive number of coats hanging up and muddy shoes,` Adams says.
`Putting flowers on the hall table is so easy and it creates an instant good feeling about the house,` adds David Smith, senior partner at Carter Jonas.
6) Pass the sniff test
All the agents canvassed were very sniffy about odours. `Vendors shouldn`t underestimate them,` Adams says. `A home that smells fresh and clean is more important than baking bread or brewing coffee, which won`t disguise stale odours anyway.`
7) Window dressing
People are always drawn towards windows – a plus in the height of summer when they can look out onto your carefully tended garden, so make them a real focal point. Apart from ensuring the glass is sparkling (well worth paying a window cleaner), clear junk off window sills and keep curtains pulled well back to make rooms seem lighter and bigger.
8) Floor space
The tidier the better – it`s particularly important to take everything off the floor as carpet clutter is the quickest way to make a room look smaller.
9) The pets have to go
Your puppy may be the cutest ever, but dishes of pet food in the kitchen, especially in warm weather, are a complete turn-off, as are little accidents left on the lawn.
10) And lastly…
`Viewers don`t want to be pounced on by owners and shown where the gas meter is,` Bailey says. `The agent may know very well what will or won`t interest a particular client, so it`s best to leave them to it.`