July 10, 2009

Top Ten Ways to Sell Your Home Quicker

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Times are hard for people trying to struggle their way up the property ladder at the moment. Instead of become disillusioned by the constant news articles on falling house prices & a stagnant property market, we want to help you to sell your home despite the hurdles.

Although the media paints a bleak picture, sales are still being made, you just need to try harder to make that sale. So in true Friday spirit, here are 10 things that you can do this weekend to sell your home faster


1. Tidy Your Front Garden

Boost your kerb appeal by making the front of your home look as inviting as possible. Pull up those weeds, scrub the block paving, pull back overgrown ivy and tigy up the hedge. You may not think these things are a priority, but you have probably become desensitised to them as you see the same thing every day and don’t notice the gradual changes.

If you haven’t had your marketing photographs taken yet, do your best to make sure that your windows are sparkling, the car parked down the road and your place is looking its best before it is ready for its close-up!

A top tip for cleaning up your driveway is how to remove oil stains from concrete:

Using a stiff bristled handbrush, scrub individual stains with a proprietary drive cleaner. Leave to work for 20 minutes, then scrub again with a diluted mixture of the cleaner, then hose off with clean water.


2. Make an Entrance

A quick job that can make the world of difference to a viewing experience is to replace your door furniture. A new letterplate, knob and knocker in the appropriate style can transform the front door. When you are happy that your front door looks as pristine as number 10, open the door and stand on the doorstep -What can you see when you first step in? This first glance into the home is the most important, where judgement will be made. Not just what is on view, does the place smell like pets, or spicy food? All of this needs to be dealt with before viewings are made.


3. Tidy Clutter

A cluttered home doesn’t only look unappealling, it also implies that there isn’t adequate storage. If necessary, store unimportant items elsewhere just for the viewing process. Also, don’t make the mistake of just chucking your junk into the cupboard under the stairs, people will look inside.


4. Hang Mirrors

Mirrors in the home create the illusion of more space, especially in tight spaces like hallways & spare bedrooms and also make the room feel brighter and more open.


5. Stains on Ceilings

If a propspective buyer sees a stained ceiling alarm bells will ring. Even if the cause of the damage has been fixed (eg. an upstiars leak), people will not feel comfortable seeing the remnants of the problem. That said, if there really is a problem, sort it, covering up an existing issue until you’re gone is an impractical an unethical way to sell your home.

Here are our top tips for painting ceilings:

Start in a corner close to the window & paint around the edges of the ceiling with a small brush. Then, using a roller, sponge or larger brush, work your way inwards from the wet edges in bands around 60cm wide and make your way away from the source of light. Leave a small gap between bands, and then blend the two together for an even coverage without ‘tidemarks’.


6. Plasterwork Cracks

As above, cracks in the plasterwork can sometimes be a symptom of structural damage, so make sure there are no issues that need to be resolved before putting your house on the market, like damage caused by a tree or distorted foundations. Just think, if you ignore these problems and later in the process decide to stay, or a prospective buyer finds evidence, you are going to wish you’d done something sooner. Again, although the majority of cracks are superficial, their presence can be off-putting for prospective buyers.

If you want to fill in aesthetic cracks in plaster, you will need to find the right kind of filler. The main types are fine plaster powders which are specially used for repairs & are reinforced with resin. These can be mixed with water, or some come ready mixed. They are non-shrinking and are ideal for filling in cracks in plaster.


7. Do What it Says On the Tin

If your house is advertised as having three bedrooms, make sure there are, even just putting a sofa bed in the spare room will show that the space has the potential to be a bedroom.


8. Freshen Up

Replacing the sealant around your bath and sink can make the place look better and is so much cheaper than replacing your suite. Also, tatty, loose, black, mouldy sealant isn’t going to make anybody desperate to hop into your bath as if it was their own.

Here’s how to do it:

Old sealant can be removed using sealant removing products. Brush onto the dirty joint, leave for 15 minutes, then scrape off.

Flexible silicone sealants can fill gaps up to 3mm wide and are available in a range of colours including clear.

Clean the surface using methylated spirit.

Connect the applicator to the cartride and snip off the end at an angle. How much you snip off will affect how thick the sealant will be applied.

Start at one end of the joint, insert the nozzle into the gap and pull back the trigger until a bead of sealant is formed. Keep pulling back & squeezing along the length of the joint.

Smooth out any ripples by using your finger or the back of a teaspoon dipped in a 50:50 solution of water & washing up liquid.


9. Make people want your kitchen

The fulcrum of a sale is usually the kitchen, so make sure yours is clean, bright & irresistable to potential buyers. Cupboard doors can be easily replaced rather than getting expensive new carcasses and any investments you make here will almost always be reimbursed by a sale.


10. Sell the Lifestyle that your Home Offers

Make people believe that owning your home will make their lives better. Small touches like brewing fresh coffee as they arrive, laying glossy magazines on the dining table and placing vases of fresh flowers in the windows will give the impression that whoever lives in this home has a great quality of life.

You never know, after doing all of these jobs, you might love your house so much you’ll decide to stay!


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