There’s something wonderfully energising about the advent of spring, the days getting longer, the sun getting warmer and spring bulbs blossoming. No wonder it’s one of my favourite times of the year and definitely a favourite for home buyers. If you’ve wisely chosen this time to get your property on the market and want to it sold as quickly as possible and for the best possible price, then check out our top tips on preparing your home for a spring sale.
Preparing and ‘staging’, your home is about standing back and seeing it through the eyes of a viewer, allowing potential buyers to visualise it as their home. A recent survey by the Home Staging Association UK reports that 94% of estate agents said that home staging resulted in more viewers. 100% said it made the home easier to visualise as their future home. 75% said viewers spent more time looking around a staged home than an unstaged one and 86% said they sold up to three times faster.
1. Create kerb appeal
Remember, you only have one chance to make that all important great first impression, so make sure it’s a first impression that leaves your viewers wanting more. Make sure garden, the path, the front door and the windows are clean and clutter free. Mow the lawn, prune back any unwieldy plants and, if possible, tuck the bins away out of sight. Dirty doorsteps and windowsills can be very off-putting for a potential buyer so give them a really good clean before each viewing.
2. Enhance your entrance hallway
Spring can bring stunning views and colours to our gardens, parks and country walks. It can also bring a deluge of hallways overladen with muddy bikes, boots and shoes. Make sure the first thing the viewers see when you open the front door is a clear, clean and spacious hallway offering the universal dream of a bright, clutter-free lifestyle.
Build on that great first impression and clear away all mess and clutter from the hallway. Hide away the shoes, coats and school bags. And if the hallway is where you keep your bikes, remove them for the viewings. The hallway is the window to the promise of better things to come so make that window is a clean, bright and appealing one.
3. Declutter and clean inside and out
If you’re selling your home in spring, this is the ideal time to clear away the winter paraphernalia ready for the big move. Box up the winter coats, scarves and boots and tuck the boxes out of sight. If you don’t have room to store the things you don’t need, ask a friend or relative store them temporarily for you.
Decluttering is one of the most useful and the most important activities when preparing your home for a spring sale, or a sale any time. Not only will clear surfaces guarantee you sell your property faster and for a higher price, but it will get you on track ready for the big move.
Then deep clean throughout. The spring sun can be deceptively revealing so make sure every surface shines, including the floors, and especially the windows. If the carpets have seen better days, have them professionally cleaned. If badly worn, consider replacing them. This may feel uncomfortably expensive but you will more than recover your money in the sale.
4. Let there be light
Poor light in a home is one of the top buyer turn-offs so make sure to allow as much natural light into your property as possible. For every viewing make sure your curtains are tied back and blinds are fully open. Remove items of furniture or accessories and cut back plants that may be obscuring windows. Dirty windows can cut out a surprising amount of light so make sure windows are spotlessly clean inside and out.
The evenings are still dark so, for later viewings, make sure all bulbs are working and that there are sufficient lights and lamps to make your home feel light and bright. Put the lights on in all the rooms before your viewer rings on the doorbell. For dark corners, simply add a small table with a lit lampshade or put an up or downlighter there to add warmth and ‘open up’ the space.
5. Feel the warmth
Whatever your perfect temperature, remember warm and cosy is what most buyers wants from a home. So avoid the temptation to turn the central heating off at the first glimse of a daffodil and visualise the additional energy cost converting itself into higher notches on your sale price. Similarly, make sure your windows and doors close properly so no drafts, and make sure north facing or particularly nippy rooms are well heated.
6. Carry out minor repairs
Everyone is looking for easy, low maintenance living. Anyone selling a property with leaking taps, broken light bulbs, peeling wallpaper, overgrown gardens and sticking doors should realise that buyers will assume this as the tip of the DIY iceberg and lower their offer (if they offer at all). These may seem like little things but they can detract from the overall look and feel of the property. Buyers don’t want to imagine they’ll be spending their summer holidays lugging a tool box around the house. Or worse still, paying someone a fortune to do it for them.
7. Get the garden ship-shape
Gardens are a real bonus for any property on the market. They can provide an extra room to the house, a beautiful vista and nourishing connection to the changing seasons. Especially in springtime, we dream of opening the doors and spending time in the garden with our family and friends. Spending a bit of time pruning and clearing away the autumn leaves and dead plants, and making the garden look and feel really loved can make a big difference to a sale. Viewers often fall in love with a property because of the garden. However, a neglected garden can be very off-putting so make sure the garden is a priority when preparing your home for a spring sale.
Whilst spring can be the ideal time for selling your home, unless it looks ship-shape and ‘shiny’, it won’t get the price it deserves any time of the year. If you need help preparing your property for sale, get in touch with a professional home stager. They can provide expert advice and simple DIY tips on how to achieve the best and quickest sale for your property. Ask your agent or take a look on Houzz for recommended property staging specialist experienced in preparing properties for sale in your area.
Janine Shalev is a professional property and home stager at JS Property Staging. She transforms empty properties into spaces that prospective buyers or tenants would love to call home.
Get in touch. We would love to help you get a great sale for your property.