We’re fast approaching “sale season” – no, not that awful, blister-inducing shopping period in January. We mean early spring, when many homes go up on the market. You’ve enjoyed your last Christmas in your old home and are looking forward to being well settled in the next one by the time we welcome 2019.
As we’re all aware, there is a property shortage at the moment, so your home might be snapped up quickly, especially if you're within striking distance of the M50. However, if you are struggling to find a buyer or hit your desired price, here are a few things you can do to up your home’s curb appeal.
Declutter, but don’t empty.
It seems obvious but no harm to reiterate it – no buyer wants to feel like they’re in someone else's home. Strip back personal items, like photographs and general clutter, but leave the space its charm. It should feel like an inviting home, just not this particular person’s home. People want to know if a sofa or bed fits into a roomscape, while being able to imagine their own stuff in it.
It’s also wise to empty and hoover any built-in storage. Storage is always a big sell in a home and buyers will inevitably open closets and cupboards to see what they’re buying. If they’re clean and well lit they’ll be a huge selling point.
Complete a deep clean.
Again, it might seem obvious but have you been on MyHome.ie lately? Most people buying homes these days will anticipate a little (sometimes a lot) of work, so if your kitchen could use a revamp or the bathroom should be pulled out, don’t worry, there are plenty of potential buyers who will anticipate some minor renovations. But your house still needs a strong presentation and there’s no getting away from how important a deep clean is from a sale point of view.
After you’ve decluttered, start by taking a hoover and getting into all the corners, high and low. Dust all shelving and tidy up scuffs and marks on doors and skirting boards. They don't need a totally fresh coat, but a few touch-ups will have a big impact.
Though mould is a common occurrence in homes due to condensation, it can be a major turn off. Around windows, sinks, showers and baths, spray on a mixture of two parts water, one part bleach and leave for a few minutes before scrubbing with a sponge and dry thoroughly. Don’t forget to protect your hands by wearing gloves.
Freshen up walls.
This isn’t essential to every home but if you feel yours really is in need of a lick of paint, please AVOID MAGNOLIA. It looks cheap and does nothing but remind arriving buyers of school or a hospital, and neither have particularly pleasant connotations.
White might seem like the obvious choice but it can be cold, especially in north-facing rooms, and it's difficult to get an even coverage. Much less hassle are neutral colours like fawn, eggshell green and off-whites for a sophisticated space.
If some rooms border on the small size, consider painting connecting rooms in the same colour. This will help to create flow between them and give the appearance of space.
And by that I mean light via windows, candles or fires. Have the fire roaring for any evening viewings and have a candle flickering in certain corners to create inviting pools of light. Even in the summer, a few unlit logs in the fireplace will give the impression of warmth.
Add small touches.
Flowers will wither and die quickly in a warm environment (which your home should be during the viewings) so opt for some potted plants instead – borrow some from friends or family if you are not particularly green-fingered. They’re hardier, cheaper and generally more neutral.
Clean, plumped up linens on beds and sofas are a must, as well as a few throws here are there for texture. Avoid overly bright cushions or accessories as they can distract from the room itself.