Don’t despair if you’ve been struggling to sell your home. Try some of my suggestions!
I was inspired to write this post by Sarah Beeny of all people. She did a TV programme a while ago (that I can’t actually remember the name of).
Basically, she found people who were struggling to sell their homes—as in, people whose houses had been on the market for two years—and helped them to make some small but mighty changes that could get their home sold within a day. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get my point.
All of the changes were relatively easy, simple things, so I though I’d put my own list together on how to sell your home faster. A lot of people get disheartened when they still haven’t sold after 6 months, when they were expecting a fast, easy sale. Sometimes the timing is wrong, or people aren’t looking to buy in your area.
But there are plenty of things you can do to sell your home faster. Whether it be minor home improvements, or just cleaning up a bit, you need to make changes with the buyer’s desires in mind.
Some might require money being spent, but this should always be viewed as an investment. Some of these suggestions might even get you a better offer on your property. I can’t promise this, but you never know!
If your house has lots of bold colours, as much as you love it, it might be putting off potential buyers. They need to be able to see past your taste. You want to make the house look clean and fresh so painting it a nice neutral colour might be a good start. It’s best to use neutral colours because most buyers will probably repaint the week of moving in anyway.
Some of the best neutral tones include:
- Light grays
- Light blues
Remove Family Photographs
As sad as moving house and leaving memories behind is, the potential buyers don’t want to visualise you and your family in the house, but themselves.
This means that during viewings, you should try to remove any photos of you and your children from the walls/shelves. If the spaces look too empty, head down to your local Range or Dunelm, somewhere you can pick up some relatively cheap art prints or canvases.
You should try to avoid anything that doesn’t have mainstream appeal. You don’t want to put anyone off with strange or unusual artwork that will distract buyers from the crucial elements of your home. Some landscape or foliage pictures would work well, as would a cityscape or a geometric pattern.
Show Off Your Garden
A garden is a huge selling point for most houses, especially if your house has 4 bedrooms, as families will be the ones looking to purchase. You should try to make your garden look as attractive as possible. No one wants to move into a house and get straight to work on the weeds in the borders.
You’ll also want to show how functional your garden really is. It isn’t just an outdoor space, but somewhere you can store things, where the kids can play, where you can have a glass of wine in the evening sun.
You’ll need to ‘show’ buyers how they can use the garden. You should arrange some seating in a particular area, and put a barbecue nearby to help them visualise how the space would work in the summer. If you’re worried about the seating being out all the time, you could put a cover on it that can be whipped off just before a viewing.
Finally, clear everything up. Brush the patio on a regular basis. De-weed the borders. Mow the grass if it’s summer. These changes can make a big difference.
Brighten your Kitchen and Bathroom
If you’ve lived in your house for ten years, and had the kitchen fitted nine years ago, it’ll be starting to feel a little tired. It definitely doesn’t make sense to get an entirely new bathroom suite that you won’t get any use out of, but there are relatively cheap ways to tidy up these rooms to help you sell your home faster.
If your sink has a crack in it, you could try looking at eBay, or other online auction sites, for a cheap second hand replacement. Our second hand eBay kitchen is the best thing we ever bought!
If your bathroom grouting is looking a bit black and mouldy, try a grout pen to turn it white again. It’ll look like your bathroom has been freshly tiled.
Your kitchen cabinets could get new handles, and maybe replacement kickboards if the old ones are looking scuffed.
All of these investments will absolutely be worth the effort when it comes to impressing house buyers.
I’m not saying you need to throw out 70% of what you own. You don’t even have to throw anything out at all. But you do need to organise and tidy as much away as you can.
The trick is to still make the home look lived in, without making it look a mess. All books should be stored on a bookshelf neatly. Any bedside tables should be clear of mugs, glasses cases, and moisturiser bottles. Dishes should be washed up AND put away, not just left on the draining board. You should aim to make it look as neat as possible, especially for your estate agent photos.
I’ve seen some terrible photos in my time. Where every surface is cluttered, or where everything looks unorganised. It distracts. You find you’re not looking at the house, but at other people’s things.
The photo below is currently on a home selling site. It just makes the kitchen look so dark and small. There are dishes on the draining board, cleaning products everywhere, the bin seems to be in the middle of the kitchen?! I wouldn’t want to look around this house.
The below photo is also currently on a home selling site. Recently, there’s been an upsurge of people taking photos themselves. I would not recommend this.
The picture is blurred. There’s stuff everywhere. It’s taken too close up so you can’t get an idea of the full room. There’s ketchup, butter and bread on the table left over from breakfast! It just looks a mess, and not a place I’d want to look around.
But behind it all, it could actually be a really great house. The paint colour is lovely. I can see a brick effect wallpaper which looks nice. Those sliding patio doors are a HUGE bonus, but you can’t see that they’re bifold doors. It looks like there’s some kind of huge white cabinet opposite the doors that could be got rid of to open up the space.
Add Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is vital when you want to sell your home quickly.
Psychologists claim that humans make their first impression of something within a couple of seconds. Considering that, it’s essential that you work hard to improve the exterior of your property. You can do that by repainting or replacing the front door, adding some flowers to the garden or borders, and ensuring your driveway looks clean and tidy.
Sometimes, your house isn’t selling but it isn’t necessarily anything you’ve done ‘wrong’. It might be the location, the kitchen isn’t big enough, it’s lease and not freehold. It might even be something as small as the bathroom won’t fit a bath in it, only a walk-in shower.
It can be hard to find a buyer for your home, and to know what they want. Sometimes they surprise you. But making your home more attractive regardless will hopefully help you to sell your home faster.