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How to Get My House Ready For Sale During Lockdown

How to Get My House Ready For Sale During Lockdown

Published: 07/05/2020

You may believe the property market is on pause right now, however if you’re planning to sell once the restrictions have been lifted then it doesn’t mean you need rest on your laurels now.

The most important thing to remember is that you only get two opportunities to make that all-important first impression.

The first is when your estate agent ensures the right people see it, whether it be in a magazine, via email or brochures in the post, in their local branch, or either on their website or one of the top property portals such as Zoopla and OnTheMarket (or to an increasingly lesser extent, Rightmove, who sadly no longer have as many of the properties for sale in the UK on their website). This means your home must look shipshape for the professional photographs.

The second opportunity is when potential buyers view your home in person and make that ultimate decision that this is the right sanctuary for them. Essentially, you’ll want to make sure that your home comes across tempting and attractive.

So, where do you start?

The Garden

Kerb appeal is extremely important. Remember, a buyer will have made-up their mind within 35 seconds of their arrival. If they get a poor impression from the start, they will probably dismiss any positive elements later-on. Your front garden is the first thing that a potential buyer will see, so give it plenty of attention.

There are a huge amount of buyers from down south, including London, flocking to Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, mainly due to the comparable value for money we offer and the travel connections. They probably only have a postage-stamp garden at thee moment, so the extra outside space we can offer will be very attractive. So don't forget about the back external space either. Some pointers:

  • Cut the grass
  • Prune hedges
  • Paint/treat the fence panels
  • Remove/kill weeds
  • Clean up dog mess

Light

Optically, dark rooms feel small. Open blinds and curtains. Make sure those windows are clean! If you're selling because your teens have flown the nest and, in their wisdom, they felt it wise to paint their bedroom dark blue, restore it back to a lighter and more neutral colour.

Declutter

If in doubt, throw it out! This is probably one the most important steps you can take. Decluttering project an impression of more space. It will photograph well and ensures your buyer will be viewing a clean and well-kept home. The local tips are now starting to reopen so use this time to get clearing!

Remember, less is more. Buyers sometimes can't look beyond something that visually 'offends' them. If they can visualise living in your house with their own paraphernalia, they are much more likely to make a good offer.

Give Rooms Purpose

If your local estate agent has advised to market your home as a four bedroom house, ensure there are four bedrooms for buyers to see, as opposed to two bedrooms with a study and seperate playroom. Show people what they can have, don't rely on telling them.

It's again about visualisation and making it easier for buyers to imagine living in the space we're offering. With more time on your hands, you can start to dress your rooms ready for photographs.

Minor Repairs

All those niggling DIY jobs have probably been put off for a couple of years, but now's the time to get them sorted. Don't give potential buyers a reason to mark your property down, especially for the sake of a quick and relatively cheap fix. Below we provide a list of things buyers pick-up on when they view:

  • The grouting in the kitchen
  • The mastic in the bathroom
  • Small cracks in plaster and picture-hook holes
  • Llimescale on taps
The likes of B&Q are gradually reopening now as the restrictions are gradually lifted so, again, use this time to touch-up walls and tiles.

Bathroom & Kitchen

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. They're often the most expensive for a buyer to upgrade. However, they're also the most expensive for you, the seller to upgrade too. Do not spend money to your taste, just make sure it's fairly reflected in the price and ensure you make the effort to clean and declutter them, giving your buyers a blank canvas to project forward. Here's what you can do:

Bathroom:
  • Eradicate mould
  • Store toiletries out of sight
  • Clean shower doors
  • Keep the loo seat down
Kitchen:
  • Declutter worktops
  • Put crockery away
  • Clean the windows
  • Hide any signs of pets

Documents

Your estate agent and solicitor will need various bits of paperwork so if you can gather this now you will avoid delays further down the line. Call your local independent estate agent now and put them on stand-by while at the same time asking what they'll need to save time. This can include:

  • Land Registry title and plan
  • Gas safety checks 
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report 
  • FENSA or CERTAS certificates
  • planning consents
  • building regulation completion certificates and builder’s guarantee certificates
  • subsidence guarantees/warranties
  • damp guarantees/warranties
  • party wall agreements
  • listed building consent
  • conservation area consent for works
  • insurance/indemnity policies
  • money laundering identification
Don't worry, it may seem like a mine-field, but your agent is here to help, hold your hand and guide you through the process.

If you're considering selling your home, please feel free to contact us at any one of our local offices for a free consultation.