How to Prepare Your Home To Sell

Published: 19/12/2022

Are you thinking of selling your London home in 2023?  Getting your property ready to come to market takes time and it’s worth investing some money to get your home looking its best if you want the highest return from a buyer.  December and early January is the perfect time to knuckle down and focus on preparing your home for the 2023 property market to ensure you make the best first impression for potential buyers.  Here are our top 10 tips to prepare your home for selling:

  1. Fix and Clean

You cannot expect a buyer to pay a premium for something which seems tired, run-down, and broken and with many buyers wanting something they can easily move into without doing any renovations, you’re more likely to sell your home in 2023 if you make an effort to fix minor repairs.  Spend time filling cracks and holes, fixing broken tiles and wobbly door handles, and replacing broken lightbulbs and threadbare carpets.  Get rid of limescale, clean tile grout, and replace sealant around windows, surfaces, and in bathrooms.  Make sure you remove any mould and mildew, which are not only unsightly but can be a cause of concern for browsing buyers.  Low battery bleeps in a smoke detector are also very distracting; ensure you have put a new battery in to avoid this.

  1. First impressions count

The photos of your property are the first thing potential buyers see and within a matter of seconds, they will decide whether to make an enquiry or skip past your listing.  Not only are good quality photos important, but your choice of home décor can create or lose a viewing.  Buyers are visual and if they can picture themselves in the space, then they’re more likely to enquire to view.  Whilst it’s still your home, you need to think about what buyers want and try to appeal to the masses to improve your chances of selling, especially in challenging markets.  Everything about your home décor has an impact on buyers, from your choice of furniture and wall paper to art and wall colours, so it’s best to go with more neutral décor to allow buyers to see the rooms, rather than the things within it.  Likewise, on a viewing a buyer’s initial impression of the home will be made within their first few seconds of arrival.  Take time to ensure everything leading up to the front door and beyond is going to help you sell.  It’s very hard to recover lost interest, so we want you to secure it as early on as possible!

  1. Update and Modernise

Buyers look negatively at things that they have to improve, with outdated kitchens and bathrooms being the highest reasons for making a lower offer.  We know not everyone can afford to buy an entirely new kitchen simply to sell their home, but consider spraying or wrapping kitchen cupboards to a fresh, neutral colour and changing older handles for elegant and modern alternatives.  They help to bring a home into the modern era, which makes a property have a greater initial appeal.  Likewise changing kitchen counter tops and plumbing fixtures will cost money, but can add value and increase your chances of selling your home in 2023.  Buyers are very receptive to your choice of decoration, so it’s worth taking time to understand who your target buyer is and tailoring your home to have instant appeal.

  1. Avoid Clutter

There is a reason why property magazines and TV shows portray quite minimalist homes – buyers don’t like clutter!  Excessive clutter pulls focus from the proportions of the rooms and also makes spaces look smaller and implies there is not enough storage.  It is an instant turn off for buyers to walk into a messy home and you’re at high risk of losing buyer’s interest within seconds of the viewing. Use the coming weeks to have a good clear out and consider replacing or even hiring furniture and accessories to enhance the space to increase its appeal.  Keep some personality to ensure you’re portraying the lifestyle on offer – it helps buyers to see how they can use the space which can increase your chances of an offer by up to 40%.  

  1. Nice to Smell You

Make an effort to make your home a feast for the eyes and the nose.  Bad smells are one of the biggest turn offs for buyers, no matter how nice the property may look inside.  Be sure to fix the sources of any poor smells (blocked drains, piled up bin bags etc), but invest in some pleasant diffusers and/or room fragrances to provide a welcoming scent upon entry.  Remember that cigarette smoke lingers in the walls and fibres of soft furnishings – you may need to look at replacing some items to eliminate historic odours.  

  1. Dress Your Home

A home is more likely to sell faster and for a better price if it is presented well.  A stylish and aesthetically pleasing space has a much higher chance of attracting a buyer as the space resonates as somewhere they can picture themselves living.  Ensure your windows are dressed with curtains, blinds or shutters and place some thought into the furniture you have – does it fit the space?  Is it dated?  Is it the right style?  It pays to have the right furniture to appeal to your target audience and it can be worth replacing or hiring furniture and accessories to “work” with the space.  Rugs, pillows, throws, and soft furnishings add texture and soften spaces, as well as make something more homely.  Use mirrors to reflect light around the home and breathe life in with plants and flowers.  Your choice of home décor can inspire visiting buyers and make them feel at home, increasing their chances of offering.  

  1. Define Each Room

Buyers need to be able to see the purpose of the room they are in.  Having a spare room as a dumping ground will not demonstrate the best proportions to buyers, nor help them to envisage how else the space can be used.  If your property is rented out and the living room is being used as a bedroom, you’d do well to consider ending the tenancy to put the property back to its true purpose so owner occupiers can picture themselves more readily in the space.  It’s worth looking on freecycle for items of furniture, or hiring/buying from us to help set the scene and stage each room.  If a bedroom can accommodate a double bed, it’s ideal to show this off.  Likewise, given how much people work from home, showcasing a study area within the property can show there is the potential to work from home if required.

  1. A Paint Refresh

A lick of paint not only helps to get rid of marks and blemishes but also makes a room look brighter and bigger.  Whilst you may love big, bold colours, not all buyers will share this sentiment!  Keeping your walls neutral will allow buyers to picture them and their possessions in the space more easily, providing a blank canvas to work with, helping to increase your chances of selling in 2023.  

  1. Paperwork

Selling a property is a big task and if you want to be prepared to sell your home in 2023, then take some time to find the required paperwork to aid a smooth transaction.   At Right Now Residential, we get you to complete your TA forms up front, which will then require you to source relevant certificates, documents and permission information to accompany these forms.  Giving yourself ample time to complete the information thoroughly and accurately ensures buyers have upfront information to make an informed decision and this helps to secure the sale once an offer is accepted.

  1. Outside Space

Outside spaces have become sought after since Covid-19, so if you’re fortunate enough to have private outside space, make sure it is aiding your sale in 2023, rather than deterring it.  Ensure gardens are de-weeded, leaves removed from a lawn and that the grass is under control.  Even if you only have a balcony with potted plants, be sure to remove dead heads, keep everything watered and thriving, and put a table and chairs out where possible.  If you have access to a communal outside space, take the time before photos and any viewings to make sure it looks respectable and inviting.

It’s important to focus on why you’re making these improvements – it’s to get your property sold faster and for a better price.  You need to put yourself into the buyer’s shoes and head to appeal to them.  This may result in a few months of living outside of your comfort zone but should allow you to move on faster than not making suitable changes. You may not always recoup the full value of the money you spend, but you will be increasing your chances of selling, allowing you to move on to the next stage of your plans.