Selling a house can be stressful, but if you know how to present your property for sale, it will be come easier and you might even get a higher offer.
The way you present your property for sale can lead either to faster sales and higher offers or to long periods of waiting, countless unsuccessful viewings and lower price deals.
Drawing from our experience, this article is all about giving you the right tips and all the steps you need to take in order to have the optimum presentation of your house for a quick and successful sale.
irst impression is all that matters
Make your property stand out in the listings by taking high-quality photos of all the interior and exterior areas. Using bright, high-resolution photos that present your house from all the best angles, you will be able to make people want to view your home.
In our experience, many estate agents know the value of good photos. However, if you aren’t happy with the photos they have done, don’t be afraid to ask them to do them again.
If you want to make sure, hire a professional. It’s an additional expense, but if it will help you to sell you home for a better price, it’s worth it.
Try to put yourself in the place of the potential buyers and think what kind of listings would draw your attention:
Would you want to view a house if all you have seen are dark, blurry photos? Or are you more likely to be interested if they actually give you a good idea of what the rooms look like?
We found that good-quality photos are vital, if you want to stand out from the crowd. Remember, your listing will be one of many on the list, and you want to grab your potential buyers’ interest.
Of course, before you get to that point of taking photos, there are some things on the “to-do list” you need to focus on. In our experience, you have to prepare your home properly before you can get photos done.
Just remember: Perfect presentation is priceless!
Clean and Tidy up
Clean the house outside and inside and make sure you keep it clean during the whole time you advertise it and have viewings. A clean, tidy and odour-free house can get you closer to your target.
From our experience we can say that a clean and tidy house is a must if you want to sell your home. You want to create an environment in which a potential buyer feels comfortable. You want them to imagine living in your house.
Whenever we decided to sell our home, the first thing we did was a proper spring-clean inside and out. We also get the pressure washer out and give paths, patios and decking a good clean. It’s amazing what a difference it makes. And don’t forget about the front garden.
Once your home and garden are nice and clean, keep it that way. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. We have received so many comments from people viewing our houses over the years about how clean it is.
That means that they must have stood out from other houses they saw, which is what we wanted.
De-clutter and De-personalize
The more spacious the areas are, the more attractive they become to the eye. A cluttered home is one of the main issues that can turn off potential house buyers.
No one wants to struggle to go from one room to another, being extra cautious not to hurt themselves on some furniture corner or not to drop any of the dozens of ornaments placed… everywhere.
So, get rid of any excess furniture and put it into storage. Any furniture you decide you don’t need any more, you could sell. We found that we accumulate so many things over the years. Especially, if you have moved to a bigger house.
And for us, all these things might look just right in our home. However, potential buyers might feel that rooms are too small because of all the clutter. And that’s the last thing you want.
Also, remove any photos and personal items such as postcards, souvenirs, toys etc. For us, these personal items help to make a house a home. But if a potential buyer is confronted with photos and other personal items in every room, they will start to feel like visitors.
It’s difficult to imagine living somewhere if the personality of the present owner is coming across strongly. And it’s only for a few weeks. Once you have accepted an offer, you can bring the personal items back out.
It can be hard to de-clutter and de-personalise your home, but you want to present a house that looks like it’s waiting for a new owner to settle in. This step is one of the most important ones on our “how to present your property for sale” to-do list, because it makes such a big difference.
Paint and Refresh
It comes without saying that painting your house will make it look clean, fresh and alive. Avoid dark or bright colours on walls or furniture and go with neutral ones so that the buyers can picture themselves decorating their new home.
For them, the house is the canvas, and they are the painters… the artists. Let them envision creating their masterpiece.
When we prepare a house to put it on the market, we go from room to room to assess whether we need to repaint it. Either because we have chosen colours that aren’t neutral enough, or because the room looks tired.
Based on our experience over the years, we can say that you should never underestimate the difference a freshly painted house makes. It might take time, effort and money, but it’s worth it if you sell your home for a higher price quickly.
Don’t forget to put fresh flowers in the vases. Apart from the nice looks, fresh flowers have a positive effect on moods; and always keep your house bright. Make sure all the curtains or blinds are open and switch on all the lights before a viewing.
Pay extra attention to the front door and garden of your property as this is the second “first impression” after the photos. Clean and, if necessary, paint the front door. Tidy up the front garden and plant flowers and some add ornaments to make it look appealing. Invest in a new doormat to welcome the viewers.
We found that while it might sound like these are just little things, taken together they can make a big impact. Any potential buyer arriving at a house that looks well cared for will look forward to seeing the inside. Exactly what you want to achieve.
Repairs can make or break your sale, so fix any damages on floors, doors, stairs, tiles, windows, bulbs etc. and replace all broken parts. Cracking stairs and broken windows won’t excite the potential buyers.
And here you go, the “how to present your property for sale” to-do list to complete before you put your house on the market.
Now that you know how to present your property for sale, what’s next?
Now that your house is ready, the next step is viewings. These can be nerve-racking, even if you don’t conduct them yourself. But, now that you know how to present your property for sale you have nothing to worry about.
We believe that a homeowner can sell their home better than any estate agent. That’s why we would recommend to any seller to conduct their own viewings.
It’s all about presenting your property for a successful sale! And it is not as difficult as you may think.
After all, you are the person who knows the house better than anyone. When prospective buyers arrive, start your charm offensive. Be welcoming, smile and why not offer them a cup of tea. Maybe you even have some biscuits ready for them.
This will break the ice, and it will help you start a small talk with them just to see their requirements. But it will also make them feel at home, which will make it easier for them to imagine living there.
How to conduct a house viewing
A good idea would be to start the tour from the best part of your property. What is the unique selling point of your home? Maybe it’s the homely kitchen diner or the south-facing garden that is such a sun trap.
We once sold a house that had a big living room with a huge window giving onto the large garden. The view was what sold the house to us. So when we came to sell it, we made sure we took potential buyers into the living room first.
And most people were amazed by the view and commented on how nice it is. Once they were stunned by the lovely view, they will look at the rest of the house with much more positive eyes. So we would always recommend that you show the best part of your home first at any viewing.
Always try to highlight the positives of the house and see if you can counter the negatives. When you show people around, don’t tell them about the features, like the log burner. Instead, tell them how much heat it gives up and how warm and cosy the living room is in winter.
Share your experiences of delightful family dinners around the kitchen table and the amazing barbecue gatherings with friends in the garden during summer.
By doing this, you will give them an idea of what it’s like to live in the house, rather than just pointing out features they can see for themselves. We found that this is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal of selling your home.
Over the years we have become quite good at conducting our own viewings, and we actually enjoy it.
Do your best to answer all the buyers’ questions. If there is a question you don’t know the answer to, promise to find out and let them know. And make sure you do follow up on the unanswered questions via your estate agent.
After you have shown them around, give them some time to look around alone. This will give them the time they need to take everything in and start to think about how they would use the space. This is the first step of imagining living in the house, so it’s vital prospective buyers have the time and space to do that.
Before they leave, make sure you ask them again if they have any questions that might have come up. Remind them that they can always contact the estate agent if they have any further questions or want to book a second viewing.
And last but not least: if the buyers express their admiration for any of your furniture or your beloved items, you might consider throwing it with the sale, as this may bring you a higher offer.
In our experience, it’s important that you discuss this beforehand. You don’t want to throw in your partner’s favourite possession and get into trouble. Make a list of the things you would be willing to part with for a higher offer, so you don’t panic in the heat of the moment.
You should also consider repairing something you may have missed, and it is used by the prospective buyers as an excuse to negotiate a lower sale price
Also, make sure you get feedback from every viewing from your estate agent and listen to it. We found that this is the best way to find out if there are issues that come up again and again. In one of the houses we sold, we frequently got feedback saying the dinging area of the kitchen diner was a bit small.
While we couldn’t make the area bigger, what we could do was rotate the table by 180 degrees. This made the space look bigger. And we know it worked because we got less feedback pointing out the small dining area.
Protecting the value of your home
It’s the combination of a well-presented property and a friendly welcoming manner that can unlock the potential of your house and put you in the right position to negotiate the highest possible price.
This is, after all, the main thing all sellers have in mind: “How can I get the most money for my house?”
But, you have to be aware of what a realistic price for your property will be. Your area might have a sealing price, which means houses won’t sell for any more than this. To find out, talk to your estate agent.
The best estate agents will know the local area and market and will be best placed to advise you on a realistic asking price.
We would recommend getting valuations from at least three estate agents. And if you want to double-check you can always use our tool to compare chartered surveyors in your area. This way you will know what the right price for your house is and if the offers you get are fair or not.
So there you are… you have the tips and some good advice on how to present your property for sale and viewings, as well as conducting your own viewings. Want to know more? Read our article with our 101 ways that will help you sell your house faster. With all this information you just can’t go wrong.