Deciding to sell or let out your home is often such a big step that it's easy to forget what comes next: convincing someone else that they want to buy or rent it!
Any agent worth their salt will give the advice to 'de-clutter' and have a 'thorough clean' prior to marketing shots, but what does that mean and which areas really matter?
Nathan and Sian, two members of our experienced and knowledgeable Sales Team, share their on-trend, expert tips and techniques that will make a real impact on the way potential buyers feel about the space, with the vast majority of them being transferrable to landlords seeking tenants too.
The preparation may take up a weekend, but that's a small price to pay to guarantee your listing is the cream of the crop and the offers come flooding in!
All the photos featured on this page were taken at properties marketed for sale or to let by CPS Homes.
The front and exterior of your home is the first thing interested parties will see, so it's traditionally used as the leading shot and designed to grab attention. Start with a full clean of your front door and any surrounding areas. If your property has a forecourt or a driveway, a quick jet wash and removal of leaves and other seasonal debris is well worth it, touching up any chipped or cracked paint on walls or railings whilst you're at it. Make your buyers fall in love at first sight!
With first impressions typically made within the first three seconds, your entrance hall is arguably THE most important part of the viewing experience. So, opening the door to clutter and being smacked with the smell of soggy dog is a huge no-no! There are a number of little things you can do, which – when all put together – will make a world of difference in making the property feel warm and inviting.
Here's where we encourage your prospective buyer to be imaginative and allow them to envisage themselves living in the property. Surfaces should be clean and clutter-free, but we don't want the place to look stark and bare. Sometimes, it's the smaller details that can make your property listing stand out from the crowd.
Grey has been the most popular colour over recent years, but whatever your colour scheme, it's a good idea to throw in some contrast to give your listing some vibrancy (don't worry, we aren't talking about painting your spare room hot pink!). The small addition of a couple of new feature cushions and a throw (bargain shops and supermarkets will be ideal for finding some nice ones) is a cost-effective way to achieve the look.
This is transferable to the bedrooms as well. If the concept of matching bedding, cushions and curtains terrifies you, simply go for a white cotton bedspread with pillows and create the contrast in a similar way with feature cushions. Pick out a colour that appears in the curtains, walls or wallpaper to tie it all together.
We all know how to clean our homes, but a daily clean isn't the same as getting your property ready to list for sale. When people are looking for a place to call home, they're imagining a fresh start, so make things seem like-new where possible, with sparkling surfaces, gleaming windows and minimal distracting clutter on show.
Selling the lifestyle your property offers to budding buyers is just as important as the décor, layout and location. As a nation of pet lovers, your beloved pooch or puss can take a starring role in helping showcase this, with buyers simply lapping it up. One of my favourites to date was Nancy the Cocker-poo giving the tour of her home in Pontcanna. Scott loves this approach to filming; giving a personable and relatable feel to your listing.
It's important to remember, though, that you want your pets to help sell, not hinder. Things to really focus on here are pet hairs on carpets and upholsteries, food and water bowls, litter trays and – of course – the sometimes overbearing odours our four-legged friends can leave lingering in the air. Oh, and let's not forget to collect the little presents they may have left behind on the lawn too!
The same tips resonate for all pets. Fish tanks, reptiles, hamsters and rabbits all present their own set of requirements, so just be mindful of stagnant water, sawdust and straw all being ship-shape to ensure happy buyers.
With flowers, you can go as big or small as fits your taste, ability and budget, but you really don't need to spend a fortune to make an impact. Keep in mind that there are going to be 7 to 10 days between your listing appointment and your launch-day viewings, so choice and timing are key when it comes to making the most of your floral arrangements.
Lilies are a fabulous choice because they're visually large and impressive. They add height and grandeur to any room, whilst giving off a glorious and tranquil scent. We find that they make the best impact in larger entrance halls, spacious dining rooms and lounges. Just make sure you snip the stamens if you're a sneezer!
Lower arrangements of peonies look great on tables in smaller lounges and smell divine. If you have a larger bathroom and it's the season, sunflowers will look fantastic. To provide style and simplicity, you can always rely on a living orchid, or there are more and more artificial potted orchids available both online and on the high street. We can, of course, give you direction on the best ideas and even help in arrangements if you aren't a born florist!
It's often forgotten about, but outside spaces have become more and more important to buyers. Whatever the size or the direction your garden faces, it's crucial that we show off how it can be utilised.
If you have a small courtyard, invest or borrow a bistro table and two chairs to show off the space. If you've already bought some scatter cushions for the beds, go and grab them and place one on each chair. Get a bottle of prosecco and two glasses or a coffee pot and two cups for the table. You can buy a couple of pots or hanging baskets for next-to-nothing, which – when all combined together – help transform a tiny, unusable space to put the bins into a space you can relax and host a BBQ in.
The same concept of displaying areas in larger gardens is also encouraged, especially to show the multi-functionality, such as the dining table and a few toys on the lawn if it's more of a family home.
The above is largely seasonal and weather-dependent, but the basics such as jet-washing patios and decking, touching up cracked paint, cutting the lawn and putting weed-killer between patio slabs are always highly recommended.
Whilst this may all sound like a great deal of effort, taking the time to prepare your property in the right way for marketing photos, videos and launch-day viewings really can secure you thousands of pounds more than you might have otherwise expected. Remember, it's only really two days you need to prepare for – listing appointment and launch-day viewings – and they will always be close together.
We like to think of ourselves as a friendly sounding board for all of your home-staging ideas and are always here to advise. If you don't have the will or the ability to do all of the above yourself, we'll be more than happy to put you in touch with some fantastic cleaners, florists and general contractors to lighten the load.
Even if you're not ready to sell, knowing how much your property is worth allows you to plan for the future, so drop us a line and we'll let you know much it would go for in today's market.
Book your free in-person or desktop valuation today: call us on 02920 454555 or e-mail us via firstname.lastname@example.org