If you’re thinking of selling your house next spring, now is a good time to start preparing. The majority of prospective buyers are not interested in your décor or furniture, kitchen gadgets, or the fact your house looks ‘lived in’. They are more interested in whether it meets their requirements. With this in mind, you need to highlight the house, not what’s in it, and one of the best ways to do that is with a good declutter. So, if you want to sell property fast, consider the following.
Most halls/entrance ways are already narrow enough. If you’ve got every coat and jacket in the house bulging off the hallway coat rack (including the dogs), break out the packing cases, and slim it down to one coat/jacket per person.
The same applies to caps, hats, walking sticks, umbrellas, dog leads and muzzles, and shoes and boots. Depending on the time of year, allow one pair per person. If you have a hallway table, make sure it’s not full of junk mail, or unopened bills and letters.
For most of us, it doesn’t take long to fill up the window sills, mantelpiece, the tops of sideboards, and display cabinets with family photos, souvenirs, potted plants, ornaments, and knick-knacks. Break out another packing case, they’ll have to go.
If your display cabinets are jam-packed, thin them out, and just keep a few prime pieces on display. Likewise, if your walls are full of framed collages of family, portraits of family members long gone, or the family pet, it’s another packing case job. To break up all that empty wall space, a couple of impersonal landscapes from a local charity shop should fit the bill.
Some of us prefer the wide-open spaces (it’s why the open plan was so popular a few years back), others prefer ‘cosy’. For cosy, read a living room packed with furniture. If your living room is overflowing, consider putting a few pieces into a temporary self-storage unit, along with the packing cases. The more furniture or equipment you’ve got in a room, the smaller it looks.
It goes without saying that your home needs to look clean and presentable for viewers, but the kitchen and bathroom particularly so.
Start off by thinning out the kitchen cabinets, cupboards, and drawers. Do you really need that old chipped dinner service you got as a wedding present 20 years ago, the frying pan with the wonky handle, granny’s old cutlery set – or the slow-cook that doesn’t?
With a little more space in the cupboards, you can coil up the cable on a few of your hardly-ever-used electrical kitchen accessories, and store them out of sight. Just keep out the necessities such as kettle, toaster, microwave, and deep fat fryer. Make sure all the fridge magnets are removed, and the corkboard just has a couple of recent must-dos on it. It makes you look more efficient.
As with downstairs, declutter the clutter. Clear window sills of plants, photos, or make-up. Box up hairdryer, curling tongs, make-up, and perfume on the dressing-table, and store against the wall behind your dressing-table seat.
If the kid’s bedrooms have got shelves jammed with cuddly toys, star-wars, or action men, box the majority up and put in the toy cupboard. Leave just a few choice pieces spread along the shelves. If walls are covered with posters a meeting needs to be called, to decide which few they want to keep out, and which are rolled up and put in the cupboard.
Most modern bathrooms come with a bathroom cabinet. If yours doesn’t, it’s worth investing in one for all the toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shampoos, and shaving cream lying around the bathroom sink. If it’s show day, just keep a couple of bath towels on display, and put the others in the airing cupboard.
Shed, Garage, and Garden
Finally, if you want to sell property fast, tidy up the garden, garage, and garden shed. Mow the lawn, trim the plants and borders, get rid of the rusty old barbeque that’s never used, and any other accumulated junk and rubbish. Put a few tool hangers in the shed and garage. so everything isn’t lying about on your workbenches. Now is also the time to book your self-storage unit, and move out of the garage those packing cases, furniture, and anything else you want to take to your new home.