New Year, new house? It’s time to act on the resolutions you made when sipping the bubbly and eating your body weight worth of Christmas leftovers. That leaky drain you’ve been meaning to fix, the garden hedge you said you’d prune…it’s time to tackle the tasks that will help to up your home’s curb appeal.
Moving house can be a costly and lengthy process. Well renowned as one of life’s big stresses; there are ways in which you can increase your likelihood of getting viewing for your property and ways in which you can diminish the stress. It’s New Year and time to get proactive – below are some of the best DIY hints and tips on how to sell your house without the fuss!
What people look for when buying a house
Statistics credit to: The Telegraph
How you can up your curb appeal
It may seem like a bit of an obvious starting point, but a large proportion of the people selling their homes are often overly preoccupied with making the interior of their home look presentable that they neglect the exterior. Flaking paint, small cracks and discoloured patches can be big turn offs for potential buyers. Houses that have been painted non-standard colours, such as baby pink, blue, yellow or green are also harder to sell. Give your home a face-lift and opt for some light, neutral coloured paint. It is also worth checking whether the varnish on wooden frames or doors needs a new coat.
Plants – Weeding and planting fresh flowers:
Giving your house that ‘homely’ feel, again, extends beyond the interior of the property. Weeds such as nettles, untamed ivy, thorny crawlers and regular weeds gives the impression that the home has not been cared for. Your front garden is also the first chance to make a good impression to potential buyers and can help to ‘sell itself’ to passers-by on the street.
Your house should be eye-catching for the right reasons. Spruce up the garden with some colourful, cost-effective, low maintenance flowers. Ask your local garden centre for advice regarding which plants are the best to purchase for the season.
Trim hedges: Ever wondered when is the best time to prune your garden hedges? As stated in the Mail, ‘Deciduous hedges can be cut throughout the year, although during the bird-nesting season, between the beginning of March and July, hedges should only be given a light trim.’ Smartly pruned hedges offer your home privacy and act as an effective wind-break and noise barrier. Some house buyers look for homes with a well-maintained hedge.
Mow lawns: A simple, quick and cost-effective improvement to your garden area is mowing your lawn. If your lawn is patchy, it may be worth investing in some seeds to sow to fill your lawn out. Attempt to create straight lines when mowing the lawn. You can also make use of a strimmer for harder to reach areas such as the border of your lawn.
Fencing, walls & gates: Rusting gates, leaning walls and rotten fences all suggest a lack of security to your premises. This is one of the biggest deterrent to potential buyers when viewing the outside of the premises other than major structural works to the house or the location. Buyers want to feel that the house that they purchase is safe and does not provide easy access to opportunist thieves. Gates that are hanging off their hinges, or gaps in fencing that could allow rogue dogs into your back garden often results in buyers feeling that their privacy could be violated. This is particularly an issue for those with younger children who want the peace of mind, knowing that their children have a safe environment in which they can play.
Similarly, in a recent survey conducted by The Crime Prevention Website, it was concluded that ‘first time buyers rated security as one of the most important aspects’ when viewing a house. Health and safety features such as fire alarms were also high on the priority list.
Not a fan of the huge spiders taking up residents in your porch? Neither are the potential buyers. It’s time to arm yourself with the vacuum cleaner and de-cobweb the porch. Sweep out the entrance and mop any tiles, giving it a fresh smell and a clean, presentable look. Move muddy boots and remove any unnecessary clutter.
Windows are also frequently overlooked when preparing to sell a home. People selling their homes often completely forget to have their windows cleaned or, they simply clean the ones in easy reach, ignoring the upper level. Have the window cleaners pay a visit and get all of your windows shining!
Bins should be moved to an area that is not readily visible. If this is not possible, then ensure that the bins aren’t overflowing.
Bird feeders & houses: You don’t have to be in the country in order to encourage wildlife into your garden. Hang bird feeders from branches of trees and place bird boxes in suitable areas around your garden. Before you know it, you’ll have a little oasis of tranquility in your garden.
Encourage Wildlife: A frequent mistake made by those trying to encourage wildlife into their gardens is to leave different forms of food out for hedgehogs, squirrels and other such wildlife at ground level. This often leads to an increase of mice and rats, which could then enter your home. For more ideas as to how you can make a home for nature, visit http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/how-you-can-help/wildlife-gardening.
Owning cats or dogs sometimes puts buyers off. Not everyone is confident around animals. If you have a viewing booked, ensure that animals are confined to a certain area of the house. This way, if a potential buyer suffers with allergies, they can view your home in comfort. It is therefore also a good idea to vac thoroughly before a visit to reduce animal fur and potentially even make use of a carpet washer. In terms of your curb appeal, you should ensure that any dogs are not loose in the front garden as this could intimidate potential buyers. Pets should also be ‘cleaned up’ after before buyers come to view your property. A garden is rather less appealing if your pet has soiled it.
To keep your home in good condition, winter/spring maintenance checks should be carried out:
– Look for signs of missing tiles or damage to your roof
– Unblock gutters and drains
– Clean your windows – this allows you to spot potential damage
– Check your pipes (these should have been clad in preparation for winter)
– Inspect your chimney / fireplace: As the temperature falls, it is tempting to heat your home by making use of your fire. Chimney fires are all too common for those who have not carried out the relevant checks.