If you want to reduce the chances of your property being on the market for months on end, there are a few things you should do before you put it up for sale. Read on to find out what these are.
Make it neutral
Many real estate agents believe that it is absolutely essential to make your home decor as neutral as possible before you put it on the market. In practical terms, this means removing all of the personal clutter around the property and changing the decor to make it slightly more generic. The purpose of this is to make it easy potential buyers to imagine themselves living there (this can be difficult to do if a house is filled to the brim with another family's personal mementos and knick-knacks).
Begin by removing all of the family photographs, trinkets, knick-knacks, books, toys and other clutter from the surfaces around your home. Ideally, these should be put into storage until the property has been sold. In their place, put a few simple, impersonal items that will improve the appearance of each room, without personalising it. Things like a vase filled with flowers on the windowsill or a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen table are good examples of the type of items you might want to use.
If the walls of your home are painted in very vivid colours, it might also be a good idea to cover these up with a few licks of neutral-toned paint. Should you decide to do this, don't be tempted to opt for bright white in every room, as this could leave your property looking rather sterile and unwelcoming. Instead, use very pale shades of taupe, ivory, grey and magnolia, with white trim. This should create an elegant and inviting look.
Clean and repair
The little details really do matter when it comes to selling a property. Eagle-eyed prospective buyers will immediately spot all of those minor flaws and dirty areas of your home that you have become oblivious to. As such, it's sensible to devote a few days to carrying out a bit of basic repair work and doing some deep cleaning before you put the house up for sale
If the doors around your home are rather stiff or creaky, spritz some lubricating oil on their hinges. If there's a leaky faucet in the kitchen or bathroom, tighten or replace the loose or warped washer that causing the leak. Use some filler and paint to repair any holes in the walls left behind by artwork and photographs you had hanging on them, and make sure to replace any cracked or missing tiles in your bathroom.
Then, move onto cleaning. Give both the inside and the outside of your home's windows a thorough cleaning with a squeegee and some soapy water. Use an extendable feather duster to reach any cobwebs in the top corners of the rooms and dust every other surface in the house, including the light fixtures, the windowsills, the cabinets, the tables and the crown moulding. Pay attention to the hardware around your home too; you'll be amazed at what a difference a bit of polish makes to your metal drawer pulls, door knobs, faucets and handles.
Spend plenty of time hoovering the carpets. Additionally, if you have wooden floors that are looking a bit dull, it might be worth adding a layer of polishing wax to them, to give them a new lease of life.