If, like me, you enjoy your garden, you will be a regular viewer of Monty Don’s Gardeners’ World which each week features “jobs to do for the weekend” – a timely reminder of things that demand our attention.
If you are thinking of moving this autumn, or even just wanting to ensure you are doing things which will enhance the saleability and value of your home, then here’s a list of some of the things that may require your attention, not just this weekend, but over the coming weeks.
First impressions count. The exterior of your property is the first thing a prospective buyer sees. Keep it neat and clean. The front door is particularly important as it is a focal point and people tend to drive past a house before making an appointment to view. Don’t forget to keep your windows clean.
Even if you are not in Monty Don’s league, tidy the garden. Ensure that lawns are well trimmed and keep the gardens neat. A tidy garden looks great viewed from a window and also looks bigger than an unkempt one. Consider planting some winter flowering bulbs now in pots – you can position them by your front door to create some colour and a warm welcome during the autumn months.
Internally, if any part of your house needs decorating badly, redecorate it if possible. It enhances the presentation. Tidy wardrobes and cupboards look larger and give a good impression. If cupboards and fitted wardrobes look over crowded a buyer may feel it would be too small for their requirements.
Resolve to sort out those irritating jobs (squeaky doors, dripping taps) you have been meaning to do. If your house contains stairways it is essential that these are kept clear as any objects on them are dangerous and present a crowded appearance.
Neat bedrooms help sales. Make sure the beds are well made and that dress and table tops are neatly arranged. Sparkling bathrooms are essential.
If your property is on the market, fresh flowers and plants in a home can make quite a difference to its appearance. Most importantly, light rooms are cheerful rooms to a prospective buyer. If a room is dark, try to keep it as light as possible by drawing curtains back and using carefully positioned lamps.
Also, please remember too many introductions are distracting. Don’t have the whole family trailing inquisitively behind. This enables a buyer to concentrate on the house. Noise is a distraction and it is best to turn off radios and televisions.
Whilst I am sure that your pet is very dear to you, not everybody likes them. Avoid Fido from becoming a distraction.
Finally, never apologise for the appearance of your home. It will only draw attention to something that would otherwise have probably gone unnoticed.
I am sure, that you, like me with Monty, will find it difficult to abide by all of the tips, but if you manage the majority, it gives you a better chance to make your successful move this autumn.
John Halman is Managing Director of Gascoigne Halman, an estate agent with eighteen offices in South Manchester and is the North West Regional Residential Spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.