Want to sell your home quickly? Forget the grand plans and just tidy up and paint

11:12 GMT, 30 April 2012


12:00 GMT, 30 April 2012

A dab hand: The best way to improve your home’s appeal is to tidy it, fix up damaged paintwork and give rooms a fresh coat if needed, say experts

Home owners hoping to sell this summer should ditch ambitious DIY plans and simply tidy up and repair tired paintwork.

While many may believe a last-ditch kitchen revamp or Ground Force-style garden redesign, would send their home to the top of potential buyers’ lists, experts say smaller tasks could make all the difference.

In a snapshot survey by bank HSBC, property valuers listed their top quick ways to help sell your home and boost its appeal.

De-cluttering a home, or tidying up as most of us call it, is the best way to help sell it, according to property valuers quizzed in a survey by HSBC.

And it was followed by some other relatively simple tasks in the home and garden, repairing paint chips, or damaged wall paper, cutting the grass and trimming flower beds, repairing fences and gates and repainting the front door.

Peter Dockar, head of Mortgages at HSBC, said: ‘Many householders spend the Bank Holidays on DIY projects to help boost property value and saleability. However it is often the smaller jobs like painting the front door that can make all the difference when looking for a quick sale.’

The survey highlighted a gap in perception in what would help sell a home with homeowners ranking a number of tasks higher up the priority list than the professionals would judge.

While both agreed that de-cluttering was the number one priority, owners thought cleaning the windows inside and out should be second on the list while valuers said this was only of middling benefit, placing it sixth on their list.

Owners also thought that hiding the rubbish bins out of sight, buying fresh flowers and washing the car if it was on the driveway was far more important than the professionals said.

Home help: HSBC asked property valuers and homeowners how much of a difference they though tasks would make to a home sale

How to sell your home successfully

Many of the suggestions in the HSBC quick fix survey reflect the advice of estate agents when getting a property ready to sell.

The National Association of Estate Agents has the following five tips for owners putting their property on the market:

Street appeal

The way the property is presented is critical. This means concentrating as much on the external aspects of the house such as the front garden, driveway and external facade, as you would on internal spaces. First impressions can often influence a house-hunter’s decision even before they have entered the property. At the very least, gardens should be tidy, the approach should look welcoming, and overall the outside should be well-looked after.

Take a buyer’s perspective

Disassociating yourself from the property can really help you to view it as a product to be sold, rather than your own personal space. Think practically about what personal items to display during viewings so that the home seems lived-in but not cluttered. Consider placing unnecessary personal items in storage to help the buyer more easily envisage themselves living there.

Ensure neutral decor and plenty of light

If necessary, re-paint key rooms like the lounge, giving neutral decor to appeal to as many people as possible. Light decor can also help the property seem spacious, while opening curtains and blinds will maximise the amount of natural light. If you have a viewing in the evening, think carefully about how best to light each room –while natural light is a good thing, too much artificial lighting can seem stark.

Repair and revitalise

Applying a coat of paint to worn walls, re-grouting bathroom surfaces and replacing any broken fixtures can really help to perk up a property. Taking the time to ensure things like door bells and light bulbs function as they should, will show the property is worth caring about.  

Get a professional valuation

Deciding on the right local estate agent to market your property and ensure your home is realistically priced is vital and choosing a licensed NAEA member will mean you are protected against unethical practice.

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