Prepare your home

Introduction

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Location, location, location! That's what is likely to get buyers interested in your home in the first place. But presentation is the key to things moving forward and turning that interest into a firm offer.

Before you start accepting viewings, spend a few weekends getting your property in tiptop condition. You may not add a huge amount to the value of your home, but it can certainly increase the speed of the sale and may sway the decision of any wavering buyers.

One of the best things that you can do as a homeowner is regularly maintain your property. This means nothing will ever really get into a state of disrepair, and it will make the job of sprucing the place up for presentation purposes that much easier.

Before you put the finishing touches to your property, visit a builder's show home to get some pointers on good techniques for showing your property in the best possible light. Your aim in all of these activities is to get your home to realise its full market value. Follow the steps under the headings below and steps and hopefully you won't needlessly lose any buyers.

Running repairs
Remember all those odd jobs around the house that you've been planning to do…ever since you moved in? Well it's time to get your act together and don your workman's hat.

Redecorate?
Just how far will you go…rip up the carpets and install a new kitchen, or just a splash of new paint? Get our view of just how much is too much.

The external view
Approach your preparation with the buyer in mind and you won't go far wrong. The first thing they see is the outside of your home, so make sure they are not disappointed.

Clean…
No one wants to move into a health hazard or a breeding ground for bacteria. Making sure that all things glisten is your goal.

…and tidy
Buyers will get a better view of how they can use the space in your home if they can actually see it! So make sure that your home doesn't resemble a jumble sale.

Sensual blitz
If your senses tell you that something is wrong with your home, then you are probably right. Make sure that your home appeals to all the buyers through sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.

And when you've done all that…

You, the vendor
Have a shower, put on a clean set of clothes, and make yourself presentable. If you are still in your dressing gown, look like you have just got up, or are sprawling in front of the television when they arrive, with bits of food all down your front, buyers are likely to get the hugely misguided impression that you are a slob, rather than someone lazily enjoying their time off. Be sharp, clean and business-like and you will immediately have gained the upper hand in the negotiating process.

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