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Prepare your home

The external view

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The first thing that a prospective buyer will see is the out side of your home. Particular care needs to be taken so that the first impression doesn't immediately put them off. So take a long hard look at the front of your house and make sure that it has what is commonly referred to as 'kerb appeal'.

Pay particular attention to the following areas:

If you have one, then, spend a bit of time making the garden look respectable

Mow your lawn.

Make sure that garden furniture is clean, and throw away anything rusty.

Prune any shrubs, plants or trees that are overgrown.

Get some pot plants for your patio, or weed and replenish your existing ones.

Clear away weeds and dead leaves from your drive and the area leading up to your house.

If all this gardening lark really isn't your thing, then spending fifty quid on a gardener for the weekend is not a bad idea. Oh, and make sure that you don't have any washing hanging out to dry when people come round. Not everyone wants to see knickers, bras and boxers when they look out of the window!

General approach
Remember that first impressions last, so make sure that the garden, path, stairwell, lift or other approach to your home is clean, tidy and looks well maintained.

  • Hide your wheelie bin and make sure that any rubbish is cleared away.
  • If the property is being seen at night, always light the approach to the front door.
  • Window boxes are often recommended as a good way to add colour to the outside of a property and break up the angular lines of windows.

If you have one, clean your car. If your car isn't the most presentable vehicle on the streets, it can be an idea to park it elsewhere. It can be a good idea to try to make yourself look as prosperous as possible - especially when selling to younger, more aspiring buyers. That doesn't mean you should hire a Rolls Royce for the day, mind you…

Make sure that there is space for the viewer to park. If this means moving your own car somewhere else, so be it. They will not leave with a good impression if they leave with a parking ticket or a soaked wet through from walking hundreds of yards to where their car is parked.

Front door
Check the doorbell works and either give the front door a thorough scrub or a new lick of paint. Research shows that blue is allegedly the most popular colour with buyers, but we see no reason why other colours wouldn't do just as nicely. Make sure that the area around the door is free of cobwebs.

It is not wholly uncommon for buyers to turn up at a viewing, see the outside of a property and not bother to take it any further. If you can do anything to make sure that this doesn't happen, then it has got to be worth it.

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