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Smartening up your home to sell

The housing market has been up and down over the last few years. This uncertainty has made moving more stressful than ever. But if you’ve outgrown your current home, it still might be your best option. So, it’s crucial that you make your home as attractive as possible.

Although there may not be the time and budget to spend on completely overhauling your home before you put it on the market, it’s still worth doing a few things to smarten it up first. This will give you a much better chance of selling without needing to drop the price.

Spruce up doors and windows

Think about the impression you want your home to give. Your home will only look smart and cared for if the front door and windows are in good condition.

Most of the time, giving the doors and windows a good clean is enough. But white uPVC doors can look cheap and wooden doors with flaky paint do look shabby. So, consider giving them a paint job. uPVC doors and window frames can be painted as long as you use the right products. In fact, there are now companies that will do this for you. Going for a dark grey on your window frames will give your home a more modern feel while a sunny yellow or a calming pastel green or blue door can make a house more welcoming.

Don’t forget the garage

If you have a garage, this is a bonus – even if it’s a bit tight for a modern car. Garages offer useful storage for bikes and other bulky items. So, it’s still a space that families find useful. But you need to show this off in its best light by clearing it out and organising it with shelves and racks. If there’s plumbing and electrics in your garage, you could turn it into fully-functioning utility space to make it appeal even more to families.

If you haven’t been using your garage so much recently, it may not be in the best condition. So, do check that the door still opens and closes with ease. If not, it may need repairing or replacing. Garage door costs typically start from £700 for an up-and-over type. You may also want to paint the door to match your front door, so your home has a cohesive look.  

Create a social kitchen

One of the main rooms that can make or break a house sale is the kitchen. And whether your target buyers are young couples or families, the kitchen needs to be appealing as it’s considered the heart of the home. There’s a growing trend for sociable kitchen spaces. So, where possible, it needs to be styled to towards this trend to meet people’s expectations.

Not all kitchens are open-plan spaces and kitchens in older homes are quite small by modern standards. However, you needn’t start taking down walls to make the kitchen work better. You simply need to be clever in how you present it.

Think about how you can incorporate seating. Stools can be added to a peninsula or island to create a breakfast bar. And a round table tends to take up less space than a rectangular one, so you may be able to squeeze in a dining space. If your kitchen is looking rather cramped, declutter it. Remove items from the worktop and if pedal bins, pet bowls and other items are hogging the floorspace, temporarily relocate them.

Unclutter the bathroom

The next room that’s going to be important to buyers is the bathroom. There’s plenty you can do to makeover a bathroom without changing the suite. If you have the time and budget, you can upgrade the taps, toilet seat and bath panel. If the room’s looking a little dingy, try brightening it up with new lighting or a mirror. No-drill, battery-powered wall lights can simplify this job.

As with the kitchen, it’s wise to remove clutter from the bathroom, to make it a look like a relaxing space. If you haven’t enough storage for your bottles, either store the excess in a utility cupboard or tidy them away into baskets. You might also want to splash out on some new towels and other accessories to modernise the space and think about adding some plants for a bit of greenery. Faux plants can work as well as real ones to create the right ambience.

Clean carpets and walls

Grubby carpets and scuffed walls will only make a home look drab and unloved. And if you have pets, the smell of them can linger in your carpets. Even if you don’t notice it, someone walking into your home for the first time will. Plus, if a house looks like it needs redecorating, it can put people off. Most people are looking for a house they can move straight into.

Most carpets can be freshened up with a steam cleaner. If you don’t own one, you can hire one for around £25 to £40 per day. Scuff marks may wipe off in certain places, especially on glossed skirting boards and on walls painted with vinyl emulsion. But if not, a fresh coat of paint in the worst affected areas will pay dividends.