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Preparing Your Property for Sale: 6 Steps for Success

Preparing Your Property for Sale: 6 Steps for Success

If you’re about to put your home on the market, you may be wondering what you can do to make it stand out! When it comes to ensuring your property demands attention, how you prepare your property is key.

Today’s buyers want to imagine your home as theirs. When they look around they need to be able to see their couch instead of yours, imagine their kids’ toys all over the floor. Ultimately, they want to see how nice their lives will be if they purchase.

Presenting your property in a way that allows them to do this can be a tall order, but it’s not impossible. And, if you’re successful, you’ll set yourself apart from the other properties in your area and enjoy a faster sale at what could be a better price.

To achieve this, you’ll need to put a little time and effort in sprucing up your home, but by following our steps, doing so will be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Give Your House a Lick of Paint

One of the easiest ways you can make a great impression is by splashing a new coat of paint on the walls.

Touching up the paintwork will make each room feel fresh and vibrant. If it’s not too much work to do, going with a neutral colour scheme can leave the walls looking cleaner and give buyers a blank canvas to work with.

If your house is papered rather than painted, make sure that your wallpaper isn’t peeling away, torn in places or starting to fade.

In particular, peeling wallpaper is a key indicator of damp and could play on a viewer’s mind if seen. Of course, wallpaper curling at the corners doesn’t always mean damp, but you should double-check just in case.

While giving the walls a little touch up is an excellent way to spruce up your house, you need to make sure you don’t go overboard.

Tins of paint, wallpaper paste and the cost of brushes can add up and the last thing you want to do is spend more money than you gain from increasing the value of your home. So, don’t think you have to completely redesign your house.

If you’re unsure whether you need to do any redecorating, invite an estate agent to value your home and they’ll be able to make some recommendations.

2. Become the King or Queen of Clean

You want to start on the right foot with potential buyers, but if that foot is on a dirty carpet, you have a problem. We’ve all stayed in hotels that don’t quite hit the cleanliness mark, and let’s be honest, you didn’t want to go back, did you?

Property is no different. A dirty home will make people feel uncomfortable, and no one is going to buy a property that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Luckily, with a duster and a little elbow grease, making your house sparkle doesn’t have to be a big challenge. Although, if you have children or pets, the cleaning will need to be extra thorough to shift any hair, sequins or furballs left behind.

Here’s an added bonus tip for all you animal lovers out there: gently running a rubber squeegee over your carpets and sofas will help lift out embedded pet hair. Don’t believe us? Try it!

On the day of the viewing, be sure to vacuum the carpet and give everything a quick once-over with the duster.

If you don’t have carpet, don’t think you’ve gotten off lightly. Laminate flooring shows dirt and dust more than carpet does, as there are no carpet fibres for grime to embed itself in. Thankfully, laminate flooring is easier to clean than carpet, so the flooring should be given a quick sweep and mop.

We know housework isn’t fun, but dusty furniture and a kitchen covered in grease won’t leave a good impression on anyone who views your property.

Roll up your sleeves, stick on Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and tackle the grime!

3. Embrace Your Inner DIY Prowess

While you’re powering through your pre-sal

e clean, make a list of any little maintenance jobs that need doing.

If you’ve been asking your other half to replace that broken light bulb for weeks, now is the time to really turn up the heat on them until they do it. Other common maintenance tasks could include:

  • Fixing rattling doorknobs
  • Repairing cracked tiles
  • Oiling door hinges

Think of anything minor that would bother you if you were buying a property, and add it to your to-do list. That’s the best way to face potential problems when preparing your property for sale.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget the Floorboards

Here’s an extra tip for those with hardwood flooring. Loose or squeaky floorboards are easy to overlook as they are out of sight and you’re probably used to the noise.

However, a potential buyer could notice it as a hidden issue if they step on one, and may start to think about other unseen problems that could be lurking throughout the property.

Too many squeaks and they may start to feel like they’re in a horror film, which is obviously not what you’re aiming for.

For a quick, lasting fix to squeaky floors, add a dry lubricant to the boards causing the issue. The lubricant will work its way between the boards, silencing that irritating noise.

4. Create an Ambience

It’s one thing for your house to look inviting, but to really make a good impression, your home needs to feel inviting, too. The best way to do that is by creating a homely ambience.

Inviting Aromas

Homely smells are simple to get right. Start by having a freshly brewed pot of coffee to offer your guests, and if you’re handy in the kitchen, it doesn’t hurt to have some cookies or a fresh loaf baking in the oven.

If you’re not a coffee drinker or the last loaf of bread you baked came out as a lump of coal, try changing your bedsheets, instead. The smell of fresh bedding is something that’s universally loved, and it makes each room feel clean and well cared for.

Alternatively, open your windows and let the fresh air breathe some life into any room you’re struggling to make smell nice (eg. your teenage son’s).


You don’t need a hallway full of plinths depicting Roman Gods to impress others, so keep the interior decor simple.

A vase filled with flowers and a full fruit bowl will add a little colour to your property while giving the feeling your house is lived in and cared for.

When deciding what you want to pop into your vase and bowl, you may consider the psychology behind the colours.

A bouquet of violet chrysanthemums could create a feeling of calmness in potential buyers, while a bowl full of vibrant, red apples can help stimulate the mind and encourage people to take action.

Or, you know, just make sure nothing is wilted or rotten. That works, too.

Also, as mean as this may seem, don’t put up too many pictures of your family or friends. It comes across as too personal and will make it hard for buyers to imagine themselves living there.

Remember, the key to preparing your property for sale is giving viewers a chance to imagine living there themselves, and that’s going to be tough to do if a portrait of your Auntie Jean is hanging up in the living room.

Have a Little Music in the Background

Music has been thoroughly proven to influence our behaviours and the right tune can create the perfect atmosphere when preparing your property for sale.

If you need more proof, just think to when you were viewing homes. I bet that when you were left in silence you felt like you needed to look around and leave as soon as possible.

Put together a playlist of easy-listening, down-tempo songs, and your potential buyers will relax and take their time when checking out your property.

Just remember to keep the volume at a reasonable level. You don’t want anyone having to compete with Luther Vandross belting out ‘Endless Love’ over your speakers while they’re trying to have a conversation.

5. Don’t Forget the Outside

The Gardens

Apparently, people make their first impressions within the first seven seconds of meeting someone or going somewhere new. With that said, the exterior of your house and the front garden are crucial in getting the viewing off to a good start.

Rusty gates, unmown grass, and dirty windows will give a bad first impression, so they need to be taken care of.

Likewise, the back garden is a key selling point for many buyers, particularly if they have small children or pets, and needs to be treated with as much care and attention as the front garden.

Keep the grass short, the patio free from dirt, fix any damaged fencing, and check your own pet hasn’t left anything, shall we say… unpleasant, outside.

It’s important to remember a garden never lies. If viewers can see issues with your garden, they’ll start to question just how clean and homely your property really is.

The Street and Neighbourhood

Everyone wants to live on a picturesque street, so it’s important to present the area you live in as the ideal place to live. If you notice some litter on the street, pick it up and throw it away.

You should consider having a polite word with your neighbours if required. A noisy neighbour could drive away buyers, and if they have children playing in the street, there’s a slim chance they could damage the viewer’s car whilst playing ball games.

Speaking of cars, make sure there’s room outside your property for the viewers to park. If you think this could be a bit of an issue, take your own car off the drive and park it further away so they can park there.

6. Be Your Best You

Lastly, you should prepare yourself properly for when prospective buyers come to visit. Dress smart-casual, and think about any questions you may be asked and come up with some good answers. Some areas you’ll want to be clued up on include:

  • The neighbours
  • Bin collections dates
  • How old the property is
  • How much work has been done recently
  • Council tax valuation band
  • Nearby shops
  • The local schools

You want to be around when viewers are making their way through your property, but don’t intrude on the proceedings.

Let potential buyers know where you’ll be if they need anything, but allow them to have a good look around without feeling like they’re being watched or pressured into making an offer.

Lastly, before you put your property on the market, take some time to seriously consider whether you want to be the one conducting viewings. There’s a real skill in conducting a good viewing and if you have a full-time job, you may simply not have the time.

If you’re not sure whether you want to look after the viewings, speak to an experienced estate agent who can take them off your hands.

What Would You Like to See If You Were Buying?

Preparing your property for sale is a simple matter of making a good impression through hard work and preparation.

Imagine viewing your property through the eyes of a prospective buyer, and think about anything that would sway you into making an offer or politely telling the seller you’ll go away and think about it.

At Philip Ellis, our team has been helping people sell their homes for far longer than we’d like to admit, so we know a thing or two about selling a property.

If you’re considering selling your home in Greater Manchester, it’s never too early to start preparing. First and foremost, that means having a clear idea of what your property is worth and how you can maximise its value.

You can learn all this and more by enjoying a free property valuation before you go to market, so get in touch today to book yours. If you're looking for the best estate agents Manchester has to offer, chat with us today.


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