Selling your home can be stressful, but preparing your house for a viewing doesn't have to be.
Yes, it can be nerve-wracking to have strangers evaluating your space, but we've got some quick and easy tips to prepare your home so it's looking its absolute best on viewing day.
How to prepare your house for a viewing
Make an entrance.
First impressions count, which is why making your entrance hall appealing, is so important when preparing for a viewing. Make sure your hall is clear to walk through, decorated simply (neutral colours work best) and free from clutter (like coats and shoes).
Make the welcome memorable.
Speaking of first impressions, it's important not just to think about the look of your house when a potential buyer walks in, but also how it makes them feel. How does your home smell? Think about using an essential oil diffuser for a fresh and welcoming scent. Flowers can make a neutral room look inviting and friendly, and small touches like freshly-washed towels and cosy throw pillows can make a big difference. In winter, if you have an open fire then light it - warm and cosy is very important!
Think like a viewer.
It's easy to become blind to what your own home looks like - you see it every day, after all! But to really prepare your house for a viewing, try to see it with neutral eyes - the way a potential buyer will see it.
What catches your attention (the good and the bad!)? What are your eyes naturally drawn to? Which rooms do you find yourself gravitating towards? Chances are, viewers will do the same, so try to use this knowledge to your advantage by making sure the rooms and spaces that will be most looked at get the most attention before the viewing.
Make the most of natural light.
Everyone loves a home with natural light, so make the most of whatever light you have available to you. Open all of the curtains and blinds (and speaking of window dressings, lighter colour fabrics make a room look brighter), and use mirrors to amplify the natural light you do have available.
If your home isn't flooded with sunlight, make sure all the lights are on before the viewing so your home doesn't look dark.
It's common sense to make your home look tidy when you prepare your house for a viewing, but potential buyers want to see your house as a blank canvas on which to add their own flair, so a deep declutter is recommended for the biggest impact. Donate unused items and clothing, try selling unwanted sporting gear or gadgets - we have an excellent auction room but if they are worth less than £30 then try Gumtree. Generally get rid of those items that tend to accumulate over the years without us realising.
Don't just think of decluttering in terms of cupboards and storage, though. Think about spaces like your kitchen worktop: the less clutter, the bigger the worktop space will look.
Having well organised cupboards and rooms will make your whole home look much more appealing.
Get a pet sitter
Make sure your home is pet free on the day of the viewing - you don't want to put off a potential buyer who's afraid of dogs, or someone who's allergic to cats!
You don't have to have a lot of space to make your home look roomy. Steer clear of dark coloured walls and curtains, use mirrors and lamps to create more light and depth, and pull furniture (such as sofas) away from the wall to make the room look more spacious.
What's behind closed doors?
Don't just hide clutter behind closed doors, as potential buyers might open wardrobes, storage cupboards and even your fridge! Take some time to restore order to those forgotten spaces behind closed doors when you prepare your house for a viewing.
Don't forget the exterior
It can be easy to forget the outside of your house in the race to get everything inside in perfect order, but the exterior is what a potential buyer will see before they even step through your front door.
Keep gardens neat, add some welcoming flowers near the entryway, clean your windows and door and make sure everything looks as tidy on the outside as it does within.
Make simple upgrades
Are there nagging little projects you haven't had time to get done over the years? Now is the time to replace light bulbs, grease squeaky doors, replace tired fixtures and upgrade your doorknobs. The smallest of details can make the biggest impact, so don't underestimate the power of a tiny DIY job when you're preparing your home for a viewing!
Of course, your estate agent will be able to advise the best ways for you to enhance your space, but these should get you started with little effort or investment.