If you're looking to sell your home or have recently put your property on the market, house viewings (whether in person or virtually) could highlight undesirable features that could deter prospective home buyers from making an offer.
So how can you make your home more sought-after with buyers? The finance experts at The Money Pig have compiled a list of the biggest red flags that could delay and ruin your chances of selling your home.
"Putting your house on the market can be a long, drawn out and often stressful process, so you want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible to prevent any delays and get it sold quickly," say the team at The Money Pig. "Trying to see your property through buyers' eyes is essential – you have to be as objective as possible about your home.
"This means making it as easy as possible for prospective home buyers to imagine themselves in your home. Tidying up rooms and gardens, fixing anything that could present significant issues, and even getting rid of garish décor will all help to make your home sought-after with buyers."
Here are seven red flags to avoid:
Dirty rooms, appliances or furniture are a sure-fire way of putting doubt in buyers' minds as to how well the rest of the property has been looked after, so keeping your home clean and tidy is really important.
Signs of damp and mould are enough to stop the majority of homebuyers in their tracks, no matter how smitten they are with the rest of the house. Damp stains, stained ceilings and crumbling plaster work are all red flags, signalling a problem that could be expensive to sort out.
3. Dark rooms
Nobody enjoys living or even sitting in dark and dingy rooms, so you might want to consider getting brighter light bulbs or positioning lamps in strategic spots for viewings. Also, think about replacing curtains or blinds with something light and translucent, and position a mirror in the darkest corner of the room to reflect light.
4. No kerb appeal
First impressions are a huge factor in selling a property, and often decisions will be made before buyers even set foot through the door. This means you need to present your house in the best possible way and consider how it looks from the street. You might have to replace a front door or windows, paint tired woodwork, and give everything a good clean. You could also plant a welcoming flower bed and jet wash walkways.
Home buyers' number one concern is that the house they purchase may be hiding an expensive secret, so visible cracks in walls or ceilings are sure to set alarm bells ringing. But this doesn’t mean you should just bodge it or try to cover up the issue. If you can’t repair it, you need to be upfront with the buyers.
6. Overgrown garden
If your property has a garden with grass, make sure it has been cut, the hedges have been trimmed and flowerbeds weeded before viewings. This goes for all garden areas but particularly front gardens, as this is the first impression potential buyers will get. You don’t want to fall at the first hurdle.
7. Garish décor
You’ll want to make it as easy as possible for prospective home buyers to imagine themselves living in your home, so that might mean giving it a quick paint job before arranging any viewings. If your personal décor choices are too garish – think elaborate wallpaper patterns or gaudy paint colours – buyers will have a hard time seeing past it. Instead, choose inoffensive, neutral tones.
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