Guide to Viewings
Preparing your house for that all important viewing
First impressions count! Curb appeal is the equivalent of charisma in a home.
No more so than here in Spain where many properties are built identically, you need to make your property stand out in a crowd, first impressions really do count.
Make sure that the outside of your house is looking as good as it can be. If any work needs doing, attend to it before you put your house on the market - you could have a viewing from a customer who saw your advert on the Smart Sell website within the first few hours, so you need to be ready.
We recommend that you go and stand outside your property and have a good look and see your property from a buyers point of view. Also walk up and down your road and take in all the other properties; see how they look, what properties stand out more than others and why. Instant improvements can help a sale; a nice fresh coat of paint on your door and a neatly cut hedge can really make an impact.
If you have a front garden and path leading to your front door, invest in a few flowers, place them in a pot or hanging baskets to brighten up the area (This is a good idea when you take your pictures for your advert) also attend to the path, clear all the weeds and any stray litter or leaves, also sweep up outside your property. Let your perspective buyers see that your house has been looked after!
When you reach your front door there are still a few checks to be made:
- Does the front doorbell work
- If it has a doorknocker, is it sturdy and polished
- Does the door open smoothly and quietly
- When you have let a potential buyer in can you close it easily
- Replace broken gutters and shutters
- Make sure the windows are clean so that as much light as possible can shine in
- What comes into view in your property next
By running through this short and simple check list and attending to any problems that arise, you have already got past the first step and the biggest. If your property does not look good from the front, people will just browse when they drive past or just flick past the picture on the web. You must be prepared to move from that property in the next 6-8 weeks so anything that needs doing, do it now.
If you do not follow our guide you are leaving yourself open to be overlooked. People want to buy your house and move straight in and relax, not arrive with their toolbox to start work immediately, do it all for them, it is well worth going that extra mile.
Buyers may wish to view the property the same day, and you need to be prepared for that.
- Depersonalizing the space by removing family photos, taking everything off the refrigerator, and stripping the kids’ rooms of posters and baseball trophies.
- Clearing high-traffic areas of excess furnishings to maximize feelings of space and comfort.
- Highlighting the key features in every room--such as fireplaces or French doors--by making sure they’re not obscured by plants or furnishings.
Sometimes, when you’re selling a vacant house, you need to switch gears and add a little clutter, an empty house can feel baron and unwelcoming. We would suggest that you bring some items from home so that we could create a warm and friendly atmosphere. Simple things like table settings for the breakfast bar, wine glasses, decorative pillows, candles, floral arrangements, towels for the baths, and pretty items for the shelves and counters. The result will be a house that looks and feels more like a home. The secret is not to over do it.
Once you're inside the front door
A nice rug to wipe your feet on is a good idea, after that, look around, are you standing in darkness, does it look to plain, should you brighten it up. A simple fix is to check the wattage of your light bulbs and replace them with brighter ones if needed. Always make sure that your light fittings have lampshades if required, a hanging bayonet with a bright light bulb is not the affect you are after.
When you are showing people around your house, always introduce them to the room and let them go into the room first, this way they get full impact of the size and decoration rather than you standing in the way. The more people stood in the room the smaller and more cluttered it will appear. Make sure you point out key features of a room, fireplaces, fitted wardrobes, air conditioning etc. All the rooms must be in tip top condition. Never ever point out a negative or apologise for anything, (e.g. I sorry for the cracked tile or dripping tap, I’ve been meaning to fix that)
The Living Room
The first room to be viewed is generally the front room, this is where most people sit down with their families and relax, so you need to have the mood set for this, nice lighting is essential, maximum potential. Always turn off the T.V. and give the buyers your full attention. During the day curtains should be evenly separated and tied back to the wall. All unnecessary items should be removed from the floor to give the impression of space. A good tip is to have some nice relaxing music in the background. If the chairs are a little scruffy yho could always cover them with a neutral coloured throw.
Stand in your own front room and look round and see for yourself what catches your eye, maybe you can enhance on this or if it need be, store it away. Make sure that there is no paint on any of the electrical sockets or light switches in the house. You can remove this with a filling blade or scraper. Check for fingerprint marks around the sockets as well, you can normally remove these with a cloth.
The Dining Room
Try to achieve the effect that you are having your buyers round for a meal; lay the table with your best plates, put all your cutlery on the table, lay some napkins, really lay it on. Some nice candles will really help aswell, this will make the room look fantastic. Make it so potential buyers will want to sit and have their meals here in the future.
If however you have a lounge diner then less is more, in this case you would want the dining table to be free of any clutter and to be unobtrusive in the room. Preferably a table that folds away showing a more spacious lounge area with dining table that’s available when the need should arise.
Stand back for a while and study your kitchen, is it full of pots and pans that you never use, blenders and mixers that were used on the first day of purchase and then laid to rest. If the answer is yes box, them up and put them out of the way. You need a kitchen that they could produce a TV cookery show from.
Remove all items from your work surface and your sink; clean the surface and all taps and splash backs. Buyers want space available, and you need to show them that you have plenty. The cooker should be next on the agenda make sure there are no cooking smells if your viewing appointment is at mealtime delay cooking until after the viewing. Next, we need to look at all the white goods that are going to be left with the property, i.e. washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge freezer, dishwasher, all of them will need cleaning , remove any notes or fridge magnets you have hanging around. Add some more colour to your kitchen by introducing some fresh flowers in a nice vase, little things really do make a difference. If you have wall units with lighting underneath switch them on and turn your main lights off, it really looks cosy and relaxing. We know everyone says the same but offer your buyers a drink and put a fresh pot of coffee on or even better, have it on just before they come round so as soon as they come in the front door they can smell the aroma.
The bathroom is next on the list, this needs to be cleaned thoroughly so get stuck in. If your bathroom is small, it is often a good idea to decorate it in light colours or all in white, if you have a towel rail then hang some towels on it, and choose a nice coloured toilet roll to decorate the room, again some flowers or pot pourri can do the trick.
Everyone wants to have a nice bedroom especially a large one, so if you have any large bulky items that are taking up to much space or light remove them and all the other personal things that you have lying around; space is what we need to show. Always make sure that the bed is made and is dressed with your best covers, if the viewing is taking place in the evening, put your bedside lights on and turn the main light off. Let them walk in the room first so they can see what a relaxing room it is, then you can turn the main light on afterwards if needed.
Take a good look out of your bedroom window as well and look at the view, is there anything in your garden that you didn’t spot at ground level but you need to attend to. Remember, if you can see it, your buyers will as well. There is no need to go through every bedroom detailing what to do because this small reference is enough to cover all the bedrooms in your house.
The garden is our next stop. To get this in ship shape is not an overnight job, it requires a bit of time and work, but it will pay off. Lawn if you have one will need to be cut and all the verges need to be trimmed. If you have decking in your garden make sure that it is not damaged in anyway and if possible, give it a fresh coat of preservative; decking is a good selling point in the garden. Pathways and stones need to be kept clean from weeds to give your property an overall first class appearance.
Nowadays figures show that most people don't actually keep their cars in the garage anymore. Garages are generally being used for storage or as a workshop. It is still worth giving it a sweep. Again never apologise for clutter in the garage, we all have it, just as long as it’s stacked neatly.
The pool area whether it’s a private pool or a community pool is always a feature the buyers are eager to see, make sure the pool is free from debris or floating toys, lilo’s etc. If it’s a community pool that may be in use consider what time of day it would be best to show the pool area and arrange your viewings with this in mind.
Some additional ideas which you may want to consider, Plan a yard-sale, to remove old furniture and toys, appliances and other clutter material. Your garage, closets, cupboards and storage space will look so much bigger, and moving will be easier for you. Plus you may end up with a few quid as well.