Trying to sell your home? Get ready for a tough ride: buyers are a lot more demanding than they once were. Not only does the Internet mean that they can arm themselves with information about the local market and other homes in the area, but it also means that they can see your property whenever they like online. That on-demand attitude extends to in-person viewing too: they will expect you to show your home when is best for them.
All that means you have less time to get your house ready for viewings; a challenge made tougher by the fact that buyers' standards are higher as well. Things need not only to be ready for guests, but as close to perfect as possible.
Before you list your property on the market, therefore, read our guides to selling a home to ensure that everything is in place. Not sure what else you can do to win over buyers? Here are eight small tricks that can make a big difference.
One of the first things you do before marketing your home is take photos for your listing. Everyone knows the tricks by now, from standing in corners to using wide angle lens. The one nobody remembers? Floorspace. More flooring in a photo will make your home look much bigger. So move those rugs out of the way before opening the shutter.
A property listing receives four times as many hits in its first week than a month later, according to a study by Redfin. Make sure you have enough photos for them to see: more pictures will make buyers more likely to look at your listing. The secret to more photos? Multiple angles of every room, which will also help to give buyers a better appreciation of the overall property.
Worried that your first impression is a little drab? Don't just sweep the drive: improve the lawn too. Planting some extra grass, or buying some fresh sod, will help to make your property greener and, therefore, more appealing.
Don't have a front garden? Dotting some potted plants about the premises can have a similar effect, injecting some colour and warmth into your hallways and rooms.
5. Close the toilet lid
Nobody likes to look at an open loo when viewing a bathroom. The same is true of photos. Whether it is a fear of bacteria or a strong sense of politeness, if in doubt, lower the lid.
6. Open the windows
Scents are always the subject of much debate when selling a home. Will freshly baked bread or newly brewed coffee make your property more attractive? Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, opening the windows will help to clear out unwanted odours.
7. Clean tea towels / towels
The smallest touches can make the biggest difference to someone's impression of a home: the colour of the carpet, the quality of the toilet roll, how soft a towel is. If your tea towels or hand towels are old, thin or dirty, replacing them with a new set can add a subtle air of luxury to your property.
Already changed your towels? Try buying some cushions for your lounge too: a large cushion on the sofa can make your living room seem more comfortable as well as classier.
Photo: Ross Catrow