Top tips for property viewings when selling your home

Our home is usually the biggest investment we make in our lives, so no doubt you are looking to maximise it’s selling potential! When we are used to living in a space for the a long time, it is very easy to become ‘blind’ to our surroundings. By taking the time to walk through our home as if for the first time, we are able to see it through the eyes of a potential buyer and highlight what tweaks could be made to increase it’s appeal in both the photographs and for viewings. As an interior designer and stylist in Somerset and Wiltshire, I have helped many properties reach their full potential this way.

Once you are happy with the home, the  photographs have been taken and the estate agent has set up appointments, but what next? What can be done before each viewing to ensure all your hard work has paid off? Here are my top tips for property viewings to help secure the best possible deal.

Give the right first impression

‘Kerb appeal’ is essential as you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression and buyers often make a decision on a house within the first few minutes, Make sure the front of the house is well maintained, weeded and bins, toys etc. are tidied away. A Pressure Washer is well worth the rental cost, especially before the estate agent photographs are taken (The camera never lies). It lifts the mood of even the shadiest areas and reassures potential buyers that the rest of the house is also well cared for.

If you have off-street parking outside the house, keep this space free to allow the front of the house to be viewed without obstruction and add a sense of space. Allowing the prospective buyers to drive into the property would also allow them to get a better feel for how it would be to own it.

Property Styling for Sale by Catriona Archer / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

Space to Imagine

If you are showing the property yourself, allow the potential buyer to lead the way when walking into each room for maximum effect.

Property Styling for Sale by Catriona Archer / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

Tutt-tutt to clutter

Tidiness and cleanliness is key. Now is not the time to leave ironing and ‘to do’ piles out – Clutter will deflect from the positive attributes the room. Make sure all the hard work in preparing your home ready for sale does not fall short at the last hurdle.

Property Styling for Sale by Catriona Archer / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

Bathrooms

Bathrooms should be spotless. If you only have a 2 minutes to turn this around in the morning before viewings, I suggest placing everything on the surfaces and window sill away – even if this means collating them temporarily in a box until the viewing is over (or even in the laundry basket if necessary, assuming it has a lid!) Have a fresh white soap or pretty soap dispenser for the basin and some fresh white towels at-hand specifically for viewings. Use an old towel to polish the taps and basin and swill out the shower/bath… Voila! Oh and always keep the toilet lid closed.

Property Styling for Sale by Catriona Archer / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

Kitchens

In preparing the home ready for photographs and selling, I hope you were able to take this ideal opportunity to start packing up some of the less-used appliances and crockery, and store in the attic or shed ready for moving day, sell or donate. As well as making the kitchen feel bigger and brighter, it will also make viewing days easier to prepare for. As a rule of thumb, I would suggest all kitchen surfaces and window sills should be treated the same as the bathroom: Clutter free, with only a few items left out for show. As with the bathroom, put all excess items in a box and store it in a cupboard until the viewing is over. Give worktops, taps and stainless steel a quick buff with a dry cloth. If your kitchen is small, perhaps consider removing the toaster and any large appliances from the worktop as well! Have a clean tea towel stored ready for viewing days.

Photography styling by Catriona Archer / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

A room with a view

Have your windows cleaned inside and out and keep all curtains and blinds open for maximum light and impact. There are many clever solutions to help with unsightly views, which could be considered during the preparation of your home. A Venetian blind left down but open could be used if there is a view that is not complimentary to the home. Full length plain, very sheer voile curtains may also be effective in certain rooms. For a downright awful view, frosted sticky-back vinyl over part of the window may just do the trick!

Property Styling for Sale by Catriona Archer.com / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

Show off your best features

If it is winter and have a working fireplace, light it! If it is summer make sure the garden furniture has been put out with a pot of tea and cups or fruit bowl.

Interior design and styling by Catriona Archer for HiggiHaus

Set the mood

Any accent lighting in the kitchen or bathroom (under the wall cabinet, recess etc.) adds to the atmosphere of a space. Effective battery operated LED real wax candles can also be easily purchased to create a ‘spa’ ambience in a bathroom. Inexpensive plug-in timers can be used to allow side lights in other rooms to be on during viewing times and creates a welcoming ambience.

Interior design and styling by Catriona Archer / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

“Ooh” not “Pooh”

Smell is often overlooked. Opt for natural fragrances such as flowers, lemons or herbs instead of artificial air fresheners. Pet odours should be avoided. Keep bathroom doors closed and toilet seats down. It is well known that the smell of baking has a hugely positive effect. Most supermarkets sell semi-baked bread that can be popped into the oven. Bought biscuits baked for a few minutes also works well.

Interior design and styling by Catriona Archer  / Photographed by Jeni-Meade

See more interior design on my portfolio pages.