As we all know, presentation is a key element in making sales. Selling a home is no different. A presentable home will attract more buyers, and a higher price too. Today’s property market has slowed down, with lower volumes across the market. A smaller pool of buyers means that it is all the more important to make your house stand out from the many others for sale. With some effort and a small cash outlay, you can reap an immediate return on investment the moment you sell your house. Read on to find out how.

The first thing you can do requires practically no money, but lots of effort. Cleaning the house or apartment will create a better environment for buyers and agents to view your house. Don’t miss out on commonly forgotten areas, such as baseboards, cupboards and window blinds and sills. Also don’t forget fans and air conditioner vents, which have the annoying tendency to build-up inordinate amounts of dust.

Alternatively, you can hire a cleaning crew to do a professional job, if you don’t have the time or inclination.

As you’re cleaning, remove clutter by getting rid of items or re-arranging them to create a sense of space. A good idea is to also pack away as many personal photographs, knick-knacks and family heirlooms as possible. You want buyers to imagine it as their own personal space, and not be distracted by your personal items. Depersonalising your soon-to-be-former home will help potential buyers see it as their own.

Another thing that can be done is to neaten up any built-in cupboards, drawers and cabinets. Buyers will want to open and close these to ascertain their quality and condition. If you still have any contents in them, tidy them up:

  • Arrange shoes neatly in the cabinet or rack
  • Hang shirts, like colours together, facing the same direction
  • Alphebetise spice jars
  • Turn coffee cup handles to face the same way
  • Neatly stack dishes and bowls

 

While you’re at it, also make sure that no confidential material is left lying in such cupboards or drawers, where they may inadvertently be seen. The same goes for any mail and correspondence. About.com has more on privacy during home viewings , and why it’s so important.

These measures will ensure that buyers will have the best impression of you, the current home owner, and how you maintain your house, while not giving savvy, observant buyers anything to use against you during negotiations.

Should you have any favourite items that are not for sale with the house, try to remove or replace them as much as possible. Imagine you are viewing a home, and the amazing light fixture or sofa set in the living room becomes part of the appeal of a house. If the host then tells you that those items are not part of the sale, it could subconsciously affect your decision about the whole house.

Minor repairs that don’t cost much include fixing of leaking taps, replacement of burnt-out light bulbs and repairing doors that stick and drawers that jam. When it comes to cheap replacements, go for shiny new sink strainers, cabinet knobs and handles, and new throw cushions.

Finally, ensure that the house is free from unpleasant odours during a viewing. In fact, use scented candles or aromatic oils to enhance the appeal of your house. These can be placed discreetly in the bathrooms, study or bedrooms. A dollop of vanilla essence on a baking sheet, placed in a heated oven, works as well. Just don’t go overboard with scents and you can do wonders on the mind of a potential buyer.

We hope these tips will give you some starting ideas on how to maximise the appeal of your house during viewings, whether by appointment or “open house”. These basic tips should not require more than a couple of days to get going. If your house requires a more in-depth and comprehensive make-over, stay tuned as we are preparing just the thing for you!

Let us know what you think, and if you have more ideas, leave a comment below.

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  3 Responses to “Preparing for a Successful House Viewing”

  1.  

    How about tips on flat viewing for HDB buyers?

    •  

      @John
      Hi John,
      Thanks for that suggestion. It sounds like a good idea for a post, or maybe even a series. Were you thinking of general viewing tips for HDB flats, or the specifics of choosing a particular HDB type (eg 3-room, 4-room, or even 3S, 4A, 5NG, etc)?

  2.  

    General viewing tips for all HDB is fine! thanks

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