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How to Get Your Home Ready for Sale


Budgets are tight these days, even more than usual prospective house buyers are looking to get as much bang for their buck as they possibly can!

If you want to sell your home quickly (or at least within a reasonable time frame) then it’s worth your while to put some effort into making your current home as sellable as possible.

The following article presents you with some ‘must do’ things to put on your ‘to do’ list.  If you are able to follow all of this advice I can assure you that you will be in the best possible position to impress potential buyers and secure that all important sale

First Impressions Count

First Impressions Count

A poorly tended front garden, council waste bins all higgledy piggledy and a dirty front door is not the way to impress potential buyers.  I know this is obvious really but even if you’re confident your home is in an excellent state of cleanliness and repair it’s worth approaching it from the outside and being absolutely as critical of it in your own mind as you possibly can be.  (Because anyone who’s thinking of buying it is going to be thinking that way for sure.)

Maybe get your windows cleaned professionally.  If the doormat’s a bit grubby or worn, consider buying a new one.  Kill any weeds that are coming up through the driveway or front path.  Don’t have too much stuff hanging around in the front garden, toys, bicycles, some bench that’s a bit worse for wear, you really want to lose those items into a garage or shed.

First Impressions Count(2)

If you have a porch, clear all those shoes, boots and brollies out.  People approaching your home with a view to potentially purchasing it want to see a nice clean, uncluttered front aspect with maybe some nice plants, flowers, trees etc.  And a nice flat, clean path to walk up before knocking on a freshly painted, clean, solid looking front door.

None of the above is rocket science but I cannot stress enough how important it all is!


Get Stuff Into Storage, Show How Spacious Your Home Is

Here at Philip Marks Removals we move all kinds of people, we’ve been doing it for more than 20 years and if we haven’t seen it all I can assure you that we’ve seen most of it.

So we move people who complain to the removals team, on moving day, that they had so many people come around to view but nobody wanted to buy and they just can’t understand it.  So the team ask “is everything going today?” and the customer says “yes”.  So we look in the lounge and there’s 3 big bookcases, 2 display cabinets, 2 sideboards, 2 sofas, 2 armchairs, a coffee table, a home entertainment centre and 4 towers chock full of CDs and DVDs.  Here’s the thing, that lounge looks so small with all that stuff in it.  And I’m not being rotten to people, honest I’m not, this is the funny bit, more often than not when that room is cleared the client will enter it and exclaim something along the lines of “goodness me, this room’s so spacious without all our stuff in it eh!”  Yup, it sure is.

I know stuff piles up, especially if you’ve got kids.  And I know inertia sets in BUT if at all possible try to lose a big chunk of your larger pieces of furniture before you start having visits.  Potential buyers want to see space, they want to see spaciousness so that they can imagine themselves with their belongings moving in here and where certain things will go and where they can put their desk to do some artwork and so on and so on.

If you have a vist and you’re standing in your lounge with 2 people who might want to buy, and an estate agent and the 4 of you are edging around some coffee table trying not to bang your shins it just makes the whole place feel cramped.  This, unfortunately, is immediately off-putting.

Maidstone Self Storage

We can offer you a container that’s 2.2M high, 1.5M wide and 2.1M deep for £2.40 /day  that will be stored at our secure facility for as short, or as long, a time as you need it.

Our storage is not the kind where you can access what you’re storing however.  They are sealed units that might be quite high up in our facility so you need to sort out what stuff you can definitely do without for awhile.  Then, when you do sell your home and you begin to think about moving into your new home we can simply slot your unit(s) into our purpose built container lorry and deliver it straight to your new address where we can unpack it directly into your new home, easy!

If you do have larger pieces of furniture that are absorbing a fair chunk of space in your current home then please do consider losing them (temporarily) to facilitate a rapid sale.  Space is at an absolute premium right now in this country, it’s what everyone is looking for so show them what you’ve got, don’t bury it behind loads of furniture!



Although your son or daughter may have absolutely loved their black/ orange/ purple bedroom, potential purchasers of your home won’t like it.  Redecorating your property is likely to be one of the smartest things you can do if you want to sell it.

Aim for light neutral colours, if you’re having a visit on a cloudy day then you want what available light there is bouncing around indoors showing the place off.  You don’t want that light getting absorbed by dark tones.  Maintain the same colour throughout the whole house, what you’re trying to do is present your home as a starting point for the new owners to come in and stamp their own personalities on it, you are attempting to demonstrate ‘potential’ to them.  They are trying to find a place that excites them because of what they feel they might be able to do once they’re in it!


You also need to, temporarily, lose most of the family photos and knick knacks.  All that stuff that you’ve carefully arranged on shelves that means quite a lot to you and yours doesn’t mean anything to people viewing your home.  The more stuff you’ve got hanging around the more your house looks cluttered, it’s unavoidable.  I’ve looked at  houses with a view to buying at various points in my life.  I remember standing outside with my wife after one viewing and we were talking about the extraordinary amount of ceramics the seller had in their lounge (and some of this stuff was really nice, we liked it!)  Then we tried to discuss whether the lounge and dining rooms were going to be big enough for us?  We didn’t have a clue, we’d both been so distracted by all those ornaments that we hadn’t paid the actual rooms any attention at all!

If you’ve ever been in a show home on a new build estate you’ll have noticed how little the developer has put inside it.  It’s a template, pure and simple, “Wow, look at all this space, think what we could do if we were in here ???”

Deep Clean

Deep Clean

People like places to be clean, if you can get your home super clean it will have an impact on potential buyers.  No-one is impressed by a place that’s dirty.

Windows, window frames, skirting boards, door handles, carpets all need to be spotless.  Everything in the bathroom needs to be sparkly clean, any hint of mould is extremely unpleasant so clean, clean, clean is a necessity.

Consider hiring specialists to do it all for you.  Outfits like this one can transform your oven and make the kitchen look inviting.

Employ a Gardener

Employ A Gardener

If you are a keen gardener then your garden’s probably in great shape anyway and well done you!

If you’re a bit less keen and it’s looking a bit tired then maybe get a professional to spruce it up.  For some potential buyers the garden(s) are a really important part of the mix.  Anything that’s broken or looking a bit abandoned in the garden, get rid of it.

Consider using a professional, someone like this :- 

If you have outbuildings (sheds, garages, garden offices etc) tidy up inside of them.  If garages and sheds are full of tools try to get it all organised, get some shelving in and increase the amount of available floor space.  You’re trying to demonstrate to a possible purchaser that these structures have lots of potential to be really useful to them so you don’t want them looking like junk heaps.

If you have a workshop sweep up all the sawdust and get your tools organised, remember you’re not trying to show people how industrious you are, you’re trying to present them with a space where they see in and think “wow, I could really get busy and do some stuff in here!”

Make Your Home Feel Heaven Scent

Make Your Home Feel Heaven Scent

Don’t cook a big dinner before you have a viewing, walking into a slightly steamy environment that smells strongly of food is unpleasant for viewers.

Pets can be a bit smelly, dog and cat owners do love their little (or big) furry buddies and there’s this thing that happens where you become so accustomed to their odour that, for you, it’s not there.  Rest assured, for someone who’s never been in your home before, it’s going to hit them like a wet sock in the face!

So how do I make my home smell more inviting then?

The most common options are brew coffee, bake bread, bake a cake.  These moves are as old as the hills and I wonder if some of the people coming to visit your home might think they’re being played?  Although I have to say that ANY time I come home and my wife has just baked a cake I feel a deep sense of wellbeing that I am totally unable to intellectualise my way out of.  I do love cake though.  (And my wife!)

Moving Your Garden

Other options include strategically placed reed diffusers, go for a scent that isn’t too strident, vanilla for example.  I think these are better than scented candles as candles need to have attention paid to them otherwise, if the wick gets too long, they get smoky and that’s the last thing you want.

Spraying air fresheners around is a quick fix although overuse of these leads to residues being deposited all over the place which is not good.  Plug in air fresheners are a road some people go down, I don’t like these myself but it may be worth considering?

One last thing, you can’t beat fresh air, so if it’s warm outside why not throw open all the windows and have a proper airing out, sometimes the best solutions are the simplest!

Get Certificates and Documents in Order


If I was chatting to a potential buyer and they asked me how old our gas fired combi boiler was and if I’d had it serviced regularly I could answer like this :- 

“Sure, it’s 6 years old and it’s been serviced every August without fail, I have the service plan in a folder and I get the engineer to sign that every year.”

This is a much much better answer than “umm, yes it’s about 6 or 7 years old I think, umm something like that and I think we’ve had it serviced most years it seems to me, umm, got the paperwork somewhere i think, I’ll er, try and dig it out.”  An answer such as this would instantly make me think “you haven’t been on top of this, could be an expensive problem if that boiler gives out?”

Remember you’re trying to inspire confidence in a potential purchaser that they are securing a good deal, that they are buying a safe, clean and pleasant place in which to house their family.


New Home

A long time ago my daughter was considering buying a second hand car and she asked me “Dad, what kind of things do you look for when you buy a second hand car?”

I didn’t want to waffle on about oil levels and timing belts so I said to her “2 things, one, if the back seat’s covered in dog hairs I don’t want it (if the present owner can’t even be bothered to clean that up before I turn up it says to me they haven’t taken very good care of the car.)  And two, if they say “it’s a great little car, everything’s good apart from just 1 little thing, front left indicator’s out, probably just the bulb, not a big deal” I don’t want it.  If it’s just a bulb why didn’t they replace it?  What else could they not be bothered to do?”

Little things matter, if the bulb in your lounge’s main light has blown and you’ve ignored it because you’ve got side lights and downlights, get it replaced.

If there’s a dripping tap somewhere, get it fixed.

If the front gate won’t shut properly, repair it.

You know your home is a great place, well worth what you’re asking for it and these minor defects don’t really matter and you’re very busy but, a person who’s considering buying your place doesn’t know it and they’re looking for clues.

Bright, clean, everything works.  This is the place I want to move my family into!

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