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A well-cared for house that is clean and clutter-free will encourage buyers to make an offer. And fixing those niggling DIY jobs will help you to sell your home more quickly.

Most potential buyers are looking for a home that is loved; they might not know it but their subconscious will detect an unhappy home more quickly than they will notice peeling wallpaper or weeds in the flowerbeds. For instance houses that are being sold because of a divorce may not have been well-cared for and maintained for a number of years as both parties may not have wanted to invest time, money and energy in a shared home if they knew the marriage was not working out. And this shows – even when a house has been presented for sale no amount of tidying, fresh flowers and the aroma of coffee can disguise a home that has not been cared for. So if you want to sell your home quickly you need to do all those niggling repair jobs that put buyers off.

Of course, a big caveat to this is if you are selling a house that is a renovation project when potential buyers are clearly viewing with an eye to completely refurbishing.

Start sprucing up your home by writing a list of all the annoying things that need fixing: the broken fence panel, weeds on the driveway, the discoloured grout in the shower, the cracked hand basin, the chipped or dirty paintwork and so on. If you have been living in the house for any length of time this could be quite a long list. Most of the items on your list will be inexpensive and easy to put right.

You might even find that some tasks are not as bad as they first seem. Dirty paintwork, for example can look nearly as good as new with a thorough clean and not need a fresh coat of paint. Similarly bathroom tiling, and especially the grout and sealant can be given new life by cleaning with specialist mould and mildew remover or even just good old-fashioned bleach. Pay particular attention to the front of the house – clean the windows and window frames and the front door and step or porch if you have one. If there are brass fittings on the door then give them a good polish. If the front door creaks and sticks then sort it out with some oil. Stand at the front of the house and view it carefully to check for anything that does not look pristine.

Buyers will already be forming opinions on the house before they even enter the front door so make those first seconds count. Fences and gates should be in good repair – you don’t necessarily have to replace them – sometimes a few nails will secure a falling down fence panel and new hinges fix a dilapidated gate. And don’t forget the weeds – weeding doesn’t cost anything except some of your time so make sure the front area of your home is completely free of weeds.

Another benefit of a really thorough clean of the interior of the house is that it will banish any unpleasant odours; bad smells can be one of the most off-putting things to house hunters. If you really can’t manage a complete and thorough clean from top to bottom then consider having a professional spring-clean; it will then be much easier for you to keep the house clean over the weeks or months while you are selling it. The cost of a professional clean is extremely small compared to the value of a home and it could enable you to achieve a higher selling price to offset the cost.

And finally, no matter how clean the interior and exterior of the house are, potential buyers need to be able to see it so you need to get rid of your clutter. De-cluttering is free – all it takes is some of your spare time and a clean, clutter-free home will naturally create the right aura to tempt a potential buyer. Place what you can in your garage or attic and recycle, donate or dump what you don’t have room to store. That way when you come to move house you will have less to pack.


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