Don’t wait to put your home on the market after Christmas

OnTheMarket.com suggests top tips on how best to prepare your home for winter viewings

If you’re thinking about getting Christmas out the way before putting your home on the market, you could miss out on interest from the many house-hunters who use the festive season to search for a new home.

Helen Whiteley, Commercial Director at OnTheMarket.com, said: “Naturally a new year means a fresh start for a lot of people so they will consider life-changing decisions, such as moving house. Most people are off work during the festive period and have the time to start looking for a new home. If you are considering putting your home on the market this December it’s important to invest some time in preparing your property for winter viewings.”

OnTheMarket.com suggests following these top tips provided by the expert estate and letting agents listing on its website:

Property manager Sarah Jessop, from Robin Jessop in North Yorkshire, says it’s important to create the right impression.

Ensure your ‘For Sale’ sign is upright

It sounds simple but ensure your ‘For Sale’ sign is smart, upright and clean. Any boards that look like they have taken root in your garden, are falling down or covered in snow can be off-putting because it’s one of the first things potential buyers will notice outside the property. Ask your agent to replace your board if you feel it has faded during the winter weather!

Delyth Davies, Partner at Clee Tompkinson Francis in Carmarthen Wales, says it’s crucial to spend time on preparing your property.

Maximise your kerb appeal

Stand outside on the pavement or drive and really look hard – how will it look through the eyes of a buyer? Simple things such as removing the rubbish bins, cleaning the windows, neatly arranging curtains on the inside, and making sure the front garden and any paths leading to the property are weed-free etc. all show that the property is cared for.

Declutter all rooms

Attack the areas which accumulate possessions. Give the spare room a purpose – it shouldn’t just be the room where all the laundry is stacked up. Spend time, not money, on sorting through the excess belongings and clothes. Remember you can give unwanted items to charity shops or sell them on eBay or perhaps recycle – getting rid of clutter will show off your home at its best.

Scott Mason, Partner at The Home Partnership in Chelmsford, Essex, says it helps to make your home feel as ‘Christmassy’ as possible.

Spread the ‘Christmas cheer’

If you’re expecting visitors in the lead up to Christmas, naturally you will prepare your home to welcome them – it’s vital to do the same for potential buyers. Make your home feel as Christmassy as possible by turning on the heating, making the beds and putting the Christmas tree lights on. This will help make viewers feel warm and welcome – that way they are left feeling like they would enjoy spending Christmas in a house like this!

Head of London Residential at Knight Frank, Noel Flint, says that the impact of a first impression cannot be over-stated. Here is his top tip:

Presentation is key

The impact of a first impression cannot be over-stated. This includes simple tactics such as tidying up the front of the house on a regular basis and taking very good photographs, both of which will draw people in rather than serving as an immediate deterrent. This is particularly true in the winter months when the outside of the property is liable to need looking after.

Mark Hordern, Chief Executive of Pacitti Jones in Scotland, says it’s important that your home doesn’t feel too dark or cold in winter. 

Turn on the lights

Ahead of showing around any viewers, make sure your central heating has been switched on (and is working), light the fire if you have one and turn on plenty of lights so that your home doesn’t feel dark in the short days of December and January. You don’t want potential buyers to think it’s too dark just because you forgot to change a light bulb!

Content provided by OnTheMarket.com is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.

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