It is certainly widely acknowledged that moving house is very stressful. Then add in the complexity of trying to sell your own home, whilst finding another appropriate one, PLUS having two little tornadoes running through the house, daily emptying the sock drawer on the floor, turning your plants upside down or throwing Weetabix at the wall like an Olympic shot putter on speed, and you’re in for a fun couple of months. So I thought I’d write a little checklist which covers all the things you should think about when preparing your house for a viewing;
- Sweep the front path of leaves, declutter the porch and give your front door a wipe down. First impressions are so important!
- Make sure windows and mirrors are clean of any smudgey hand prints. Toilet roll works quite well if you’re just quickly polishing up a little section of glass/mirror, or if you plan on cleaning the whole thing, use newspaper and window cleaner for a non-streaky finish.
- Walk around your house as if you don’t have kids. It’s amazing how many child-free people find toys a real turn off, so keep ‘child clutter’ to a bare minimum. You may have lived with it for so long you don’t even notice it, but try and imagine a life without toys and you will suddenly realise how much they are actually taking over everything! We hide some of the uglier toys in the car!
- Empty the bath of bath toys and if you have excess wash stuff around the bath, tidy that into a cupboard as well. Remove your bath mat to make your bathroom appear bigger and sleeker. Ditto the potty.
- Toilet seat down, always!!! (Who would’ve thought people didn’t think to do that?!)
- If you have a car, ensure it’s not parked on your drive. If you have a house with on street parking, park your car on the road directly outside your house, and then move it at the last minute, giving the viewer the best possible chance of having a space right outside the house.
- Try not to hide clutter in the under stairs cupboard, kitchen cupboards or built in wardrobes. People will look in those but they won’t look in any freestanding furniture, so you can go all ‘Monica’ on those!
- Clear away any washing up, remove oven gloves/tea towels from the oven and any excess clutter on the work tops.
- Fresh flowers are great but be careful they’re not too heavily scented! Clear out any dead or very sad looking houseplants and make that annual trip to Ikea for replacements.
- Mow the lawn, tidy up the garden and take those unused outside toys to the tip. You need to make your home inviting for every demographic and a sad half-deflated paddling pool will not do the trick. Cut back bushes and any overgrowth to make the garden seem bigger and easier to manage.
- If you have scuffs on the walls, use some leftover paint to patch it up, but beware of doing it too close to the viewing as you don’t want your house to smell of paint.
- Ditto polishing furniture or cleaning the bathroom, that bleached out hospital room odour is not everyone’s vibe.
- Make sure all your light bulbs are working as you don’t want the viewer to be wondering whether you’ve got dodgy electrics because a light won’t switch on.
- Empty your bins. Your nose may have become neutralised to the scent of your babies nappy, but no one else’s will.
- Be realistic. Don’t agree a viewing at 9am if it means they’ll likely knock on the door to find you with a towel on your head, wrestling clothes on a toddler whilst the baby helps themselves to porridge off the floor.
Sound like hard work? It really is! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t get everything done, because, at the end of the day, I’m sure if someone likes your house well enough, they won’t be too bothered by the odd tea-towel out of place. But the market is a tough cookie, and if it is successful and helps sell the house, all you need is one good viewing, right? Just think, this time could be the last time you ever have to do it! If it all gets too much, try and treat yourself every now and then by ‘accidentally’ booking a viewing at 5pm so you have every excuse to take the family for a meal out to your local Italian chain where they’ll be pizza and colouring in sheets aplenty, not to mention that honeycomb cheesecake for whoever’s turn it was to clean the bathroom.
Have you got your home ready for a house viewing? What are your top tips and tricks?