When preparing your home for sale, focus energy on the obvious areas – cleanliness, clutter, furniture arrangement, etc.
You know that the property market is extremely challenging right now, and there are many other subtle things prospective buyers notice and evaluate that you may overlook. Here are 10 unexpected things house-hunters look for that can affect their interest and your home’s appeal.
Kitchen Cabinet Storage
Kitchen cabinet storage space and layout significantly impact a buyer’s perception of the room’s functionality.
- Are cabinets maximised or do awkward gaps exist? Blind corners often waste space.
- Are the upper cabinets too high to reach easily? Open them all and remove rarely used items.
- Do cabinets create a logical workflow? Are commonly used items in convenient proximity?
- Can cabinets fit standard-sized cookware and small appliances? Remove odd-sized cookware.
Scrutinise your kitchen’s workflow and storage to optimise for buyers.
Natural Light Quantity
Buyers make note of how much natural light fills the home’s rooms during the day.
- Open all window coverings fully when showing your home. Let the natural light shine in.
- If tree branches or shrubbery outside are blocking light, trim them back.
- Replace any burned-out light bulbs so fixtures give their brightest illumination.
- If you have dark rooms, consider increasing wattage in existing fixtures. Add freestanding lamps.
Abundant natural light makes rooms feel more spacious and welcoming.
Exterior Caulking and Paint
Faded, cracked, or peeling exterior paint or caulking raises concerns about home maintenance and upkeep for buyers.
- Inspect all exterior paint and caulking. Repaint or recalk any worn areas like windows, doors, trim, siding joints, etc.
- Power wash siding or trim to remove grime and refresh the exterior’s appearance.
- Consider hiring a professional painter to repaint the full exterior if needed. This visually updates and preserves the home.
Proper caulking and fresh paint make an excellent impression.
Water Pressure Strength
Buyers will test shower and faucet water pressure, so be sure yours is strong and satisfying.
- Clean shower heads, faucet aerators and whole house filters which can become clogged and reduce pressure.
- Have your home’s water pressure measured and install a booster pump if you need one.
- Replace old shower heads with higher quality ones providing strong pressure, if needed.
Powerful water pressure implies well-maintained plumbing.
Light Switches and Sockets
Buyers notice and evaluate the condition of light switches, outlets, and power sockets.
- Repair or replace any broken, painted over or improperly installed switches or outlets.
- Check that switches control the intended light, and 3-way switches are correctly paired. Label if necessary.
- Ensure outlets are grounded with three prongs and no exposed wires.
- Install new clear light switches and Perspex light switches. This can add an understated elegance to the room that buyers love. Choose your clear switches and sockets at Carston. They have a wide range to suit any space.
Properly working, updated switches and outlets indicate attention to detail and upgrades.
Window and Door Functionality
Sticking doors, stubborn windows and faulty locks will get noticed and raise concerns that repairs are needed.
- Clean window and door tracks then lubricate them with silicone spray, so they open smoothly.
- Tighten any loose doorknobs and lubricate squeaky hinges. Install new hardware if necessary.
- Repair or replace any unreliable locks or mechanisms like broken window sashes.
- Ensure windows open, close, lock and seal properly. Replace old weather stripping if needed.
Properly functioning windows and doors imply a well-maintained property.
Strange or Unpleasant Odours
Odd smells, even subtle ones, make buyers uneasy about a home’s condition or upkeep. Eliminate any musty odours.
- Clean carpets and drapes to remove smoky, pet or cooking odours. Or replace if cleaning doesn’t resolve.
- Run vent fans, open windows, and use odour eliminators to air out damp smells. Ensure bathrooms have operable vent fans.
- Clean garbage cans and empty all trash cans before each show.
- Replace faulty wax rings, traps and drains that may cause sewer gas smells.
A fresh, odour-free home smells like a well-cared-for home.
Wall Condition and Imperfections
Buyers carefully inspect walls and may be concerned about flaws like cracks, holes, warped areas, or stains.
- Repair any cracks or holes wider than a pencil width. Use spackle and sand smooth. Spot paint repaired areas.
- Install trim like baseboard, crown moulding or chair rail to disguise damaged lower walls or hide uneven cut-ins.
- Arrange furniture strategically to conceal damaged walls or holes.
- If any stains permeate drywall or plaster, consider painting over with stain-blocking primer or replacing drywall.
Pristine walls indicate a well-maintained property less likely to need repairs.
Evidence of Pests
Signs of pests like insects, mice, or vermin outside and in can unsettle buyers and raise concerns.
- Seal any holes or cracks in exterior walls, around pipes or vents. This blocks pest entry points. Use wire mesh, caulk or expanding foam.
- Store all food securely in sealed containers to deter ants and mice. Discard exposed snacks. Wipe up crumbs.
- Remove any affected plants, woodpiles, or debris far from the house.
- Have pest control treat the home’s exterior perimeter and interior as needed.
A pest-free home says the property is responsibly managed.
With a bit more awareness, you can make small improvements to your home that show buyers it’s well-maintained and meets their needs. Stand out from the competition by going beyond surface-level prep.