If you’re thinking of selling your home it’s a good idea to make some preparations for selling. Look round and try and see it through your potential buyer’s eyes; how do you think it looks? Would you buy it? Is there anything which would put you off? It’s hard to be objective when you have lived somewhere for a while but try not to think about it too personally. If it’s time for you to move on you need to start thinking how the property would work best for someone else to live in.

1) Think about what first attracted you to the property – if those features are still there then you need to make the most of them. If you bought it because it had a beautiful garden, make sure the garden looks its absolute best. If the property has spacious rooms, make sure they don’t feel cramped by lots of furniture. Decide the top three points about the property and make sure you tell people what they are.

2) Declutter! Every single one of these guides says to declutter, but it cannot be said enough times. It makes your home feel spacious, helps buyers to imagine themselves living there and means you have less to pack up when moving day comes, surely a winning situation whichever way you slice it. Use Freecycle to move items on for free and sell what you can on Facebook – there are no fees to pay on either site.

3) Finish off those outstanding jobs. If that loose tile has been annoying you for months, get it stuck back down. Fix that kickboard in the kitchen. Re-attach the curtain rail that your three-year-old pulled down. Sand down the skirting board your cat has been using a scratching post. Tiny jobs can feel like they add up to a lot to potential buyers and it is well worth getting everything ship-shape before you market.

4) Freshen up the décor where needed. There are two options if your house is looking a little dated. You can either price accordingly and let the buyers put their own stamp on it, or you can make sure the place is decorated to a reasonable standard throughout in neutral colours. You might not notice the scuff marks from 15 years of family life going through your hallway but a potential buyer will add it to their list of things to do (and their offer is likely to reflect this!)

5) Do your homework. Have you looked at other properties similar to yours online with an objective eye? As agents we know it’s completely understandable that sellers will extol the virtues of their property when compared to another on the street (we have a bigger garden, we have a conservatory, we’ve just decorated throughout). Put yourselves in the buyer’s shoes – they just see two properties which are very similar but possibly priced very differently. If you were a buyer, which property would you (honestly!) go for and why?

6) Look outside. Does the front of your property look smart and welcoming? Small things like weeding the driveway and putting a few tubs of flowers out can brighten things up even in the depths of winter. Make sure the front door and windows are clean as well, it all adds up to a positive first impression.

7) Get to grips with the garden. Think about your potential buyers – do you have the sort of home where buyers are likely to be keen gardeners or do you have a family home where the buyers are unlikely to have the spare time to do huge amounts of gardening. Either way it’s a good idea to have the garden looking tidy – whether you are selling it as a project for someone or a low maintenance space for a busy family.

8) Go round your house with a critical eye. Is all the furniture in the best position to show off the room? Can all doors be opened fully? Many guides suggest taking photos down and completely depersonalising it but we generally find buyers don’t mind it feeling like a home – we often get feedback that they felt a property was a bit spartan if there’s nothing at all left out. Just perhaps stash that jokey apron in a drawer for the duration of a viewing.

9) Clean. Clean like your life depends on it. Clean under things, on top of things and behind things. Go top to bottom in every room, light fittings, switches, all surfaces and skirting boards. Don’t forget to de-cobweb absolutely everywhere. No potential buyer has ever come away from a viewing and complained the house was too clean. Many, many buyers have been put off by a mucky carpet and an overwhelming grubby feeling.

10) Prepare yourselves. Not strictly part of preparing the property but it’s so important to think about everything before you sell. Think about what type of property you are moving to and how that will impact the price needed for your current home. How much flexibility can you have (the more the better)? What are you willing to compromise on? What are you leaving in your house? Have you investigated costs for every aspect of the move? It can be a very stressful time but preparation can help make things less difficult and reduce the likelihood of unpleasant surprise costs.

If you are thinking of selling soon we’re happy to give you whatever advice you need to successfully achieve a sale. We understand the stresses that moving brings and we are here to help, whether it’s providing you with a valuation from a local agent who understands the market in your area, advising you of any changes it would be beneficial to make or devising a marketing strategy for your home to ensure it is seen by the right sort of buyers. If you would like a free, no-obligation valuation please do not hesitate to contact your local PFK office or email hello@pfk.co.uk