How to prepare your house for successful viewings that generate offers

Only eight minutes. According to a 2023 survey, this is the time it takes on average for someone to decide if they want to buy your home.

So if you're selling you need to know how to make a memorable impression on potential buyers - for all the right reasons.

Whether you think that your property is already pristine, or are currently looking around at floors covered in toys (from kids or pets!) you might be amazed at what a few simple tweaks can achieve.

Of course beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and different people fall in love with a home for many different reasons. However, we can tell you how you to prepare your property so that viewings have the best chance of generating offers... just read on...

Give buyers a warm welcome

First impressions really do count. It’s thought that six out of ten potential buyers will decide to walk away from a property before they even step inside.

This is where the famous concept of 'kerb appeal' comes into play. If you can’t hide that wheelie bin, at least make sure it's not overflowing. Tidying up your garden, washing muddy paw prints from your front door and cleaning the windows can all make a difference - if somewhere looks cared for from the outside, it makes it less likely unpleasant surprises lurk indoors.

Of course a fresh paint of coat on the door and potted plants are low-cost ways of making the exterior more inviting in the summer, and if you’re selling your home in the winter make sure the heating is on or the fire is lit so it's warm and cosy once your potential buyers are inside.

Clutter-free and clean

One of the things that can really annoy a buyer is when a property they go to visit looks very different from the photos they’ve fallen in love with online.

If you tidied up for when the estate agent's professional photographer came round, make sure that you do it again for viewings - it's another small but important thing that really has a positive effect.

There are plenty of clichés about how nice it is walking into a home filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or newly baked bread. The flip side is to bear in mind that your pets' bedding or last night’s takeaway might not have the same pleasant sensory results!

Another thing is that a tidy house will always looks more spacious and that feeling should start from the moment the front door opens.

By simply being free of clutter you can create an environment that allows a potential buyer to look at things in their own way and imagine themselves living there. As the seller, it makes sense for you to make this as easy for them as you can.

Tidying up also gets you ahead of the curve for when it comes time to pack up and move. As the great declutter-er Marie Kondo once said “to truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”

So be brave and maybe even take the chance to visit a local charity shop with things that have long been buried away in a cupboard and forgotten about.

Everything works

You know how it is, the tap has been dripping for a while, it's not bad enough to be called 'a leak' so it's not an emergency. You'll get round to getting it sorted - sometime, maybe tomorrow, if I get the chance....

Well, NOW is the time!

Making sure that everything is in good working order will let people know your home has been cared for, rather than leaving them wondering about what hidden horrors a survey could reveal – that’s of course if they even bother to take things that far.

For TV property shows it might still be all about Location, Location, Location but when it comes to selling your property in real life you've got to make it feel like a home.

Having said that, and harking back to viewings being about potential buyers imagining living there, you've got to be careful about how much it looks like YOUR home.

So make space in a drawer to file away family photos, awards, certificates, or quirky treasured keepsakes. Of course a few personal items here and there help to make things look homely, but this is definitely an example of less being considerably more!

The same idea applies if you’re someone who loves swathes of brightly covered cushions, throws or rugs - making things look neutral enough but not soulless is the target to keep in mind.

Get moving

When you ask us to value your home we’ll tell you a lot more than just how much it’s worth.

Advice on whether a room might need redecorating or whether it would be best to present a spare room as a home office or bedroom are all things that can make a difference to how potential buyers will see your home.

We’ll always ask for 30 minutes for each viewing we book in to give buyers time to really get a feel for things and let their imagination get to work. They tend to feel more at ease when the owner is out, so that half an hour gives you a chance to stretch your legs and grab a coffee while we show them around and highlight the features we know they’ll love.

If you think about it, pretty much everything we've written above is common sense. The thing is all of it is easy for you to do, usually with little or no expense - and it really does make a difference when it comes to getting higher offers and the best sale price!

Start here - contact your local Seymours office to book a valuation and let us be your property partner for life.