Preparing your property to secure a buyer

Knowing how best to prepare your property for sale can mean the difference between a quick or slow sale.  There are numerous steps you can take to help the process along:

Choose the right estate agent

Selling a house is a stressful business. Choosing the right estate agent who is going to minimise worry and maximise results, is a vital first step.

You’ll want an agent with proven and up-to-date marketing techniques, who can pull in maximum viewings, all the while remaining good value for money.  Look online and research various agents in your local area by asking for recommendations.

The fee you are charged will either be a percentage of the sale price or a flat fee.  Either way, don’t be afraid to negotiate and let agents know what you’ve been offered elsewhere.

If you want multiple agents to take the property on, it’s important to note that you may end up paying more than one fee, regardless of who sells the property. Therefore, always read the conditions of the contract before you instruct an agent.

First impressions of your home

When you live somewhere you can become desensitised to its appearance.  Take a look outside and compare it to those properties also in your neighbourhood.  It may be that tidying up the garden, jetwashing the driveway, fixing those loose paving slabs, or painting the gutters and window frames can improve those first impressions that prospective buyers will have.

Clean and tidy your home

If you’re planning on moving you’ll be considering whether all your possessions need to move with you, and starting this can help to de-clutter your home and make it more welcoming, spacious and light.  This can be from the smaller items such as DVD’s and CD’s to larger pieces of furniture.  The kitchen and bathroom are rooms that can easily appear smaller due to any unnecessary bottles or jars that are left out so make sure these are put away into cupboards.

Once you have de-cluttered, it’s time to have a deep clean including dusting, hoovering, polishing, washing stains from the walls, as well as cleaning your kitchen equipment such as your oven and stove.  Before the viewing it is always good to open the windows for some fresh air to circulate or go around with an air freshener to get rid of any unwanted smells.

No prospective buyer will want to look around a dirty or dusty house so make sure they see your home in its best condition. 

Where will your pets be during any viewings?

Some people are animal lovers, some are not, and worse, some are allergic.  If you have the former they will be more interested in your pet than your home and not take in all they need to make their decision.  If you have the latter visit your home, your cat, dog or hamster could change their opinion of the home, make them feel uncomfortable and if they have an allergic reaction they will leave not wanting to return.  Consider whether you have friends or family who could look after your pets while you have viewings.

Make yourself scarce

During viewings, it is better if you are not there while the estate agent is showing them around.  Your presence could make them feel awkward as they look around your home, trying to make an assessment of whether they can see themselves there instead of you.  If they feel awkward they will have a shorter visit and may not be able to make the connection necessary to want your property.  This can also be the case if you have a lot of photographs of you and your family around, so put these away during your viewings.

Make any minor repairs

Viewers do not want to switch on a light only to find it doesn’t work.  Before your viewings make sure everything works and is presented accordingly.  This includes changing light bulbs, fixing any leaking taps, touch up any paint where it has discoloured or chipped and fix any drawers, doors or windows that may not close properly.

Open the curtains

Natural daylight is an important feature for home owners, so make sure you have your curtains open to let in as much as possible.  If you don’t have much natural light in your home, then invest in some extra light fittings or repaint any darker rooms in lighter colours.


Your garden is another place for entertaining your friends and family, so make it look appealing with garden furniture and a tidy space for people to relax and play.

Choose the buyer

Once the offers are on the table, your next big job is to choose the most reliable buyer.

Safer buyers include those who have already sold their home and are in rented accommodation, chain-free first time buyers, and cash buyers who do not need a mortgage. Bear this in mind but depending on how many offers you get, this choice might not be a luxury you have.

Obviously there will be other factors you need to take into consideration such as how quickly you need to sell and whether you have found somewhere to move in to yourself.

To speak to any of our Property teams about your next move, contact us on the details below:

Fareham: 01329 222096
Southampton: 023 8071 7422
Portsmouth:  023 9275 3575
Chandler’s Ford: 023 8071 7467
Waterlooville: 023 9277 6569


To speak to one of our experts please call us

We will make sure that next time we move that we use Warner Goodman again.