Preparing in the right manner for a home viewing will be a major factor in selling your home and how long this endeavour takes. A house viewing is not just about what the potential buyer can see it is also about what they smell, what they feel and how they can imagine themselves living in the property you are selling.
The first part of the house your prospective buyers are going to see is the outside, you want a strong first impression so trim back that garden, get rid of any litter on your property and around, store those bicycles and kids toys away and make sure the neighbourhood cats haven't left any "gifts" on the lawn.
Beauty is on the inside though. So, tidy those rooms! Your viewers want to imagine their own home when they view your property so give them as blank a canvas as possible. Over the years we will all accumulate what we may affectionately call clutter (a crueler, more accurate term might be junk), this accumulation will make your home feel smaller to a viewer. Get rid of your unwanted bric-a-brac thus avoiding distractions and get some daylight in.
Avoid the temptation to shove everything into one or more cupboards though. Your visitors will likely be looking EVERYWHERE. You can't have a "no-go" area as this will raise suspicions that you have something to hide (more of the hiding damp spots suspicions than the hiding of dead bodies suspicions). If you have kids, then get them to tidy their rooms (and then tidy their rooms up properly yourself after).
Get rid of pets (and the children if you can). Maybe not permanently, but if the dog can taken out for an extended walk or Mittens can spend some time with a relative all the better. You don't want an over eager pet to become the focal point of the viewing.
You are also going to want to clean the windows, get those carpets clean, put the heating on to a "cosy" level. Minor repairs need to be completed, light bulbs all working, toilet roll up, toilet seat down. Pretend your most judgmental family member is coming to visit and she's bringing her even pickier friends from the Hyacinth Bucket Appreciation Society.
Aromas can also help. Some reckon on baking bread which may be a bit obvious but how about fresh coffee? Scented candles? The smells you don't want are your dog's stinky bed, baby's discarded nappies or last night's delicious but now pretty smelly curry that's wafting from the bin.
The kitchen is what factors most into peoples mind when eyeing up a new property - most estate agents would agree that the kitchen is the room most likely to sell a house. With this in mind, the cooker needs to be spotless, the kitchen sink needs to gleam, the floor should sparkle. This is also the perfect opportunity to remove all those fridge magnets, post cards, post-it notes and bills stuck on the fridge door. Some low labour maintenance repair work or upgrading is also a good idea.
If you want to go really hardcore then consider painting the walls in your house a more neutral colour if you haven't already. You may love bright bold colours but, and this ties back in with the blank canvas idea, your viewers may be put off.
We have covered some aspects of security on our Neighbourhood Watch article, you can impress potential buyers with your knowledge or participation of the local scheme. Also be prepared to show viewers your installed security measures.
Finally, though it may be funny the first seven or eight times, try to resist the urge to dress up as the Addams Family for prospective viewers. Save those shenanigans for Halloween.