Blog: 2018

Top tips to sell your home - fast
By Abby Trow
Selling a home is considered one of the most stressful processes we can go through -  but being prepared and making sure you get your place looking great before it goes on the market can make the sale happen speedily and smoothly.
 
Estate agent comparison website Get Agent have compiled their top top tips for selling a property, so pay attention if you're among those who are getting frustrated with the time it's taking to get an offer!
 
Increase your property’s kerb appeal
The outside of your property is the first chance to wow potential buyers and make then keen to see inside. Little things can make a huge difference - such as keeping grass cut, paths swept, moving any rubbish and keeping the bins out of sight. And if you have a hedge, make sure it's neat, not flailing out all over the place.

For a touch of colour, flower filled hanging baskets can frame a front door, while a few bedding plants will work wonders. If you don't have much front garden space, pot plants on window sills look lovely. Flowers really make a statement and provide a focal point for the outside of the property.  With back gardens, decks or terraces, again clean them up. Mow lawns, take rubbish to the recycling centre and have flowers in abundance - either planted out or in containers. If fences or garden sheds are looking dilapidated, mend them and paint them. 

Make sure that windows and doors are clean and in good condition, are clean,with latches and handles are in working order.
 
 
Repair and clean
Because property in the UK is so expensive, many buyers want to move into a house that's ready to live in because they simply won't have a decoration let alone a renovation budget. So if they feel there are thousands of pounds' worth of repairs to make, that'll be a big turn-off.

Hence it makes sense to compile a list of all the minor repairs that need doing and either doing them yourself or getting a handyperson in for a day to sort things out. Broken cupboard handles, kitchen tiles or holes in walls are the sort of thing that can be easily fixed at fairly low cost. Things such as threadbare or well-worn carpets are more expensive to replace prior to selling but find some inexpensive rugs and runners to put down on top of areas of carpet that are particularly stained as this could put off potential buyers too. And note that all carpets will look a million times better after a deep clean. You can hire good carpet cleaning machines and using them will be well worth the money.

 
Estate agents say time and again that the key thing is to have your home looking clean and tidy - yet so often they bring viewers round and are confronted with dirty basins, unmade beds and stuff all over the floor. You don’t need to make your place look like a sterile show home, but a good clean will make it look infinitely more tempting. 
 
Have everything smelling daisy fresh
Bad smells are known to be one of the biggest turn offs for prospective buyers, so making sure that your drains and sinks are clean, your food bin is disinfected and that your house is aired can make a big difference. 
Estate agents have been recommending pleasant smells to sell houses for many years of course. Fresh baked bread, cakes and muffins are popular but impractical for most home sellers.. however brewing fresh coffee or lighting a citrus scented candle can help express a homely feel during viewings.
 
Declutter
If potential buyers can't envisage themselves living in a property, it's harder for them to make a decision. And a key reason why people often find it hard to see themselves in the property is because of clutter. So think order and less stuff... certainly no messy piles of clothes, papers, books etc.
Think about moving out or storing any bulky furniture and try to declutter as much as possible, while leaving some of your personality to shine through. Open spaces and neutral colours often make small rooms feel bigger and make it easier for buyers to imagine their belongings in the space.
 
A lick of fresh paint
Many home buyers are looking for a blank canvas, something they can customise to their taste, and they're much more likely to be interested by neutral colours than bold ones. Neutral colours also help to make your home seem lighter and bigger and allow viewers to envisage easily how they could adapt your rooms to their needs. Light blues, pale greys and pastel yellows are all good colour choices and provide a relaxing, warm and inviting feel to a room.
 
Add finishing touches
Make sure windows are dressed properly with blinds, curtains or nets as bare windows make a room feel impersonal and run down.
Mirrors on the wall will make a space feel larger and will bounce light around the room.
Pot plants and vases of flowers around your space will make it look prettier and give a sense of nature and bowls full of fruit also add colour, natural fragrance and generally make things feel healthy. Pretty cushions and throws again add colour and a sense of comfort.
 
Spend money to make money – updating and conversions
This tip may seem a bit counter intuitive, but spending a little bit of money before selling your home can pay off in the long run. Simple updates such as changing the bathroom tiles or adding new cabinet doors in the kitchen can make a big a difference to the saleability and value of a property. An estate agent can make recommendations on what types of updates and conversions can add the most value, as well as advise you of what prospective buyers are looking for property wise in the local area.
If you have enough spare cash to make a conversion, why not adapt a loft space into an extra room or build a conservatory for some extra space? These types of updates can add value to the house and make it a more interesting prospect for potential buyers.
 
Find the right estate agent
Finding the right estate agent is key to selling your house quickly and for the right price. The estate agent will value your property, market your home to potential buyers, handle viewings and liaise with solicitors. Finding an estate agent that knows the local area, trends and provide a good service is imperative for a quick sale.
 
Estate agent recommendations from friends and family are always good to follow up on, however doing the research and comparing local estate agents can help you pay lower fees and get a higher price for your home. Comparison websites are hassle-free and save time as they can quickly give you helpful information about agents in your area, their contact information - and some even provide current information on the local housing market and can put you in touch with your chosen agent to get the ball rolling.
 
Hire a professional photographer
Whether you're hiring a local estate agent or putting your home with an online agent, a picture paints a thousand words... so don’t cut corners here. Although some agents have their own photographers, many don't, and taking pictures usually falls to the agents themselves. But they're not professional and their images just won't be good enough to make your home stand out. So it really does make sense to get your own photographs taken by a professional property photographer. Expect to pay around £100-200 for half a day and this should include processing the pictures for you.  
Tags:
Bathroom, Cleaning, Decoration, Gardening, Lifestyle, painting and decorating, Trades, De-cluttering, flooring
Feng shui for 2018

Interested in feng shui...the Chinese system of laying out interiors for the flow of good energy? Priya Sher, London-based feng shui expert, has some tips:

First of all, what exactly is feng shui?
 
'Its principles maintain that we live in harmony with our environment. Its aim is to achieve balance in your living & working space and maximise your potential for success in all areas of your life. Literally translated feng shui means ‘wind water’. Wind scatters energy and water holds energy.
 
'Homes are a reflection of their occupants. If any part is missing, neglected or has negative energy then this is reflected in the life of its occupant.'
 
Top tips:
 
'The front door should be in perfect condition as it represents wealth. To draw energy to your front door place a beautiful plant and light either side of the door.
 
The hall represents opportunities, therefore, ensure it's kept clutter free so that the energy can circulate; place coats and shoes inside a closed cupboard so they don't stagnate the energy. To activate the beneficial chi in the hall place a beautiful mirror and fresh flowers. Fresh flowers instantly uplift the energy of a space.
 
The kitchen is a vital space as its energy represents nourishment and relationship harmony for the occupants. Ensure you don't place the sink and cooker opposite each other as that can lead to arguments between couples, as it creates a water and fire clash. Colours in the kitchen are also an important consideration- avoid too much black and red as that also causes a fire and water clash.
 
The position of the cooker is important for the nourishment of the occupants - ensure it's not positioned under a window or directly opposite the kitchen or front door.
 
Ensure that furniture for the living room is in proportion to the space. Don't block any doors with furniture and position the main sofa against a wall to provide the occupants with support. To activate wealth energy place a lamp in the corner of the room (diagonally opposite the room door).
 
The dining room or table is an important consideration in Feng Shui as it provides a space where you can concentrate mindfully on what you are eating. In Feng Shui we consider the dining space to relate with the spleen which relates to the element Earth, which in traditional Chinese medicine is concerned with digestion. To optimise the energy in this space place a mirror on the wall to reflect the dining table and place fresh flowers on the table.
 
To encourage a restful sleep, bedrooms must be a light neutral colour and  beds must have a headboard and be positioned with the headboard against a solid wall. Ideally, the bed must not be in line with the bedroom door. Place bedside tables either side of the bed to provide support. Place curvy lamps and lightly fragranced candles on the bedside table to introduce some romantic energy.
 
The front garden represents your future so ensure it is always kept beautiful. Plant beautiful flowers and plants and always keep it tidy.
 
The back garden represents both health and wealth for the occupants so ensure it's always kept in good condition. Boundaries/fences/wall must always be well maintained to provide support to the occupants.
Tags:
Bathroom, Environment and ecology, Hygiene, eco friendly, De-cluttering, eco home