Letting it yourself: The preparation

At The Good Agent we believe that everybody has it in them to sell (or let) their property themselves so we provide some guidance for people who want to do so.

On our site (www.thegoodagent.ie) we break the selling and lettings processes into handy steps and at each step we provide the tools, advice, and support that enable you to carry-out that step.

In this blog we will post that advice. What’s the catch? I don’t think there is one. You could like us on Facebook (here) if you want to or just share this with someone who might find it useful.

This entry: Preparing for viewings

Clean:

  • Clean the windows inside and out;
  • Clean the whole property;
  • Remove off-putting smells, e.g., cigarette smoke (start smoking outside if you live there) and pet odours (wash their beds);
  • Deep clean the kitchen, e.g., bleach the grout, blitz the fridge, polish anything that should be shiny;
  • Deep clean the bathroom, i.e., clean in and behind everything… yes that means the toilet basin;
  • Clean-up outside, e.g., cut the grass, take down a washing line, put garden tools away, hide children’s toys, power-wash the driveway, buy some cheap plant pots, table and chairs.

Create space:

  • De-cluttering is important as it allows any viewers to see, in their mind’s eye, what they would do with the property. Removing clutter takes away anything that may taint their vision;
  • De-cluttering also gives the impression of space and space is a very very good thing when letting a property;
  • Make the most of outdoor space. Demonstrate how efficiently any outdoor space can be used, no matter how small;
  • Similarly, make the most out of small rooms. Remove cluttering furniture so that viewers can envisage a use for the rooms;
  • Rent a storage unit, if necessary, or do a good deed and bring it to your local charity shop.

De-personalise:

  • Throughout the property preparation it is vital that you disassociate yourself from the property. Turn your property into a blank canvas onto which any viewers can project their perfect home;
  • Look at every room and area objectively;
  • Remove personal items, e.g., photographs, heirlooms;
  • Appeal to the widest possible audience, e.g., avoid pink walls and “funky” furniture. You never know who will be viewing your property and, no matter who they are, you want them to say to themselves “Yes, I could live here”;
  • Remove items that you want to take with you or don’t want the new tenants to have.

Repair:

  • Faults stand out a lot more in people’s minds than positives so invest a small amount of time, and maybe a little money, to make sure that the number of faults is minimal;
  • Take the following measures:
    • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles;
    • Patch holes in walls;
    • Fix leaky taps;
    • Fix dodgy doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that stick;
    • Consider painting your walls neutral colours, i.e., GET RID OF THE PINK WALLS!
    • Replace burned-out light bulbs;
    • Replace a shabby bedspread.

See the big picture:
There may seem to be a lot of tasks, but trust us: this up-front effort could (a) find a tenant faster and/or (b) get you higher rent. You can always rope in family and friends to help as long as you provide refreshments and don’t treat them like personal slaves for the day!

For any more information or guidance:

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About The Good Agent

I am a co-founder of The Good Agent, the smart new way to sell of let your property. I, along with my partners, hope to change the estate agent industry for good. This blog aims to touch on issues in property (sales and lettings), start-ups, the online revolution, and other pertinent topics.
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