07 April 2015

10 changes to help sell your home

Thinking of moving home? Here are 10 tips that will help get you moving

For most people, moving up the property ladder to your next dream home means selling the house you’re living in at the moment – and it’s surprising how much difference even small changes can make when it comes to getting the price your home deserves. 

Whether you’ve been waiting to move for a while, or you’re just considering putting your house on the market, every one of these 10 suggestions can help make a difference when it comes to impressing potential buyers. Many of them involve very little investment on your part, but all of them can make a difference when it comes to getting things moving:

Boost your kerb appeal

First impressions count, whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or eyeing up a new home. Top tips include tidying up and repainting the front door, putting potted plants or hanging baskets on either side, fixing outside lights and clearing pathways. And don’t let that first impression slip on opening the front door. Clear up hallways, and substitute untidy coats and shoes with a homely bench or flowers.

Clear out your closets

Few buyers have qualms about snooping in cupboards to check out your home’s storage capacity. To increase the impression of space, have a good clear out and transfer half the stuff from your closets and built-in wardrobes into storage. Then neatly fold and arrange what’s left.

Do up the garden

A good garden makeover might add 5 - 10 % to a house’s value, according to The National Association of Estate Agents. Make low-maintenance your mantra, since most buyers don’t want to imagine a weekend spent keeping up appearances outdoors. Don’t overstock flowerbeds with exotic flowers; instead go for good-looking indigenous plants that require less care. Put in some herb beds: beautiful, practical and great-smelling. And remember that a good lawn is always a winner, especially if prospective buyers are likely to have a young family.

Go neutral

As you update fixings and fittings, remember to always err on the cautious side. Buyers want a blank canvas not a Jackson Pollock. That means plenty of creams, magnolias, white gloss and biscuit carpets. Repaint any bright, brash colours and strip garish wallpaper. It’s important to be as neutral as possible so you’re not relying on second guessing someone else’s taste.

Let there be light

After a good location, natural light usually comes near the top of most buyer’s priority lists – and it often only requires a few small changes to increase the supply of it. Taking down heavy curtains and cleaning windows will help your home feel naturally bright and cheery, as will cutting back any bushes or trees that block sunshine from your windows. Subtle use of artificial light can help too: try increasing the wattage of your light bulbs and changing any heavy lampshades.

Look after any repairs you can

According to the HomeOwners Alliance, many buyers want to move in without making changes and it suggests home owners allow for this. Try a fresh coat of paint on the walls, replace curtains, get new door handles and fix leaky taps, broken tiles and dirty grout as well.

Not everyone is an animal lover

You may love your cats and dogs – but there’s no guarantee that potential buyers will. Bowls of food, smelly litter boxes and pet hairs give the impression that your home is unclean, however unjust that might seem. A viewing is a good time for somebody to take the dog for a walk or pop the cat out for a bit.

Take the home out of the house

If your house is crammed with personal items, potential buyers struggle to imagine themselves living there. Try to put some of your stuff in storage, including family photos, posters, memorabilia, ornaments and any personal keepsakes strewn over surfaces.

Tempt buyers’ sense of smell

Property experts have long known that aromas of baking bread and freshly brewed coffee make a space feel more homely. Stick a loaf in the oven or brew up a cafetiere before viewers arrive, and you’ll be helping to convince them that yours is the house they want to live in. If there’s a chill outside, consider lighting any stoves or open fires and burning pinecones for their warming scent.

And if you’re ready to spend, do it on the kitchen

With the amount of attention that buyers pay to it, you could argue that you’re not actually selling your house – you’re selling your kitchen. So if you’re going to spend on anything, make it this room. The priority should be a smart, new design and an efficient work area including new countertops and easy access to the three points of the kitchen triangle: the sink, fridge and cooker.

Mortgage deals to help get you moving

Did you know that you could take an existing Nationwide mortgage with you when you move, with the option to borrow more on the same terms, and access to our best mortgage rates? Find out more at the Home movers section of our website. If your current mortgage is somewhere else, then we’ve got a great range of deals that could suit you as well, see our remortgage page for more details.


Mortgages are subject to underwriting and criteria. Minimum age 18, UK residents only.

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