After a winter of short, dark days sitting on the sofa working their way through the bottomless tub of Christmas ‘Celebrations’, home-hunters are hungry for a change.
Spring is on the horizon, the most salient time of year for house sales. With this in mind, our New Oak Estates team has put together a selection of nine tips to get you moving this springtime.
1. Clear out Christmas clutter
Christmas is over, it’s time to move with the seasons and remove any last trace of festivity from the home.
That includes the spiced cranberry scented candle in pride of place in the entrance hall.
Any unwanted Christmas gifts craftily piled up by the door in the spare room, donate to charity whilst still within their ‘best-before’ period. You know that pretty packet of bath bombs shaped like cupcakes will only accumulate dust and don’t even get me started on the jar of wild boar pate that Auntie Beryl bought you even though she knows you’re a lifelong vegetarian!
Bookcase overflowing? OK, not necessarily Christmas specific but our bookshelves can be natural accumulators of detritus so check them for Christmas cracker toys and whilst there, do a cull of hardbacks that you can bear to part with. Hospitals and charities in the UK and abroad will be most grateful…and your home will have space to breathe again.
2. Deep clean
They don’t call it a spring clean for nothing! Whilst regular cleaning includes a hoover and mop of the floors, scrub of the bathtub and wipe down of the kitchen sides…a spring clean tackles ‘what lies beneath’.
Depending on how ‘deep’ you wish to delve, the possibilities are fathomless, so New Oak Estates have focussed on the essentials.
Clear out the cupboard beneath the sink. Viewers want to see everywhere, and half empty bottles of window cleaner and mouldy sponges can be rather off putting. Fatty residues lurking in the sink overflow should also be dealt with.
Whilst the focus is often on the glazing itself, don’t neglect to thoroughly wipe down frames and handles of patio doors and windows. The same goes for switches and sockets.
If you are considering leaving appliances as part of the sale, be sure to scrub away the deep grime that can build up behind washing machines and ovens.
In terms of the oven, if you’re blessed with a wipe-down induction hob or a pyrolytic oven, feel free to jump to tip 3. For the rest of us mere mortals, it’s time to don the Marigolds, dig out the Oven Brite and flex those elbows!
3. From rugs to riches
After a winter tolerating muddy boots, mince pies and more, your carpets are ready for some TLC.
A thorough hoover is mandatory, paying special attention to the oft-neglected skirtings. This is especially important for pet owners as skirtings can act as a magnet for animal hair.
Take it to the next level by spraying foamy cleaner on any areas that may have taken a hard hit, before working it in with a hard-bristled brush and hoovering over once dry (check individual instructions).
4. Scale and polish
Kitchens and bathrooms suffer the heaviest usage throughout the year, so these are the main rooms to focus your spring clean on. When it comes to limescale, we say ‘fight citrus with citrus’!
Halve an old lemon and create a hollow in the centre of the fruit. Then push the same side up into the tip of the faucet and swivel it about until it feels secure and leave it for an hour or two before gently brushing off any remains with a toothbrush.
If this method proves too slippery, a white vinegar and water spray solution also works well. Cleaning a shower head? Keep a needle handy to clear the jet holes.
5. Maximise kerb appeal
Nothing beats the influx of colour that comes with springtime. Take advantage of the glowing tones of nature to maximise your home’s curb appeal.
Any remaining leaf decay or straggly vines should be raked and trimmed. As soon as your boot stops leaving imprints in the lawn, lift the blades on the mower to their highest setting and give your grass its first haircut of the year.
Top New Oak Estates tip: Mowing in a diagonal pattern can help make even the most diminutive of gardens seem larger.
6. Mellow yellow
Synonymous with chicks, daffodils and sunshine, yellow is the herald of springtime. The brightest of the primary colours, yellow also has a psychological role to play when selling your home.
Symbolically associated with light, cheer, enthusiasm, warmth, happiness and energy, this is definitely a colour you want to feature in your home this springtime.
Try not to overplay it, but a vase of daffodils in the hallway, a planter of tulips by the front door and even freshening up a gloomy room with a yellow cushion or throw will give you the psychological edge when it comes to viewings.
7. Shine like a star
If it can capture a reflection, let it shine! Light sells, so be sure to maximise the gleam in every reflective surface of your home in the early spring sunshine.
Begin with the windows, clean them inside and out until they sparkle. Make sure to thoroughly wash any dreary curtains too. It’s called window dressing for a reason, after all, who wants to put dirty clothes back on after a shower?
Hardwood floors should be polished to perfection, let the features of the wood really stand out. Splashback tiles in kitchens and bathrooms should be treated with the same standard of attention.
8. Be weather wary
British springtime brings with it the promise of April showers.
However, deceptively titled, they make no promise to limit themselves to this month alone.
With changeable weather always on the horizon, pray for sunshine during those crucial viewings, but prepare for rain.
Have a ‘viewings only’ brand new, clean door mat ready for your viewers. It presents a good first impression whilst also saving your newly scrubbed carpets (see tip #2) from mucky feet.
If possible, have a place to store wet umbrellas out of the way for the duration of the viewing.
Wise also to check the state of your gutters prior to viewings, an overflowing downspout thrumming onto the conservatory roof may not warm the cockles of your viewers’ hearts.
9. A visit from the Easter bunny
Curry favour by treating potential buyers to a tasty treat (after all, inspecting homes is a wearing business).
We’re not suggesting setting up an Easter egg hunt prior to every viewing (although that sounds like fun). However, a bowl of chocolates wrapped in shining colourful foil on the kitchen counter or coffee table can lift the spirits immeasurably.