Now some aspects of lockdown are being lifted, people are reopening plans to sell or rent their property. The government have provided general advice on how to do this safely and within their current guidelines here.
Here’s some practical advice on how to stage your properties safely and effectively to achieve the best return, as quickly as possible.
First impressions count so make sure you’ve done all you can to make the front of the property look great-
- Now is a great time to get gardening, especially as many garden centres and nurseries are open. Weeding, trimming and planting attractive flowers in a window box will add instant appeal – and shows the property is cared for. (You’ll need to book timed visits to your local dump to dispose of garden waste- check with your local authority for details).
- Thoroughly clean the front door- both to ensure the surfaces which visitors will need to touch when entering are clean- and to make it look fabulous! Give knockers or door bells a wipe between visitors- again to avoid cross contamination.
Open windows and doors- the current advice is that meeting outside is safer, as air particles disperse quickly outside. Give your home a thorough airing before and after showing it- to reduce possibility of cross infection and ensure it smells fresh inside (even in city locations pollution has drastically reduced since lockdown!) Open the windows and prop open doors to get a through breeze. Where possible/ practical you can leave these open during the visit.
- We especially suggest propping open internal doors to avoid visitors having to touch handles/ surfaces.
- Curtains, blinds and shutters should be fully pushed back to let as much light as possible in- and again avoid visitors from having to touch them.
- If you’re keen to show off joinery details, you could print photos of the interiors and leave the images next to the cupboard to allow the viewer to see inside without having to open doors.
Clean and Fresh
Keeping it clean will showing the best side of your property and help minimise the spread of Coronavirus.
- Wipe down all surfaces- use fresh smelling antibacterial products where possible.
- Thoroughly clean floors- consider getting in a professional for a steam carpet clean. (You’ll need to arrange to be out or in a different place of the house whilst this is done – to allow the professional at least 2m distance at all times and allow for drying time).
- Clean the windows (inside and out)- you’ll be surprised the difference this makes.
- Regularly wipe down handles, locks, anything which is regularly used and/or touched.
- Provide hand soap and clean towels at every sink, so people visiting have the opportunity to wash their hands. Replace towels between visits and ensure you wash them at a high temperature.
- If possible, wash any rugs or soft furnishings before arranging photos or viewings to ensure everything is clean and smells lovely.
We usually suggest thoroughly decluttering before showing your property. The aim is to show people a property they could immediately step into/ envision themselves living in. Too much personal clutter is hard for people to see past. Put everything away that can be put away, including accessories, personal photos, extra furnishings etc. This will also help reduce the amount of cleaning you need to do between visits.
We always strongly recommend adding fresh flowers to your homes when showing them – this is especially important now for aesthetics and scent and to support local florists during the downturn. Our favourites local florists currently delivering are-
- https://www.thebrightonflowercompany.co.uk/ in Brighton.
- Timings – you’ll need to spread out visits to ensure social distancing – you could consider your exercise or weekly shopping when you’re expecting visitors.
- Another top tip- if you’re baking your own bread during lockdown- consider making a loaf just before the visit is due- entice viewers in with the aroma of freshly baked bread!
- Buying a property is fraught with delays at the best of times, but in the current crisis you will have to be extra patient. It might be worth discussing provisions for delayed move dates should anyone involved in the process get sick and be required to self-isolate. Speak to your agent or solicitor for advice.
- Fix anything which is broken before arranging to market the property. Try to schedule this well in advance, and allow for delays with materials or contractor availability due to the lockdown.
- Consider undertaking low cost high impact renovation works such as adding a lick of fresh paint, installing new light fixtures or adding stylish furniture. Works undertaken for sale usually more than pay for themselves in higher prices and quicker offers. If you have time, you can complete basic tasks yourself, but ensure you get the right professionals for specialist works (elecs, plumbing etc)
- Or consider staying instead of selling…? If you’re not comfortable with showing your home or you’re nervous about the market, consider whether staying and renovating would be a better use of your budget. Extensions, layout changes and big renovations are all still possible to arrange and undertake during the lockdown- speak to a professional for advice.
If you’d like our expert advice on staging or renovating your home, now or in the future- please do get in touch.