t is well documented that selling a house that has been left unoccupied for whatever reason can be much more of an uphill struggle than shifting your lived-in family home. Properties are most often left completely empty when owners have moved away or the property is going through the process of probate, with both situations benefiting from a swift sale.
As we specialise in insuring empty properties that are up for sale we have pulled together some top tips to ensure that when perspective buyers come to take a look they fall in love with the property’s potential and see beyond the bare walls.
Provide your estate agent with photos of the furnished property
This may not be possible dependent on individual circumstances but images of how a property looks when it is fully furnished can really attract buyers. Lots of people struggle to envisage the practical use of a room when it is devoid of furniture and the photos will give them a good starting point.
First impressions count – so keep the exterior of your property in good condition…
Where possible make sure guttering is cleared regularly, dead leaves are swept up and the garden is not allowed to become too overgrown. Good old ‘curb appeal’ becomes even more crucial when your property is empty, so ensuring that your buyers are enthusiastic as they walk through the front door will certainly stand you in the best stead.
…but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the inside
Walls need to be either meticulously clean or preferably given a quick new coat of paint. This will ensure the property is looking its best and that perspective purchasers can imagine moving straight in. Try and ensure that the house is filled with warm neutral creams and beiges and get rid of any loud or patterned wallpaper. Damaged sections of flooring will also stick out like a sore thumb when there is no furniture in the house, so if your budget allows consider getting them repaired. If this is not feasible then hire a good floor cleaning machine and tidy them up as best you can.
Pay attention to your fixtures and fittings
Think about replacing any broken or outdated taps and knobs. This is incredibly inexpensive but will make a huge difference to the general ambiance and condition of the room. You could also look to update any old light fittings that have seen better days to complete the look.
Remember to use all of your senses
One of the big problems with homes that are left empty for a period of time is the musty damp smell that starts to develop, particularly during the winter months. To counteract this make sure the property is given a thorough airing at least once a week, with the windows and doors opened to allow some fresh air in. You may also want to invest in some air fresheners to leave around the property but make sure they are not overwhelmingly strong and never leave plug in appliances in place when you are not there.
And bear in mind..
Unfortunately empty properties are often targeted by thieves and vandals. Make sure you keep all windows and doors securely locked when you’re not there and consider whether addition devices such as security lights are required. You can read more about how to protect your unoccupied property in our previous blog.
Learn more about unoccupied property insurance .