Preparing Your Home for Sale – Part I

  • 24.March 2014
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Welcome front doorReaching the decision to sell your property in Malta is usually not an easy process. You may have spent a great deal of time thinking about it, weighing the pros and cons, considering the varied aspects of the move. This next obvious step in your life takes plenty of planning and once you have braced yourself and made the decision to sell, you are now faced with the actual preparation of your home with the aim of securing a sale as soon as possible.

Selling your real estate in Malta may take time but the better you prepare your home, the less time it should take. It involves some marketing foresight that will help you in looking at your home objectively, with some level of detachment. This is important since you need to take a step away from your emotional involvement and consider just what a possible buyer is seeing when he/she visits your home. Combining a re-shuffle with some determined spring-cleaning is a definite must which will also prepare your belongings to be packed away after proper de-cluttering.

It is important to make your home look attractive from the outside first. Therefore, it is not a waste of time nor money, to give the facade a quick facelift – Wash or polish the front door, clean the front patio, remove flaking paint from the alcove around the doorway and if the facade is in a really sorry state, consider a quick wash of paint. Add a couple of potted plants and fix the bulb in that lantern. Has the dog eaten the corners out of your front door mat? Throw the mat away or educate the mutt, but be sure to have a spanking new little carpet that says happily (and cleanly) HELLO to all the strangers coming in.

Once inside, consider the hallway – is it littered with shoes, bags, coats, old junk mail, gas cylinders, empty water bottles? Remove, re-organise, de-clutter and then really look at wall. This is a process you must carry out in each room as you proceed around the house. If walls look dirty and scuffed, consider cleaning them down with some soapy water and a soft sponge/chamoix. Where mould spores have set in, use gloves and add a shot of bleach in the water. If the walls have paint falling off, perhaps you should get the wall plastered and re-painted. It’s an extra cost of course, but a well-kept wall is not going to deter viewers from appreciating it. Only after the walls are in place, can you proceed to consider more cosmetic touches, such as the furnishings in any given room. If the hall table is crying out for some furniture polish, make it happy and give it some. If the mirror is full of finger-marks, polish it too. Change some accessories around – add a bowl of flowers, include an umbrella stand, hang a (working) clock to the wall.

DeClutter Living RoomLiving rooms can be a headache to re-organise since they are very obviously lived-in most of the time, but you must set time aside for this task too. Remove faded sofa covers, sticky plastic armchair covers, battered pillows, dirty rugs, old magazines and newspapers, smelly ashtrays…. Whilst you’re at it, pull down those curtains and throw them in the wash, polish the glass panes on the front window, remove the dead pot plants sitting on the ledge. The idea is to refresh, revive and remove anything that tells of stagnant, over-used and lazy styling. Maximise the floor space so the room appears larger. This can be done by moving furniture around and removing superfluous items to corners or completely out of the room. Therefore, consider the pair of leather pouffes the kids loved so much when they were kids – does anybody sit on them anymore except the cat perhaps? Wave them goodbye and hey presto – you already have some newly released space on that floor.

As you walk around these first impact spaces, remember that you will be welcoming viewers into these first few rooms as soon as they ring that front door-bell. Therefore, while making sure the door-bell does work, check all the indoor lights because once you open the front door, the interior of your house must be well-lit for your viewers to see.

In part two of this blog post, we will move on through the rest of the house, one room and space at a time.

This article was written by Marika Azzopardi, a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.