When we put our cottage on the market, I really underestimated how much work go into getting our home ready for a viewing. I assumed it would be the same as a quick tidy round, and a few fresh flowers, but it turned out to be so much more than that.
After a few viewings we developed a bit of a routine, which really helped to make our life easier. Here are a few tips that may come in handy if your house is on the market.
Have things on hand
We have two cleaning cupboards, one in our bathroom, and another downstairs in the kitchen. We tend to use a few multi-purpose cleaning products, rather than one for each job, so I made sure we were fully stocked. Definitely not the time to run out, when you’re rushing round trying to get ready for a viewing!
I also had a subscription for letterbox flowers, so there was no need to dash to buy a fresh bunch ahead of viewings.
Living in a cottage, storage has always been key, and never more so than with people coming to view our house. We didn’t want to give the impression we are bursting from the seams, so we moved as much as we could to my husband’s work storage, or my parents’ house.
We also bought a much bigger storage unit for Harry’s toys, which has kept them looking much tidier!
We have two dogs, and while we love them, we’re aware that not everyone will be quite so keen. As well as arranging for them to be out the house, we also hid away their baskets and bowls.
We also stashed away a few other bits and bobs, that weren’t all that pretty. Our washing up bowl, draining board, Harry’s highchair etc. We also moved the bathmat out the way, as the bathroom looks slightly bigger without it.
Having pre-thought out hiding places came in really handy, and meant we weren’t scratching our heads wondering where we’d stashed everything once the viewers had left.
Keep to a plan
After a few viewings, we’d really mastered getting the house ready, and managed to have it down to just under two hours.
Once the upstairs was clean and tidy, one of us would take Harry and the two dogs round to my parents, while the other blitzed downstairs. It’s much easier to mop floors and fluff cushions without help from children and animals!
We also made sure we were out the house with at least half an hour to spare, just in case viewers were a bit early, or anything didn’t go quite to plan.
Working with your estate agent
A great estate agent makes viewings much easier. Where possible ours made sure viewings were at the weekend and grouped together. This made life much simpler, as one of us could clean, while the other looked after Harry.
They also had noted down good times and bad, and tried to arrange viewings within those constraints. For us, it was important that Harry’s naptime and bedtime were undisturbed, and our estate agent really did their best to work around that.
I’ve mentioned before that our estate agents charge a little more than local competitors, but they have been worth every penny!
Viewings were a hassle, but completely worth it in the end! We tried to treat every viewing with as much enthusiasm as the first, and I think that approach really paid off. You never know who is going to be the one who buys your house!