The simple answer is begin at the beginning; the first place on the tour and that starts at the front gate. Few people have missed the plethora of TV programs and magazine articles about preparing a home for sale.

You all know there are three things that are of prime importance when searching for a home, Location, Location, Location.

That’s fine as a somewhat flippant statement but actually it doesn’t stop there does it?

Location can be spoilt by drab appearance and improved by thoughtful dressing, so when you are thinking about selling your home do two things. Go and cast a critical eye over a few properties or streets that you may be interested in. See how you react to seeing smart tidy entrances, gates and gardens and also gauge your reaction to any you see that are a little jaded, weeds running free, gates hanging off, paint peeling around doorways and windows.

How much work can you imagine having to do to those ‘uncared for’ properties?

Where are the bins stored? In plain view? What about litter? Are you kicking empty plastic bottles and crisp packets away from your feet?

Now go back and take a careful look at your home as if you were driving by like a prospective buyer. Is there anything that was on your list ‘to do next’ and somehow you never got to it? Does the front path need weeding, the grass cutting, the flower beds tidying. Is there a mountain of work to do to the windows? Is there condensation in double glazed panels, slipped tiles, stains from an overflowing gutter? Where are the bins? Is litter nestled against your pathway?

Does the front of your home welcome a prospective buyer and say ‘come on in you’re going to be so happy here!’ or does it say ‘watch out you’re in for a lifetime of work because what’s the inside going to be like and what else needs doing?’

In reality most will fall somewhere between the two and for most of you generally on the positive side but there may be a little room for improvement. If there isn’t well done and thank you for making the start to moving home a little easier for yourself and for us your agent.

The time of year can make things easier, nice colourful pots and planters in spring and summer are always more enticing than damp slippery leaves in late autumn and muddy trails in winter. (Nice crisp colourful autumn leaves kicking around wellied feet on a walk are another thing)

Some days nature will have out and there’s little you can do about it but, if you have thought ahead, the more you have done to tidy and spruce up the front of your home the less impact bad weather and dull days will have.

If the weather is doing its very best to deter your buyer then all can be redeemed in our next steps, ‘Past the front gate’ and ‘Through the Front Door’ (the nice, well maintained front door with sparkling clean glass, you know the one!)

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