Spring is just around the corner and now is the time to start planning your annual home makeover. A home’s presentation and state of repair can make the difference between the good life and the bad life -“ so it’s vitally important to get things up to scratch, regardless of whether you plan to sell or you want to keep going where you are.

Attention to detail will make your home far better to live in, and if you’re in the market to sell it’s critical in helping you achieve the sale price you want or more. But this does not mean you have to spend a fortune on new furniture or major garden works.

First impressions count, so try to look at your home through the eyes of the buyer. A property’s exterior appearance is the potential buyer’s introduction. Sellers should try to put themselves in the buyers’ shoes, and ask themselves what the buyers see first when looking from the street and when they first walk into the property. What stands out? Is it the state of the garden, the faded exterior paint or the cracks in the driveway?

Fixing simple things like this does not require a lot of money, but can add significant value to the final selling price.

Preparation of the exterior should involve painting areas requiring obvious attention. If something looks terrible, fix it. The lawn should be mowed and the garden tidy. Check the basics: Do the exterior lights work? Are the windows clean? Can everything be opened and shut okay?

Give the selling agent something to work with. Potential buyers will notice obvious flaws, and the agent will spend the whole inspection trying to explain them away. If the house is welcoming and in good repair, the agent has the opportunity to sell the home’s merits instead.

Make sure everything is clean, including curtains and blinds and the dishwasher. Fix dripping taps, faulty hinges and missing door knobs. The bathroom needs to be clean and presentable, and the kitchen should be in its best possible repair. Clean cupboards and surfaces will make buyers believe that the previous occupant has cared for the property.

Get rid of all of your crap furniture, if you can. If you’re serious about selling, consider hiring living room furniture that highlights the house’s size. Don’t try to put too much in the rooms as this will make them appear smaller.

Even if you’re not selling, a spring clean is good for the soul and a great way to shake off winter’s cobwebs. There’s nothing better than opening up a home that’s been closed off to the outside for a few months.

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