The property expert offers his words of wisdom on how to prepare your home for sale for the traditionally busy New Year selling period.


While the housing market typically slows in December as potential buyers put their house-hunting activities on hold to focus on the festive period, this is also the perfect time for sellers to get their homes ready for the seasonal pick up in the New Year.

January is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the housing market and properties that are well-presented are likely to reap the benefits by securing an early sale to a motivated buyer.

From ensuring children’s toys are kept hidden in storage boxes, to removing pet smells, there are some relatively quick and inexpensive steps that can help you to present your property in the best possible light to a buyer.

1. Clear your property of clutter: Be ruthless in clearing items out of view, whether its old letters stacked up on a windowsill or multiple pairs of shoes gathered under a desk. Less clutter is important as it allows buyers to envisage how their furniture and belongings would fit into your property.

2. Give your home a Spring clean: Use some of the cold and dark winter evenings to give your home a thorough dusting and vacuum. Not only is it more appealing to potential buyers, but shiny surfaces can help to bounce light around, making your home seem brighter and bigger in the low-light months.

3. Make it smell nice: Bad smells can be off-putting to potential buyers, who may be deterred from staying too long if the smell is particularly unattractive. It means avoid cooking a meal the night before a viewing that may have a smell that will linger. Using flowers and pots of herbs can not only look attractive, but can also help introduce pleasant fragrances.

4. Remove all traces of your pets: This is particularly important in kitchens where some buyers may not like the idea of food and pets mixing. Elsewhere, vacuum sofas and make sure dog or cat hairs are not lingering on any surfaces. If possible, try to confine pets to one room while viewings are taking place.

5. Finally, stage your home: Imagine your property is about to be in a magazine shoot when your agent takes the photographs that will be used in the sales particulars. Freshly baked cakes and a dining table set ready for a party are just a few ideas that can help to create the right impression of a desirable place to live.

So, if you are thinking about moving in the New Year, try to use some of the time during this festive period to prepare your home for sale. It can help secure that all-important buyer later on in the house selling process.

Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. Zoopla strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advice from a qualified professional.

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