Is it the One? A Checklist for Choosing and Selling Your Home

After family, your partner and your children, your home is probably the most important thing in your life.

It’s worth investing in that relationship early on, conducting some vital research and understanding what it is about your perfect home you are really looking for.

Then look for what it is that makes your heart leap and what are the non-negotiables.

We have a checklist to help you decide what may be your next home or, read another way, it could help you stand out as an eligible home worthy of a sale.

Things to love:

Beautiful kitchen and bathroom

Actually, it’s not the living room that leaves people with the number one impression when viewing a house. Even if the living room is great (not hard to achieve with a bit of basic DIY home staging) it’s harder to convince people they want to live somewhere if the bathroom or kitchen is scruffy.

Why is this so important? These are the two rooms that deal with cleanliness – A safe environment to prepare food or a place you can complete your ablutions without feeling even ickier than before you took that shower.

Pay particular attention to these rooms as they are susceptible to large amounts of condensation and that means potential for damp. If the kitchen has a back door, cracks near the doorframe could be a sign of subsidence.

Checking fittings work as they should

People are easily put off by snags as they want it to be easy to live in their new home. If you’re looking around and finding issues with door handles, runners and light switches, this is going to cost you money to fix when you move in.

If you’re hoping to sell your current property, it’s worth spending a little time on the details to avoid minor disgruntlement from a potential buyer.

A clean survey

Just as you may Facebook stalk a new date to look out for any warning signs or questionable behaviours before you get too involved, your survey alerts you to any causes for concern with a house, especially regarding wet rot, dry rot, subsidence, Japanese knotweed and faulty electrics. In addition, your solicitor will carry out their own checks to ensure your property is not a flood risk or is going to cave into the sea in the near future. A squeaky clean survey is a house’s clean bill of health, meaning you won’t have to fork out for expensive maintenance work when you should be enjoying your new home. Talk about putting strain on a new relationship!

If you’re aware of issues with your own home, you should lower your asking price or offer to pay for repairs where necessary, as this will ease the sales process.

Lovely views

Eye-tracking research carried out by cleaning firm Vileda uncovered the fact that 95% of people flock to the windows to have a good look outside, so a tidy garden and view of surrounding areas are important to house viewers.

If you’re on the lookout for your next abode-mance, then lighting that’s not blocked by trees and other buildings is something you have to consider. Can you live in a dark room? A house will be darker at certain times of the day, so see if you can organise a second viewing at a different time to the first.

Homeowners, you need to tidy up the outside as well as the inside and freshen up around your window frames and glass (inside and outside) so viewers get the best impression.

Original features

You know in your heart what home you want. You know whether it’s an older build or a brand new home with less character. If you imagine yourself living in a home that is reminiscent of Hogwarts, you’re not going to enjoy a spartan living room with no distinguishing features. Again, if your home is your blank canvas from which to create and stamp your personality, a rickety old house with uneven floors and bizarre jutty-out bits is going to frustrate you.

Homeowners, keep the fireplaces maintained and clean around any distinctive features as according to Anglian Home Improvements, these idiosyncrasies pique the curiosity of 75% of viewers.

Storage space

Online estate agent YOPA revealed that 80% of viewers are interested in the storage spaces. This makes complete sense, as you need to know you can fit both you and all your possessions once you’ve moved in. You should be able to look inside airing cupboards, cupboards under the stairs and any additional storage areas such as garages.

If you’re selling up, don’t chuck everything in the cupboards to present an immaculate façade everywhere else – Either declutter or move things out the home.

Potential deal breakers you should be aware of: :

While it might seem unromantic to think of the less than desirable characteristics of your beloved rather than let things take their natural course (moving in, making the place cosy, creating new rooms etc), it’s better to realise early on in the process what the other one is really like before falling madly in love.

Like it or not, you may, in fact, be incompatible for each other if the house has one of the following traits.

Broken fittings or fixtures that could cost you money

Be aware of what works and what doesn’t before you make an offer, as you do not want to be eating into your decorating budget repairing snags caused by previous owners. Understand what money you may have to set aside before shaking hands on the deal.

Survey issues

If your chosen house falls short of the property inspection, you need to know what constitutes a deal breaker.

While subsidence (your home sinking into the ground or rising) is reversible, it’s expensive to fix and could land you with an expensive home insurance policy.

Japanese knotweed grows a staggering 20cm a day and can destroy the fabric of a building, so don’t get yourself caught up in expensive repairs.

Faulty wiring, rot and woodworm are fixable but again cost money. You should ask the homeowner to pay or to make these repairs before you settle on a deal

The house is a potential flood risk

If your solicitor finds that your home has a history of flooding or is in an area likely to flood, you have to have a conversation with yourself. As much as you may love the place, is it worth the heartbreak of seeing it spoilt by overflowing sewage?

Home not in right catchment area for a particular school

Although not a problem if you don’t have tots, you should check out the boundaries for the school catchment areas if you want your child to go to a particular school. If your little one’s friends are likely to end up at a different secondary school to your postcode area, this may cause unnecessary emotional upheaval if you don’t do your research beforehand.

Public transport not easily accessible

Even if you drive, if someone in your family doesn’t, or doesn’t have their own car, you are committing yourself to a life of free taxi-driving if you don’t live on a main bus route or near a train station. For some of us, this would be a deal breaker because we need to get to work to pay the mortgage. On the other hand, you may love the middle of nowhere because it means less traffic and fewer people.

Flaws you should be prepared to look beyond:

None of us is perfect, and indeed we don’t always give the best impression of ourselves at first. So don’t be put off too early on due to one of these issues.

Poor taste in furniture

27% of the viewer’s attention goes on the furniture and personal effects. If you notice yourself feeling resistance to a property because you don’t like the décor or the sofa looks a bit shabby, remind yourself that these items will not be there when you move in.

Too many personal objects

Unless this is a showhome, people most likely live in the house you are exploring, which means they have photos of their nearest and dearest. Don’t let the fact that this is someone else’s home cloud your view of the potential.

Clutter and mess

Women are particularly attentive to clutter while being shown around a home. As with questionable taste in furniture and family photos, you need to imagine the room as an empty space to be filled with your own belongings.

How to make sure you’re someone else’s “One”:

Tidy your home to remove clutter

Like it or not, humans are superficial and have a hard time imagining your home without any existing mess, so make their job easier by taking away unnecessary and distracting objects. Give your home a lick of magnolia paint if necessary to disguise your fluorescent feature wall. It may look great to you, but you can paint your next home however you like.

Remove photographs and anything that that might not be to everyone’s personal taste

Your home is no longer your private castle when you are selling up – You have to treat it more like a show house, so keep the décor simple and remove objects that may cause offense or elicit a mixed reaction.

And do you really feel comfortable with the idea of strangers pouring over your family photographs?

Add clean soap and towels to the bathroom

Grubby towels with hair dye stains going threadbare won’t do you any favours. Neither will scraps of used soap, so make way for some fresh new towels that you don’t ever use; you just get them out when you’ve got visitors.

Take out a storage unit for all the extra mess

We get it, houses accumulate a lot of things over the years you’re living in them. And that’s okay, no judgment. That’s why we provide a range of suitable lockers and storage units to help you prepare for a house move. Whether it’s for a week or two or for long-term, our storage experts will point you in the right direction.

Does your current or future home tick all the boxes?


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