Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Home's Kerb Appeal Before Selling

The first thing a potential customer may see in your home is what's outside. Known as "kerb appeal," the way your street-facing exterior looks can play a major role in how quickly your home sells. Fortunately, upgrading your kerb appeal is not as expensive and as daunting a task as you might think. Here are four simple steps you can take to add more kerb appeal to your home before listing. 

1. Add Window Boxes
Window boxes filled with in-season flowers add a bright and cheerful element to your home. Choose one that compliments the look of your house, and be sure to maintain and upkeep the flowers throughout the entire sales process.

2. Take Care of Your Lawn
One of the first things a potential customer sees is your lawn. Having a neat and well-kept lawn makes a big difference. If your lawn has some less-than-desirable patches, try laying grass seed a few months before you list your home. Keep the yard trimmed and weeds in sidewalks or walkways plucked to appeal to potential buyer's eyes.

3. Hang a Birdhouse
Bright birdhouses tend to attract small wildlife, and small wildlife often makes a property more desirable to a buyer. Hanging a birdhouse is extremely simple, and the added benefit of attracting bird-loving buyers makes the act all the more worth the effort. Plus, birdhouses require little maintenance; no need to remember to refill them like a bird feeder would require.

4. Paint Your Front Door
A mute, monotonous door can seem uninviting. Adding a pop of colour to your home's exterior doorway can be welcoming to buyers. But seller beware: going too bright can have the opposite effect. Choose a colour that's not too bold. Make sure it's welcoming and relevant to the overall look of your house.

Increasing your kerb appeal can be cheap and easy. Once you've completed these simple tasks, you're 
ready to sell.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How Pro Photos Can Help You Quickly Sell Your Home

You've decided to list your home online. You have a well-composed house description added to your listing, and you've uploaded a few quick snaps of the home's interior and exterior that you shot on your smartphone. You're sure your beautiful home is going to sell quickly, and you're excited to know that someone will soon be enjoying the same house you once called home.

Fast forward to a few months later. The house is still listed, the views on your online listing still climbing, but you've managed to get very few leads in prospective buyers. Why has this been unsuccessful?

This all-too-familiar scenario may seem disheartening. It seems the seller did everything right. But in all actuality, this homeowner's problem may be a fairly simple one that affects numerous sellers world-over each day: the photos. 

Why Professional Photos Are Important

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, most buyers spend nearly 80 percent of their time viewing the photos in online real estate listings. That means they only spend 20 percent of the time reading the carefully-crafted listing description. If the photos are not top-notch, a potential buyer is likely to continue on to another listing, while the seller is left with one less potential sell. Here are some other statistics to consider:

  • Listings with high-quality professional photos can bring in an average of £669 to £83,136 more on the market value price.
  • Sellers who use professional photographs as part of their listing sell their home 32 percent faster than those who do not.
  • Professional photos account for 118 percent more online views than those taken by amateur photographers.

The Most Important Photos You Need

Though hiring a professional photographer can be one of the most important decisions you make when listing your home, you also need to understand what photos you need to accompany your listing. As a general rule, be sure your professional photographer gives you the following photographs:

  • A kerbside photograph of the house exterior
  • At least one photo of each interior room, staged if possible
  • A photograph of unique house features, like an extra-big en-suite, that may be a point of interest for a potential buyer

If you're in the U.K. and looking for a professional photographer to photograph your house for an online listing, our team at Doorsteps is here to help. To get started, 
contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Things Most UK Home Buyers Are Looking For

When most people think of the things homeowners desire, they often think of expensive add-ons or enhanced features: stainless-steel appliances, marble countertops, etc. While these perks are nice and will surely aid you in selling your property, most UK home buyers are looking for something much more simple -- and less expensive -- to honour. In fact, you may already have many of the things a potential buyer seeks in your home. Here's a look at three of the most sought-after aspects of modern home buying. 

1. A Home That Requires Low Maintenance
The demands of modern life put constraints on many homeowners time. That's why many buyers are looking for a property that requires low initial maintenance. The more you can do before listing your home, the more likely it is to be purchased quickly. Invest in making the seemingly small needed repairs, paint the walls and watch as interest picks up on your listing.

2. A Simple Home Interior
Most homeowners enjoy decorating the interior of their houses how they see fit. The more you can aid them in this process, the more likely they are to buy. Choose calm, neutral tones in wall paint. Refrain from installing your house with flashy fixtures; instead, install ones that are more subtle. The more generic you make the interior of your home, the more creative freedom you give the new buyer.

3. Space for Growing
When we say space to grow, we're not necessarily meaning the size of your house. Instead, think actual growth -- plants, vegetable, etc. Does your house currently have a window box garden or space for a small garden fixture in the backyard? This is a strong selling point for most modern home buyers. Even small spaces with a little growing space can make a potential buyer more apt to put in an offer.

Creating an inviting living space with features buyers are looking for doesn't necessarily require you to spend thousands of pounds to make it more desirable. If you're looking to 
sell your home, be sure to tout these perks when listing.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Tips on Staging Your Sitting Room

Most real estate experts agree that staging your home is one of the best ways to make a quick sale. Though the concept is fairly new -- most people hadn't even heard of home staging just 20 years ago -- it is highly effective. Though it's not always possible to stage every room in the house, homeowners should try staging the most frequently used rooms for the best effect. The following is a guide to staging one of the most-used rooms in anyone's home -- the living room. 

Benefits of Staging
Staging is effective for many reasons. By staging your living room, you are able to:

  • Give the home a more homely feel. Staging is very effective in making a home feel, well, like home. Whereas opened, unfurnished homes seem cold and uninviting, staged homes appear more cosy and welcoming.
  • Put the buyer in the homeowner's shoes. Staging gives buyers the ability to envision how the lived-in home might look once they buy it. When a seller is able to put potential buyers in the homeowner mentality, they're more likely to make a sell.
  • Show what the room might look like when it's lived in. Many buyers have a hard time envisioning what a room might look like when furnished. By staging the room with furnishings and other appropriate accessories, the seller enables the prospective buyer to see what it might look like when it's lived in.

Simple Sitting Room Staging Methods
Though there are many methods of staging, with some requiring the assistance of professional interior designers, there are staging techniques that require nothing more than elbow grease, ingenuity and the swapping of items you may already own.
Some simple staging ideas include:

  • Painting walls that are chipped or damaged.
  • Move existing sofas and other furnishings to create a conversation area.
  • Draw the curtains open to allow the room to be filled with attractive light.
  • Group knick-knacks in uneven sets of three or five.
  • Declutter and minimise the room's furnishings so that only the most imperative and welcoming items remain.

Staging your living room can have a dramatic effect on making a house sell. Follow these simple tips to make your living room a dramatic selling point for potential house buyers.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

4 Ways To Know If You're Ready to Sell Your House

Deciding to sell your house can be emotional. Merely thinking about selling causes some people to feel stressed. But there are times when you're certain you should list. Here are four such instances that might indicate that now is the time to sell.

1. Your Neighbours Just Made a Profit On Their Home
Timing is everything in real estate. While location, location, location is the mantra, market, market, market is the message. If your neighbours have just sold their house above market value, you may want to jump on the opportunity. The chances of you selling your home for an above-market price is very likely in this situation.

2. You've Got a New Addition to Your Family
Adding a little one into your life is another reason you may want to sell your home. Although the amount of extra space needed to live comfortably with the new member may seem the obvious reason to sell, it's not the only one. Moving to a better school district, moving to a place with more outdoor activities, or moving to an area with more children may all be factors you consider when deciding to sell your home. 

3. The House Is So Big, It's Overwhelming
When most people consider selling their house, they usually make the decision when they find that they don't have enough room. But sometimes having too much space can also be a problem. When your house seems too big for whatever reason -- when the kids grow and move out, for instance, or when you lose a spouse or life partner -- it may be a good time to put your home on the market.

4. The Emotional Attachment to the House Has Waned
Many people feel an emotional draw to their first home. But as with any relationship, as time goes on, the attachment may begin to wane. Feeling like the house you currently inhabit doesn't draw the same emotional sentiment as it did before can be a great indicator that it's time to sell.

Once you determine it's time to sell your house, it's time to start planning. To learn more about how Doorsteps can assist you in getting the most pounds for your home, 
visit our FAQs or contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Hiding Clutter in the Bathroom and Kitchen

You’re selling your home, and you’ve decluttered as much as you possibly can, or at least you think you did. Despite your best efforts to eliminate, you still feel overwhelmed with stuff! Don't worry, it's not uncommon. The trick is learning how to hide that clutter so potential buyers won't suspect a thing!

What Not To Do

You may think that you can just shove things into closets and cabinets, but it's important to remember that potential buyers are apt to look there. They want to see how much storage space their potential dream home has to offer, so they'll certainly open every closet door. Luckily, though, there are a few ways to hide that clutter in the bath and kitchen.


It’s far too easy to have a cluttered bathroom, but fortunately, there are a lot of tricks to make it look cleaner. First, any tools that you don’t use regularly, like the electric razor you never use or that curling tongs you swore you’d use but never do, can be packed up and packed away. Purchase a shower caddie for all of the shower items you use and put them on it. If you have a number of cosmetics, their lots of plastic organisers that you can purchase that will make everything look amazing.


Do you have overhead cabinets? You know those cabinets, like the one over the range or the refrigerator? Those are cabinets that hardly anyone ever looks at. Put anything bulky that you don’t use often up there. If you have coffee or spices out, try storing them in a wicker basket. Putting anything in a basket tends to make the entire counter look much tidier. You can also use the top of your cabinets if there's space between them and your ceilings as storage. Simply choose some cute baskets to hide the clutter. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Moving from a Flat to a Home

It seems like a dream come true when you’re able to move from a small rented flat into your own home. Living in a flat can be the perfect solution for some people, but others dream about the ability to live in their own home. Being able to paint the walls whatever colour you want and being able to brag to your friends that you own a home is something many people dream of accomplishing. But if you’re moving from a flat to a home, there are a few things to consider and several purchases to make.


Your New Responsibilities


You no longer have a landlord. It may seem like a dream come true, but if a pipe breaks in the middle of the night, you'll not only need to locate a repair company, but you'll also be responsible for the costs involved. Additionally, you may need to learn a few landscaping skills to take care of your garden, how to maintain your boiler, and other simple home maintenance skills. Youtube can help, but so can many other websites dedicated to home ownership and maintenance like Fantastic Handyman.


Your To-Purchase List


In addition to learning a few new skills, there may also be a number of things you need to purchase for your new home. If you have a garden of any size, a mower is a must. You may also need to invest in a hedge trimmer and a few other small hand tools including shovels and rakes. Tools may also prove handy. Hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers are always going to prove helpful, as may a few torches to help you see what you're doing if you're in a poorly lit area or if the power goes out.


The list of things you need to know and what you should purchase will likely get longer as time goes on, but for now, enjoy the extra space you have in your brand new home!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You Consider a Fixer-Upper?

Thanks to many renovation shows on tele these days, many people are purchasing a wreck and creating their dream homes. While it's unrealistic to expect that you’re going to buy a brand new home and be completely happy with it exactly as it is, not everyone should consider buying a fixer-upper and moving forward with renovations. How do you know if the process is right for you?

How Much Will It Cost?

Understanding the true cost of the home, renovations included, is step one. One mistake that you don’t want to make is to assume that you know how much any potential renovations will cost. Unless you’re a carpenter or contractor you’ll likely not have the ability to accurately determine exactly how much the renovations will cost. If you’re serious about buying the home, but you want to do renovations, ask your realtor if you can have a day to bring a contractor over to the home. The contractor will be able to give you an idea of exactly how much your renovation will cost. Then you can figure out if you’re able to swing the renovations immediately once you subtract the cost of the house from the amount of loan you’re able to secure.

Doing It Bit by Bit

If the amount it will cost to renovate is more than you want to spend right off, think about doing the changes a little bit at a time. A lot of homeowners take time to make the changes they want to their homes, and it’s often a good idea as you might change your thoughts about what you want to renovate the longer you own the home. In some cases, though, this idea is a deal-breaker, as if the home isn't in liveable condition for your family, it may not be a good idea to do it in pieces. Moreover, you may not have the patience to do so.

Making the Decision

The right choice is going to depend on several factors, and affordability has to be at the top of the list. Additionally, though, think about whether you like to take on new projects, your patience level, and what your ideas for the home might be. As you shop, we'll help you find the perfect model in the right shape to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should I Repair My Roof Before I Sell My Home?

There are many expenses a homeowner can anticipate, but perhaps the most dreaded is the replacement of your roof. If you're not sure about the condition of your roof or you know it's not in good shape, you may be wondering whether you should have it repaired or replaced before you sell your home. What makes the most financial sense?


Getting It Inspected


The first thing you may want to do is have your roof inspected. Choose a local roofing company with a good reputation, and give them a call. Get a professional inspection along with an estimate, then you can decide whether to move forward with the repair or to negotiate the selling price with the buyer with the understanding that a roof repair is in the home's new future. Keep in mind that once the inspection is complete, you will need to disclose the results to a potential buyer.


Making the Decision


Once you're aware of the condition of your roof, trying to decide whether to repair and sell or negotiate a lower price can be difficult. You will definitely sell your home faster if the roof is up to par. Buyers don’t have to be concerned about fixing a roof, and it can make them sign on the dotted line faster. However, you may choose to not repair the roof if you don’t have the funds available currently to do so or if you’re looking to sell as quickly as you can without having to repair the roof. Look at the current market and nearby sales activity to help with your decision. If the market is hot enough that you're going to end up with multiple offers, it's very possible to wait it out. If homes just aren't selling in your area, though, the roof is going to detract from your home, and it may make it tougher to sell.


If you’re unsure as to whether you should repair the roof or not, give us a call before we help you list your home. We'll discuss your roof and any other potential problems. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

What Inspections Should I Have Done Before Listing My Home?

Deciding to sell your home isn’t easy, and once you start thinking about all of the things you have to do before listing, your stress level may increase dramatically. Luckily, you can eliminate some of that stress by scheduling a few inspections that will help give you the peace of mind you need to bring potential buyers into your home.


Boiler Inspection


When was the last time your boiler was inspected? It is supposed to be inspected once a year, but it’s often something that homeowners let slide because you get so busy with your life. Make an appointment to have your boiler fully checked and cleaned. You may even want to request a written report from the company that you can show to potential buyers to help them understand what good shape it's in.


Pest Inspection


From the pests you see to the wood destroying pests you don't, a complete pest inspection of your home is a great idea. It can help you understand any potential problems buyers might notice that you didn't. It's not uncommon for homes to suffer from woodworm and other infestations, and a full report and a clean bill of health from a reputable pest inspection company can go a long way toward convincing potential buyers that yours is the home they want to buy.


Home Buyer Report


Some sellers invest in a full homebuyer report, particularly those who are motivated to move their homes from "For Sale" to "Sold" quickly. In many cases, however, it isn't necessary as most buyers will invest in this type of inspection before they sign the contract to purchase.


It may seem like a bit of a hassle to have inspections done, but really it can give you significant peace of mind. Take the time to have these inspections done before you list your home and save yourself a bit of stress.


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