Property selling tips and advice

How to prepare your property for a future sale


It is important to present your property for sale in such a way as to appeal to the widest possible range of buyers and presentation is key.

The psychology of selling

Properties which reflect a previous occupier’s taste in decoration presents an impediment to the prospective purchasers taking the all-important mental step of projecting themselves and their life in the property and moving their furniture in. The decision to buy is an emotional not a rational process and you must create the environment for that thought process to take effect.

Everything that follows stems from that basic principle.


De-clutter your property by removing unnecessary bulky items, excess furniture, toys, gym equipment etc and store off site. Do not put any bulky items on top of kitchen units or the fridge, the photographs will pick this up and so will prospective purchasers during viewings. Bulky items impact on a potential purchaser’s concept of the space available in the property.


Remove the personal items which get in the way of the viewer imagining moving into your home: family photographs, souvenirs, slippers, magnets on the fridge, teddies on the bed, other signs of domesticity etc all get in the way of this essential process.


Define clearly the function of each room or part of the room. A bedroom should where possible have a bed in it rather than be used as a storeroom. A study area should have a desk and chair and a dining kitchen should have a small table and chairs.


Thoroughly clean the property particularly the kitchen and the bathroom. Fresh cleaning sprays (such as Method) make a better impression than a strong smelling bleach.

Dust first with a good quality furniture polish and then hoover and mop any hard flooring. In communal stairwells, clean the handrail with a good quality furniture polish, clear any rubbish or bulky items where possible from the stair, and sweep/mop the stairs.

Don’t forget the windows! Clean windows make a property brighter and more appealing.

Freshen up paintwork, sealant and any grouting

Freshen up any tired looking paintwork on any outside doors and windows. In particular, communal stairwell doors.

Freshen up any paintwork inside the property in a neutral colour scheme – bold fashion statement colours don’t work with the majority of purchasers!

You should replace any defective looking sealant in your bathroom and freshen up grouting. A defective sealant will automatically score a low “3” grade on a Home Report as the surveyor cannot be certain any water hasn’t got through defective or worn sealant.

Garden or outdoor space

If you have a garden or outdoor space it is important to tidy it and edge the lawn if you have one. Remove dead plants and leaves and if possible pressure hose any paths. Don’t forget front garden areas or outdoor space. There is a theory that potential buyers make up their mind about the property in the first three minutes so kerb appeal impression is crucial.

Final touches

New white linen for bedsheets and fluffy white towels. Cushions should be plumped and often work best in bolder colours to counterbalance neutral painted walls.

Make sure all light bulbs in the property are working, replace any that aren’t. At each property viewing, all lights in the property should be on even the lights above your cooker and even during daytime viewings.

Plants provide good feng shui and can purify the air. Fresh flowers also make a good impression – consider placing some in your kitchen and living room before your photographs are taken and before any viewings. It’s important that the flowers look fresh.

Free advice

If you would like free advice on how to present your property for a future sale, get in touch with us and one of our experienced property valuers will be happy to guide you. We are more than happy to look at photographs or a video of your property during lockdown and offer you a free no obligation valuation, appraisal and presentation report. You can call us on 0131 625 2222, email us at or book a free consultation on our website using the link below.

Book a free telephone or video consultation with Neilsons online here