Presentation Tips

"If a person is inspired when they visit your property, they're far more likely to have a higher opinion of its value."

At Sherry FitzGerald O'Neill we do whatever it takes to help make your property shine. We know that the smallest of changes can make a huge difference - and they needn't cost a fortune.

These tips are just to get us started in preparing your property for sale. When appointed as your agent, we can offer personalised and tailored advice to give your property the edge and maximise its impact when launched on the market. We also have a number of home improvement partners and stylists who work exclusively with our clients to help stage and present properties at their finest.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so lets get started:


GARDENS

Keep up with the Joneses

Take a look at the front approach to your property. How does it compare with other properties on the street? Be honest. Make sure your home looks inviting and that it has 'kerb appeal'.

Buy a yard brush

Whatever the time of year your garden or patio area must be tidy. Sweep up leaves and debris on a regular basis, keep beds weeded, lawns mowed and hedges clipped. Clean patios, terraces, decking, steps, sheds and garden furniture with a suitable cleaner. Moss looks unsightly and can be slippery.

Garden furniture should be clean - even in Winter - and is a welcome addition to any garden. A table and chairs in a small area can make it look more usable and adds an extra dimension to your property.

Tackle the shed

Clear out garages, sheds and greenhouses. These are often neglected areas of our homes and become dumping grounds for clutter. Now is the time for a thorough sorting out and several trips to the recycling centre. Don't forget to oil those squeaky hinges while you're at it.

Add colour

Gardens need colour and interest, whatever the season. In Winter, use plant pots and other containers with hardy, variegated evergreens, and the occasional flowering shrub. If selling in the Spring, plant your containers with bulbs during the previous Autumn for a colourful display. Haven't thought this far ahead? Then just buy from your local garden centre. One or two large feature plants can look superb on patios and terraces.


LIVING ROOMS

Less is more

Now is the time to pack away as much clutter as possible - DVD´s you don't watch regularly, piles of magazines and books etc. You will be packing these away to move, so do it sooner rather than later.

Deep clean

Clean the room thoroughly. Consider having soft furnishings and carpets professionally cleaned. If your carpet is beyond cleaning, is worn or badly stained, replace it. If your wooden floors look shabby you could have them re-stained or add an attractive rug - fantastic for brightening up tired floors.

Colour code

  • Strong colours can alienate potential buyers. If they do not like your choice they will be counting the cost of redecoration, and that could undermine the value of your property. If necessary, repaint. Choose pale, warm neutral colours, such as cream or off-white. Soft furnishings are important in living rooms for adding colour and luxury.
  • Cushions can add personality. Choose a striking fabric that will tone with the decor.
  • Don't forget the walls. Mirrors and suitable pictures should be hung carefully. Large pictures will dominate a small room; dark paintings should be avoided in rooms with little natural light. Keep family photographs to a minimum or remove altogether.

Mood lighting

Good lighting is essential in living rooms. Central pendants with lampshades that show the light bulb can look dated. Consider replacing with modern fittings. Don't forget the flattering impact that secondary lighting, such as standard or table lamps, can have.

Table manners

If you have a separate dining room, show it with table and chairs. There's no need to lay the table for dinner. A bowl of fruit or fresh flowers will suffice. For coffee tables, one or two books and a quality magazine add a finishing, welcoming touch.

TV guide

Although it may dominate our lives, the television shouldn't be a focal point for a living room. Keep it in the background as much as possible.


KITCHENS

Trends

Check out what's new in kitchen design. New doors don't have to be expensive. Simply changing handles is a cheap way to give kitchen units a lift. Choose handles that are similar in size and shape to your existing ones to save you having to fill and sand holes. Fix any broken tiles.

No pets

Remove all evidence of pets. Put bowls, beds and toys out of sight. Never have pets in the kitchen when showing your home.

Off the menu

Kitchens should smell fresh and clean. Even with extractor fans, kitchens can harbour odours. Eat out or keep your cooking bland if you have viewings planned. Baking bread and brewing coffee does not enhance the saleability of your property, but it does create a very homely atmosphere.

Wash day

Do not run appliances in the kitchen during a viewing of your property. You want to create an impression of calm and style, not humdrum housework.

Clean lines

Is your kitchen really clean? Run your fingers over the surfaces to feel for stickiness or grease. Units should be spotless, inside and out. Keep surfaces as clear as possible. Put anything away that you do not use daily. It will be easier to keep clean this way too.

Casual dining

If your kitchen is large enough to accommodate a table and seating, make sure there's one there, even if you also have a separate dining room. An extra eating area in the kitchen suggests value for money.


BEDROOMS

Bright and breezy

  • Bedroom decor should be neutral. Off-whites, creams and pale yellows have wider appeal than pinks and lilacs.
  • Open the windows before the viewers arrive. A build up of dust can make a room smell musty, so give the room a deep clean - including under the bed.
  • Remove all essence of your personality (including cosmetics and toiletries). Think of elegant hotel rooms. Comfortable and stylish, yet impersonal.
  • Bedspreads and large scatter cushions will add to the feeling of luxury.

Child's play

While bedrooms should be as tidy, clean and fresh as possible, don't be too harsh on your children. It's their home as well and if their rooms are brutally tidy, they will be miserable. Pack up toys in boxes, and store most of them away. Alternate the boxes so they play with toys in rotation. Teenagers love posters, but keep them to a minimum and clip-frame them for an inexpensive but smart finish.

Storage solutions

  • Don't be fooled into thinking that your visitors will be too embarrassed to open cupboards; they will want to see how much storage space you have and will not want to see a jumble of clothes, and toys you have hurriedly stashed away.
  • Spare bedrooms crammed with boxes and junk are a no-no. Show a spare room as a bedroom. It should look just as attractive as your master bedroom.
  • If your third bedroom or box room is being used as an office then neatly pack away files and personal papers.

BATHROOMS

Squeaky clean

  • Bathrooms must be super clean. Use caustic soda to remove stains from lavatories. Make sure any drapes or blinds are free of dust.
  • Your bathroom must be free from clutter, which will make it look bigger. Clear out the cabinet. Tidy away day-to-day toiletries. Time to hide the rubber duck!

Think tiles

  • Coloured suite? Consider toning the colour down with white tiles or chrome fittings to modernise the look. Simple changes like new taps or a new shower head can make a big difference.
  • Look at your flooring. As we become more European in our tastes, carpet is considered unhygienic and could be changed for tiles. Cork and bamboo are other cost effective options.
  • If your bathroom is small, tiling every wall completely will make it bigger. Think of hotel bathrooms, small, but stylish and generally tiled throughout.
  • Grubby tile grout should be removed and replaced. If your tiles have seen better days, bleach them, or if that doesn't work, replace them.
  • Check the sealant around the bath, shower tray and sink. If it looks less than perfect, replace it.

Finishing touches

  • A new shower curtain is essential. Buy some new towels and consider keeping them only for days of viewings.
  • It is important that your bathroom should feel warm. Consider a heated towel rail for a modern edge.
  • Make sure your bathroom has a good sized mirror to help reflect light.
  • One or two candles and (if you have good natural light) a leafy fern will finish the room.