Oh! my goodness me.  I am in shock..….I recently carried out the second day of pre-viewing houses on behalf of our clients – Dan & Kate – and I have seen some nightmares over the years but today has excelled itself on that front!

The day started well – vetting two properties, both priced well in excess of £1.5 million.  The first house – another of our ‘off market’ finds – was in the Summertown area of Oxford.  Lovely family home in the Golden Triangle for The Dragon and Oxford High – so walking distance for both 12-year-old Amelia and 9-year-old Tom and an easy cycle into town for Jim whose new office will be in the City Centre.  The house was well presented with six bedrooms, three bathroom and a super extended kitchen/family area with bi-fold doors leading out on to the terrace with views of the lovely walled garden.  The house is light and airy and reasonably recently has been renovated.  Some tweaks needed here and there, which is good as this would enable a purchaser to put their own stamp on it.

Off I then went to Headington – and oh dear – a somewhat different story!  This time we were again looking at a very spacious property – built around 1965 by the then owner/architect – lovely large rooms also 6 bedrooms and 3 ensuite bathrooms – plus a family bathroom and a large but totally unkempt garden.  However, after so many years in the property game, I am used to seeing the bigger picture and looking through a variety of tastes when it comes to décor – BUT – this place was a complete tip – really dirty and smelt dreadful and I am pretty sure that this was not just down to the rather ancient Labrador who was reclining on a chair in the drawing room! I don’t think the windows can have been cleaned for years – and the kitchen and bathrooms…..no – stop – we won’t even go there!

The agent did not appear to be phased by the state of the house and when I suggested that perhaps he would be unlikely to have people falling over themselves to buy – he said that his clients where “academics” and so do not worry about or notice such things!  I told him that I could not possibly show my clients the property in its current state and to contact me when it was clean…….

These two houses illustrate the dos and do nots of how to present your house for sale or rental – most people viewing property cannot always see the bigger picture or visualize themselves living there – they get caught up on the small things such as the colour of a wall or that the carpet in the sitting room would not go with their sofas.  However – regardless of location, size, suitability etc. the biggest turn offs to a prospective purchaser or tenant, is lack of ‘kerb appeal’ and a house that is not clean and presented well.  Make sure the front of the property and any driveways and paths are swept clean and clear of weeds, freshen up any pots or hanging baskets and get the window cleaners in.  Clean fresh smelling bathrooms are a must – as is a clean kitchen, ‘dress’ the space by placing a cookery book on the worktop, open at a page showing a delicious recipe, plus perhaps a basket of fresh veg and a vase of simple garden flowers on the table will help set the scene and give a hint of an achievable relaxed lifestyle.  And….. however much you love Fido – others will not – so loan him out to friends whilst viewings take place – please…….

Tune in next time to hear how Dan & Kate’s story unfolds!