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New Year, New Home? Tips for Getting Sale-Ready in 2020

Published: 05/01/2020   Last Updated: 05/01/2020 13:31:40   Author: Beth Colman    Tags: Selling

The start of a new year is synonymous with new beginnings, and if you’re looking to sell up in 2020 now is the perfect time to start preparing. While interest picks up after the Christmas lull, take some time to implement these straightforward fixes that could make all the difference to your future sale.

1. First Impressions Count

Research suggests that buyers make their mind up about a property within the first 30 seconds, and sometimes before they’ve even set foot inside!  While sprucing up the interior is an absolute must, don’t forget about the exterior of your home. Be sure to sweep your path and get rid of any weeds, and store your bins out of sight if possible.

If your front door needs a fresh lick of paint, this is a cheap and easy DIY project. Traditional, muted colours are a timeless choice, and one that viewers tend to favour.

2. Time to Declutter

Stacks of magazines and untold numbers of knick knacks all detract from the feel of your home, not to mention make it look smaller. Sort through each room deciding what needs to be binned or recycled and what can be taken to the charity shop. As a general rule, if you haven’t used something in the last year, you’re unlikely to be using it again! Encouraging buyers and lightening the load of your future move, decluttering is a great first step in getting your house ready for sale.

For household items that make the cut, ensure that as much as possible is tidied away out of sight. The more of a blank canvas your house appears, the more the potential buyer will be able to imagine their own belongings inside.

3. Smells that Sell

Scents can completely change the impression of a property, and are an easy way to create a relaxed and homely atmosphere. Citrus and fresh laundry smells top the list of viewer’s favourites and are easily achieved with a simple reed diffuser. You want the smell to be noticable but certainly not overpowering, so try just one in the living room and one in a bedroom to start with. It may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but brewing a fresh pot of coffee just before a viewing is another way to create a warm and cosy feel.

Just as good smells can change the ambience of a property, bad smells like smoke or wet dog are enough to drive a buyer away. It can be hard to recognise scents we are surrounded by every day, so ask an honest friend or neighbour to take a walk around and tell you if they smell anything unseemly.

4. Space and Light

Great lighting can add perceived value to your home by creating the illusion of space. Painting walls a neutral off-white will give your rooms an instant lift, but if you don’t have the time to redecorate there are other small fixes that can really make a difference. Try replacing any heavy curtains with blinds and replacing light fixtures with high-voltage bulbs. Well-placed mirrors can increase the overall sense of light, and are great for opening up smaller areas like hallways

If you are thinking about selling your home this year, give Colman and Co a call on 01494 871991 for a free valuation with no obligation. We are the specialist agent for Chalfont Giles and the surrounding area, with over 40 years experience.

Preparing Your Home for a Viewing

Published: 21/08/2019   Last Updated: 21/08/2019 08:31:31   Tags: Selling

It goes without saying that viewings are all important when it comes to selling your property. While you can’t guarantee that everyone who visits will fall in love with your home, you can make sure that for each and every viewing you are presenting your property at its best. 

To do this, you need to put yourself in the prospective buyer’s shoes and show off your property’s strengths. Here are some key things to consider when preparing your house for a viewing.

Kerb Appeal

Everyone knows that first impressions count, so it’s important that the front of your home looks as appealing as the interior. Stand outside your house and try to imagine you are viewing it for the first time. Is there anything that can be improved? Get rid of any clutter and make sure the lawn is mowed, hedges trimmed and any weeds removed from your beds or pathways. 

The same rules apply for the back garden, making sure to also give any outdoor furniture or BBQs a quick wipe down.


Letting natural light into your home will instantly create a warm and welcoming environment. Make sure all the curtains are open and give the windows a quick clean so they are letting in the maximum amount of natural light possible. 


Toiletries can easily pile up in the bathroom, so have a quick tidy up before every viewing. You can take advantage of a bathroom cupboard for this, or by having a handy storage box or basket at the ready. It takes just seconds to do, but can have a big impact on how others see your home.

Make sure that you also have some clean towels on standby so you can replace your used ones at a moments notice - white, fluffy towels are particularly appealing.

Of course you should always try and clean before every viewing, but if you are short on time a quick wipe down with some bathroom wipes should be enough to keep it sparkling.


If you don’t have time to do the washing, hide away your pots and pans in the dishwasher. Similarly, if you have excess clutter on the worktops, try and fit as much as you can in the kitchen cupboards and make sure to give your counters a wipe down.
Kitchens are a major selling point for homes, so you want to make sure there is as little distraction as possible in here. It may be cliche, but freshly brewed coffee is an appealing aroma in the kitchen, so there’s no harm in getting a pot on shortly before your viewing.

Lay the kitchen or dining room table with your best placemats and cutlery - it will help prospective buyers imagine what it might be like to actually live in your home.

Living room

As well as the obvious decluttering, make sure your living room is looking its best by plumping up the sofa cushions and straightening up your throws. A fresh bunch of flowers can also add a lovely finishing touch to the room - it’s one that any future buyer will be spending a lot of time in, so you want to make them feel at home. 


If you’ve got them, white linens are great for making the bedroom feel more calm and spacious, but if you’re short on time just make sure that the bed is beautifully made. Again, you want to keep the bedroom as clean and clutter-free as possible, so if you have any bits and pieces or clothes left out an easy way to clear them it to temporarily tuck them away in the laundry basket - it’s a better option than the wardrobe, which viewers may well have a peek inside.


While it’s not always possible, it’s always good to have someone take care of your pet during a viewing. You never know who is going to walk through the door, and if they are nervous around animals or generally not too fond of them, your pet could seriously harm your chances of having a successful viewing. Similarly, pet bowls, toys and beds should be cleared out of the way.


How a prospective buyer feels is just as important as what they see, so make sure each room of the house is at a comfortable temperature - usually between 18 and 20 degrees.

None of these tips takes too long to complete, but can have a huge impact on your chances of a successful viewing. If you’d like a free, handy checklist for you to run through before each visit, simply click the link below to download your copy.

What is the Best Time of Year to Sell My House?

Published: 02/08/2019   Last Updated: 04/08/2019 11:54:04   Tags: Selling

Although the market is far less seasonal than it used to be, there are still highs and lows in terms of how many properties come to market. Being aware of the cycle, and who is more likely to buy at what time, can help you achieve a timely sale on your home.

Here is a breakdown of buying and selling trends for each season of the year.


With people thinking of the future after the start of a new year, spring is generally regarded as a good time to sell. It means that buyers can be in their new homes before summer, and families can be settled before the start of the school term. The Bank holidays give selling a boost during this time as they allow people more time to view properties and consider their options.

The spring months work in the seller’s favour because houses tend to be looking their best, with bright blue skies and colourful flowers doing wonders for property photos and viewings alike.


With the children out of school and many people heading off on their holidays, summer is usually quieter for selling. However, summer is a good time for downsizers looking to buy as they don’t tend to have the restrictions of term time and usually prepare to house hunt during the warmer months. These types of buyers tend to look at fewer houses and make their decisions sooner rather than later.


Autumn usually sees a small rise in activity in early September, one of the reasons being that it is far easier for parents to house hunt while the children are at school, and this carries on through to late November. People are back from their holidays and there is still an opportunity to be in their new homes before Christmas, giving buyers to explore what’s on offer in the area of their choice.


Although the start of winter tends to be quieter, over Christmas a lot of people make decisions about moving, whether to upsize, downsize or move to a new area. As a result, many may consider coming to market in late January or February and of course buyer numbers will also gradually increase. 

First time buyers, young couples and singles are particularly likely to begin their house hunt early in the year. This makes it a great time for flats and terraced homes, however, there will also be plenty of buyers out there looking for larger, higher value properties.

Although there are seasonal trends for selling, there are always motivated buyers at any time of year, either through desire to move or having a sale of their own property. Ultimately when selling your home, it comes down to what time of year works best for you.

If you are thinking of selling in the Chalfonts and would like advice specific to your home, please feel free to give us a call on 01494 871 991. We will be delighted to help you.

Selling: Preparing Your House for Photos

Published: 18/07/2019   Last Updated: 04/08/2019 11:53:58   Tags: Selling

Great images are key to the marketing of your property, with all good estate agents using professional photographers to get the best results for you and your home. With pages of listings for potential buyers to sift through, good photos can make the difference between clicking on your listing or simply moving on to the next. By making a few small changes, you can help ensure that your photographer brings out the best in your property.

Remove the clutter

As well as obvious clutter like discarded toys or shoes, think about what other items may be making your home look less clean and spacious than it could, like bins or multiple shampoo bottles. You want all surfaces and tabletops to be mostly clear, so that potential buyers can imagine their own items in their place. Being able to visualise themselves in your home brings them one step closer to booking that all-important viewing. You don’t have to get rid of these items completely - spaces like entranceways and downstairs toilets are rarely photographed for listings, so you can stash your things away in there while your photographer is round.


Things like family photographs and works of art are highly personal objects, not to mention distracting in an image. Again, this is about making your property feel more neutral and allowing potential buyers to focus on the space itself rather than the items in your house. Don’t forget to remove any pet items from sight too - they may be a beloved family member to you, but for others it could be off-putting.

Remove obstructions

Most property photos are taken from the doorway, so make sure that all doors can be easily and fully opened to allow your photographer to fully capture the room. Similarly, any additional people in the house (or the aforementioned family pet!) may get in the way of the photographer doing their job. If you can, make arrangements for as few people to be home as possible so they can work without distraction - the better quality photos will be worth the small inconvenience.

Fixtures and fittings

Look around your home and see if there are any little details that may have passed you by. Day-to-day it can be hard to notice things like blown light bulbs or loose fittings, but they can completely change the look and feel of a photograph. It’s this attention to detail that will instantly elevate your images and make your home feel more welcoming to potential buyers.

Park elsewhere

Exterior photos are often the first to be seen on a property listing, so it’s important that the photographer gets them right. Cars are a big obstruction to exterior photos and can even cover up key features, so make other parking arrangements for before your photographer arrives. If you don’t have on-street parking or a car park nearby, ask a neighbour if you can use their driveway.

The final touches

While clutter is a definite no-no, there are a couple of flourishes that can add a splash of colour to a property image and make the room feel more inviting. Once you’ve cleared away the kitchen gadgets and appliances from your sideboard, try adding a bowl of fruit. Similarly, a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers will make a coffee table look far more appealing than a collection of old letters and magazines.

Most of these changes take just minutes, but can have a huge effect on the overall look of your property photos. If you would like any more tips or assistance on how to prepare your property for sale, please do not hesitate to pop into my office on the village green, or give me a call on 01494 871991. 

Until next time,


5 Reasons To Choose An Independent Estate Agent

Last Updated: 02/08/2019 13:18:27   Author: Beth Colman    Tags: Buying, Selling, Local

With a whole host of estate agents out there, from online-only to big high street names, how do you know which one is best for you?  Here at Colman & Co, we believe that choosing to sell with a local agent boasts numerous advantages that larger companies can’t provide, making them number one choice for you and your home. Here are 5 reasons why.


1.Expert Local Knowledge

When it comes to property, extensive local knowledge can have a significant impact on the speed of your sale as well as the accuracy provided at the valuation stage.  Not only will an independent local agent be in tune with the best types of buyers for your home, but they will also have a working knowledge of the community, local features and amenities and first-hand insight into the market of the area.  All this makes for a more tailored service that will likely produce a much smoother sale.


2. A More Focused Sale

Independent agents have smaller portfolios than their counterparts in major firms, allowing them more time to spend on your sale (free from the pressure of financial targets).  The result tends to be a much more in-depth look at your property with more frequent updates on progress and marketing, making your move as stress-free as possible.


3. That Personal Touch

As independent agents aren’t governed by higher management, they have the flexibility to deliver a more bespoke service to suit the needs of individual clients and get to know them on a more personal level.  The ability to be able to pop into the office shouldn’t be overlooked either; speaking to prospective buyers face-to-face is a great chance to really sell your property prior to a viewing.


4. Local Contacts

Established agents are often trusted members of the community and will be well connected to other local professionals such as plumbers or solicitors.  With this comes the knowledge that your property is in safe hands, whether you’re revamping a room before viewings or signing off on a sale. As well as a wealth of professional contacts, local agents might even have potential buyers lined up who are looking for property just like yours.


5. Your Best Interests at Heart

For smaller agents you are a valued client, rather than just a number. Small businesses rely heavily on a good reputation and excellent customer feedback, meaning they will often go the extra mile to not simply secure the sale, but one at the best possible price to the best possible buyers. 

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