Market Thoughts column: Tips on making your home more welcoming

Kameron Hutchinson is branch manager of Harrison Murray in Market Harborough
Kameron Hutchinson is branch manager of Harrison Murray in Market Harborough

With most of us settled into the swing of 2014, the late winter months can provide an opportune moment for buyers to focus their property search.

The winter market can bring a greater sense of commitment from both sides to complete the sale, as people tend to make life-changing decisions in the new year.

And with the rapid approach of Valentine’s Day, Harrison Murray estate agents have some tips for sellers which will hopefully lead to buyers falling in love with their home – and put them in the mood for a move.

First impressions/ kerb appeal: The approach to your house is really important, and the outside of your property is the first thing potential buyers will see.

Paint and repair any weather-beaten gates and replace frostbitten or dead plants with colourful seasonal bedding plants.

An outside doormat is not only welcoming to visitors, but shows you care about those little extras – as does a working doorbell and gleaming outside light.

Make sure you sweep away cobwebs or leaves from the porch.

Keep it cosy: A warm and well-heated home will ensure viewers take their time to look around.

Make sure you allow enough time for your house to warm up. Buyers will most certainly be interested in how the heating system works and how the rest of the home is insulated to keep out the cold.

Highlight energy efficient aspects, including draught and loft insulation.

Run an open house: Speak to us about holding an open-house event. Buyers will often brave the cold if they are serious about moving, although the prospect of walking the streets looking at properties in the cold isn’t that appealing.

However, sellers can make this work to their advantage by running well-advertised open-house days in the winter. This will help attract committed and focused buyers, who will be grateful for your offer of a warm drink and slice of home-made cake – and may even put them in the mood to make you an offer!

Lighten up: It is essential your home is well lit, particularly with the darker days.

Without much natural light or sunshine at this time, it is down to the seller to help brighten up the house to show it at its best.

Switch lights or table lamps on in rooms, and make sure blinds and curtains are well pulled back. Safety conscious buyers may also be impressed by outside lights and security lights, so invest in those if you can.

Kameron Hutchinson is the branch manager of Harrison Murray in High Street, Market Harborough

For more information about the firm, see its website at