Property spring clean checklist

Warren Lewis
3rd March 2017
"Where buyers are concerned, it would seem they prefer to be underwhelmed by the outside of a property and pleasantly surprised by the inside rooms rather than visa versa"

With Spring arriving, homeowners across the UK will be preparing for the annual spring clean, especially those looking to put their home on the market in what is often the busiest time of year.

With this in mind, the latest research by eMoov has highlighted which jobs to tackle first based on the importance placed by prospective buyers when making a good first impression. eMoov surveyed UK homeowners and asked them to rank six property features based on their importance on making a good first impression when viewing a house as a buyer.

1. Interior Rooms, Walls and Ceilings

Despite the exterior being the first thing a buyer will see, for those dusting off their work clothes and getting their house shipshape for a sale, the interior was ranked the most important area of the house and should be the first place they start.

Jobs such as making sure the house is de-cluttered, filling any holes in the walls, stripping or repainting the walls and having a general good deep clean took president over any other aspect of a property, when it comes to prioritising ahead of the influx of potential buyers.

2. Exterior Walls and Roof

Once the inside is looking up to scratch, the exterior of the house was ranked the second most important when building a good first impression amongst those viewing.

Making sure the roof doesn’t have any leaks, the walls are showing no cracks and a touch of grouting should be a sellers next top priority one the spring clean checklist.

3. The Front Door and Porch

The front door and porch are the gateway to your home and often the first thing a potential buyer will see up close, touch or walk through. Making sure that there are no old shoes or bikes cluttering up the porch, stripping any peeling paint and giving the door a fresh lick of paint as well as making sure it doesn’t stick, are the next jobs on the list when it comes to selling your properties potential to those coming to view.

4. Windows and Window sills

Although only a small feature, the windows and window sills were ranked the fourth most important feature when selling a house. The quality and appearance of windows can play a big role in showcasing your home so making sure there are no cracks, they have all been well cleaned and that the window sills have had any peeling paint removed and a fresh coat applied can be a large influence in how buyers view your property.

5. The Garden

The garden can often lay untouched throughout the winter months and so making sure it is back to its full potential is the fifth most important factor for buyers. As with the interior of your house, remove all clutter and rubbish and mow the lawn and trim the hedges to showcase the full size of your outdoor area. Repair any loose or broken fence panels or pathing stones and give them a good clean to remove any stubborn winter muck.

6. The Driveway and Garage

The driveway and garage were voted the least most important factor for potential buyers. These can be big, time-consuming jobs and so leaving these till last can help better manage your time when getting your house in order.

These external features are more of a bonus rather than a necessity and many buyers will view them with varying degrees of importance. Knowing they have the space for a car or additional storage is more important than the state of those areas, as they will no doubt be making changes themselves anyway.

Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of, commented: “This research goes to show that first impressions do count, but where housing is concerned the initial judgement of the exterior comes second to the internal appearance of a property.

Where buyers are concerned, it would seem they prefer to be underwhelmed by the outside of a property and pleasantly surprised by the inside rooms rather than visa versa.

It makes sense as when we look to move house the internal rooms are the places we will actually be spending our time. You are immediately sat within them and so if they aren’t up to scratch, it can be a put-off. But if there are aspects of the exterior you aren’t necessarily keen on then not only can these always be changed, but you have a bit more breathing room in terms of settling in and unpacking before tackling them.

A buyer will always view through their own personal lens and there will be plenty of things they will change, but providing them with a solid, clean, neutral foundation can go a long way in securing a sale.

It is interesting to see that the small details, such as the front door, the windows and window sills, rank much higher than larger areas such as the garden and driveway. Again it is these little touches that can stand out to a buyer and make all the difference to your sale.

My wife has been on at me for a few weeks now to get our kitchen ready along with a few other jobs, so it is getting to that time of year when these things come to the forefront and buyer activity in the market also starts to heighten. Hopefully, this checklist will help the UK’s sellers prioritise appropriately when deciding which area to tackle first and aid them in making a sale.”

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