Check out our latest magazine... Read Online

How to make your home more appealing to buyers

If you’re considering selling your home, now’s a great time. Homes in Sussex are in demand for the close proximity to the capital for professionals, the beautiful surrounding scenery and the numerous attractions the county has to offer. 

Despite the strong demand for homes in Sussex, it’s still important to make your property as appealing as possible to help it sell quickly and for the right price. Impressing buyers isn’t always easy, but getting it right can help you achieve a quick sale, so here are some tips for making the best first impression. 

Pick a neutral colour scheme

The go-to colour scheme for a property going on the market is bright white, but this can be stark and unwelcoming. You want your home to be inviting, and opting for colour can help potential buyers picture themselves in the home. Neutral colour schemes can extend to beiges and creams, light greys or pale blues. If your existing furniture is already bold in colour, a neutral throw and accessories can tone it down to deliver the illusion of a blank canvas for viewers. It’s also worth replacing busy patterned wallpaper with something plain and easier on the eye. 

Maximise kerb appeal

It’s not just inside a home that matters when you’re looking to sell — after all, first impressions count. Most buyers will make up their mind about a property within the first few minutes of seeing it, so you want to ensure they have a positive impression from the moment they stand in front of the property. 

From well-maintained windows and roofing to a landscaped front garden and painted fencing, make sure the outside of your home is just as beautiful as the inside. It’s also worth adding in some desirable and unique features that buyers are keen to have, such as a contemporary fireplace, an automated garage door or a security system for peace of mind

Update the kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house, and it’s an area that potential buyers will pay close attention to when viewing the property. If you’re preparing a home ahead of putting it on the market, updating the kitchen can make a huge difference to the number of interested parties and the profit you’ll make on the house. Upgrading kitchen worktops and decluttering surfaces can make the kitchen look more spacious, while refacing or painting cabinetry is a cost-effective way to freshen up the space

Landscape the garden

A garden is a huge selling point especially in Sussex which is often blessed with lovely weather in the spring and summer. Your aim is to present an outdoor space that your potential buyers can’t resist. A messy and overgrown garden is off-putting, and only serves to remind viewers of the work they’ll be taking on if they buy the property, so keep it tidy to boost the value and help it sell. 

This means mowing the lawn and cutting back hedges and shrubs, but also power washing patio areas, painting fences and digging up weeds that could be making the garden look a mess. Potted plants are a great way to add colour quickly to a garden and are also low maintenance for those viewers who might not be keen gardeners. 

Deal with minor repairs

Wear and tear is normal with a lived-in property, but it’s not something a new resident wants to necessarily take on. If you’ve got a list of small jobs around the house that need finishing or repairing, make sure they’re finished before you put the property up for sale, so they can see that the home has been well maintained. This might include replacing cracked tiles in the bathroom, freshening up stained grouting, sticking back peeling wallpaper and tightening loose door handles. These areas of the home might be small but they accumulate and make the property look shabby so take the time to repair them for a better overall look. 

Get planning permission in advance

While you may be looking to leave the home, it can still be beneficial to get planning permission for changes to the property in advance of a new buyer taking over. More and more people are looking for ways to put their own stamp on a home and create unique spaces, and having a property where permission has already been granted can be a huge selling point. It saves buyers the bother and expense of applying, and really sets your home apart from others in the area. 

Many extensions and changes to a home are deemed permitted developments, so they don’t need planning consent, but if there’s room for a larger update such as a kitchen extension or a loft conversion, it can be helpful to seek permission so a buyer knows what’s possible before they put in an offer. 

Stage it correctly

Staging is a term many sellers are unfamiliar with but it can make a big difference to how a property is perceived by viewers. Staging is the process of presenting your home in a particular way that encourages potential buyers to see themselves living there. It makes a property seem more appealing and can help to spark that emotional connection that you want buyers to feel. 

There are several ways to do this, from a bowl of fruit in the kitchen or baking fresh bread to evoke that cosy feeling, to lighting a scented candle in the living room and adding plenty of soft furnishings to make it feel more inviting and welcoming. In the bedrooms, you may try plumping up the cushions on the bed or adding a fluffy throw over the bedding, as well as tidying away any personal items that might detract from a viewer picturing themselves in the home.


It can take several viewings to secure an offer on a home, meaning your property could be on the market for weeks before you receive an acceptable offer. No-one wants to be dealing with the stress of a sale for longer than necessary, so taking the time to freshen up your space and make it as presentable as possible can speed the whole process up and even increase the chances of you achieving a higher valuation. 


More from Features

  • SPECIAL OFFER: General Admission Tickets To The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting

    We’ve got a special offer for general admission tickets for all of our Hidden members to this internationally renowned event on either Friday 21 or Saturday 22 June - RSVP on our ticket page and we'll send you a QR code for entry for TWO people!

  • Home Style: Pastures New

    The grass really was greener for this family, who left behind their recently remodelled London house for a new life in the country

  • Struck from Above: Why Lightning Loves a Tree

    When trees get struck by lightning it can be a very dramatic event, as Peter Erridge explains

  • City Breaks: Ideas to Inspire You

    Would you like to escape the everyday and broaden your horizons without spending too much time and money? If so, Lisa de Silva says a city break might offer the perfect solution

  • Join Dementia Action Week

    Alzheimer’s Research UK is keen for people to get involved and help support their ground-breaking dementia research work that potentially brings new treatments closer. Fundraising Officer Francine Clarke explains why it is so important

  • What to Watch in May 2024

    From a watch-through-your-fingers true crime documentary to the return of Doctor Who, here's your guide to all the best new films & TV shows coming to screens big and small in the month of May...

  • Tracing the Rails

    Ever wondered about the history and romance of the steam train that once trickerty- trocked it’s way along the lost Steyning Line? This dynamic group of friends did, so they made a documentary about it. Sara Whatley found out more

  • NEW COMPETITION: Win Four VIP Tickets For More Radio Live 2024

    Fancy attending this year's More Radio Live in style? We've got FOUR tickets up for grabs to our VIP Marquee with all-inclusive food and drink!

  • Be Well, Move Happy: Eating Awareness and Deskercise

    Helping us to move more and eat better, this month Sara Whatley looks at eating awareness and deskercise

  • Riding to Success

    Not a coffee morning kind of couple, Alison and Henry are soon embarking on an ambitious UK tour on their 1960s scooters, all to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. Sara Whatley finds out more

  • Home Style: Home on Wheels

    A plot on the family farm with stunning marshland views was the ideal spot for Freddie Pack and Katie McNie to build their new home – a cabin on wheels

  • Home Style: Seeing the Light

    George and Christopher Stephenson left the rat race of London for a life in the south-east countryside, transforming a dark and dated Grade-II listed farmhouse

  • Step out for St Catherine’s Hospice

    St Catherine’s Hospice popular Midnight Walk is bouncing back to the streets of Horsham on Saturday 8 June, Adele Trathan explains how readers can get involved

  • If You Ask Me... This is Beyoncé Country

    This month, Flo Whitaker considers a recent showbiz altercation and asks, “If a black woman from Texas can’t make a country album - who can?”

  • Artelium Wine – Crafted in Sussex

    As the Sussex wine industry continues to expand and lead the way for the rest of the UK it is heartwarming to find a winery that’s producing award winning wines of outstanding quality, so we sent Robert Veitch to find out more

  • Homes Extra: Expanding Space

    If you need some extra space in your home but do not want to shoulder the burden and expense of moving, then look to a small extension or home improvement, says Sara Whatley

  • Kids Zone: Mosaic Art

    Get creative with this month’s fun and sustainable activity – mosaic art. Sara Whatley explains what to do

  • Be Well, Move Happy: Gardening & Connecting with Nature

    Spring is a wonderful time of year to get out and enjoy our natural world. Sara Whatley looks at connecting with nature for wellness and gardening for fitness

  • Homes for Ukraine: Opening Your Home and Your Heart

    As the conflict in the Ukraine continues, Homes for Ukraine scheme is still keen to hear from people that are interested in hosting a Ukrainian guest, as Paul Crompton from East Sussex County Council explains

  • Charity: Age Concern Hassocks

    Fancy a new place for lunch, meeting new friends in a fun and welcoming atmosphere, or a spot of volunteering? Look no further than Age Concern Hassocks, says Sara Whatley