As we head towards the colder months, the housing market tends to quieten down a little. However, this year with the stamp duty holiday, there is still plenty of zip left in it. If you’re thinking of putting your property on the market, though, there are a few things you need to bear in mind when you are preparing it for sale, especially in relation to covid.

Keeping everyone covid safe has, and will continue to be, a priority for Homesite. That means there is an emphasis on virtual viewings, at least initially, and a need to ensure social distancing is maintained at all times. For physical viewings, there are some simple rules to follow. As they cannot involve more than one household (excluding our agent), vendors should vacate the property while they take place. There is a structured booking process, so you will have plenty of notice and you won’t need to be out for long, as viewings are limited to 15 minutes. Beforehand, we will also ask you (and the viewer) the following questions:

Has anyone in your household had COVID-19?

Has anyone in your household displayed COVID-19 symptoms or not yet completed a required period of household self-isolation?
Is anyone in your household in the high-risk category?

It is recommended that, just before the viewing commences, vendors should open all internal doors and clean any likely touch points, such as door handles, using standard household cleaning products. For your protection, viewers and our agents will wear facemasks and try to minimise their contact with any surfaces.

But don’t forget, it’s not all about Covid. After all, the whole point of the exercise is to sell your property (and get the best price), and that means also making sure it looks as good as it can. At this time of year, the wind and rain can take a heavy toll on your paintwork and windows, leaving them looking tired and grubby. And, if you have any kind of outside spaces, there will be dead plants and leaves everywhere. Sweep away those leaves, cut back any dead plants and give your external doors, windows and paintwork a really good scrub with soap and warm water. If you have one, mow the lawn, too. As long as you set the mower a little higher than normal (grass should be about 2 inches long). It won’t do it any harm whatsoever and it’s amazing what a difference it makes.

With less natural light, it’s also worth paying careful attention to your home’s lighting. And that starts on the outside. A warm and welcoming porch light will set the right tone, right from the start. You want all the lights turned on inside, too, because the last thing you want is for your home to look gloomy. Although be careful, a single source of light can make a room look like a prison cell and will do more harm than good. To mimic natural daylight conditions you need multiple, low level light sources. If necessary, go and buy some extra free-standing or table lights.

The house’s temperature is another important consideration – warm and snug, but not hot. The mean recommended temperature is between 19 and 21 degrees, so make sure it stays around those levels whenever there are viewings and that you allow plenty of time for it to warm up beforehand. If you’ve got a gas fire, it’s well worth lighting it, as it will help create the right kind of ambience. Lighting a real fire, on the other hand, is not such a good idea as they can be dangerous when left unattended.