Thinking about moving home this year? Perhaps you’re even considering moving into our luxury retirement village? Here are seven top tips to prepare your house for a valuation.

Stylish retirement property interior from Santhem Residences.

So you’ve decided to move house and now it’s time to prepare your home for selling. Here are our top tips to get ready for a valuation and upcoming house viewings.


As we know firsthand from our retirement properties, clear floors and surfaces will help prospective buyers get a better idea of space. It is no coincidence that in most interior design images there is very little clutter, so try and keep things minimal. You’ll likely need a clear out when you move anyway, so start now to give your home a better chance of selling.

Begin with visible surfaces, getting rid of unnecessary items such as magazines or paperwork. Next, clear out toiletries in your bathroom and bedroom, putting the ones you need to keep in cupboards. The same goes for the kitchen: try to keep worktops clear of anything but appliances and a sprinkling of homeware.


When it comes to getting a house valuation, you will want a prospective buyer to be able to imagine themselves living in your home. To do this, you should remove personal items such as photographs, memorabilia, and calendars. Don’t forget to clear off the front of your fridge too. When a home is more neutral, a buyer is less likely to feel like they are stepping into someone else’s space. Bear in mind, this is only a short-term measure. You can restore your personal items once you have moved into your new home or senior living property.

Deep clean

When people come to look around your home, there will be no stone unturned. Visitors will be opening doors, looking in cupboards, switching switches, turning on taps, and more! We see it all the time at our retirement properties. In fact, we fully support it! It’s only right that a potential buyer gets to know every aspect of their new home.

Be prepared for this and deep clean everywhere. Pay special attention to skirting boards, behind radiators, and in any cupboards containing equipment such as boilers and electricity metres. The key is to make your home look well-cared for.

Introduce neutral colours

Have you got any brightly coloured walls lingering from the 70s? If you’re considering a house valuation, it’s time for them to go! Opt for light, neutral colours such as white, beige, and soft greys. Not only do they offer the potential buyer a blank canvas but will also make your home feel airier, more open, and spacious. Re-painting will also offer the opportunity to fill any dents in the walls and get rid of any scuffs. All our retirement properties at Santhem Residences in Shenfield, Essex, are finished in a range of elegantly neutral notes, just waiting for you to add your own personal touch.

Tidy up the exterior

The first thing a prospective buyer will see is the outside of your house. Be sure to tidy up any aging exterior paintwork, clean the windows, weed flower beds, and mow the lawn. If it’s the right time of year, adding a few inexpensive colourful flowers to your garden can also help kerb appeal.

Make it smell good

As that popular TV advert says, you can become ‘nose blind’. In short, there may be smells in your house that you are used to, but that others might immediately notice. If you have pets, make sure they’re clean and their bedding is washed. Where possible, clean sofas, carpets, and curtains. On a nice day, open the windows to give your house a good airing. Studies have shown that the classic idea of freshly baked bread and coffee brewing, often suggested for home valuations, are actually a distraction. Instead, if you want to add fragrance, consider more neutral scents such as citrus, pine, or vanilla.

Welcoming light and temperature

Another house valuation tip we are familiar with at our retirement living village is to ensure your property is getting as much natural light as possible. Our properties have plenty of wide windows and broad, open spaces. However, not all homes are so lucky. To get as much light as possible into your house, draw back the curtains and blinds and switch on lamps in darker corners. Large mirrors are really great for reflecting light and can make a space feel bigger. It also helps to keep the temperature comfortable: not too hot and not too cold. In the summertime, if your house is very warm, consider closing all curtains and blinds until just before your viewers arrive.

Does this all sound like too much work? Don’t worry: we have specialists on hand to help. At Santhem, we have partnered with Senior Move to offer help with decluttering and downsizing. If you buy one of our luxury retirement properties, Senior Move will provide a complimentary consultation. Or would you prefer not to deal with estate agents and viewings? We have also partnered with an excellent part-exchange operator who can help to turn you into a cash buyer, avoiding all of the rigmarole of selling your home.

If you’re considering buying a retirement property at Santhem Residences, please get in touch. We would love to show you around and let you discover what our senior living village has to offer.