If you’ve ever bought a house, or even rented a property you may find yourself wondering how the previous owners or tenants kept the place looking so pristine when they lived there. Where did they keep their DVD collection? Did they really own just three outfits a piece? How did they keep the place smelling so fresh? Well, we’re about to let you in on a little industry secret… it’s all staged.
Home staging is fast becoming big business with professional home stagers more popular than ever before with private sellers and agencies alike, the reason for this is when a home is staged and prepped correctly, it appeals to the largest percentage of potential buyers and because of that it often sells more quickly and for more money, for example, a high rise penthouse apartment in the city will appeal to a different audience compared to a quaint country cottage out in the sticks.
However, it’s not all about having a tidy up and making sure your grass is cut, a touch of psychology is involved too, you need to encourage potential buyers to envisage themselves living at the property with their own possessions, so giving them a somewhat blank canvas is key.
Whether you’re selling your home to up or downsize, are looking to flee the country in search of warmer climes, or just need to sell fast, hiring a professional home stager can be costly. With that in mind, we would like to share with you some useful money saving tips that are used by professionals to help make your property more appealing and hopefully get you the sale that you wanted.
The simplest of things really can make the biggest of differences and that’s certainly true when it comes to selling your home, potential buyers will often look at the upkeep of a property to gauge how much work they may need to do if they were to buy, some of this work may be purely cosmetic but a first impression will always be a lasting one. With that, on average almost a third of potential buyers will make up their mind about a property before leaving the hallway, so it’s important to make it count.
A clean and tidy house on the outside will always create a positive vibe for the potential buyer from the outset, setting them up for a positive experience when they enter the property. Ensuring the lawn is mown and free of weeds is a great start, adding some inexpensive potted plants is also a fantastic way to add a splash of colour to your garden without much commitment. Is your front door looking a little worse for wear? Why not give it a scrub and a new lick of paint, as well as making it look like new, an exciting colour change will always get the buyers attention and make them want to come in.
When it comes to cleaning indoors, finer details make a huge difference. A discoloured carpet can often draw the buyer’s attention away from more positive points of an otherwise great room. The same can be said for other fixtures and fittings too, tiles in the bathroom and kitchen are often one of the main focal points in a room so it’s important to make them look their best for maximum impact. Windows are sometimes an over looked part of a cleaning routine but as these are normally your only source of natural light in a room, it’s important to make sure they perform to the best of their ability to brighten up and maximise the space, a simple vinegar and soap scrub should do the trick.
Though not necessarily a part of the sale, furniture can play a big part in setting the scene for a buyer, ensuring things like the sofa are in good order, clean and not too big for the space is essential as it allows the buyer to visualise the space with their own furniture.
Pets will always be a huge part of any family but what they leave behind can be quite unsavoury and a huge turn off for some potential buyers. Making sure any pet hair is cleaned up and air freshener is used to neutralise any odours, will leave the space feeling fresh and well maintained.
Decluttering is an absolute necessity when selling your home, presenting your home as light and airy will give the effect of larger rooms and ultimately added value for the buyer. The key living areas should be your main focus such as the kitchen, bathroom and lounge as these are the areas of the house where the buyer will spend the majority of their time. Any bedrooms should also show that they can work as a practical space, so choosing a double bed over a king size bed for example would give the impression of greater floor area.
Removing personalised items from view is also a great tip when decluttering, the house should be all about those that you’re promoting it to and their vision as the owner of the house, removing things like children’s toys and excess furniture that may not be to everyone’s taste will allow the buyer to put their own imaginary stamp on the property, with that in mind it could also be beneficial to you as the seller too, a study suggests that decluttered homes on average sell for almost £5000 more than expected.
On the flip side, a sparsely decorated space can be uninviting and can make it harder for a buyer to picture themselves living in that space. Less is definitely more, but don’t go too far!
Re-Arrange Your Furniture
Not everyone will have the same lifestyle and needs as you in terms of layout, this is why it’s imperative to promote your home in the best possible way for the market majority. It may be that a spare room is currently used as an office or study space, but it might be of benefit to present it as a bedroom if this is more suited to the target audience and vice versa.
When painting walls in your home ready to sell, stick to neutral, warm colours such as cream and ivory, this will not only open up the space but will also give a potential buyer the opportunity to conjure up an image of what the house could be like for them without being influenced by the colour schemes already in place. Once neutrally decorated, the house can then be accessorised and when accessorising your home to sell, try to follow a single colour scheme in each room, whilst pleasing to the eye, this will remove any fuss and won’t distract the buyer from engaging with the room itself. TOP TIP: Inspiring pieces of artwork that are placed well, make excellent conversation starters!
Well the cleaning and decluttering has been done, the walls are nicely painted and the lawn is looking lovely so now it’s time for your first viewing and you want to make sure it’s a positive one. Making the house as inviting as possible is priority so simple tricks such as replacing bed linen and plumping up cushions really do make a huge difference, there’s also nothing more enticing than a delightfully colourful bunch of flowers or the smell of freshly baked cookies to show off your home to its fullest potential.