This is part two in my “Let’s Buy a House” series. I’m going to explore things that you can do to make your house appealing, which hopefully will lead to a quick sale.
I just want to say that I am not an expert. I have been through this process more than a few times, and also I have family and friends who have bought and sold. So the following tips are gathered through all our shared experiences.
Forty years ago you pretty much bought a house as you saw it. The first house my parents bought had a room that was midnight blue and had so many nails in the wall, you could have done a gigantic string art wall mural! However in more recent times, tv personalities have lead us to believe that we have to strip the personality out of our home and paint all the walls magnolia. Whilst I don’t agree that you have to go the whole nine yards with this, there are some simple rules that should be followed.
8 Tips on Staging your Home!
Number One – Go Outside!
It’s hard to be subjective about your own home, but in this scenario it’s imperative. If you really feel that you can’t take a step back , then maybe ask a good friend or family member who will be honest. Just make sure you won’t be offended! You’ll have heard the phrase ‘curb appeal’ before, and it’s the first step in getting people into your house. Every person I know, including myself, have always driven by the house to get a feel for it. Does the house look well kept? Is the area nice? Can the children play out in the street? These are all questions people will look to answer whilst they are parked outside your house. They are also looking for a well presented, clean looking house. So ensure that any grass is mowed. Depending on the time of year make sure you have nice flowers and baskets out. Power wash any paving slabs/patio area that you have out the front and make sure windows and frames are clean.
Number Two – De-clutter!
Whilst I don’t agree that you have to completely strip the personality from your home, it is important that it’s neat and tidy. Having a lot of clutter can reduce the perceived space in a room. So, if like me you love little trinkets, it’s time to box them up and ask someone to look after them or hire short term storage until you move. The aim of de-cluttering is to clear all work surfaces, floor spaces and and tops of cupboards. Clear these areas and a potential buyer won’t be blinded by your 101 Cath Kidston cake tins, but will believe that there is lots of space.
Number Three – Proscribe the Purple!
In other words, get rid of any strong colours that could be individual to your taste. In the same way as you took a subjective view of the outside of your house, you need to do exactly the same on the inside. Maybe you went a bit wild and bought a black bath, or painted your child’s room in the colours of iron man. Whilst the Iron Man bedroom might appeal to any buyers with children, it probably won’t appeal to the majority. The black bath will have to go as well I’m afraid, safe white suites are the go to for most sellers.
Number Four – Nasty Niffs!
Something that really turns people off big time is nasty smells, especially if you have pets. It goes without saying that litters trays should be kept clean and preferably be the sort with a roof. Dogs, well that’s a hard one. I use Neutradol on my carpets to keep them smelling fresh, I also steam clean my carpets every couple of months. Of course most people have laminate flooring these days, which is obviously much easier to keep clean with animals. Try not to cook your favourite strongly flavoured/smelling meal the night before a viewing. Even a strong smell can put people off your home, even if it’s perfect in every way.
Number Five – Pep up the Paint work!
Having children is seriously hard wearing on houses. I seem to be forever touching up the gloss work where toy cars have been crashed into it, or various other toys. Also there seems to be a permanent stripe down my staircase where the boys drag their hands. So wield a paint brush and just cover any dints or marks and just generally freshen the place up.
Number Six – Rearrange Furniture!
This one is one of preference really. If you have your furniture already arranged in a way that is pleasing and makes the most of the space then leave it be. However, people like symmetry. So instead of having your sofa at a jaunty angle try and straighten it up and align with other furniture. If your furniture is perhaps too big for your room, then you can hire a smaller sofa just for the purposes of selling your home. That way once again your rooms look spacious and appealing.
Number Seven – Finishing Touches!
We’ve all heard of baking bread or making fresh coffee just before a viewing, but also the finishing touches also make a difference. Greenery in nice pots, and fresh flowers placed around the house can make it feel light and airy. Remember you are trying to create a lifestyle for your potential buyer. Think of all the areas in a show home when you view. They dress up the dining room table, and everything seems perfect. There is no reason why you can’t re-create this scenario to a lesser degree.
Number Eight – Spic and Span!
The single most important thing you can do, that will help sell your home, is to make sure it’s spotless. Trying to sell a dirty/neglected house is almost impossible. If you have that black bath or the house looks a little tired, there is going to have be some degree of investment. If this isn’t a option that you have, then you will probably end up taking your house to market with a reduced price and you may have to bring to people’s attention that the house needs a little tlc. So before you take it to market replace and refresh where you can!
Hope you found this helpful if you are thinking about taking your house to market. Please also note there are affiliate links in this article, please read my disclaimer regarding these links.