We all know a well-presented house sells more quickly. It is a buyers’ market these days, and buyers are being fussy – many of them can afford to be! How do you make them choose your house, over ones offering similar space for the price or even over an almost identical house on your “sought after development”?
The answer can be a few simple changes – and a free weekend.
We all know a well-presented house sells more quickly. It is a buyers’ market these days, and buyers are being fussy – many of them can afford to be! How do you make them choose your house, over ones offering similar space for the price or even over an almost identical house on your “sought after development”?The answer can be a few simple changes – and a free weekend.
De-clutter & De-Personalise
Possibly the most cleansing activity known to man or woman, and one designed to maximise the space and sightlines of your home. Mark three sets of boxes with “Attic”, “Keep” and “Donate” and be ruthless about your possessions. If you don’t have an attic, ask some friends who do, to store a few boxes for you until your house sells (or at least until your potential buyers have viewed). Keep an inventory of what is in those “Attic” boxes, to reassure yourself that you still own your sentimentally valued 80s paraphernalia or your collection of pottery pigs. If it doesn’t sell your home, it needs to be kept out of sight! Charity shops are crying out for quality bric-a-brac. The things you “Keep” to dress your home, should be well-chosen to fit in with most lifestyles or hidden in clever storage solutions.
Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in your house, so get rid of ornaments and photos - especially posters in kids' bedrooms. Large pieces of furniture should also go into storage; this will make rooms feel much bigger. Focus on the hallway - clear away coats/clutter; the bathroom - hide all your products; and the kitchen - clear the bench surfaces of appliances, jars, tins, etc, and replace any ragged tea towels or smelly bins.
Storage – Create The Illusion Of Space
Most of us manage to store kitchen items in fitted cupboards – if your kitchen isn’t fitted, have a hunt round DIY shops and even supermarkets for some clever, streamlined boxes or shelf units. Don’t forget that the bedrooms need to look as large as possible, so sort out the kids’ toys, clear the space under your bed and keep surface ornaments to a minimum. Likewise the bathroom and any reception areas.
Neutrals are still in when you are presenting your home, despite how many lime-green or deep purple photo shoots you see in magazines. A weekend gives you time to freshen up a bedroom with tones of grey, sage green or light gold: colours which present well in both modern and period properties. In reception areas, South-facing rooms need cooler colours, whilst you can warm up the palette for a North-facing one. Hold back on the darker blends though, or keep them for one “feature wall”.
No time to re-decorate? – Make Sure Your House Is Spotless
If you are really pushed for time or extra pairs of hands, snap up some colour matched accessories from a range of big and small stores and online suppliers. Aquamarine is still on trend, but you could choose something in fiery orange, lemon or crimson, now that you will be showing your home against the autumn sunshine. Try some well-chosen prints for the wall or mirrors to create an illusion of space. Hang pictures horizontally to create a feeling of width in a room; vertically to create a sense of height. If you place a picture above the centre point of a piece of furniture, such as a sofa, rather than in the centre point of the wall, you will create a more unified feel to your room. Again, as with any other accessories, less is more.
Getting industrial cleaners in to really make the place sparkle will be money well-spent; have the carpets, sofa covers, oven and windows cleaned while you're at it. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, which need to be inviting and hygienic; finish up with a new loo seat; fresh white towels; and a strategically placed plant or two. Watch out for over-stuffed wardrobes - yes, people do look in them to check the amount of storage space - so clear them out. Finally, the garden is now seen as an additional room, so be sure to make your garden feel like a great space for entertaining and relaxing.
Last minute D.I.Y
You won’t want to take on any major D.I.Y. projects in the space of one weekend, but finish off any little jobs that you have been meaning to get around to. A missing handle or damaged door-frame may make a potential buyer think that you don’t care about your property – they might question what else has been left of your maintenance list.
Aroma and Temperature
Last but not least, avoid presenting your home without heating or with the dial set to tropical. Aim for between 18 and 20 degrees. If you are not centrally heated, you could invest in small portable heaters such as tower fans or oil-free mini radiators. All the major DIY chains sell a range of small heaters. Tower fans are often slimline and have remote control plus delayed timer switches – meaning you can set the heater to come on, an hour before your viewing. Your buyer won’t be put off by a house that’s been standing in the cold on a working day.
Smells are very individual to a home. Plenty of ventilation prior to viewings are a good idea, as are air fresheners, scented candles and an awareness that last night’s curry or your well-loved family pet, may not say “Home Sweet Home” to everyone who walks through your door.
Remember – Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in your house. Be ruthless and dress your house to impress.
Contact move4us on 01844 265410 www.move4us.co.uk
Blog post by Theresa Pascall, Service Manager | UK Online Estate Agency | Selling Properties Online
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