When most people decide to sell their home the preparation involved is often very little - a good clean and maybe a tidy round before photos are taken or viewings begin. However in a competitive market to attract potential buyers, get a quick sale and achieve your asking price it is well worth investing some time and a small amount of money into properly ‘staging’ your home.
We spoke to some experts in the property market including estate agent Gravesend for their 10 top tips on how to stage your home to appeal to prospective buyers.
It’s possible for buyers to be put off a property before they’ve even set foot in the door so make sure the front of your house is looking its best:
- The driveway, front garden and pathways should be clean and clear.
- If the front door, fencing, gates or porch is looking tired and faded then paint them
- Mow the lawn, trim hedges or trees
- Clean the windows and frames
- Plant flowers, add standalone plant pots or hanging baskets
- Clear away any unsightly bins
Decluttering is the single most important thing you can do and probably one of the biggest mistakes that people make is not taking this seriously enough when putting their property on the market. Moving house is a great chance to really clear out your home and it will pay off hugely when it comes to viewings.
All floors and surfaces need to be clutter free but don’t forget wardrobes, cupboards and storage spaces as buyers love to peek inside to see how much room there is.
Remove, tidy away or box up infrequently used items such as knick-knacks, DVD’s, books, toys, paperwork, ornaments, out of season clothing, kitchen appliances, shoes, family photos and toiletries. The idea is to limit what is on display to allow for a blank canvass for buyers to be able to imagine their belongings in your home.
The entrance hall is where you will greet your potential buyers and where they will take their first steps into what could be their new home. Most people will form an opinion within the first few seconds so try to make it a good one!
- Paint in a light, neutral colour
- Add mirrors to give the illusion of more light and space
- Remove bulky / unnecessary furniture
- Accessories with a rug
Whether you are capable yourself or you need to hire a handyman – buyers will notice things that are broken, not quite right or in need of fixing and all these little things can add up to the impression that the home is not cared.
Fixing small snags like fence panels, light fixtures, sockets, faucets, floor boards, cracks in walls and broken locks or handles will ensure that buyers can see your home is well cared for which makes it much more appealing.
A subject that divides many but the fact is that some people love them and some people hate them and when someone is viewing your home they shouldn’t even be aware that animals live there.
- Remove all traces such as dog / cat beds / food bowls / toys
- Make sure the animals are looked after by a family member or friend during viewings
- Ensure there are no signs of pet hair and more importantly no smell!
You don’t have to tackle this one all alone. Getting in a company to clean the carpets, the oven, bathrooms or even the whole house is a great way to get your home viewing ready!
Once the property has had a deep clean it will make it much easier to keep on top of over the weeks of viewings.
Most people can’t be bothered to paint a house they are planning on leaving but rest assured the small outlay and effort spent will be well worth it. Paint any rooms that are run down with scratches or marks on the walls and prioritise rooms that are dark coloured or old fashioned.
Opt for light grey and beige colour palettes to create a slick, modern, fresh appearance and don’t neglect to touch up skirting, bannisters, doors, mouldings or woodwork that need some TLC.
When someone walks into your home they should not be able to smell pets or what you had for dinner last night. It should smell clean, fresh and pleasant without being overpowering like a bad air freshener.
A deep clean should help eliminate a lot of odours but remember to open windows ahead of the viewing for fresh air, use scented candles, diffusers, fabric spray and carpet foam for inexpensive ways to get your home smelling its best.
A home should not be dark as this can make it feel smaller. Try to make your home as bright and light as possible.
Check that all lightbulbs are working. Have curtains or blinds open but no nets or voile as it reduces the natural light coming in.
If the viewing is in the evening or in winter then you can use lamps and candles or even light a fire to create that cosy atmosphere.
You needn’t go overboard with baking fresh bread and cookies for viewings but a modern bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter, folded towels in the bathroom or some fresh flowers on the dining table are all inexpensive little extras that can really help present your home as its best.