Home Staging Advice
First impressions count.
Home Staging is the act of preparing your house for sale for potential buyers to see it in its most appealing light.
Many people when selling a house are just to busy to keep cleaning and tidying a house with potentially sporadic viewing times. You see your house everyday and it has that, shall we say... ‘lived in’ look about it. But remember when you go to view a house what puts you off it or appeals to you. No one wants to go and view a house with yesterdays washing hanging in the living room, or stepping over the kids toys in the spare room.
So here at KT Estate Agents, we have put together some helpful advice to consider when selling your house and looking to achieve the best possible price.
KEEPING IT CLEAN
ESSENTIAL and one of the most obvious points, but nevertheless it’s worth mentioning. No one really likes to keep cleaning, but it needs to be done! If you don’t have the time, it is worth hiring a professional although if your property only gets sporadic spaced out viewings, this can become very expensive. First impressions count though!
If you went to view a property and the place was dusty, dirty cooker, toilets not bleached then your first impression would be that the current owners really haven’t looked after the property.
A simple once over with the hoover, duster, bleach can make all the difference to the potential buyer. It seems obvious but if your house is on the market then clean as you go, that way should you get the call for a viewing, you haven’t got to go all out with back breaking work to get things ready in time.
THE KERB APPEAL
It is not unusual for prospective buyers to do a 'drive by' past a property prior to a viewing, to check out both the area as well as the exterior of the property. Many people will make an instant decision at this point as to whether they continue with the viewing they have scheduled. Seeing your property on a website or paper details, doesn’t allow for the surrounding areas, such as road system, neighbouring houses etc. Make sure your home is well-presented to the potential passers-by with power washing the front pavements/driveway and de-weed, repaint porch areas, tidy up the garden and wash the windows.
It’s worth keeping porch/entrance lights on in the evenings for any later appointments or for the ‘passers-by’.
It is always a worth while investment to get a professional gardener or handyman in with the brief of getting your house showroom ready. A great opportunity to get those little niggly bits fixed that you’ve been putting off for ages!
LESS IS MORE
Many potential buyers find it difficult to see past the clutter and imagining their furniture in the space thats there. It may be worth organising some self-storage away from your home, to help with the clear out. Alternatively, hide items away in the garage, garden shed (if you have one) or loft. Take the opportunity to throw things away that you feel you may never use again. It is worth making the property feel homely, but getting a good balance of decluttering and sensible staging will really show off the property to its maximum potential.
If you are serious about selling your home, neutral is best. It may be ok for the eldest son to have a painted black bedroom or the youngest daughter to have fairies all over the walls, but to a potential buyer it may close in the space or they just can’t see past it. You can't go wrong with magnolia or white walls. The blank canvas effect, although clinical to some, will present better than deep and dark colours and make the house much lighter and appear bigger. Try wiping down scuffs to walls and doors before going to the effort of touching them up, often modern cleaning products work wonders and save a lot of time and cost. You may end up making it look worse though, especially if your decor is dated and you are trying to apply a fresh touch up. Sometimes it’s cheaper in the long run to just paint the whole house and the investment will be well worthwhile when you get your top offer!
BACK IN THE BOX
A family home is more likely to attract similar families to view the property. Organising a games room or nursery will be best, and potential buyers will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to clear up the space for their benefit. So we recommend that all games and toys are put back in their boxes and put away.
It is always worth while hiding a pet out of the way during a viewing. Especially a dog or a cat. As loveable as they are to you, not everybody appreciates a slobbery kiss upon their arrival and covered in pet hair. When cleaning make sure that there are no cat or dog hairs on cushions or the sofa. Before a potential buyer turns up for their viewing, make sure that the smell of your pets is neutralised as much as possible, open the windows or light some essential oils. You may be used to the smell of your pets but a new viewer will probably notice it immediately. Not everyone is a pet lover!
STAGING EACH ROOM
The first room many viewers to your property will see is the kitchen, the kitchen is possibly the one room in the house that the woman will decide on whether the property is for her. Make sure that all the washing up is done and put away, last nights dinner preparation is put in the cupboards and all the surfaces including the worktops and cupboard doors are wiped down and clean. A good trick is to make a pot of coffee just before the viewing commences. The living room is also important, make sure that it doesn’t give a man cave feeling to it. Plump the cushions, tidy away the blu-rays and PS4 games. Put all the remotes in a box on the coffee table so they aren’t scattered about everywhere. The master bedroom should appeal to both genders. Make sure the bed is made with fresh sheets, neat cushions and blankets for that cosy fresh feel. Spare rooms are often one of the hardest rooms to keep on top of, but when you put the property on the market, before the estate agent comes round to take marketing photos, a suggestion could be to transform any spare rooms so that they have a purpose. Whether you make it a guest bedroom, office or nursery, giving it a purpose is always advisable. It might be worth thinking who the potential buyers might be and cater to them. If you are trying to attract the professional buyer, then make one of the spare rooms an office by placing a laptop at a desk. Show off closest/wardrobe space. Buyers find this very important when purchasing a property if they are moving in to it themselves. Again, use self-storage companies if you have to. You should aim to have between 20%-30% open space in each closet/wardrobe to give the best impression of spaciousness.
If you are doing the viewings yourself rather than having your estate agent do them, then spend some time making sure that you have everything rehersed. Walk through the journey yourself maybe half an hour before the viewing is due. Walk through each room and make sure everything is looking as you’d expect to see it if you were viewing the property. Decide which room order you are planning on taking your viewers, this way you won’t end up going back on yourself and repeating, you will also be more prepared with your pitch and to answer any questions. Make your journey an enjoyable one, stop as long as the viewers need to, ask for any questions as you leave each room. Once the tour is completed, allow the viewers to wander around on their own, maybe offer them a coffee. Make sure that you have some property details on the kitchen table ready to give them either as they enter or leave.