Staging Your Home
Preparing your home for sale will affect two factors in the whole home selling process. One will be how long your property sits on the market for and the other is the final price you will fetch for the property. The universal agreement is that first impressions do count and to increase your chances of selling your home quickly (the same applies when you sell property online) and for the best possible price it is necessary to create an environment where the potential Buyers can imagine themselves living happily in your home. For this to happen Housetrade has put together a few home staging tips that need to be followed to get to this stage:
- De-Cluttering the home is the first essential step to property staging. It is important to maximise the amount of space on view to a potential Buyer so they can envisage what furniture and personal belongings they can fit in to the property. The floor in the house and all flat surfaces should be cleared and objects replaced to their correct storing places. This does not mean to throw all clothes to the bottom of the wardrobe or all the children’s toys under the bed. Personal belongings should be stored away tidily and in the kitchen the cupboards should all be arranged neatly disposing of any out of date items as the potential Buyer will want to see what kind of storage space there is available. This also applies to the pantry, under the stairs, cloakroom etc. These areas are all places where a potential Buyer will look to imagine what sort of space there is to fit in their extra belongings. If afterwards the home still looks cluttered try removing some of the smaller furniture in rooms to create space.
- Cleaning is the next step in the home staging process. All rooms once de-cluttered should be thoroughly cleaned with extra emphasis on the bathroom and kitchen. These two rooms are stereotypically the most hygienic rooms in the home and should look so accordingly. In the kitchen ensure all appliances such as the cooker are cleaned vigorously removing grease and stains. The sink, taps and fridge are all areas that should be gleaming when a potential Buyer visits the property. In the bathroom try and remove any mould that may have accumulated on or between tiles and clean thoroughly the shower, bath, toilet and sink. As for the rest of the rooms it may be necessary to get the carpets professionally cleaned. Whilst cleaning room by room it is advisable to make notes of any maintenance or repair work to be carried out in the next phase of home staging.
- Maintenance work or repair work is an essential step of preparing your home for sale. A potential Buyer wants to imagine themselves moving into a house and relaxing, not reaching for the toolbox to carry out repairs and so it is imperative that the home functions properly during the viewing. Small details such as the doorbell functioning, door handles working, replacing blown light bulbs are all minor details that need attention. At the other end of the scale, if there are any damp issues or a leaking roof then this will require remedial work as any condition such as these can be very discouraging for a viewer and also drive down the asking price. Although this step could turn out to be quite costly it is imperative that any maintenance work needed is carried out as failure to do so will only drive down the price of the property. Decorating may also be a necessary measure and will bring fresh life into the home. Old, faded paint needs to be replaced and try colour co-ordinating rooms with neutral colours as to appeal to the biggest audience. It is then easy for prospective Buyers to picture the rooms with more colours by adding curtains, ornaments, pictures, bedding or new carpets.
- Lighting in every room needs to be ample as it again creates the illusion of more space. Now this is great if your home is penetrated by lots of natural light from dawn to sunset but this isn’t always the case. Fortunately there are other ways in which you can maximise the lighting in your house. Replacing low wattage lights bulbs with higher wattage ones (ideally utilising energy saving bulbs) creates a brighter light and adding extra lamps must be considered as an alternative. Painting with bright, light reflective colours helps maximise the amount of light in the home. Additionally tie your curtains right back from the windows and if there are any trees or shrubs in the garden casting shadows in the home either trim or prune them to allow more light in.
- Exterior appeal is another important factor in home staging. It is the first sight a potential Buyer will see on approach to your home and if you fail to impress here it could be over before it begins. Having a tidy mowed lawn, freshly painted window sills, clean drains all have an effect on viewers. It presents them with the impression that if the outside is well maintained and cared for then the inside will be as well. Try walking up and down the street and assess other houses trying to adopt the good features of some and avoid the pitfalls of others. As your main property picture will be of the front of the house this picture should be taken after you have carried out all of the necessary improvements.
- Final touches to consider are the ones that could really influence viewers into putting in an offer on the property. It is widely regarded that de-personalising the home helps potential Buyers envisage themselves living in the property so try to limit the number of family photographs that are visible. Adding flowers to the kitchen and front room adds colour and fragrance to the property and even the smell of fresh coffee or home baked bread has been said to create the ambience of a comfortable living environment making the right impressions on the viewers.
When showing a potential Buyer around your home, be honest about any defects or problems there are with the property, as there are very few properties that are perfect. Also be sure to mention the positive features and benefits of the property giving the Buyer all the information is necessary. Housetrade also provides an Inventory Agreement so you can explain what is included in the asking price and give the viewer a copy.