This, for most homeowners is the hardest step….but it’s the most important one. To step back and see your home as a prospective buyer is difficult, especially if you have lived in it and loved it for years! But you must because not everyone loves your bright purple bedroom and dark red lounge. Therefore you have to ensure that your home appeals to a majority because everyone has different tastes, likes and dislikes and homes are very personal.
When you buy a home you imagine yourself living there, you imagine where your furniture will go, what colour you are going to paint the walls, every potential buyer that comes into your home will be doing this and you need to present them with a wonderful blank canvas so they can drift away into imagination and fall in love with the space.
Know your buyer
On the same theme it is important to know where your market is, the more open the market the easier it is, however, ask yourself, are you selling a smart modern apartment which would be ideal for a young professional, commuter or a first time buyer. Then maybe your interior needs to be more on the side of clean crisp and modern….in other words don’t put a country kitchen with a Belfast sink into an ultra-modern high end apartment which has a demographic of 20 somethings unless you want to stay there until you are old and grey!! If you are selling a four bedroom detached home in the suburbs then more of a family feel is needed. It is difficult to get this right but if in doubt just remember the five basic rules: Curb appeal, uncluttered, neutral, clean and tidy.
Lots of people ask about this and no, it does not mean paint a pretty picture on the curb outside your home. Many surveys suggest that people take generally an average of two viewings and a reasonable amount of talking to come to the conclusion they want to buy your home….but they take about 30 seconds to decide they don’t want it if the house they drive up to is tired and dirty or run down or bright pink! Often people now do either a physical or virtual drive past to see if they like the area and the house and if they don’t like what they see they won’t even see the amazing home that hides behind the door. Make sure the door is freshly painted, the windows are clean the soffits look sharp and the front lawn is short and green. It can make the difference of getting the viewing or not.
If your rooms are tight remove some furniture…be brave you are moving after all. De-cluttering is the key to home staging. Opening up the room so you get a feeling of space and creating something that buyers can imagine as their home is so important.
Wherever possible neutralise the colours. Strong bold or dark colours can make rooms feel small and can be too personal and possibly repel a otherwise keen buyer.
Clean and Tidy
This is a bit of a no brainer really but I’ll say it anyway…..clean the place until you can see your face in it!!
Remove ‘you’ from your home
I don’t mean move out! Just depersonalise. People buys houses to become ‘their’ home. They have a vision of themselves living in the house for years or possibly decades to come.
Finally just cover all the basics
Have the carpets seen better days? Is the wooden floor lifting or marked? If it is then change it or clean it. Dingy dark lighting is the number one ‘no no’ when staging your home. Look at the light, where it comes from what type of lights are they? The right lighting can make a real difference. That does not mean make it look like a clinic! Clean, bright where needed and soft where it’s not. Do you have a bedroom without a bed? if so find a bed and put it inthe room so people can imagine as a bedroom.
Pets are another potential hazard for the wannabe seller. As much as we love our pets….and I’m one of them… I grew up with dogs and my wife, Louise, grew up with cats so when we got married we had to compromise…so we got a cat!!!.. Seriously though I love Charlie to pieces but not everyone likes animals. Some people are allergic to cats and some people are scared of dogs. Make sure there are no pet smells and keep them out of the way when doing viewings.
I hope all that helps but if anyone is looking for advice we are always available anytime. Why not pop in to our property showroom in Halesowen for a ‘Nesspresso’ and a chat.