If you want to make a swift sale of your home — and at the right price — it pays to show it off to its maximum potential. The goal is not only to prompt an offer, but also to ensure that house hunters don’t have any reason to haggle on the list price. Here are some tips for styling a property to make a great first impression.
Take a Step Back
A good place to start when beginning the process of selling your home is to imagine how potential buyers will see it.
When you’re selling, you need to step back, take a deep breath and start looking at it with fresh eyes — potential-buyers’ eyes.
Grab a pen and notepad and walk around each space, making a note of all the potential snagging points and areas that could be improved.
To help you see your home in a new light, take photos. Grab a camera and take a wide-angled landscape shot from each corner of every room. Look at the photos carefully and see what stands out. Do you need to replace pillows, buy new bed linens, add a few plants or declutter surfaces? Looking at your property through a picture will help you refine your spaces.
Repair and Retouch
Before you put your home on the market, it’s a good idea to do any maintenance or repairs that could put buyers off or prompt them to offer a lower price.
Remember, most new homeowners will want to move in right away, so the idea of having to replace, repair or redecorate can be off-putting.
Potential buyers can also accidentally make massively inflated valuations based on what they believe certain repair and replenishment works will cost. By getting these jobs done in advance, you’ll make the property more saleable and give buyers less wiggle room when it comes to making an offer.
Badly done work can also have a negative impact. Use reliable tradespeople and professionals as much as possible.
Neutralize the Decor
To encourage buyers to imagine the potential of your home, avoid decor that can be distracting. Try to keep the wall colors neutral.
Instead of buying new furniture, make it work with the rest of the room. Bring in some modern pieces to help pull the scheme together in an eclectic style. It will have a great effect without a major price tag.
Allow potential buyers to see the space available in your property by keeping the rooms as decluttered as possible. Potential buyers will find it hard to look beyond the clutter. They’ll want to see the space available and how their furniture will work in your house. A messy and chaotic home detracts from the property itself and causes some buyers to walk away, as they can’t see what’s behind the clutter.
A good way to declutter is to classify items as either ‘practical,’ ‘beautiful’ or ‘sentimental’ and assign to each a value from 1 to 10 to decide whether to keep it. Anything under 5 can be donated or recycled.
Don’t hang on to things you don’t need. Starting this process early will also give you an advantage when you move into your new home. Organization is also key for buyers.
Make It Look Lived-In
While a light, neutral scheme allows viewers to see the bones of your home, an empty property won’t have quite the same effect.
If you’re planning to sell a vacant property, staging makes a huge difference. It allows buyers to visualize the space and, if done well, can transform an empty shell into a home.
It’s not just the appearance of your home that will influence viewers — the scent is also important. An unpleasant smell will immediately put off potential buyers. So address any smells, such as dog, dampness or cigarette smoke.
Remove any evidence of pets, such as a smelly bed, and clean the carpet and upholstery to refresh the space.
If necessary, call in an expert to find out where water is seeping into the house and fix the problem of mildew and mold. It could be broken gutters or poor drainage outside the house. These should not be excessively costly to fix, but will certainly be harder to deal with as the problem gets worse.
Brighten It Up
Both natural and artificial light can be used to show your property at its best. Your house needs to be bright and well lit for viewings to demonstrate the true size of the space. Therefore, consider how your lighting looks in each room.
Pull back curtains and open blinds to make the most of the natural light, but also think about creating an ambiance by positioning additional lamps on side tables around the room.