Preparing your home for viewers, or "staging" as it's called, is important. It will not only ensure your property is sold faster, but can potentially add thousands of pounds to its value. This short guide aims to provide you with advice on the key things I believe are the most important when preparing your home for viewings. With over twenty years of experience with homes in Hackney, Walthamstow and various areas in East London, I feel I have learnt a few things that could make a big difference when you decide to sell your home.
Implementing just a few of these ideas, I am sure that you will be able to improve the chances of a quick sale and acheive a higher price. I understand that in a lot of cases, achieving the best price is essential to make the move viable and I believe all clients should achieve the very best price for their home.
Look to get rid of all the excess stuff that has accumulated in every nook and cranny. Perhaps put it in storage or give items to a local charity shop. Some people need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there. People often find this difficult, so make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space your offering them. Consider that people are often buying into a lifestyle as much as a property. Show them the attractive side of your lifestyle and what they are missing out on. Take a look at your furniture and consider removing any bulky items that make your rooms feel small. Consider replacing large items with smaller furniture. It is important you dont leave your home looking like a generic hotel. Always leave some personality. Apart from anything else it gives unimaginative buyers suggestions as to what they might do.
Consider giving your walls a fresh lick of paint with neutral colours as this will help make your home seem lighter and much bigger. Neutral colours can help viewers to easily imagine how they would adapt the rooms to their needs and strong bright colours should always be avoided. Dont forget, it will be easier for buyers to move in and use the rooms immediately than if the walls were bright purple or lime green. Always create a good first impression - give the front door and any surrounding walls a new coat of paint. Remember your front door is the first thing your viewer will see when visiting your property.
Make any minor repairs necessary - consider fixing holes in walls, broken door knobs, cracked tiles, torn or threadbare carpets. Many buyers want to move in without making changes and some buyers will look for any excuse to make a lower offer. Try and clean everything until it sparkles. Get rid of limescale, clean and repair tile grout, wax wooden floors, get rid of all odours, hang up fresh towels. This will make the place more appealing and allow viewers to imagine living there. Outside - it's a good idea to tidy up the garden, cut bushes back, clean the patio and furniture of lichen and dirt and cut the grass. While this doesn't add much value to your home it makes it more likely to sell as people visualise themselves using the garden.
Most experts consider the kitchen to be the most valuable room in a property. It is worth the most per square foot and can make the difference when buyers are unsure. Why not consider replacing your kitchen cabinetry if your kitchen is dated. This is much cheaper than installing a whole new kitchen and is often as effective. Changing kitchen counter tops is expensive, but in some cases adds a lot of value. Declutter the surfaces and only leave a few items out. Remove any bulky appliances that make the kitchen feel smaller. Think about upgrading the plumbing fixtures and possibly the white goods if old and unsightly, but keep in mind that while that could make your property sell faster, you will be unlikely to recoup their full value.
In some locations, wall mirrors can help make a room look much bigger and lighter. Consider putting some up, especially in smaller rooms or hallways. Clean windows inside and out, and replace any light bulbs that are not working. Making the place feel light and airy makes rooms feel bigger and the property more attractive to potential buyers. Make sure you have lamps on in any dark corners. Check that curtains or blinds are not too heavy for the windows and restrict the amount of light that comes through during the day. Consideration should be given if there are any trees or large shrubs near your property that make your rooms seem dark during the day. A simple cut back could make a lot of difference to the brightness of a room.
Light a fire - if it's a cold evening, or even a chilly day, and if you have one, light your fire. Consider burning some pinecones for the delicious smell. This will make your home feel warm and inviting. If you don't have a fire then ensure the fireplace is clean. Check windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains as naked windows make a place feel impersonal and run down. Buy some cheap ones (eg from Ikea) if necesssary. Good smells only. Bad smells are the single biggest turn-off for prospective buyers. Don't just cover them up, fix the source of the smell. Clear drains, wash bins, open windows, air the kitchen from old cooking smells, get rid of furniture that is embedded with cigarette smoke and wash any grimy bed sheets. Conversely, good smells can make a property feel like an alluring home. While it might be impractical to bake fresh bread, cakes or brownies for every viewer that visits your home, you could perhaps brew some fresh coffee?
Viewings and offers. Choose a good estate agent and let them do the viewings. It's their job to know what things to say, what to highlight and what to downplay. They are also effective at answering those tricky questions and should always be the main contact for the buyer. Your estate agent is the best person to deal with any offers you receive on your home as they do this everyday. They have both the experience and knowledge to guide you on the best price for your home.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my guide and found it useful. If you need any further advice please don't hesitate to ask, click this link - get in touch - and I'll do my best to help.