Home staging tips for sellers
Preparing your home for sale shouldn’t be a headache. If the property is your main residence, chances are very little will need to be done to get your property ready for viewers.
Nevertheless, there is usually some uncertainty about how to prepare for a viewing. Should you be present? Will baking bread and putting on a fresh pot of coffee help? Here are some essential home-staging tips to ensure that your viewings go without a hitch.
1. Boost your kerb appeal
First impressions count. If your building’s exterior is looking worn, your viewers will be the first to notice – and it may cloud their view of the rest of your home.
Patch up any problem areas with a lick of paint. If that’s not possible, you’ll be amazed at the difference hanging baskets and a few planters can make to the kerb appeal of your home.
2. Make your viewings about the viewer
You want your buyer to feel completely free to explore your home as if it were their own – after all, if all goes according to plan, hopefully it soon will be. This is why it’s important to let your viewer take the lead during viewings.
Allow your buyer to enter a room ahead of you so they can appreciate the full scope of a room without you in it. In short, see your home through the eyes of your buyer and give them free reign to explore the property as they’d like to.
3. Finish those odd jobs
Look around. Is there something you’ve been meaning to fix at home but just haven’t managed to get around to yet?
Now’s the time to make sure all of those odd jobs around the house are taken care of – clean your windows and descale your taps. After all, you don’t want to give your buyer any reason not to make an offer.
4. Tidy up and have a clear out
This may sound obvious, but you’ll be surprised by the number of sellers who don’t give their homes a thorough once-over before a viewing.
Ensure your property is clean, tidy and free from clutter and ideally, put your pets out – not everyone is a cat or dog person.
Putting your home on the market is a great excuse for a clear out. Keep personal items, such as ornaments and photo frames, to a minimum. Buyers like to picture their own belongings in place during a viewing and too many of your personal items can detract from this.
5. Turn on every light
Turning on every light before a viewing really does work. Buyers are attracted to bright and airy properties. What’s more, 60% of viewings occur outside of office hours so there’s a chance you won’t benefit from natural daylight.
Ahead of your viewing, check that the lights are on in every room. If the space still seems dark, invest in some inexpensive lighting solutions – such as additional lamps – which can be surprisingly effective.
6. Open every door
Don’t be surprised if a prospective buyer wants to see the inside of your garage or loft – after all, these rooms are part of your home too. Before your viewing, ensure easy access to every part of your property – move any boxes or clutter which may impede your viewers’ access and open every door. Not only will this make your viewers less shy about entering rooms, it’ll lighten up windowless hallways and stairwells.
7. Move your car
It’s a given that first impressions count – and trouble with parking could deter viewers before they even take a step inside. Move your car ahead of time so your viewers are able to park easily.
8. Get your garden in shape
Did you know that for some buyers, your garden will be one of the most important parts of the property? After all, a well-tended garden is a sign of a cared-for house. Before a viewing, take some time to mow the lawn and prune any foliage. Also, invest in some stylish lawn furniture. You’ll be surprised at the positive effect this can have.
9. Add foliage to your décor
Cut flowers and thriving indoor plants make a house into a home. They demonstrate to your viewer that your property is cared for and lived in, attributes which any prospective buyer will respond to positively.
10. Fresh linen on your beds
You want your home to appear lived in – but not too lived in. Dirty, un-ironed bed sheets can be an instant turn off for prospective buyers. Invest in some new bed linen which is freshly laundered and put out especially for your viewings.
11. Be present at viewings
One of the most contentious subjects regarding selling is whether you be present at your own viewing? Well, we think so – after all, who knows your home better than you?
Invariably buyers will have questions which only you can answer – what are the neighbours like? Is there any noise at night? In our experience, viewings are far more seamless if you’re on hand to nip any concerns in the bud right away.
You may be surprised to learn that open houses are entirely different. In our experience, it’s actually better if you stay away to enable multiple viewers to explore the house more thoroughly and create a competitive buzz. Who said selling a house was straight forward? This is why you need to employ a professional estate agent.
12. Transform redundant areas
We all have them. Mezzanine rooms at the top of our stairs or the odd, redundant nook next to the boiler – areas which are too small to be useful yet too large to ignore. More often than not, these areas become dumping grounds for the hoover or ironing board – however, with a little imagination, these too can serve a purpose and help sell your home.
If space allows, add a small desk and create a ‘working-from-home’ area – something which would suit a great many prospective buyers in this day and age. Failing that, add a clothes rail and a full-length mirror to transform the space into a nifty ‘dressing room’ area.
13. ...and yes, a pot of coffee really does work.
Cliché, we know but nice smells such as fresh coffee or cut flowers really can boost the overall appeal of your home. Again, you want to create the impression that this is a loved and cared-for home. Homely touches like coffee and fresh foliage can only enhance this impression.
For more advice about how to prepare for a viewing, get in touch with your local branch.