We were thrilled to get our first offer on our last house within the first few days of it going on the market. Not long after, we received a great offer we were happy to accept. We put lots of effort into getting our house ready to sell, which must have been the reason why our house sold a great deal quicker than several others nearby that were very similar in size. In a competitive market, it’s all about how you prepare your home for photos and viewings. These are the things I would recommend you do to stage your home to sell.
Stage your home tip 1: introduce kerb appeal
First impressions really do count. As soon as our house went up for sale, we noticed people slowing down as they drove past the house in order to get a good look. Sometimes people will nip on over to have a quick look at a house from the outside before they choose whether or not to book an appointment to view – we’ve previously done this ourselves and have chosen not to contact the estate agents if the outside really puts us off.
The front of your house needs to make a good impression, to persuade people to look inside and also to start viewings off on a positive note. There’s no better start to a tour of a home than a welcoming entrance.
A few key things to consider:
- Driveways: sweep up and remove any weeds. The driveway at our previous house was made of slabs, so we pressure washed them to give that great first impression.
- Mow lawns, trim hedges and tidy borders. If you have a fence, give it a fresh lick of paint.
- Clean the windows and the front door. How about painting your front door in a new colour too?
Stage your home tip 2: declutter
Having lots of items squeezed into a room can make it feel so much smaller, so it’s a great idea to have a declutter. Large collections of personal belongings and too many pieces of furniture can really distract viewers from appreciating the size of a room and any lovely features. Clutter can also make it more difficult for people to visualise themselves living in the space, which is the opposite of what you want to happen.
When people view your home, you want them to be able to easily imagine living there, to visualise how it would be if they were to move in. Reducing the number of personal items on show will really help with this.
I’ve heard varying opinions on the subject of how many personal items to have on display. Whilst some suggest that it’s better to remove all photographs showing you and your family, others say that your home needs personality and to feel like a much-loved home.
My view is that there’s a really happy medium. You don’t want a house that looks totally bare and lacking any homely feel at all, yet you don’t want to go over the top. In order to get the best of both worlds, keep a reasonable amount of ornaments on display and box up anything you think makes a space look really busy, ready for moving day.
I kept the number of personal photographs to a minimum and packed the leftover frames along with a small number of ornaments, then hid them out of the way of viewers. You’re making your life a little easier for packing time too – a win-win!
Stage your home tip 3: finish DIY jobs
Many people love the thought of being able to move into a house that needs nothing doing to it. There’s never been a better time to finish off those small jobs that need doing.
Make everything look finished, neat and to a high standard, and your viewers will love that they won’t have to lift a finger.
Stage your home tip 4: showcase each room for what it should be
Staging a house for sale is all about showcasing the whole house as best as you can to really appeal to buyers. If you have a dining room, make it clear that that’s what it is. Similarly with a spare bedroom, try to stage the room as a bedroom, even if it’s never been used for this function, or at least make it appear as a very useful room.
We didn’t have a bed for the spare room at our last house and it was very small, so we made the best use of the space. A console table created a small desk, with tall units for storage and a dressing table in the corner.
Space in a room with no purpose? Maybe create a reading nook with a comfy chair and small table topped with books. Make each room have a real purpose so that buyers can see how useful every space is.
Stage your home tip 5: have a big spring clean
A home that both looks clean and smells fresh is so much more welcoming than the alternative. If your house looks lovely and clean, not only does it make the house more appealing, it also gives the impression that it has been well looked after and maintained.
Steaming any carpets and rugs is a great way to freshen them up and get rid of any pet odours. Opening all the windows a while before any viewings will bring plenty of fresh air in and removing any pet beds and litter trays also helps to keep everywhere smelling nice.
Stage your home tip 6: sell the lifestyle
When you sell a house, you’re not just selling bricks and mortar, you’re selling the lifestyle too. You really want buyers to walk into your home and fall in love with the lifestyle that’s on offer there, as well as the house. This is where the little touches can perfectly finish off what you’ve already done.
A vase of fresh flowers in the hallway and the kitchen gives a cheery touch. Filling the fruit bowl with lemons and limes adds a beautiful dose of bright yellow and green to the room. Some luxurious toiletries on display in the bathroom and beautiful bottles of perfume decorating your dressing table complete the job perfectly.
Follow all of these tips and fingers crossed, your home will be sold in no time!