According to Estate Agents the prime date to launch your home onto the market is March 20th. This is because it takes and average of 128 days from the agreed sale to completion, in time for the commencement of school in September. This is all very well if things go to plan, and when selling and buying properties things often go wrong and the whole process takes a lot longer than intended. This year is an exception to the rule, so time is of the essence, if you long to move to a greener or bigger space now you’ve spent so long in your present home.
For those who require a quick sale, without compromising on your asking price there is a lot you can do to help. Most Estate Agents in America, Canada and Australia will not market a home unless it has been prepared for sale by a Home Stager. This person will visit your home and advise the owner on changes and improvements which will appeal to as many prospective purchasers as possible, sell it as fast as possible and at a higher price than you may have done. The Stager will give you a report on recommendations and costs at an agreed budget. These changes can either be implemented yourself, or you can employ the Home Stager to do the work on your behalf. If this seems an odd concept, well you wouldn’t try and sell your car without cleaning it up and washing and polishing it to show the car off in it’s best possible condition would you? Housing developments always have a show home to market properties, they are selling a lifestyle, ensure you do the same with your home.
Staging – Setting the scene so buyers can envisage living in the property.
Key Advice – Making an entrance!
1. First Impressions count. Make your homes exterior appealing so viewers are eager to come through the front door and see more.
2.Ensure there is no peeling paint, and that UPVC is clean, as well as the windows. Clean and polish your front door, and add a new door mat.
3. Clear away all junk, broken pots etc. Push wheelie bins into an unobtrusive space, if possible.
4. Pressure wash paths and drives, repairing any loose or broken paving. Weed and rake gravel paths and drives.
5. Tidy up borders, weed, cut back any over grown shrubs. Fill any gaps with inexpensive evergreen shrubs. Place a planter by the front door filled with seasonal plants.
6. The same can be done with the rear garden, and repair or replace any broken fencing or gates.
7. Place a child protective grill over your pond if you have one, alleviating concerns of viewers with children. Ponds should be clean and tidy too.
8. Look at your garden as an outside room and stage it as such, by placing seating and a table to show how the garden can work for entertaining and enjoyment.
1. Walk around your home as if you were a prospective purchaser, be your own critic. View as if it was someone else’ s home. If this is difficult for you, ask a friend to help you. Make notes of improvements to be made.
2. Pay attention to obvious ‘put offs’ like unfinished tiling and decorating, and finish these jobs before marketing your property.
3. Clear all clutter away to make the space appear larger. Bulging, untidy cupboards and tops of wardrobes make people think that there isn’t enough storage space.
4. De- personalize your space, so viewers can envisage the space for themselves and imagine living there. Pack away personal photo’s or large collections you may have. However, do not strip out all the character, creating a sterile, boring home. Add interest with a few well chosen pieces such as a rug, or piece of furniture which will enhance the decor. If you don’t want to purchase items, a Home Stager will hire them on your behalf. Likewise remove a piece of furniture which ‘blights’ the room. But make the most of what you already own where possible.
5.Choose the right colour’s by sticking to neutrals on the walls which makes the space feel light, clean and spacious, and provides a blank canvas. Add colour with accessories such as cushions, throws on beds, a painting.
6. Use the space well, as it’s intended use. If you have a dining room, which you use as an office or other use, dress the room with a table and chairs and place a vase of flowers on the table. In open plan spaces, zone the areas for different uses, somewhere to eat, somewhere to sit and relax, etc.
7. Clean top to bottom including windows and mirrors – make your home shine!
If all this seems like too much work, employ a professional Home Stager who will be invaluable from the initial consultation to organizing everything on your behalf from cleaning, de-cluttering, any major works or repairs and dressing your home ready to take centre stage.
Some photograph’s from Pinterest. Others by Belinda Neasham for Sarah Maidment Interiors