Preparing your house or flat for potential buyers (also known as staging) is extremely important. Not only will it ensure your property is sold fast, but it could potentially add thousands of pounds to its final selling price.
Zoom995, the south’s hybrid estate agent explores effective ways to stage your property to sell your home fast, and for a great price.
1. Showcase your home
When the estate agent comes to photograph your property, take the time to stage it well by making beds, hiding messy cabling, removing personal touches, and think about drawing the eye to the best parts of your property. You may have a beautiful fireplace, but if it is full with ornaments, potential buyers may focus on the clutter and miss the best bits of the property.
It helps to take a few snaps on your phone before the agent takes professional photos of your property and ask friends what they think stands out the most, if it’s the oversized sofa, or family photos then consider moving these items around or removing them altogether.
2. Declutter your home for viewings
Potential buyers need to envision themselves living in your property, and many people find this difficult if clutter and nick-nacks are taking over valuable space .
Instead, show them the fantastic home and investment you are offering and why you originally fell in love with the property. To do this, remove any personal items that are not required such as lots of pictures on side boards, or coats filling up the hallway as this could make your property seem smaller and make it harder for potential buyers to see its full potential.
Often, viewers are buying into your lifestyle, whether they are upsizing, downsizing, moving to a more central location, rural location, near a school or local amenities. Show them the potential of the property; if potential buyers see that it is organised and well presented, they can quickly see the potential in downsizing without the home looking cluttered, or upsizing without it looking too vast.
If you have large, or oversized furniture, consider moving the space around to make it look larger, or placing it into storage until your property is sold. Likewise, if the property looks too empty, it may be difficult for buyers to see the potential for their furnishings in the home. We’ve all looked at a bare room and wondered how on earth a double bed would fit in, to laugh about the considerable space available when its added to the room.
3. Freshen up the space
Holes in walls, chips, and brightly coloured areas could be putting potential buyers off. By actioning a few odd jobs, viewers will see a house they are ready to move into, rather than one that requires work before feeling homely.
Adding a coat of neutral paint – cream, beige, magnolia – to your walls will make the space feel lighter, brighter and more attractive than a lime green or bright purple room, even if it is your preference. Fixing chipped walls and holes will also help as viewers will be able to see rooms with potential to fill their needs, and easily adaptable to their tastes.
4. Create curb appeal
It takes 10 seconds to fall in love. Many potential buyers will make an assumption about a property before they’ve entered the threshold. Tidy up your front garden, and driveway to give the best first impression.
Take the time to deweed, remove pots with unloved blossoms, sweep your driveway and freshen up your door. Even cleaning windows will make a house sparkle and overall more attractive to potential buyers.
5. Create light and space
Use mirrors to open spaces up. This technique is often used to make dull spaces come to life especially in smaller rooms such as hallways and cloakrooms. By strategically placing mirrors in darker areas of your house, light will bounce around the room and create the feeling of a lighter, airier space.
In addition to this, make sure that areas that are darker are lit well when viewers come to the property by making sure lighting and ambiance is considered. Replace any bulky lampshades that make a room look dark when lit, and replace bulbs that don’t make the room shine.
Furthermore, ensure that your windows are dressed correctly by opening blinds and curtains in rooms where natural light works well, and half open blinds in rooms which show the property has little privacy, for example an overlooked bedroom.
6. Tantalise the senses
Make your home smell inviting, as bad smells can be off putting to potential buyers. Spend the time to clear any bad odours rather than cover them up, as overpowering smells could trigger warning signs to potential buyers as well.
Clear drains, wash bins and open windows to air your property out. If you smoke in your property, place bowls of vinegar in areas that you smoke days before viewers enter the house to help absorb the stale smell.
Make sure to air out your property prior to viewing as well. The goal here is to make it as neutral and inviting as possible to welcome potential buyers. If you are having an open day for your home, this becomes even more important as you will have a high footfall in a short amount of time.
7. Have a spring clean
Take the time to deep clean your property as this will really help viewers see the property at its full potential. Remove limescale, bleach toilets, repair tile grout, steam wooden odours, clean and hoover carpets, remove animal bedding, add clean bedding, hand up fresh towels and ensure your laundry bin is empty. This will make the place smell more appealing and neutralise the property.
In essence, this process is similar to what most landlords require when tenants leave rented accommodation; it’s to prepare it for the next inhabitants so they can start fresh in their new home.
8. Update your kitchen
The kitchen is the most valuable part of the property, and worth the most per square foot, so if it is in need of an upgrade, look at ways to refresh its look to add value and appeal to the property.
If kitchen cupboards are poorly hung, or dated, consider replacing the doors to give it an instant uplift, or repainting them to give them a fresh look. Remove bulky appliances such as microwaves, pots and pans, and hide any clutter that makes surfaces look smaller.
Consider upgrading white goods, although you are unlikely to recoup the value, this may help your home sell faster if the overall feel of the kitchen is modern and up-to-date. Alternatively, you can do this and sell your property without white goods included and take these with you into your new property.
9. Tidy the garden
Outdoor areas can seal the deal for potential buyers, especially if they are keen gardeners, have a young family, or simply enjoy the outdoors.
Remove any abandoned pots, trim back bulky hedges and mow the lawn. Whilst a well kept garden does not add value to your home, it will allow potential buyers to envision themselves there and ultimately make their viewing a more positive experience.
10. Let your estate agent do the selling
Estate agents are trained to highlight the best bits of your property and downplay the areas that are not as appealing. Allow our expert team to showcase your property and try not to get too involved as you may say something that puts potential buyers off (such as how the neighbours annoy you).
They are also well equipped to answer any tricky questions potential buyers may have, and give them peace of mind.
Looking to sell your property?
If you are ready to sell your property, discover why to sell your home with Zoom995, and why not try filling out our instant valuation tool to get an estimate for your house or flat based on properties sold in your postcode?
Our agents will then get in touch to discuss a bespoke valuation of your property and arrange the sale.