Looking at your own property through “new eyes”, taking time to give it some TLC and carrying out some “staging”, might make a huge difference in increasing your chances of a fast sale and reaching your asking price.
It doesn’t have to involve costly structural additions or updates. It’s largely about how the property is “dressed”. So, here are ten tips to help you if you’re struggling to sell or you want a quick sale.
1. First impressions count – outside
For all your work to make your home look appealing and worth the asking price, you could lose the interest of your buyers from the minute they arrive. Take a good look at the approach to the house and your garden.
That litter outside your gate might not be yours, but pick it up. Repair and oil the gate, and get that front garden looking as tidy and attractive as possible. Make sure your front door and windows are gleaming, and put out that welcome mat!
2. Second impressions count – inside
The minute your viewers step over the threshold of your property they need to feel they are seeing it at its best and that this house is a home.
It needs to be neat and tidy of course, but also warm and welcoming. From the front door onwards, look for touches you can use to add to the atmosphere, such as vases of fresh flowers, bowls of fruit and neatly arranged curtains and blinds.
3. Use smells to good effect
Humans use their sense of smell for all sorts of things – including sniffing out dangerous fumes or drinking in aromas that provide emotional responses like attraction or nostalgia.
Which means you can use smells to good effect. Make sure there are no strong odours that could create a negative reaction, including wet dog, stale smoke or cooking smells. Then, add light air fresheners, the smell of freshly brewed coffee or the aroma of freshly baked biscuits to the property.
4. Declutter – properly
If you spent a long time moving stuff around to make each room look great for the photographs and video, this may seem an unnecessary suggestion; but look again. Humans are naturally nosey, and potential buyers are going to be very easily distracted if they are looking at your belongings.
The more you can simplify each room, the better. You need to show your property at its best, but also make the space look as large as possible. It needs to be homely, but balance that with creating a “blank canvas” for visitors to imagine where their own clutter will go!
5. Paint and pamper
It’s amazing what a coat of paint will achieve, so take a good look around and find places that look worn or marked.
If you can wash down walls, skirting boards and boards, that’s great. But if a “lick of paint” is what’s needed then it’s time to get the brushes and rollers out.
Your property viewers will see chips, marks and stains that you have long ignored. Again, it will distract them from the overall effect of the property.
6. Don’t just clean up, fix up
If you want to sell your house fast, then it needs to convey the impression that it is a much-loved home that has been safeguarded and nurtured. So, another top tip is to look around for furniture, furnishings or ornaments that are damaged or generally tatty. You might love that armchair, but if it’s an “eyesore” to viewers, it’s what they will remember.
The same applies to other tweaks and details that can make your property look appealing – such as hanging curtains on bare windows, getting rid of rugs that have had their day; or waxing and polishing floors to get rid of scratches or stains.
Investing in a carpet cleaning service could pay dividends.
7. Light and warmth
You can also make your property more alluring by making sure it is warm, with plenty of natural light in each room. If the viewing is at night, switch on wall lights and lamps to create a glow. If you have a fire, use it. There is nothing like dark corners and poor visibility to make a property viewer suspicious!
8. The world’s a stage
To sell your house fast, then you must make it as universally appealing as possible. You may be very attached to your dog grooming room downstairs or your sewing room upstairs, but most viewers will be looking for an extra reception room or bedroom. “Staging” involves creating rooms which show the property in its best light, so you may need to buy some cheap furniture and turn each room into whatever it was initially designed for.
9. Kitchen counters (and equipment) count
Most family homes have the kitchen as their focal point. If yours lets you down, all your efforts elsewhere in the property to get a quick sale may be wasted.
Give serious thought to upgrading the carpentry and counters if they are badly damaged. It’s another investment that could pay you back by ensuring you reach your asking price. If your white goods are unattractive or damaged, invest in new ones to improve the look and ambience of the kitchen. The money spent helps to equip your new home.
10. Mirror, mirror
Lastly, when making a good impression, shinny surfaces help. One of the best ways to make rooms look bigger, and to create a light and airy atmosphere, is to use mirrors. For example, a narrow hallway can be transformed by an arrangement of junk shop mirrors along the wall to create the illusion of space.