In America, most Vendors, before placing their house on the open market, instruct Interior Designers to completely redecorate and stage their home.
In the UK, we do not go to this extreme, but as a Vendor, you could consider ‘staging’ your home, which will help to sell quickly and for a good price.
Staging is presenting your home for sale, in its best and most attractive manner, in order to appeal to the highest number of potential buyers and a wider market.  It is not difficult or expensive, but in reality, many home owners find it difficult because it is often hard to see something objectively, when you are dealing with a personal and private asset, such as your home.  Here are some tips to consider:
Externally:  Stand outside your home and look at the property and street scene and consider the following:

  • Reposition any missing or slipped slates that may have occurred during the winter months.  Fix any leaking or faulty gutters and clear any built up of leaves.
  • Jet wash the drive, removing any green algae growth.  Reposition wheelie bins out of sight, to the rear garden.
  • If there are overhanging tree branches or bushes blocking paths or shading windows, prune them back to allow a greater visual impression.  First check if you are in a Conservation Area, or if the tree is protected (Tree Preservation Order), before you start pruning, as Local Authority Consent will be required.
  • Clear the driveway and front garden of any household furniture, left as a temporary measure, but never brought to the Council’s skip.
  • Ensure that the window panes are clean, sparkling and damage free.  If necessary, consider giving the window sills a fresh coat of paint.
  • The front door is considered to be the heart of the house, so does it need repainting?  New door furniture, such as a knocker, letterbox surround or door knobs?  If necessary, consider replacing the door.
  • Consider dressing the front garden with colourful bedding plants, flowering plants, climbing Clematis, pots, or even hanging baskets.  All these will add colour and be inviting from the street line.
  • If your front garden stores your prize caravan or boat, position these off site during the marketing period.

Internally:  Consider the following points:

  • Ensure the home is always clean and tidy – de-clutter if necessary.  Create space, even if it means placing surplus furniture in the garage.
  • Buyers like light and airy rooms, so switch on main lights, side lights and kitchen lights – anything which gives the room a glow. 
  • Dress your home with simple items such as flowers in the lounge, a bowl of fruit in the kitchen and air freshener in the bedrooms to create the right ambiance.
  • Ensure that there are no pungent smells from last night’s dinner.  Pet smells can also put off viewers if they are not pet lovers themselves.  A smoker’s home that has nicotine smell is a real turn off and automatically reduces the price by £10,000 for renewing carpets, curtains and a complete redecoration.
  • Are there any rooms which need to be redecorated to a neutral colour?  Colour schemes are a personal opinion, but if you have a bright blue hall or a yellow dining room, think of re-painting them in magnolia or pastel colours, which will appeal to a wider market.
  • If the hall or stair carpet is stained and tatty, it may be worth renewing it.  Bearing in mind that the hall is the first area that viewers see and within the first 10 seconds of entering the home, they subconsciously form an opinion if they like the house and it has the ‘tingle’ factor.

At the time of the viewing consider the following:

  • When the viewing is arranged, make sure the driveway is free from any cars.  The average family has 2 to 3 cars in the household, so they will look for room on the drive.
  • If it is winter, put the heating on so that your home feels warm and inviting.  If possible, don’t have your pets in the home when potential buyers come around.  The same applies to family members, visitors and trades people.  Even better, give the keys to the Estate Agent and go for a walk.

Consider the above points when selling and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

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