Of course every homeowner wants to make the best possible deal when selling his/her home, but how can that be accomplished? Home staging is the answer: with just some rather small investments on maintenance the value of a house can be increased enormously. The return of this investment is obvious as it will help selling the estate not only much faster but also at a higher rate. Official research reports 6-15% higher sales prices while houses are sold within 2 weeks rather than 3 months.
Following these basic home staging rules will help you to make the first steps towards a successful sale of your home.
- Clutter removal
Rooms being blocked by personal belongings, stacks of clothes, newspapers or boxes with toys are reason for failure in the selling process. Homebuyers have no imagination of the rooms potential and size, they need to be able to see and feel it! Collect personal belongings and make room for the essentials and store personal photographs, travel memories and other collectables in boxes and keep them in external storage places. Do not move them into another room as every room needs to be accessible and clean for potential buyers. The aim is to show the structure, size and potential of every room.
- Repair Projects
Make sure that everything is fixed and works properly. Did you have a water league some time ago? Make sure it is fixed and the damage area is covered with a new layer of paint. Cracks in the walls? Investigate the cause and get them fixed. Loose cabinet doors? Straighten them and tighten them back on. Be cautious of your personal capabilities: some repair really requires a specialist while others can be DIY projects.
- Exterior Appearance
Review the exterior as this is the first thing the buyer will see. The yard and landscaping of your home is what makes the first impression and will determine the buyer’s interest in the property. Check if the facade of the house needs some attention. Is cleaning of the windows enough or is some paintwork required? Do the street tiles need some fixing or is a high pressure cleaning sufficient? Or maybe you need cut the hedge back into shape to allow the sun entering the windows? Try to take an objective look as you were approaching your house for the first time to identify the attention areas.
- Interior Colours
Your interior should be neutral in style and colour to attract as many viewers as possible. Therefore avoid bold colours like red, orange or green for wall paint when presenting your house to the selling market. Even if you are still living there until the property is sold, take the effort to neutralise your home and re-paint. It does not need to be white, but choose anything neutral. Mostly used are beiges, light greys and soft vanilla tones. Brighter colours can then be used for accent pieces in the decoration scheme.
- Spatial set-up
A common mistake is the placement of too much furniture in one room. This makes the room appear small and cramped while it shall appear as large and spacious as possible for the purpose of selling. Re-order the furniture in a way that the room is open, fixed structures like beams, window seals, walls, fire places are visible and the viewer can see the flooring from one wall to another without obstacles.
- Out-dated designs
A typical example of rooms with out-dated designs are bathrooms and kitchens from the 70’s and 80’s where the bathrooms were tiled in light blue, pink or green and the kitchen cabinets were mainly dark coloured wood with ornaments. I advice not to spend too much on a kitchen makeover as this part of the house is very personal. In most cases it is enough to neutralise the rooms by painting the walls. Painting kitchen cabinets also works well and the same can be applied for bathrooms where out-dated tiles can be painted for a neutral look with a special paint.
Last but not least thorough cleaning of the home is essential for a good first and lasting impression. It shows that you treated the home with respect, took good care of it and enjoyed the time living there. Polish your sinks, toilets, metal water taps and shower-hats to make them stain free and shiny. Vacuum and dust not only the obvious spaces, but also in corners and under furniture. Clean window frames just as well as the inside of your kitchen drawers. Potential buyers are investigating especially the ‘hardware’ of a house and look into corners you do not check regularly. They open the door to the energy meters, build-in closets, window frames, basement or attic stairs and shall not come across clouds of dust.
Finally your potential buyer is coming for a viewing or you participate in an Open House Day. Either ways, a warm and inviting welcome is memorable. This starts again outside the doorstep. Depending on season, place some freshly planted flowers outside the entrance area and a vase of fresh flowers on the table or counter in the living room.
Create a free entrance area by limiting the amount of coats and shoes you store there. Stimulate the senses and bake some apple pie or cookies you can offer. Alternatively you can work with incense or aroma oils to create a fresh and clean smell, but be careful to not overdue it.
Do you need help preparing your house for successful selling?
Contact me for personal consultation to find out what you can do to stage your home before putting it on the market – or place your question and experience below in the comment field; I will happily answer your questions.