When it comes to selling your house, presentation is the key. First impressions are what draw a prospective buyer into your house and bad presentation will turn them away. It is important to stage your house down to the smallest detail in order to attract buyers through your front door.
1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS
First impressions start at the front gate. Many prospective buyers will drive past a house and make a decision to look further based on its street appeal. You may think your house will sell itself based on criteria such as a large back yard or number of bedrooms. This is not always true. Instant attraction to a house has a lot to do with buyers wanting to take a further look.
Consider mass planting small flowering plants in the front yard. Masses of color brighten up a front yard and create an inviting entrance. Touch up any painted surfaces that have started to deteriorate, keep weeds away and lawns freshly mowed. Ornaments are one way to add character to a garden. Bird baths, wind chimes and statues can turn a plain garden into an interesting one; just be careful not to overdo the amount you use. Garden pots are another wonderful way to dress up a front or back yard. When using pots, it is best to buy several of the same style. Lots of different pots can look messy and undecorated. Potted plants will help create height and also soften any hard surface such as a paved area. The advantage of ornaments and pot plants is that you get to take them with you to your next house.
2. CLUTTER IS YOUR ENEMY
Clutter is the biggest enemy of selling a house. It is inevitable that clutter builds up in everyone’s house, but prospective buyers do not want to see it. Clutter can send off alarm bells for buyers. They may start to worry there isn’t enough storage space for their belongings. It may be useful to ask a relative or friend to help store your household clutter or even hire storage space while your house is for sale. This may seem harsh but buyers will find it appealing to look at clean surfaces and uncluttered cupboards.
Systematically go through every room and put away in boxes anything that is not essential for everyday living. This includes any photos you have around the house. When buyers see photos of you or your family, they imagine you living in the house. This can make them feel like an intruder. Photos are too personalised and the objective is for the buyer to imagine themselves living in your house. It’s important to store unwanted clutter at a location away from your house. It’s no good if a buyer loves the presentation of your house, only to walk into the garage and see boxes piled to the ceiling. This can undo all the good work you have done.
Cupboards seem to be a location that always gets missed. Don’t be fooled into thinking prospective buyers will not look inside your cupboards. Buyers like to see the amount of storage space available, therefore, only keep the bare minimum inside any cupboard. Pack away any spare linen, accumulated plates and containers. This enables buyers to see ample storage space. Fold linen and towels to perfection and make sure every cupboard is in order.
Look at the amount of furniture you have. Often too many pieces accumulate in a room, causing it to look cluttered. Be ruthless and store any unnecessary furniture. This will give the illusion of larger rooms and a sense of space. Sometimes it may be the opposite and your rooms are bare, causing it to look undecorated and sparse. If possible try to borrow some pieces of furniture to fill in any blank spots. A simple rug will add warmth to a room and can make all the difference.
3. THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Have you heard of fresh bread in the oven when buyers come through your house? The smell of freshly baked bread instantly provides a warm and cozy feel when a prospective buyer enters your house. This may be an old fashioned idea, but in principle the theory is a good one. If baking bread is too much effort, then consider freshly baked cookies on a tray in the kitchen or a pot of coffee brewing. These are a nice touch when buyers are coming through your house. Indoor plants and flowers are another way to create ambiance in a room. Do you have an outdoor table? Why not display a bottle of wine and a cheese platter outside? Simple touches like these will create an illusion of lifestyle and makes a buyer remember your house.
4. THE CLEAN HOUSE GETS THE SALE
Clean, clean, clean. It may get tedious and it is a lot of work, but in order to sell a house it must be immaculate. Bathrooms and toilets need to be spotless. Bench spaces should be clear and floors should be vacuumed. Windows should be gleaming and don’t leave laundry hanging on the clothesline. It is important that cleaning be done on a daily basis. It’s best to be prepared, rather than rushing to clean your house if a buyer comes through with only a moment’s notice.
5. PREPARATION IS KEY
Being prepared is the key to getting a buyer through your front door. Presenting your house in an orderly fashion shows you have respected the house and this makes buyers feel secure. The many hours of preparation will go a long way to ensuring your house is shown at its best. Creating atmosphere and warmth can make buyers fall in love with your house and that will close the sale.