Staging your home for sale is easier and more effective because of the helpful tips you’ll learn in this article including tips on identifying your buyer, and prioritising upgrading.
There used to be a clear selling season in the UK which was summer, however it has now extended to spring and autumn. Realistically that really only gives you, the seller, one season to get your house ready for sale. If you already have a fantastic home which is free from clutter and completely neutral and could compete with a show home for being sale-ready then you don’t need to do anything different (although there are always improvements to be made!). If however, you are like many of us, needing to adjust and tweak your home ready for sale, this chunky guide will give you plenty of tips and guidance to help you WOW your buyers and get your asking price quickly.
Staging your home for sale isn’t always easy. You don’t know who is going to walk through the door. However, you can get a good idea of the kind of buyer your property is going to appeal to.
Is it the kind of property a successful young professional will buy? Are first time buyers likely to be attracted to your property? How about a retired couple, or a big family?
Of course you don’t know who is going to walk through the door. But understanding your target market is an excellent step towards staging your home successfully for sale.
Here are some common property types and the types of buyer they appeal to:
A modern apartment in a city is going to draw in young professionals who want easy access to the city centre. It may also attract investors wanting property that brings in high rental prices. This kind of property has to be dressed to maximise space and so, minimalist, fresh and modern decorating is likely to be the most appealing.
A small house in a residential neighbourhood will attract all the first time buyers, especially if you sit below stamp duty. These kinds of first time buyers are likely to be young couples. Being practical with the space and keeping everything modern is a really good idea. Making the garden low maintenance and possibly showcasing eco-friendly aspects of the property, as well as gadgets is also beneficial. The property should showcase modern characteristics and let the couple know how they can put their own stamp on the property.
In this property bracket families are going to really be looking for the perfect family home. This means that they need to be able to see exactly how the property is not only a practical choice for them; it is also somewhere they can make a true family home. A place where they can see the kids growing up and being happy. Or picture the Sunday dinners in the dining room. Light, open spaces with large floor tiles. A place where they can truly imagine family life in all its glory. So adding little touches like a bed with teddies on for the child’s room, and an office desk and a chair in the suggested study, along with a dressed dining table, all help the family to imagine how they might ‘fit in’ to the property.
Although a bungalow in a coastal area is likely to suit all different kinds of buyer, with a bungalow in a residential area it is more likely to attract a retired couple who are looking for a practical home to downsize into.
The property really does need to be as practical as possible with attention paid to issues like uneven tiles in the garden, unsafe steps, narrow doorways and so on. Non slip tiles are a practical touch. In terms of decorations you’re really looking to keep things simple but cosy at the same time. This this kind of buyer is likely to have been on an emotional journey with their current property. This property needs to be an acceptable new home compared to the one they have chosen to leave behind. It should certainly have no outstanding large decorating needs as a retired couple won’t be looking for that kind of project.
With these general guidelines in place, you will hopefully have a better idea of how to prepare your home for selling in relation to your target buyer. There are also some really solid general tips that you can follow to ensure that your home is perfect for viewings no matter who the buyer is. Take a look at these helpful guidelines and tips to ensure your property is ready for sale this buying season:
Cleaning the property is something that every single seller should think about first when preparing their home for sale. The property could be incredibly beautiful and decorated so well that the style appeals to any potential buyer. But, if there is dirt and grime, most people will be likely to be put off to some level.
Your very first house staging plans should revolve around cleaning. Set aside a whole weekend or more time if you need it so that you can completely dedicate yourself to the task.
Get your grottiest clothes on, pop some tunes on the radio, and get yourself prepared. Cleaning products and tools like sponges black bags, multi-surface spray, grime cleaner and carpet cleaner are ideal. Anything you need to make your home sparkling by the end of your scrubbing session.
Do try and go beyond your usual weekend clean. Instead do all the jobs that you would usually do in spring. Jobs such as wiping down the walls, cleaning out the cupboards, cleaning the oven, behind the cooker, inside the cooker, under the furniture. You get the idea (everywhere!). Even the most gross and none-enjoyable jobs should be completed. Buyers will want to look everywhere. You don’t want them picking up a stool and seeing dust underneath or opening a cupboard and seeing lots of oily and grimy marks that haven’t been cleaned. It only takes one grotty corner or dirty surface to make a buyer feel like the whole house is dirty.
Unfortunately once you have done this huge clean, you will need to keep the property this clean for the duration of time that your property is on the market for sale. So do make sure dirty pots are washed, tea towels are piled neatly, soaps are changed. Everything should be as it would be if you were expecting guests.
Having an exceptionally clean property is really important when it comes to staging a home for sale. However it should not be so clean and so white washed it has no aspect of being lived in at all.
With that in mind there are ways to make your property look lived in, in an attractive way. For example: creating the smell of freshly baked bread (by baking a loaf) or burning a few scented candles beforehand. Don’t forget that you have a viewing and then cook fish or a curry. Or place some paper and a neat pot of crayons on a child’s table to conjure the image of ‘play. Don’t leave your child’s things all over their bedroom. Think of staging, as a way to present ideas rather than actually demonstrating the use of the house.
You may have cleaned your property from top to bottom. However there are still small touches that will present themselves in a negative way. Certain details or items can accidentally make the property look untidy. For example: dirty tea towels can instantly make an entire kitchen look grotty. A scuff on the wall, a broken bathroom wall tile, an exposed lighting wire, or a grubby light switch can all do the same thing. Consider having a friend walk around your house to point out little details. Your buyers certainly will notice the little details. Every little negative and positive makes a difference when it comes to buying and selling houses.
Whilst you were doing the big clean of your house you may have recognised areas of clutter that you had tidied but not necessarily dealt with.
Clutter is probably one of the worst culprits for putting off buyers. It has so many negatives. Firstly it makes a house look untidy. Even if it is neatly piled, it just brings an air of chaos visually. It also detracts from any Nice details like decor, flooring, inbuilt furniture etc. Clutter also brings with it a lot of personalisation.
Personalisation is the enemy when you’re trying to sell a house. Buyers want to picture themselves there. When the house is full of your clutter all they will be able to think about is your family in that house and your memories, not envisioning their own potential future their.
To get on top of your clutter you have two choices, depending on your time scale.
Your first option is to opt for self-storage. Thereby where you can remove the majority of your belongings from the property first. And then move them into your new property later. This will help you sell your current property, and you can deal with the items as and when you have time.
Your second option is to go for it and deal with the clutter. This is beneficial because it means that clutter won’t be going into your new property. It also means you have the opportunity to make extra cash to help with the selling and buying process. Even if it just buys a round of thank you coffees for family and friends who help you move, it will be useful.
If you are opting to tackle the clutter head on as we would recommend, then all you need to do is set aside the time. Then make three piles. One for items you want to keep, one for items you want to sell and one for items you want to give to charity. You may also want to have a pile for items you know just need throwing away, although keeping disposal to a minimum is important.
It’s worth being brutal and selling things quickly. The same with items going to charity. Get them to the charity shop shop quickly. Because if you don’t it is so easy to let that box or bag collect dust for another two years without dealing with the contents.
You can stage your home to look utterly stunning. Leaving big jobs undone can have a negative impact on selling. For example: if you have decluttered your home, cleaned it, added some licks of paint and tidied up the garden that is great. But if you have a dated kitchen which needs gutting, or a bathroom with multiple broken floor tiles and a mould problem, buyers will care about the big jobs like the kitchen and bathroom because they will cost the most money to fix.
If you do not have the budget to fix any big jobs then following all the tips above is a really good path to follow. However, if you do have some budget to spend on making a bigger difference to your property, you should absolutely invest that money into those big jobs ahead of anything else.
Collectively staging your home will help you sell it. But, ensuring important aspects of the property like the kitchen or the boiler are in good condition accounts for large chunks of the properties value.
If you are struggling to sell your home and feel unsure about how to enhance it for sale, seek professional advice. Your friends and family will happily provide you with feedback. However, estate agents and surveyors are experts in the field and can give you vital tips to help you sell your home effectively.