Remember I mentioned in my last post that I helped a client transform her home? (She was struggling to sell despite a highly sought-after location, despite marketing it through the best local agency and despite dramatically reducing the price. It was on the market for 5 months with lots of viewings but not a single offer.)
Here is the most recent news.... After the low-cost refurbishment and staging, she had two good offers in less than a week of it being back on the market and accepted one of them by the end of week one.
How amazing is that? It does make you wonder whether using an Interior Designer can indeed increase the value of the property and make it more sellable when it comes to putting it on the market.
This is particularly important in today’s competitive housing market where first impressions really do count. An Interior Designer can work with you to help turn your home into a more ‘desirable’ property, especially if your home isn’t selling as quickly as you’d like.
Here are some useful tips for homeowners putting their homes on the market.
Focus on things that add value
If you have any budget to do small renovations and improvements, use it for things that add value to the property - good flooring, storage, electrics, etc.
De-clutter (but keep personality)
Try to look at your property with a new pair of eyes and see it from a buyer’s perspective. Would they want to see all the excess stuff that has accumulated over the years? Probably not, so put it in storage, or find a new home for it.
Decluttering, though, doesn’t mean making property bare and impersonal. People need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there and they often find this difficult, so make it easy for them. When I helped the above mentioned client to prepare her home for sale, I didn’t make it generic and soulless. I took some calculated risks and added a bit of pizzaz and personality as it wows buyers and gives them ideas as to what they might do to this property.
People are often buying into a lifestyle as much as a property. Give them that instant feeling of wanting that lifestyle.
Fix and repair
Make any minor repairs necessary – holes in walls, broken door knobs, etc, etc. There will always be buyers who want to move in without making changes, so make it easy for them.
Clean everything like you have never cleaned before! There is nothing more off putting than a dirty home. Get rid of limescale, clean and repair tile grout, wax wooden floors, get rid of all odours, hang up fresh towels.
Freshen up your walls
Give the walls a fresh lick of paint. Try to keep the canvas stylishly neutral (and when I say "neutral" I dont mean builder's magnolia) and add some splashes of colour and pattern in accessories.
Think of good lighting
Think about light in your house. It so often gets neglected and the property appears gloomy and uninviting. Wall mirrors make a room look much bigger and lighter. Consider putting some up, especially in smaller rooms or hallways.
Clean windows inside and out, and replace any broken light bulbs. Ensure that you have lamps on in any dark corners.
Deal with odours
Bad smells are the single biggest turn off for prospective buyers. Deal with them!
Conversely, good smells subconsciously make your home more appealing. Think plants, flowers, candles, fresh coffee.
Create curb appeal
Think about curb appeal – after all, this is the first thing viewers see. Tidy up your front garden or driveway, put a couple of plants and paint your front door an attractive colour that goes with your property.
Make the most of extension potential
If your property has some conversion or extension potential do not necessary do it yourself (as the potential buyers might have different ideas about how to configure and decorate that space) but consider getting planning permission. It won’t cost you much but it might hugely increase the appeal to potential buyers.
Help estate agents do their job well
If you work with an estate agent don’t rely just on them to sell your property in the right way. Tell them what things to say, what to highlight and what to downplay.
Think of all the downsides of your property and have convincing answers to all those tricky questions ready.
Sometimes, however, it takes an independent eye to help turn things around, which is where an Interior Designer can help. There are so many things to consider when selling a property these days, especially as buyers become more demanding and astute and the market more saturated and competitive.
Please, do get in touch if you want your house to stand out from the competition but feel nervous about making mistakes and wasting your money on the wrong things. I know how to make your property desirable and highly sought-after...