If you want to maximise the chances of getting a fast sale at the optimum price, you should seriously consider how you present your home for sale. The property market can move incredibly fast and a good first impression can make all the difference to attract attention and get an offer. Did you know that, according to recent research, the average time it takes a house hunter to decide to make an offer on a property they’ve viewed is just 38 minutes?
In terms of effective marketing, dressing your home and beautifying outdoor spaces to achieve a sale have never been more important. It all starts with your property listing, so make sure that your home is ready and looks a million dollars for the photographer. “Sometimes a striking visual is all you need to impress,” says one photo expert. The vast majority of house hunters start their search online and the decision to ‘swipe right’ may be made in mere seconds!
Why home staging is the answer to a great sale
The aim of home staging for sale is to make your property as appealing as possible to the broadest range of buyers. This can be enormously helpful for visualising the space and imagining themselves living there. Discussed below are lots of tips and tricks of the trade you can employ to achieve the right look and feel.
If you’re not sure what to do or you have other priorities, there are plenty of professional home stagers and stylists out there who will do the job for you, typically charging in the region of 0.5-1% of the sale price. And before you baulk at the cost of hiring a home stager, you’ll be pleased to hear that the increase in value you can expect to achieve as a result of having dressed your home for sale is about 3%, which constitutes a substantial 300-600% ROI.
Staging your home for sale may require a lot of effort or just a few tweaks, all depending on the current look and feel of your property. Maybe your interior décor already has broad appeal and all you need to do is refresh the paintwork or add a few accessories here and there. On the other hand, your home may need a bit of a decorative overhaul before you put it on the market. Let’s take a look at what might be needed, on a room-by-room basis.
Dressing your home for sale starts even before you step inside. Have you heard of ‘kerb appeal’ – the first impression a potential buyer has of your home based on looking at it from the outside? Think like a buyer and scrutinise the approach to your house. Does your front door look inviting? Is the front garden neat and tidy? Are the bins kept out of sight? Address any peeling paintwork or other unsightly issues and add some fresh container plants or hanging baskets for a well-cared-for look.
The same goes for your back garden, patio or seating area. No need to invest large amounts of money in a garden makeover. Just make sure everything looks well-kept.
Entrance and hallway
Once inside the building, the hallway is the first thing a house viewer will see, and it sets the scene for what’s to come. Spend time creating the atmosphere of a warm welcome. Tidy away coats, shoes and other hallway detritus into cupboards, and ensure any hall furniture isn’t obstructing the flow and making the area feel cramped.
The walls of your hallway should be painted in a pale shade to maximise the light. Leave doors to other rooms open during viewings for the same reason. Review your hallway flooring for practicality, aesthetics and wear and tear. Replacing tired carpet with hard flooring may freshen up the entire area at not much cost.
One of the key areas of any property, the living room will give potential buyers an insight into the lifestyle for relaxing and socialising and sets the tone for the rest of the house. Ideally, this room should have the wow factor. Make sure it’s clutter-free and in immaculate decorative order.
The choice of living room furniture should be carefully considered; it needs to be both attractive and inviting. Get rid of any worn-out sofas and chairs and replace them with a matching suite in excellent condition. Rental furniture could be an option if a new suite is out of budget. Choose a modern or timeless décor with a neutral colour scheme that showcases the room.
The master bedroom is another key room that buyers are looking to be wowed by. Keep the décor calm and soothing and don’t overstuff the room with furniture. A bed (double or king size if the room allows), bedside tables, a wardrobe or other storage should suffice to show off the space. Dress the bed with matching bedlinen, ideally in a neutral tone.
Other bedrooms should be neat and tidy, again with matching neutral bedlinen. Children’s rooms can be a bit of a challenge to keep tidy. Make sure that toys aren’t overflowing from cupboards and drawers and have a quick tidy-up before every viewing.
Kitchen and dining room
Most estate agents agree that kitchens sell houses. It’s the heart of the home and a key space for dining and socialising, which is why it’s worth making an extra effort here when dressing the property for sale. Start with decluttering and deep cleaning to present a pristine space and give a great impression. If the kitchen has seen better days, consider upgrading the units and/or the floor. A new kitchen will lift the appearance of the entire property and can increase its value by up to 10%, so it’s well worth the investment.
Open-plan kitchen/dining areas are very popular with modern home buyers, so if you have a separate dining room next to the kitchen, think about knocking down the wall and combining both rooms into a kitchen diner.
Bathrooms, en-suites and WCs need to be clean and fully functional at the very least. An outdated bathroom can make or break a property sale, as it signals extra work and expense for prospective buyers. Ensure there is no problem with limescale, mould or water leaks, and be prepared to spend some money here to fix any obvious problems.
Refresh your bathrooms with a neutral colour palette, and retile the shower or bathroom floor if necessary. If the budget stretches, you could replace the bath or basin at the same time to give the whole room a lift.
Finally, if you have dedicated office space in your home or a garden office, be sure to show it off. The ability to work from home, whether on a part-time or full-time basis, is now a routine requirement among home buyers, so if you can meet this need, your home’s appeal will soar.
Keep it simple with a desk, chair and computer, and make sure you hide any papers or other office clutter from view.