Home staging is quickly becoming an imperative part of selling our homes, it is no longer an optional part of the process. In today’s competitive market effective staging is the only way to ensure your home is presented in the best possible light. There are simple and proven techniques to maximise the appeal of your home to the greatest number of buyers but there are also some common mistakes that undermine those good intentions, potentially impacting any possible sale.
Here are the top 10 common mistakes that sellers make when preparing their house for sale. You should keep these in mind if you’re thinking of or getting ready to sell your house:
1. Don’t neglect the clutter. What might seem like clean and organised to you, might not translate the same to others. Make sure to tour the house top to bottom by enlisting a friend or the help of a professional stager that will give you an honest opinion about what needs to go and what can stay.
2. Don’t do any major renovations. This is not the time to splurge on expensive renovations and replacing all appliances. Smart investment can go a long way in creating the desired, updated look. Sometimes simple things like adding an attractive backsplash in the kitchen, light fixtures, door handles, and painting the walls a warm but neutral colour can go a long way. To finish off the look, it is important to bring in attractive accessories that will complement the rest of the space and add warmth.
3. Don’t paint with dark, intense and custom colours. What you don’t want to do now is bring your personal taste to the table. Choose a neutral and warm colour, such as any of the following families: beige tones, grey tones, or off-whites. You will be surprised at the transformative effect a few coats of fresh paint will have on your space.
4. Don’t take it personally. When you make the decision to sell your house, you must not get too emotionally attached to your home instead think of it as a product. The same way that products in a shop are marketed, your house will have to be treated with the same marketing strategies in order to secure a successful sale. It can be a very emotional and difficult time letting go of your beloved home, but you have got to keep the bigger picture in mind and think that you will create more amazing memories in your new house. Staging is all about de-personalising the space and creating more of a luxury hotel or a model home look that will appeal to the majority of buyers. It is also important to keep in mind that not everyone loves animals and it is advisable to take them out during viewings, making sure that all the pet odours have been eliminated.
5. Don’t stay at the house during showings. It can be awkward and uncomfortable for buyers to have you around, as they will not feel comfortable to voice their honest opinion in your presence. Make sure you leave the house for all of the showings and trust that the estate agent will do their job by highlighting all of the best features in your house.
6. Don’t think the house will sell itself. Especially in today’s market conditions, you have got to implement some preparation strategies if you want to sell quick and for maximum profit. It is important to: de-clutter, de-personalise, clean, make all the small repairs, paint if you must and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Make sure the estate agent takes some attractive photos for online listings as this is the first impression most buyers will have of your property when starting their search.
7. Don’t buy all new furniture. If your current furniture pieces are not working because they’re outdated and unattractive, there are other ways of going about it. You can always ask to borrow friends’ or relatives’ furniture for the time being, or purchase throws to disguise old sofas and chairs. The problem sometimes can also be that there are just too many big and bulky pieces, and a simple rearranging of key pieces and removing the rest will make all the difference. It is easy to get carried away when decorating, but the thing to remember is that there is a huge difference between decorating and staging to sell. A few well thought out accessories in key places is all you need, candles, fresh towels and minimal bathroom accessories will do the trick. According to a recent study, 86% of buyers said storage was one of the most important items on their wish list. When you move, you are going to have to pack, so why not get started a bit earlier and do something that will benefit the sale of your home at the same time? Purge through all the clothes and linen cupboards and other storage spaces, get rid of anything that hasn’t been used or worn in over a year or two, pack away seasonal items and only keep the essentials. It will make the storage spaces appear a lot more spacious if they are not crammed with clothes and other things. Attract more potential buyers with an organised home.
8. Don’t neglect the outside spaces. With outdoor entertaining becoming more and more popular, the importance of these areas should not be overlooked. A neatly groomed front garden and a cosy and comfortable back garden can turn some lookers into buyers instantly. So, cut the lawn, plant some blooming flowers, add some outdoor furniture and you have created an outdoor oasis that buyers will instantly imagine themselves enjoying for years to come. Outdoor storage space is important too so remember to organise the garage area; people are looking to buy space, so having your garage piled with boxes and other items will make it look smaller. Store all things off premises if possible. If you can’t find a friend or a relative to ask to help out, there are other storage solutions that are affordable these days. The investment will pay off in the long run.
9. Don’t list your house if you’re not ready. It is truly false economy to rush and list your house if the house is not ready for showings. Instead invest the time and money to prepare your house to be viewed and judged from all angles, then watch it sell fast because people will be reassured when they see how well maintained the house is.
10. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It can be an overwhelming and daunting task to know exactly what to do and how. A professional stager will provide you with the knowledge and expertise to transform your home into a show home, which will be invaluable to the success of your home’s sale. Depending on the scope of the project the investment in staging can cost you anywhere from £300, and it will certainly be recuperated after your house sells. And remember one last thing, your first price reduction will probably be more than the investment in preparing your house to show at its best!
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”