In an uncertain market, staging your property to attract buyers is crucial to standing out from the crowd, achieving the best price and possibly even clinching the sale.
First impressions really do count so, once you have decided to sell, you need to get to work on making your home buyer-ready. Firstly, put aside sentimental attachment to you home and belongings and look at the property as potential buyers will see it. This will help you set about depersonalising the space.
You’ll probably need to spend money on bringing your property up to scratch – possibly on work that feels pointless. But, most likely, you’ll reap rewards with higher offers and a quick sale.
Read on for our essential guide to staging your property, room by room:
Bathrooms and kitchens definitely sell houses, and if yours are looking a bit dated, a revamp could pay off. If you can’t stretch to a full bathroom refit, think about replacing taps, mirrors or other fixtures and fittings.
Replace any broken tiles and mouldy sealant and give the place a good clean, scrubbing away all limescale deposits. Tidy away random toiletries and shampoo bottles and give the place a spa-like feel with rolled towels, quality scent diffusers and tropical plants.
A new kitchen can be transformative, so think about a refresh if your units are looking tired. It’s cheaper to replace your cabinet doors, while retaining carcases if you can. Clear away all the clutter, mend anything that’s broken and make sure it’s all spotless for an elegant finish.
The living room
The first step to transforming your living space is to clear it of all the trappings of everyday life. Put away anything that personalises the place too much; family photos, children’s drawings, birthday cards. It’s worth having a big declutter too, throwing away or donating to charity possessions you no longer love or need.
Make sure bookshelves aren’t overstuffed with books – remove any that are looking tatty. The advice is to leave at least 10% of your bookshelves as free space.
If your home is overloaded with furniture, which you want to keep, think about putting it in storage. Never ram it all into a garage or spare room – your prospective buyers are more than likely to peek inside.
Make sure your bedrooms have a calm, relaxed feel, with clean and neutral colour schemes. Keep the rooms tidy and impersonal and think about upgrading your bed-linen, adding cushions and throws.
Sort through wardrobes to ensure they’re not crammed full of clothes. There are plenty of storage solutions, from Ikea and the like, to help turn your wardrobes into a carefully-ordered space.
If you tend to use a spare bedroom as a study or storage area, show buyers its true purpose. If you don’t have a bed, borrow one from a friend or buy second-hand. Similarly, if you have a double bedroom with just a single bed, make sure it is clear that the room can accommodate a double. This is all part of helping buyers imagine themselves in your space.
Around the home
Sprucing up your home with a lick of paint could make all the difference to securing a sale. This is especially true if your existing colour scheme involves dark or bright shades.
White and pale hues have the advantage of reflecting light to make your rooms appear, not just bright and airy, but bigger too. You can also give the impression of size by adding a mirror or two and glass fixtures and fittings.
Replace patterned or dingy carpets with light floor coverings and remove any dark and imposing pieces of furniture. If you’re keeping your carpets, have them professionally cleaned to get rid of any stains or lingering smells and if you have pets, think about sending them on brief holiday while you sell!
A recent survey estimated that a good garden landscape design could increase the value of a property way above the initial outlay. You may not have time for a big redesign, but getting to work on the garden is essential. Cut back overgrown shrubs, so your viewers can see how big it is and imagine themselves using the space. Cut the grass too and clean the patio and any garden furniture. If it’s looking a bit sparse, a few planted pots can make a difference.
And never underestimate the power of kerb appeal. Your front garden is the first thing buyers will see, so it needs to make a welcoming impression. Give your front door a lick of attractive-coloured paint and polish your door furniture. Clean your windows and, if you can, add a window box or two.
Don’t begrudge doing all this work on a home you will be leaving soon. In most cases it absolutely pays off. Investing a bit of time and money in sprucing up your property can help you to win over potential buyers and it might secure a higher offer too.