Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Buyers do not buy houses, they buy homes.
Put yourselves in your buyers shoes so you can maximise the chances of your buyer falling in love with your home and putting in that all important OFFER!
Here's how to do this:
Take a fresh perspective
As homeowners, we have rose tinted glasses when it comes to our home. We're also very likely to overlook those long over due jobs that need tackling - the tap that drips, children's hand marks on the walls, the chipped woodwork because you move the bike in and out of the front door, the hanging fence, the squeaky floorboard! Buyers eyes on the other hand, will like a radar, instantly pick up on any negative points. They'll use these negative points to either try to negotiate down the price or use them as a reason not to buy your home.
Take a moment to reflect, room by room, including outdoors and list down what needs attention. If you struggle to look at your home with a fresh perspective, here's a #brillianttip - take various images of each room from different spots and lay them out on a table - as they say:
the camera never lies!
If you can, once you know what needs tackling, use this time to do that. If you can't tackle the jobs yourself, book in trades (many are still taking bookings) for when it's safe to do so. This way when trades start working, you will be high up on their list.
Remember that your buyers will have a list of preferred homes that they're interested in, so get familiar with what else is for sale which is in direct competition with your home and make sure that your home presents itself better than the rest. You must create that all important great first impression for your buyer.
Once the buyer arrives at your home does it have great kerb appeal? Buyers take seconds to decide whether your home is their future home so creating kerb appeal is essential. Treat all outdoor spaces as additional rooms and give them the same level of attention. Make sure everywhere is well maintained - lawns must be mowed, hedges must be trimmed and borders must be tidy. Create interest areas to draw the buyer's attention - pot plants are an instant way to do this around the front door.
All doors, windows, guttering and door sign should be clean (and painted where relevant). The door bell or door knob should work and also be clean.
Make sure your driveway is clean and remove any vehicles from this as well as the immediate street area, if at all possible. Allowing the buyer to use your driveway, is a great way to help them connect with your home.
Does each room have a clearly defined purpose? If not, define the space with the right type of furniture for the purpose of the room eg. put beds in bedrooms, remove bikes from hallways, turn a dining room back into a dining room with a table and chairs.
As we've said already, the outdoors is just as important as the indoors. Create a defined seating area in the rear garden and set up with accessories so your buyer takes a moment to pause and enjoy the space.
Layout and Scale
Does the furniture layout and are the furniture pieces you have the appropriate size? If not, buyers won’t be able to move easily within and between rooms. If furniture is too large or blocking doors this will give the impression that a space is small and it may also cause a safety hazard. As the old saying goes,
"less is more"
the buyer should be able to freely and safely move around each space.
Cleanliness and Appearance
Does the home have kerb appeal? Does each room presents itself well? If not, make sure that you do a top to toe clean of all rooms including outdoors. Get rid of items which are damaged and tackle head on any odd jobs you’ve not got round to. It's always better to have a clean, well maintained home, even if it means less furniture and accessories.
The government's guidelines require all doors and cupboards to be open for viewings. Make sure you've tidied all your storages spaces so they are well organised and not crowded. Pack away those personal possessions that will distract buyers. The other benefit of sorting, is that you're saving yourself time when you get round to moving.
Is there a consistent style throughout? If not, too many variations in decorating styles, furniture and accessories will distract the buyer’s eye. Depersonalise so bold prints and personal treasures such as collectibles, photos, toys and games, animal toys, paperwork etc are packed away. Highlight any positive features which make the room stand out eg. fireplace, Victorian finishes.
Is there any odour eg. pet, damp or food smell? If so, get rid of it using our top tips.
Help your buyer's get to know the local area
Put together a pack of interesting facts about where you live, including images. For example, if there are great schools, highlight them and also the age range that they cover. If you're close to great outdoor spaces or sports facilities, mention these. If you're within easy walking distance of a coffee shop or restaurant, mention this. This is a key favourite of buyers!
The buyer can take this pack away and refer to it at their leisure - your home will remain in their thoughts long after they've left your home!
The more you do now:
the more you'll increase the chances of your home selling and for more
the less time your home will spend on the market
the more you reduce the chances of a buyer pulling out later (at the survey stage)
the more prepared you'll be for your move
If this is too much for you or you don't know where to start, we're here to help. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your virtual home staging consultation.