We recently discussed how to make your home look more impressive to sell it at a higher price, which included staging your home for sale. There are companies that can do this for you at a charge, preparing your home to appear as pristine and attractive as possible. There are many steps you can take yourself, though, to maximise the visual appeal of your property and minimise any expense.
Here are nine staging secrets the professionals don't tell you.
When it comes to selling a property, flowers are a home's best friend. More important than your home, though, is arguably your garden: some colourful flowers outside the front of your property can create a cheerful first impression. Reinforce it by washing the windows, sweeping your foothpath or drive and perhaps even restaining or repainting your porch.
Move furniture for space
When conducting viewings of your home, you will most likely have the route of your tour already planned. Make sure that your furniture is arranged so that you have the space to move around comfortably. This will also help your rooms appear more spacious too. "But I have too much stuff!" you may cry. Which brings us to our next step...
We all know by now that baby photographs are a bad idea: buyers are there to buy their new home, not your old one. But while you may already depersonalise rooms by removing photographs, go one step further: remove any personal clutter you come across. This may require moving half your possessions to a friend's house - or perhaps your neighbour's - but the more you can remove from the property, the more welcoming it will be. Even places like the (tidily organised) wardrobes can benefit from being a quarter empty, giving the illusion of more space for buyers to bring their own clothes.
New bed linen
Replace all your bed linen with new sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases. This may seem drastic, but it will avoid any awkward smells or stains and also add to the spotless, brand-new feel of your pad. Think showroom: then make it happen.
Once you have swapped out your bed linen, do the same for any towels in your bathroom: the fluffier, the better. New soap will have the same effect.
Now that space has been created, you have more room to accessorise your rooms. From bowls or fruit to vases of flowers, a little extra flourish can go a long way. Keep it simple.
Turn on the lights
Natural light is great for photos, preventing your home or furniture from being distorted by odd shadows. In person, though, lights can add character and dimension to a room.
No animals or kids
Would you be distracted from buying a home if a dog and a toddler were scampering around? Don't do the same to your buyers.
Clean - properly
Cleaning is the most important step in any home selling cycle, but do not just vacuum and dust, clean everything: use a toothbrush to scrub between tiles in the bathroom, leave no dirty laundry anywhere and, if you can, steam your carpets. Think of this as the ultimate inspection of your home.
Use the spare room
Got a spare room? What do you use it for? If you do not have an answer for that, think of one. If you do have an answer, make sure it is the perfect example of it: from a spotless office, complete with plant, to a spare bedroom with linen that does not clash with the wallpaper. If you are using your spare room as storage, stop it. Even if it is only for a couple of weeks, it could make the difference between selling a home and not.
These nine secrets are just the beginning: there is always something you can do to stage your home more effectively.
Photo: Kendyl Young