We love to bring you great content from our partners, and this time we’ve been chatting with Abbie of “Rooms by Abbie“. She has written this blog for us to share with you, as it’s a hot topic, especially at this busy time of year:
“When it comes to selling property, most people will be hoping for a quick sale at an asking price offer. But how do you achieve this? While most physical attributes, such as the location, orientation of the garden and rooms sizes can’t be changed, there are lots of things you can do to showcase your property so it appeals to the wisest possible audience.
- Take the opportunity to declutter
You may not want to hear this, but I promise that decluttering – before you do anything else – will make everything else in the house moving process easier! That may seem like a bold statement, but decluttering means less stuff to store, less stuff to keep tidy for viewings, and less stuff to pack. Now surely that’s worth the effort?!
Before our last house move I sent my husband and then one-year-old daughter to stay with his parents for the weekend, while I painstakingly sorted though all the excess ‘stuff’ in our house. I even tested and threw away all the pens that didn’t work anymore. Yep, unfortunately, that is absolutely true…
Before you start, have a system to follow, some uplifting music, and try not to get side tracked reminiscing over childhood photos and letters!
- Complete any unfinished odd jobs
You know those little jobs that you never quite got around to doing, before you no longer noticed them, and the half-finished paint job became part of the décor…? Well, now is the time to finish them! Hanging pictures, replacing cracked tiles, and filling the misjudged hole in the wall next to the curtain pole will all make a huge difference when someone is viewing your house. It may take their perception from “This is a project that I don’t want to take on” to “I can move my things in straight away!”
If, like me, you think your DIY skills may be more of a hindrance than a help, consider hiring a handyman for a day and asking him or her to work through a list of prioritised jobs.
- Create a welcoming entrance
First impressions count – sorry for the cliché, but it’s true! When a prospective buyer walks through the front door they may subconsciously make up their mind about your property there and then.
A hallway with shoes to step over or coats to step around may translate that the rest of the house is cramped; a dark hallway may indicate that the whole house has a lack of natural light; peeling wallpaper or yellowing woodwork may give the impression that your property is a ‘project’ and result in a lower offer being made.
To combat this, apply a fresh coat of paint in a light neutral colour, buy a new mat, add a mirror to reflect light, and use neat storage for shoes and bags. Even though you might wear any of your eight coats on a given day (spring is so unpredictable!) hang any surplus items in the wardrobe upstairs – and you can even store the pushchair in the car!
- Smarten up outside spaces
Your priority should be the front of the property, as first impressions are so important. If the pathway up to the entrance is overgrown and the front door is faded and peeling, potential buyers may be put off before they’ve even walked inside.
If you have a back garden there’s no need to book a landscape gardener, but cutting the grass, removing any dead plants and tidying away garden toys will all help make the most of the outside space.
- Ensure each room has a clear function
Sometimes we end up using our rooms in a non-conventional way, mostly because it suits our needs at the time. I think most of us have ended up with a spare room filled with old furniture, storage boxes and an exercise bike that we were absolutely definitely going to use on a daily basis at some point!
People viewing your house will want to imagine how they would live there. So if you currently have an amalgamated playroom / study / dining room, it is best to decide on a function and dress the room accordingly. If you’re not sure of the best solution, your estate agent will be able to advise you what type of room will appeal most to your target buyer, so you can make the most effective changes.
- Don’t feel you need to paint the whole house Magnolia
It’s true that the ‘safe’ option is to have neutral walls and floors when selling a property – potential buyers will find it easier to visualise their belongings in a ‘blank’ space and it will seem like an easier transition than if your vibrant teal feature wall doesn’t match any of their furniture.
But, as long as the decoration is in good order it’s probably not worth the time, effort or cost of neutralising your space, at least when you first put it on the market (if it’s not selling this may be something you consider later on). The chances are the new owners will want to put their own stamp on it anyway, and who knows, they might hate Magnolia and be a mutual admirer of teal!
- Present sparkling bathrooms
Without wanting to state the obvious, make sure all bathrooms are clean – as in sparkling clean! It is said that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, and if a bathroom looks dirty the viewer may (consciously or subconsciously) translate this to needing to replace the bathroom, and as a result may put in a lower offer – or decide not to put in an offer at all.
Obviously you don’t want to go to the expense of installing a new bathroom suite, but a good limescale remover, a grout pen to liven up old tiling and a fluffy bathmat will improve appearances and create a better impression.
- Toy storage
It’s likely that if your family home is full of toys, then prospective buyers will be in the same boat. There’s nothing wrong with toys and games being ‘on show’ but at the same time, no-one wants to walk into a room where every inch of space is covered with brightly coloured plastic… except maybe a two-year-old!
This is the opportunity to declutter old toys and books (see point 1 above!) and also move some items to children’s rooms to maximise space in the living areas. Neatly stacked games alongside smart storage boxes won’t cause any offence, but toys spilling onto the floor starts to look cluttered, giving the impression that the rooms are short on storage space.
- Don’t over fill rooms
Too much furniture, or bulky pieces that are too big for the space, will make a room feel small – even when it is spacious. An oversized coffee table or large ottoman may be practical but if they fill the space in your living area, the room will feel cramped and awkward.
If you want to keep the furniture, either move it to another room (being careful not to overfill that room in turn!) or ask a very nice family member or friend to store it for you for until you move.
- Maintaining tidiness
So, you’ve decluttered, touched up the paintwork, rearranged your rooms, and neatly stored the toys in preparation for photos to be taken and your lovely home to go on the market. But what happens when someone wants to come round and look at it? Surely keeping your home ‘viewing ready’ is actually impossible?!!
Don’t panic – there are a number of things you can do to help maintain this state…
Tidy as you go – this might sound obvious, but putting toys in boxes, clean washing in drawers and dirty plates in the dishwasher straight away will prevent mess from building up.
Cleaning wipes are really handy for a quick wipe around the bathroom or kitchen floor if you have a short notice viewing. OK, I know they’re not great from an environmental point of view, but it’s only short term, and think about all that recycling you’ll be doing as part of decluttering!
Lastly (and perhaps most importantly) have an emergency I-DON’T-KNOW-WHERE-TO-PUT-IT box! If time is against you, you can put today’s post, your current magazine and the birthday card for your sister into the box – throw a nice blanket over the top for an effortlessly styled accessory to blend into the room!
Good luck with your sale! There are so many variables at stake, but one thing’s for definite – you’re in safe hands with Move Revolution!”
If you would like a design consultation, see Abbie’s website for details.
If you’re thinking of selling or renting your home, please call the Move Revolution team on 0330 223 1000.