It may never have occurred to you that selling a home is rather like putting on a play, but actually it’s quite a good analogy. You will have an audience (viewers) and they will judge your home on what they see of it during the time they are inside. So, as a seller who wants to get maximum value from your home, it’s your job to ensure that they enjoy the show. Here are five tips.
Treat the outside of your home as seriously as you treat the inside
First impressions start at first sight and regardless of whether you live in a house or a flat, one way or another, your viewer’s first impression is going to be from the outside so make sure it looks good. For the same reason, do everything you can to make your entryway area look good even if it’s usually a dumping ground for outerwear, bags and anything else.
Cleanliness and maintenance inspire confidence
Would you buy a meal from a take-away where you could see dust on the tables and chips in the paintwork? You might if you were desperate but otherwise you might well take the view that if the restaurant didn’t take much care of what you could see, it might not take too much care of what you couldn’t. The same principle applies to selling a home. If everything your viewers see is clean and well-maintained then you make it easier for them to believe that the property is in good order overall.
Remove decoration and replace with staging
Decoration is what you do to personalise your home, staging is what you do to depersonalise your home so that somebody else can picture it as being theirs. As a minimum, banish anything which could be considered remotely controversial, such as items connected with religion, politics or sport. Ideally take away anything which could be considered offensive, such as art portraying human nudes. If this makes your home look bare you can either replace them with cheap and inoffensive alternatives or just explain that you’ve already started packing away. The former is better but the latter is usually still an improvement on leaving the original items out on view.
Invest in extra closed storage for quick cleanups
What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve for so do not let visitors see your clutter. If you’re still living in your home, then you’re going to be walking a fine line between actually having a home and having an asset to be sold. This goes at least double if you have children. Make life easier for everyone by investing in some attractive closed-storage pieces which are designated to be kept empty most of the time, but which can be used, literally, as catch-alls when you have viewings. Even if you have plenty of advance notice of these, it can be reassuring to know that you have an escape route if you can’t manage (or can’t face) a full-on, pre-visit tidying session.
Never underestimate the importance of clean air
This tip is times one hundred if you smoke. You may not notice the smell you create but if you have non-smoking visitors they certainly will, so smoke outside until your house is sold (and make sure not to leave any butts). If you have pets, keep litter trays scrupulously clean and remove dog mess as soon as its left. Do your best to keep your house well aired, even if the weather is cold. Do not, however, go overboard with scents, even natural ones, it’s best not to use them at all as you won’t know how your visitors will feel about them, even popular ones. Similarly avoid real flowers in case your viewers have allergies.